Getting Ready For Retirement – Stop Working, Start Living

How To Retire Successfully:

Retirement looks different for everyone – you need to make it personal so that it will work for you. It is never too early to consider getting for retirement and putting a plan in place.

The following checklist will help you get ready to enjoy your retirement.

1.Take StockGwen-Clarke-Financial-Services-Life-Mortgages

Coming into retirement can be stressful as you may think you dont have enough to retire. You don’t have the capacity to make more now, you have what you have.

Bonus Tip: Over your life span you have accummulated, assets such as vehicles, valables, houses etc.- all of which are worth money.

It is a good idea to know where you stand financially and then you can make a decision on how to have more money for retirement.


Make a list of your valuables and their worth. You may be surprised at the amount of money yu have tied up that could help you in retirement.

2. Say Goodbye To All Debt

Wouldn’t it be great to retire debt free? Take a look at the loans you have and make a conscious effort to start paying them down in advance of retirement. 

Categorise loans by interest rate.

Credit Cards: You will normally find that credit card debt attracts a high rate of interest. Start with this and aim to pay it off early – meeting your monthly minimum will not shift this debt – pay off as much as you can and try not to add to the debt while you are working hard to clear it.

Personal loans: These loans come with a maturity date – check the interest rate you are being charged and calculate if it you can manage to clear this debt ahead of schedule and in=time for retirement. It may be possible to source a loan with a lower interest rate.

Mortgage Debt: while mortgages tend to have a low interest rate, they can still be quite draining when you are retired on a pension. It is possible to increase the monthly repayment and reduce the term. Increasing your monthly repayment by even €100 per month with reduce the term of your mortgage nicely.

3. Emergency Fund

Retirement is to be enjoyed and should be looked forward to with relish. You don’t need to be worrying about finances as this stage in your life. Putting an emergency fund in place beforehand will relieve this worry. Calculate what your expenses are for a 6 month period and aim to save this amount. Keep it separate from your everyday accounts so that it is not too easy to access. This fund will help you cover most eventualities and also give you a cushion in the event of any delay with your pension payments.

Set up that savings account today.

4. Know What You Need In Retirement.

I believe successful retirement planning is all about having options. How would you like to retire? Will you work part time in retirement? Do you plan on downsizing? What will your expenses be? What will your income be? Will you have any tax liability in retirement?

These are all relevant questions and will impact on your retirement. As I said earlier, each retirement plan is personal and should be. Create a timeline showing your income streams and when they will begin.

Be realistic– it will help you be better prepared.

If you need help building this plan– contact me

5. Health

We are all familiar with the saying “Health is Wealth” and this is particularly true the older we get. What health cover do you have? What health cover do you need? Check out the cost of your existing plan, and contact your health insurance company – perhaps you can reduce the premium. It is always a good idea to review your plan, with your insurer. Will you qualify for a medical card/GP card?

6. Estate

Have you a will in place? – do you need to revisit your existing will or perhaps make a will? You will find that once you have finalised all of the legalities, you can get on with living. Having a will in place will ensure that your estate will be distributed according to your wishes. It is a good idea to get tax advice relating to beneficiaries. You don’t want the bulk of your estate paid in taxes to the Revenue Commissioners.

You can also write a letter with specific wishes, i.e. desired funeral arrangements, or specific wishes for your future care if the need arises.

Keep a record of all account numbers, insurance policies, PPS Number, Solicitor’s details, Accountants details, Financial Advisors details etc. There is a handy document on my site that can help you with this.

7. Retirement Investments

Wouldn’t more income in retirement be great? Investing your Pension Policy prudently could enhance your return in retirement. It is not enough to open a pension plan and ignore it. All pension plans need to be monitored regularly. Investment choices can be confusing and complicated – your financial advisor can help you with this. I recommend that you review your pension policy every 6 months. The more you know the better you can decide what is right for you.

If you need help reviewing your pension – we can help

8. Claiming Your State Pension

It is important to know when getting ready for retirement whether you will get a contributory or non-contributory state pension. How much state pension are you entitled to? You can request a copy of your “Social Welfare Contributions” from Welfare:

It is important to know what your state pension will be in retirement.

9. Advice

According to the dictionary, retirement is “to stop working at one’s occupation,” or “withdraw from one’s position or occupation or from active working life.”

Retirement is the next phase of our life– the time when we will eventually have the time to do more of what we like.

Putting a good financial plan in place will make this all possible. Contact us and we can help you put a plan in place. 

I can also help you complete a cash flow forecast- this will highlight all areas needing attention and and help you get ready for a full retirement.