Let’s face it, 2020 wasn’t the year any of us expected. So it’s understandable that we’re all looking forward to better things in 2021.
There’s nothing like a global pandemic to make us rethink our goals and plans in life and now is a great time to start planning them so when the world reopens - you’re ready. So how is your life going to look after lockdown?
Get your house in order
With so much more time spent at home over the past 12 months, it’s unsurprising that DIY and home improvements became incredibly popular. The room that’s needed a lick of paint for years suddenly seemed more urgent when we were stuck looking at it for hours on end.
Grab yourself a pad and pen and do a home and garden itinerary. Are there little jobs that you can fix? Does the spare room need decluttering for when you can have guests around again? Would you like to take on a larger project such as converting your loft or adding a conservatory for more space for the family?
Whatever your plans - big or small - get them written down. Then it’s time to start planning and researching - What materials will you need? How will you finance it? Who could help you? You could even create a timeline for perfecting your dream home in retirement.
Look after your health
Nothing has brought home the importance of health more than coronavirus. While we couldn’t get out and about, there really wasn’t much to do other than eat, drink and try to forget about the whole situation.
With the world on the cusp of reopening, now is a great time to look at your health goals. Be mindful of what you eat and shed any ‘lockdown pounds’ that may have crept on. With the lighter evenings approaching, could you start going for a walk every day?
Once you’ve put those plans into motion, think about what you’d like to do after lockdown. Perhaps a line-dancing class has always appealed. Or maybe you’d like to join a running group or take up football. Head to the internet and research how you could build a little healthy happiness into your week.
Take some me time
Now it may seem counterintuitive to say take some time out for yourself after a long year of not being able to see people. But it’s more what you do with the time that counts.
It’s time to have a think about what you really enjoy doing and then make it a priority in your everyday life. That could be reading, gardening, baking, or even meditating. Whatever it is, washing the car, the dishes or the dog can wait - it’s time to prioritise what makes you happy first.
Retirement proof your relationship
If retirement puts a strain on relationships, retirement in lockdown is a whole different ball game. If you’re looking to rebuild or strengthen your relationship, bring your partner into your post-lockdown plans.
Build on your strengths by finding things you like to do together (while remembering that you also need your space to do your own things too!). Maybe you could volunteer together or plan a once-in-a-lifetime trip.
You probably will have to adjust your plans as the ‘rules’ of the world change, but it’s always good to have something to look forward to.
Get your affairs in order
We never know what life will throw at us, so it’s a good idea to have all your affairs in order. If you’ve already got a Will in place, take another look at it to ensure it’s all up-to-date - do any new grandchildren need to be included or have your wishes changed?
Download our free guide to estate planning here
Now could also be a good time to do a financial audit. Do you have any existing debt that you’d like to pay off? Are there savings that could be better used somewhere else? Are there any benefits that you may be entitled to that you’re not claiming?
Putting your affairs in order now can really give you some peace of mind for the future.
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Things to consider
- Key Equity Release offer lifetime mortgages only which is a loan secured against your home.
- Equity release will reduce the value of your estate and may affect your entitlement to means-tested benefits.
- You should always think carefully before securing a loan against your home.