You should know now where you stand with your Normal Pension Age. If you don’t, you can check this out on My Pensions Online. If you are within five years of claiming your teachers’ pension scheme, then it is time to start planning. Do not take a smooth transition into retirement for granted. There is some essential preparation that you should be undertaking.
Practise doing nothing
Here is some sage advice from those who have already retired: you need to practice retirement. Psychologically, the move from work to doing nothing and living from your Teachers’ Pension can be a shock to the system. You will lose the identity you enjoyed as a teacher, and you won’t automatically gain a new one for a while. Therefore, you need to practise not being a teacher before the event arrives.
To practise retirement, you need to start taking more time off for holidays and take holidays where you actually do nothing rather than catch up. The more you travel, the more you will crave travel. It will then become a blessing when you eventually leave the classroom.
Phase your retirement
You could move to part-time work before fully retiring. A phased retirement makes the transition a lot more straightforward. You need to get to the point where your workload gets in the way of your social commitments – and you don’t feel guilty about this. If you have reached 55, you can start your gradual move to retirement. You just need to speak to an advisor to see how this would work.
Start to make friends with people outside of teaching
One of the significant transition problems for those who retire is the loss of their social circle. Teachers work so many hours that most of the friends they make are teachers. It is a good idea while preparing to retire, to start joining in with activities that are not related to school. It is strange how people outside of teaching do not talk about students, marking, the senior team, or the state of the stationery cupboard. Meeting new friends will help you learn to develop new lines of conversation.
Work out your finances
As you move towards retirement, you need to understand how much you could get as a lump sum and how much you will get in your pension allowance. You can then start to daydream about your life beyond teaching because you will understand what you can afford. It is not just that you will be able to claim your pension, but that your living expenses will likely be lower. Therefore, sit down and map out precisely what you will get and start to put some plans together, and most importantly start looking forward to this time.
The content in this article was correct on 19th July 2019. You should not rely on this article to make important financial decisions. Teachers Financial Planning offers advice on pensions for teachers and non-teachers. Please use the contact form below to arrange an informal chat with an advisor and see how we can help you.