Live your dream retirement

Whether your retirement is one, two or four years away, it's never too early to start working on that bucket list...

Just think, when the big R day arrives, there will be no more setting the alarm clock for 6.30am, or spending hours squashed on the train fighting umbrellas from going up your nostrils. Bliss! It’s your time now. Time to do whatever you want. You might crave solace and peace, or you may see retirement as a chance to seek adventure.

And this is for the latter - for those of you who want something a little different for your retirement. Let’s take a look at some fabulous ideas for a better retirement.


The world is your oyster and you’ve now got time to enjoy it. Retirement is an ideal opportunity to head somewhere on your must-visit list. If you don’t like long haul, you can always enjoy an extended break somewhere closer to home. The important thing is to budget well, researching typical costs of food and accommodation at your destination/s of choice to ensure you can feasibly fund your trip.

Learn something new

Now you have some free time on your hands, why not try learning a new subject? More retirees than ever are signing up for university or college courses as mature students. It’s a great way to keep the brain ticking over, and a chance to go back to something you feel you missed out on because of your working commitments. Take a look at the Open University and see if there’s anything that suits your interests.

Turn a passion into a business

According to a 2015 Monster survey*, one of the top five regrets retirees have is staying in a job that wasn’t right for them. If you’re concerned you may have the same regret, it’s not too late to pursue something you’re passionate about – and earn some money from it.

Retirement is really not the time to be gambling your savings away or making risky investments. But, so long as your overheads are kept to a minimum, there’s no reason why you can’t start up a small business to generate an additional income stream on top of your pension.

Unleash the daredevil

Did you know? At the age of 89, Dorothy Davenhill Hirsch became the oldest person to visit the North Pole. Bertha Wood, born in 1905, also had her first book published on her 100th birthday. 

You don’t have to do anything extraordinary like Dorothy or Bertha but you might still need to get your kicks from somewhere; and if playing golf or baking cakes are unlikely to kick it for you, then why not try something more extreme? Something that’ll force you out of your comfort zone and get the adrenaline pumping? Take a ride in a fighter jet, watch the world from a hot air balloon basket, or embark on a scuba diving course. 

Remember: you’re never too old to try something new!

Reality check

Sorry, living your dream retirement is going to cost – so, can you afford it?

A 2016 Aon Hewitt study*, conducted with YouGov, revealed that there’s an £11bn Defined Contribution pension shortfall in the UK. It also found that just 16% of savers are putting back enough money to maintain their current standard of living when they retire.

We also need to find ways to stretch the income we have in retirement, as life expectancy continues to climb. The UK’s population reached its oldest ever in mid-2014, with the number of over-65s increasing by 47% since mid-1974 according to June 2015 Data from the Office for National Statistics. 

Retirement may be a few years away, but now’s the perfect time to begin putting the final plans in place. Calculate your retirement income to see if you’re able to finance your ideal retirement future. If there’s a shortfall, look for ways you can maximise your pension pot and other savings. 

With your finances at the forefront of your mind in the run-up to R-Day, you will increase the chance of your retirement dream becoming a retirement reality. 

Want a bit of help working out if you’ll have enough?

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Enjoy it

The main thing is, of course, that you enjoy yourself! After all, you have worked for long enough and owe yourself a chance at an exciting new life in retirement.

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