Retirement might be a phase that none of us feel that we ever get to – and this in itself can cause complacency in relation to how we plan for it.

While the thought of hanging up your tools, turning off your computer or simply clocking out for the last time might feel like a dream – it will be anything-but if you don’t have your financial affairs in order.

Today is all about helping you get there. In the years, and sometimes decades, leading up to retirement there are steps you can make to make this era easier and the following points will advise on what you can do.

Get away from the “borrowing” philosophy

There are times in life where there is absolutely nothing wrong with borrowing. However, as your retirement comes closer, you need to put the brakes on such an approach.

While you might have every intention of paying off all of your outstanding debts, they are holding you back. This isn’t just from an interest perspective (and it’s scary how quickly some debts, including mortgages, can spiral out of control) but also looking at things from a “disposable money” perspective.

After all, if most of your outgoings are going towards paying off debts, how are you going to start to put money away for your long-awaited retirement? Put simply, you won’t be able to.

Invest smartly

We might be stating the obvious, but people who are seriously thinking about retirement usually fall into the following camps:

  • They don’t save at all
  • They only save
  • They save and invest

Suffice to say, it’s the latter category you need to be targeting. This is almost a gradual process; most people starting out in their career struggle to regularly save money, and this habit arrives as they start to climb the career ladder.

However, the big step is turning to investments. We’re by no means saying that you should become some form of investment guru who is destined for the big hitting stock market, but you need a long-term investment strategy.

Let’s not forget that this is how most pensions are formed – so it should not come as a surprise. Over history, markets have always increased in the long-term, and this can be your quickest way to accumulating wealth ahead of your retirement.

Of course, you will need advice, and you need to minimize your risks. Any investing arrives with risks, but some are especially low if you turn to the right markets.

Understand your retired life will look so much more differently

Let’s finish with a quick question, have you ever thought about any of the following topics?

  • Paying for your own funeral
  • Paying for elderly care later in life
  • Paying for the kids’ university fees
  • (the list could go on)

Most people think that their retired life is a duplicate of their earlier years (without the work-factor, of course).

As it turns out, there are a lot of financial surprises, some good, some bad. Understand how both your income and expenditure will look.