The following is a guest post.
When the mornings are cold and dark, not many people feel like springing out of their cosy bed and setting off for work. If you are nearing retirement, the daily grind can seem even more of a chore. Even in the summer when the mornings are light and warm, the thought of spending the day hunched over a computer rather than out in the fresh air, will leave you feeling resentful.
If this sounds like you, it’s essential that you get your finances into good shape to enable you to retire sooner rather than later.
While you are still working, now’s the time to get any loans or credit that you need, as it could become more difficult to be approved when you aren’t earning a regular pay check. Take a look at what you owe and the interest rate you are paying – is the balance on your credit card actually going down? Or are you caught in a vicious cycle and simply paying the interest and no more? And how about your loans – are you getting the best rate possible?
When you retire, chances are that you will be reliant on your pension income to pay for everything from the essentials to life’s little luxuries, so figuring out how much you will have coming in and going out is a must.
No-one wants to spend their retirement years penny-pinching and unable to enjoy their free time because of a lack of cash. Getting your affairs in order before you retire can mean you get more out of not having to work.
If you face having to hand over a large chunk of your pension to pay for credit cards or other debts, it might be worth considering whether personal secured loans could offer the solution.
Secured loans are usually available at a much lower interest rate and lenders are willing to consider a greater range of applicants because of the guarantee of collateral if you default. Even individuals usually classed as high risk, such as those with a poor credit rating and the self-employed, could qualify for a loan!
By reducing how much you have to spend, you could find your retirement a lot more comfortable financially.
Of course, the other factor to consider is how you will be able to get around the family home if you become ill or when your mobility decreases as you get older. Borrowing some money to renovate the property – perhaps moving the bedroom to the ground floor or installing a chair lift – could help make life much easier in your later years. Getting a secured loan and arranging for the work to be carried out means that even if the worst happens, it won’t be a disaster.
Your retirement years should be amongst the best of your life, but too many people have it ruined by money worries, whether it’s not being able to afford to heat their home or having too many debts to repay. By taking a long hard look at your budget in advance, you can decide how you are going to manage and take the first steps towards a long and happy retirement.
photo credit: flickr zeusandhera