No one really likes thinking about getting older and what comes next but everyone should, at some point, in order to prepare for adult life. Planning for the future is not only smart but the only real way to take the stress out of it all. And there are many ways to plan for later life and so many options. Sometimes it takes some hard work to figure out what to do when you actually allow yourself to think about it. But do not fret, here are three solid ways you can plan ahead.
We all know bricks and mortar make a lot of sense in terms of making smart investments in the long run. The buy to let market isn’t what it used to be but owning a home that is worth a good sum of money is always a great start to any retirement and life planning. But while the principle is simple there are ways to make sure that your house works hard for you.
Owning a house is one thing but making sure it is worth a good amount of money in the long run is totally different ball game. The key is not to spend mega money all the time keeping the house up to date and thus killing your savings. The real key is to make sure it’s a nice enough place to live but plan ahead for a refurbishing before you choose to sell or rent it out in retirement. So cheaper kitchens and the like are fine for day to day but as you look towards cashing in it might be a good idea to get something that really adds value.
Companies like Halcyon Interiors are not mega high end and out of reach for most people but they are a massive leap up from the usual big names. So a kitchen at this kind of level is worth spending on with a view to really pushing the value of your property. It may very well also be a better bet to rent out your family home in retirement and use the money to rent something smaller to live in and enjoy. This way you maintain an income and pay for your retirement home in one go. Think big when you need the house to work for you but don’t spend your life spending all your money on making it look amazing only to have it all be a bit out of date when you need it.
While a lot of later life planning is about living an enjoying life there is also the unavoidable issue of what happens afterwards. Funeral plans obviously do not seem like a lot of fun but they are very useful financial products that allow you to pay for your funeral in advance, perhaps have it all planned out and dealt with so your loved ones do not have to do anything. This is an important thing to consider as the financial burden on a family dealing with organising a funeral can be very large and is only getting larger. Beware, however, because there are good funeral plans and bad ones! The body that regulates and monitors funeral plans is called the Funeral Planning Authority and their list of approved providers is really the only place to look when thinking of taking one of these plans out. They are simple, they work in several ways and they not only remove the money side of things from your family they also remove the stress of planning something so soon after losing someone close such as your dear grandmother or grandmather.
Let’s talk about pensions. Pensions are not what they used to be, and a lot of people do not trust them. At the same time access to company information and investment news, forums and the like have increased. This has lead to a rise in people considering shares as a solid part of the future planning.
This isn’t about spending your life savings on one company in the hope it pays off. It’s about really getting into the investment world and having a wide range of smaller investments in lots of companies big and small. It used to be the preserve of the broker who kept all the secrets to himself but the internet has opened it all up and there is a lot of choice…
It is a dangerous game when the numbers get big so do it very carefully and always consider any amount invested as an amount you can afford to lose. But, by spreading the investment across a wide range of options you can minimise the risk. Of course, this lowers the yield but as part of a larger plan it might just bring in a small amount in retirement to add to the pot. Also be ready to sell, if the numbers look good don’t be afraid to cash out and walk away.
There are, of course many other options like pensions, ISAs, equity release and more but these three are certainly worth thinking about as part of a wider plan.