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Guide to retirement

Retirement can be relaxing with more free time to spend as you wish. However, it can be helpful to plan your time to make sure your schedule keeps you happy and active.

We’ve selected our top tips to give you a preview of the eBook Rough Guide to Retirement, sponsored by Legal & General, to help you make the most out of this new phase in your life.

We hope that people with concerns about retirement, carers and families, find this guide useful. Download The Rough Guide to Retirement to give to someone you know.

Staying fit and active

If you want to make the most of your retirement, it is important to stay fit and healthy. Most local councils run a number of sports clubs and exercise classes for those retired or semi-retired, many at concessionary rates. This is likely to include weekly walks, ballroom dancing, bowls, swimming, Zumba, tennis and so on.

If you don’t want to join an organised group, then taking daily walks or gardening on a regular basis can make a significant difference to overall fitness.

Setting up a business

Going into retirement doesn’t mean you have to stop working completely. Have you always dreamt of running your own business? If you are one of the many over 65-year-olds planning to go it alone, you are in good company. All manner of businesses are now run by the over 65s, from dressmakers and photographers to IT consultancies.

It may be that you are using the skills and expertise that you gained during your working life to now work as a consultant or trainer, or perhaps you’re embarking on a project you’ve always wanted to pursue but felt was too risky while you were providing for a family. Or it could be that you are simply generating an income from a hobby or interest. This may not be a main source of income, but can provide a useful supplement to a pension, while enabling you to keep busy and productive in retirement.

Share your knowledge

If committing to setting up a business isn’t for you, there may be opportunities to share the skills and expertise you’ve gained through your working life by volunteering. If you have a specific skill or interest, think about approaching an organisation – such as a charity, a museum or a school – as a volunteer. Royal Voluntary Service is always on the look-out for more volunteers to help support older people in a variety of ways, whether providing company to someone isolated, a lift to the shops to someone housebound, a visit to hospital to a patient that may not have seen anyone for weeks.

Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering can see all our latest volunteering opportunities.

Looking after the grandchildren

Many families are turning to their grandparents to help them out. An increased number of newly retired people now work as unofficial childminders for their grandchildren, although few get paid for it.

If you’re a younger grandmother, you’re more likely to find yourself providing this help. Taking on this childcare role can affect your own ability to find other part-time paid work which, in turn, could limit your pension prospects.

Always be clear to your kids on the hours you can commit to: if you need to work, or want time to pursue you own interests, say so at the outset. Also, think about money. You might not be getting paid for your time, but it doesn’t mean you should have to pay for all the expenses associated with taking the grandkids out for a day at the zoo.

What are your top tips for planning your retirement? Have you discovered a new hobby or job since retiring?

Download The Rough Guide to Retirement to give to someone you know.

Please exercise your common sense when considering this guide and whether to take any of the steps that may be suggested in it. Whilst we have taken reasonable care to ensure that any factual information is accurate and complete, most of the information in this guide is based on our views and opinions (and sometimes the views and opinions of the people or organisations we work with). As a result, we cannot make any promises about the accuracy or the completeness of the information and we don’t accept any responsibility for the results of your reliance on it.