Your retirement is the culmination of decades of hard work and diligent saving. A true life milestone, a successful retirement will allow you to relax into your life after work, assured that you can live the dream lifestyle you choose, with enough money now, and to last into the future.
But there are some bad habits, picked up during your career, that you’ll want to leave at the entrance to your post-work life. Said habits could damage your financial security and lead to stress and uncertainty at a time when you should be relaxing.
Here are just three of the bad habits you should consider kicking before you reach your retirement date.
1. Checking in with your investment portfolio daily
If you’ve been in the habit of checking in with the markets every day, minutely tracking changes in the value of your portfolio, now is the time to stop.
With the economy struggling and stock markets uncertain, it’s natural to be concerned. Depending on the type of retirement you’ve opted for, it might even be necessary to check in occasionally – to ensure you’re managing your flexible decumulation and won’t run out of money, for example.
But religiously following the inevitable rises and falls of the market can ultimately lead to emotional decision-making and knee-jerk reactions. It could even lead to trend-chasing and attempts to time the market. This would be a bad idea.
Impulsively selling shares when markets dip means that your money won’t be there to benefit when markets rise. You’ll be turning a paper loss into a real one and this could have significant consequences over the longer term.
Once you’ve reached your retirement you might have another long-term goal in mind for your remaining portfolio. Focus on this goal and ignore the noise of global events and their impact on markets. You’ve earned a stress-free retirement, so sit back and let your money work for you.
2. Putting off the financial housekeeping jobs that matter
We’re all guilty of putting off the small jobs that we know are important but feel like a problem for our future selves. But once you retire, it really is time to stop procrastinating and tackle the tasks that matter.
Putting a will in place and then regularly updating it to ensure it still aligns with your wishes is a great habit to get into during retirement. Life events like births, deaths, and marriages can all alter your priorities, so consider setting time aside annually to think about your arrangements.
The same is true of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). You can appoint an attorney at any point from the age of 18 so if you haven’t done so yet, now is the time to stop procrastinating and take action.
There are two main types of LPA covering your daily routine and medical care, and your finances, likely including paying bills or managing your financial affairs on your behalf.
An LPA is a great way to put yourself back in control, knowing that you and your money will be looked after should you become incapacitated. You can pick someone you choose and know that you’re reducing stress for your loved ones.
The same is true of an In Case of Emergency (ICE) document. This lists the important information – from your pension provider contact details to the location of your passport and life insurance documents – that a loved one would need to look after your affairs in the event of your death.
If you have a habit of putting off these important jobs, be sure not to take this habit into retirement.
3. Too freely opening the doors to the Bank of Mum and Dad
The last few years have been financially tough for millions of Brits. Younger workers, many engaged in the gig economy, struggled during the lockdowns and restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic. The subsequent cost of living crisis, rising house prices, and now soaring mortgage rates might’ve meant you’ve been financially supporting grown-up children.
While it’s only natural that you’d want to do this, now is the time to revisit this support to ensure it remains affordable.
Your retirement fund needs to support your desired lifestyle for the rest of your life. That means factoring in rising life expectancies and your potential longevity, as well as ill health that might require care. Later-life care can be expensive so you must keep money put aside as a contingency.
An honest conversation with your loved ones might help to explain your financial circumstances. We can help you to look at affordable ways to offer support, potentially through tax-efficient giving while living.
Get in touch
Whatever financial bad habits you want to kick, or which aspect of your long-term retirement plans you need help with, get in touch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0800 0787 182.
A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits.