Once upon a yesteryear, people would retire and expect very little time in retirement, with a life expectancy in 1950 of just 68.69 years. Today, average UK life expectancy is 81.65 years, meaning a good few years of retirement to look forward to for many.
Once there, retirement is a new phase in life, and with it come decisions:
Today, in the UK, there is no longer a default state retirement age. (The law was changed in 2011 to stop employers forcing people to retire at 65.)
Whether the decision to continue working is driven by habit, financial need or passion, as we age, we need to start sorting our affairs. We love the idea of ‘dostadning’, a Swedish concept that encourages us to look at our homes as if we were dead and someone was coming in to clear up and/or find things. It’s very like Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ but looked at through a visitor's eyes rather than from your own sense of wellbeing. (For messy folk like me, it’s a fabulous incentive to get things done!)
This time of life can be a great time to get things in order, and simplify the way we live in order to enjoy it more.
For example, perhaps your children have been using your home as a dumping pit? Maybe they don’t want you to throw away their old toys. Retirement is the perfect excuse to tell them to come and collect!
· Age UK has fabulous advice about pensions and benefits, which can help with this decision: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/
In early retirement, it’s lovely to have an amazing garden to while away the hours. When arthritis, lumbago and ‘gardener’s elbow’ start making all that work harder, it may be time to call in a gardener, or to downsize or move to somewhere with a smaller garden.
Similarly, you may want to downsize for cost reasons. For example, new research by Energy Saving Trust has found that energy bills could rise by £240 in 2022 for a typical three-bedroom, gas-heated home, with such a household projected to spend a total £1,360 on energy. That’s a lot of money from a pension.
It may just be the practicalities of looking after a large home that drive the decision to move some somewhere smaller. Time and energy are precious things.
• The (easyStorage) Reliable Guide to Downsizing for Retirement
Retirement gives you a freedom that working life doesn’t. We often pick our place to live based on work.
You now have a lot of freedom to choose.
Perhaps you’d love to be in the wilds of Inverness. Maybe somewhere picturesque like Yorkshire or the Cotswolds appeals. Perhaps you want to be closer to children or grandchildren. Or maybe even abroad. Or cruising the canals of the UK on a narrowboat.
While you are still fit enough to do it and young enough to make new friends, now’s the time to do it. As age folds its arms around us, it becomes harder to make that move. Now’s the time to live that dream, but do it with eyes wide open – simply moving house to a similar area where you already know people is one thing. A complete lifestyle change requires much planning and thinking ahead to a time when we may not be as able bodied or may need people around to help us.
Don’t let the dream die, simply go in with your eyes open. Sometimes renting in a new place is a smart move before selling up and moving there. Moving can be stressful and expensive, doing it twice because the move wasn’t a good one for you is doubly so.
· Packing materials delivered to your door: https://easystorageboxes.com/
If you can afford it, you’ll now have the freedom to flee to a second home somewhere when the weather gets chilly.
For those who can’t, there’s always the chance to take up one of these amazing offers for pensioners to stay in hotels, full board, for several months, which look inviting when faced with huge heating bills.
Numerous companies exist that may be able to rent your own home while you’re away.
No obligation quotes for storage that collects and delivers your belongings back if renting out or away for a long time and wanting to keep things stored safely: easyStorage quotes.
If not now, then when?
Lonely Planet explains how to plan that trip: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/how-to-plan-a-round-the-world-trip
Whatever those decisions look like, easyStorage is here to make life easier by collecting from, and returning your belongings to, the door. Our teams are flexible and helpful and can tailor their service to your needs (for storage, that is!)
However you choose to spend it, the team here wishes you a long, healthy and happy retirement. Enjoy every minute.
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Our storage packages have the added benefit of free removal of your items, saving you up to £1,000. All you need to do is pack your items (or we can pack for you, supplying boxes and packing material) and we’ll pick-up your items and store them in our safe and secure easyStorage facility. Then when you are ready, we’ll deliver them wherever you need us to. You just need to give us two working days’ notice. Perfect if you are moving house, running out of space, or just need somewhere to store your stuff.
Our storage plans provide you with a cost-effective alternative to renting your own lock-up storage space as we’ll only charge you for the storage space you need, making it cheaper for you.