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Picture your retirement

If you're 10 years or less from retiring, it's time to start firming up what your retirement is going to look like, what money you have to work with and what your spending will look like.

Person holding up calendar with dates marked off and holiday pictures in the background

Retirement used to be once and done. You reached your retirement age, had your party and that was it – work was over. There are now infinite opportunities for you to explore and potentially a long time to explore them with.

Maybe you still want to be working one day and retired the next, but how will you spend that time and what will you do with it? Travel? Live abroad? Learn to surf? Become an artist? Spend time with the grandkids?

Or perhaps you want or need to carry on working but what will you do? Scale down your hours? Do something completely different? Start a business from a hobby? Do some voluntary work?

You may still have obligations when you reach retirement. But what will they be? Mortgage? Rent? Debts? Loved ones needing help with care? Kids or grandkids needing help to get on the property ladder?

Picturing your retirement lifestyle and what it might cost

Now is the time to take time out to think through what your life might be like up to and through retirement. The closer you get to retirement you'll need a more solid idea of what's realistic for you.

Whether you do this alone or with your partner or family, think about trying to answer these key questions.

Use whatever method works best for you; sticky notes, a mood board, or even just write down some initial thoughts and ideas.

Think about

✔️ Where you'll be living

✔️ If you want or need to keep working in some way and for how long

✔️ What your lifestyle would be like

✔️ How you'll spend your time day-to-day

✔️ Any big plans or expenditure like holidays, home improvements or a new car

✔️ What the different phases of your retirement might look like

✔️ Whether you'll have caring or other responsibilities

✔️ If you want to help your family financially

✔️ Your health and wellbeing

Tips for picturing your retirement