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NOW CLOSED Share your retirement planning hints and tips with Aviva and other GNers to win a Red Letter Day experience for 2 worth £100!

(28 Posts)
MichelleGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 01-Jul-13 13:55:56

Aviva's Retirement Centre offers help and advice on planning your retirement, but they'd also love to know what Gransnetters' top tips for a happy retirement are. Here's what they say: "Retirement is an exciting time and we all want to make the most of this new chapter in our lives. As with any big event, planning is essential, but with so many things to consider, it can be daunting. That’s why it’s always helpful to know that you’re not alone and there are many others going through the same experience as yourself. We want to make sure the information in our Retirement Centre is easy to understand and relevant so we’d love to hear top tips from the people that matter most – you."

So, if you're already retired what are your top tips for getting everything in order before retirement? What's the one piece of advice you'd like to share with other Gransnetters? If you wish you'd known something before you retired what would it be?

Please share your hints and tips on this thread. Everyone who adds a comment will be entered into a prize draw where one winner will receive a £100 voucher towards a Red Letter Day experience for two!

Thanks and good luck,


j08 Mon 01-Jul-13 14:21:06

Are we doing it again? Or is this litter? confused

Galen Mon 01-Jul-13 14:33:57

Make sure you have a * LONDON PENSION*grin

Galen Mon 01-Jul-13 14:35:13


HUNTERF Mon 01-Jul-13 14:46:16

Make sure you get every penny you are entitled to from your occupational pension scheme.
Don't be afraid to offend people if you have to do so to get this.


glammanana Mon 01-Jul-13 14:51:34

Any chance of £5.00 for every tip contributed ?

KatieBGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 01-Jul-13 15:08:28

Hi j08 it's a different topic - this week Aviva would like to know your top tips for planning for retirement smile

whenim64 Mon 01-Jul-13 15:38:44

In my last four or five years at work, I contributed to AVCs, so I would be able to complete paying off my mortgage for eighteen months after retirement. Turned out I was able to exchange a percentage of my pension at the rate of £1 for £12, so I got some financial advice and exchanged the equivalent amount that would pay off the mortgage the month I retired, instead. With the amount of interest saved on mortgage being paid off, and tax exemptions by getting AVCs deducted from my salary, my pension was the amount I had originally expected to get when everything was settled. Well worth considering AVCs if you can manage it.

HUNTERF Mon 01-Jul-13 15:44:36

Start planning early.
I joined the pension scheme the day I started work and paid AVC'C as the retirement age was 60 and I joined when I was 21 so I could not work for 40 years.


Gally Mon 01-Jul-13 16:50:43

Get good advice from an independent, unbiased source, invest wisely and keep your fingers crossed grin

j08 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:46:48

Just had a look at their "retirement centre". Surprised it doesn't mention drawdown. Not everyone buys an annuity. Especially at the moment.

I think they are going to be trying to sell things to us.

Can I recommend Hargreaves Lansdowne? #excellent

j08 Mon 01-Jul-13 17:47:37

There goes my Red Letter day. #whoneedsit

laidback Mon 01-Jul-13 21:46:32

A few years ago I started planning. I was advised by a financial adviser at the bank to invest a lump sum in an Aviva was the worst financial decision I have ever made. The policy lost loads of money. Fortunately I still had the notes and letter I had written to the financial adviser listing what I expected from the policy and expectations etc...and all the details. When it soon became very obvious I had been mis sold a policy that was totally wrong for what I wanted. I contacted the Bank and Aviva. Aviva were very unhelpful. The advisor had left the bank (not surprised!) Eventually...talking a year or more later it was sorted by the bank and I recieved my money back. I would advise folk to really investigate any financial investments and employ an independent, trustworthy and recommended advisor.

FlicketyB Tue 02-Jul-13 09:26:34

Totally agree with Frank, Retirement planning starts when you start work and start putting money aside for retirement. The earlier you start the less you pay for any given pension sum. BUT increase the amount as you earn more, perhaps keep it as a steady % of your net income.

Do not take a lump sum out of your pension, try to save that separately. Annual pension increases are a % of each year's gross and the wonderful benefits of compound interest apply. Interest on investment is not, it is simple interest and just gives interest each year on the original sum invested. At times of low interest rates, this really makes a difference.

If you take out an annuity, make sure the income includes an annual increase, it means less to begin with but saves you from absolute poverty when you are older, particularly if you live longer than you expected.

Avoid equity release if at all possible or leave it as late as possible, move to a smaller property if you can rather than opt for equity release. It means that all your capital is at your disposal . That means if you need to move into residential care you will be self financing and can choose what home you go into rather than be at the mercy of Social Services which in current economic circumstances will put you in the cheapest home they can find regardless of where you used to live, convenience for family and friends wanting to visit you or quality of care.

HUNTERF Wed 03-Jul-13 21:39:16


If you trust your children and you are married split your house in to tenants in common ownership and leave half of the house to your children.
As long as both parents are not in care at the same time if you have to go in to care only half the house is available for care fees and if that money runs out social services would have to pay the council's usual rate and your children could pay a top up.
If one of your children return home the council can not take any of the house as they will be an owner occupier but they could pay top up if necessary.


j08 Wed 03-Jul-13 22:26:44

I'm not sure we should start to give out financial advice on here.

Ana Wed 03-Jul-13 22:39:58

Why not? confused

bluebell Wed 03-Jul-13 23:04:38

Two tips
1. Once my dh had decided on a retirement date, I worked out what our new ( lower) income would be and then we budgeted and lived on that for the year before he retired so we could practice without worry. It worked fine and we had some extra savings at the end of the year
2. Ignore all advice on what to do with your house to avoid paying for care if it should be needed and instead hope you have brought up your dc to be loving individuals who, if you need care, will not see money spent on giving you the best choice possible as depriving them of their 'rightful' inheritance

nonnanna Fri 05-Jul-13 08:52:05

It's not just about money though, is it? It's practical things too. Think about moving, down sizing, clearing all the clutter before you are too old/infirm/incapable or just can't be bothered with the upheaval. Make your home as easy to live in as possible. The same goes for clearing sheds, garages etc.

Hard landscaping the garden means you can go off on trips without returning to a jungle.

If you are part of a couple make sure you will have 'me time' and 'together time' for family/friends/hobbies/clubs/holidays etc. It's important to spend time together but equally important to have time apart to bring back experiences and conversations to share.

If you are a couple make sure that both of you know how your accounts and finances work. How to use the washing machine and how to cook. How to cut the grass and deal with the garden. Where the phone numbers are for any outside services you use regularly eg. carpet cleaner, decorator etc. This may sound simple but it amazes me how many couples I have known who have been totally adrift in practical, everyday living when one of them has died.

Actually, ignore those ideas. Get a camper van or a narrow boat and tour the country, spend more time on Gransnet - Happy retirement everyone.

FlicketyB Fri 05-Jul-13 14:38:04

Frank, did that over 20 years ago.

j08 Fri 05-Jul-13 17:57:22

Like nonna's afterthought. smile

Sod the lot of it and enjoy now.

Nonu Fri 05-Jul-13 18:14:25

sunshineOR , keeping nipping off on holiday , as I do

michelleblane Sat 06-Jul-13 18:48:19

I am one of those females born in 1954, who expected to retire at 60. Then a few years ago I was informed that my retirement age would be 62/63. Now my date from the government is 6 months after my 65th birthday.
Unfortunately our planned retirement together has been ruined....(my husband has just retired)
Sorry about the rant. My first advice is plan, but dont believe the dates until it happens.
If your workplace has a pension scheme, consider it carefully. They are often much better than private schemes.
Go on holiday, enjoy yourselves while you can. Dont dither. Go on the gap year you didn't have at 18/21!

chubbynanny Mon 08-Jul-13 11:41:00

Enjoy any capital you have whilst you can. I have worked in the elderly care sector for years and the one regret often expressed is that not realizing how quickly health can deteriorate as they aged, clients did not spend their savings on doing what they wanted when they were able. Take out care insurance whilst you are young and spend as much money enjoying your life as early as you can!

HUNTERF Mon 08-Jul-13 12:07:21


I would say maximise your pension rather than rely on savings as you do not know how long you will live.
My fathers retirement lasted over 30 years and he was driving till he was nearly 86.
I concentrated more on putting money in to AVC's etc.