We didn’t want to begin our inaugural post with a scary acronym of FIRE, but we do want to guide you part of the way through financial independence for retiring early.

The aspect of work we notice most is that the traditional 9 – 5 jobs are no longer the norm. People are choosing self-employment and with life expectancy rising annually, there are different types of pressures.

A pressure for you – given that you’re likely to live for a long period of time – is making sure you’re financially secure in retirement; whether that’s at 50 or 65 and beyond.

There are certain steps you should take to plan for retirement.

The first is to actually work out what your income is likely to be in retirement. You may have a public sector pension you can claim at 55, a private pension, a lump sum, but you need to know what this amounts to.

Seek independent pension advice – ie, don’t take risks with pension planning.

Think about your budget after you retire – certain expenses like commuting may well lessen, but how else will your spending change day to day?

Look to increase your pension before retiring by making additional payments or investing in a private pension plan early in your working life.

Clear debts before you retire.

Track down lost pensions – you may have had many jobs during your career where you paid into a pot. You must make sure you find these and claim that fund back.

Prepare emotionally for retirement. It’s not just about money. Retirement often comes as a shock to people who’ve spent their lives working – are you prepared?

If you need any more advice, contact Happy Finances today.