Allotments, grandchildren, ever more frequent breaks in the sun. Yep, retirement should be a time of happiness, peace and prosperity. All too often though, it can be blighted by worries about money, health and family. There are, however, processes and contingency plans you can put in place to grant that much needed peace of mind to make your golden years all the most sparkling. These are those; our 5 IDEAL steps to a peaceful retirement.

GROW YOUR PENSION FUND

Let’s cut to the nitty gritty without further ado. Growing your pension fund means that you will be able to relax in financial security when you retire, which is certainly what we all want for our golden years. To make room for this, you should consider many of the ways that you can increase your retirement fund.

If you want to increase your pension, you should avoid opting out of your workplace pension scheme too early (or better still, at all) and make voluntary contributions to your pension and National Insurance. Go further still and pay into a private pension when you can throughout your life. You should also think about other schemes which can help to increase your funds, such as releasing the equity on your house, as this can give you a tax-free lump sum. Specialists such as equityrelease.co.uk can help advise you about the best options for you, as well as providing a free calculator to find out how much you can earn through equity release.

WRITE A WILL

Sure it’s a bleak subject, but bleaker still would be to do nothing and leave the life you leave behind to chance. Therefore, it’s imperative you write a will if you have not already, to grant peace of mind and a little control over what happens once you’re gone. This will make the process easier after your death by stating clearly what you want to happen to your money and assets. To write a will, you may want to speak to a lawyer who can help you with the complexities, and you will need to find a witness to watch you sign the will to ensure that it is legally binding.

TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH

If you’re to enjoy your retirement to its fullest, you should make sure you stay healthy, fit and active to make the most of it. You should follow a moderate fitness regime, if possible, doing exercises such as walking, gentle stretches or going to an exercise class designed for the elderly. Eating well is also a hugely important factor in your health, and you should follow a balanced diet with enough fruit and vegetables, as well as limiting your sugar and salt intake. If you plan on receiving private health care, you should also make sure that you take out private health insurance in case of emergencies.

GET INSURED

Life insurance often seems too serious an undertaking to ever consider, but it will mean that your family is protected if you are to die unexpectedly. In short, taking out such insurance will help to pay off any remaining debts after your death, such as a mortgage, and leave you safe in the knowledge that your family is supported. Many policies also cover your funeral, which is essential in allowing your loved ones time to grieve without stress about financial matters.

EMBRACE THE CHANCE TO EXPLORE

Most importantly, you should aim to have as much fun as you can possibly fit in during your later years. And that might take many different forms. Whether you want to see the world, decide to do part-time work or start a business to keep occupied, or spend more time with family and friends, is of course up to you. All that matters is that you see out this crazy thing called life in the most jovial way possible.

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