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When Should You Retire?

For many workers retirement always seems a long way off. When you’re busy day in and day out, thinking about the future just isn’t a priority.

However planning ahead can pay dividends and help you avoid any nasty surprises at the end of your working career.

A few years ago retiring in your late 50s or early 60s had become the norm. But changes in both working habits and the State Pension mean that many people are now expected to work well into their 60s and 70s. So unless you win the lottery, having a retirement action plan could help you enjoy life in later years.

Making sure you have an income or financial support will of course make a big difference to your retirement. It’s easy to underestimate how much money it takes to run a home or enjoy hobbies and if you haven’t thought about how you’re going to live it’s time to start saving.

But there’s also a lot more to retirement than money – something many employees only find out when they finally toss in the towel. The psychological effects of retirement can be huge and lots of people dream of retiring early, only to find it’s not what they thought it would be.

If you’re lucky enough to enjoy your job and have lots of work friends leaving it all behind can create a huge hole. After the initial holiday feeling has worn off it’s all too easy to become a little withdrawn. If you live to work rather than work to live, early retirement may not be for you.

For those stuck in a job they hate retirement can seem like the ultimate escape plan. But if you retire early you might have to make ends meet for many years to come. A career change may well be the real answer. These days plenty of workers retire only to start a second career doing a job they truly love.

Time can also be deceptive once you retire. Lots of people plan to travel the world, learn a new skill or take up a hobby when work is finally out of the way. But chances are that if you’ve never shown an interest before you’ll never get round to acting on those grand plans.

Instead, concentrate on what you enjoy doing now. Retirement may still be a few years off but building up interests will make you more content when you finally wave goodbye to your colleagues.

No matter when you decide to retire, a backup plan can offer a safety net should you ever need one. Sometimes it’s possible to work part-time for your old employer or you could use your existing skills to branch into something new.

What’s important to remember is that the old rules of retirement don’t apply any more. Today it’s more common for older people to work part-time, volunteer or even help with childcare.There are no rules dictating when you should stop working but with a little bit of planning you can make the most of your retirement.

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