We all know about the importance of setting and striving for specific goals in our lives, but frequently it's harder to do than we thought. We all know the basic tenets of budgeting and saving, but putting them into effective practice can sometimes come to nothing. We talk to Patricia as she begins to reassess her long-term and short-term savings plans now that her children are self-sufficient and retirement begins to appear on the horizon.
56, owner of The Derma Clinic, mother of two adult children, ready to consolidate her long-term savings
My?two children have just fled the nest and, for the first time since my twenties, I have some surplus income. While I do feel I have earned some little luxuries, I also want to simplify my investments and ensure the business is taken care of.
I set up The Derma Clinic in 1990 and it has gone from strength to strength but ideally I'd like it to secure its longevity so I can take a small step back. I've recently started exercising regularly and I've realised I'd love to start taking more time to myself. I have a pension and a number of stocks and shares that I invested in long-term but with a mortgage on both the house and the business building, plus all the unforeseen expenses involved, I would like to be debt-free before transitioning into retirement.
Now that life after work is beginning to edge closer, I would like to begin securing my investments and pension, but I have no idea where to begin. I have always put such an emphasis on the here and now and being a dedicated and consistent saver, that I had never really considered a time when I'd need to access my pension! I'd also like to begin finding some time for myself and this goes in hand with wanting the business to stand alone. I'm not yet ready to completely step away from it, but perhaps have a bit more independence from it.
The Experts Advice...
Sinead Ryan and Shalini Sinha. Photo: Al Higgins
Sinead Ryan, Personal Finance Expert says?
You've taken all the right steps to live comfortably once you retire and now it's time to consolidate those investments. Begin moving your portfolio away from stocks sand shares and into cash, gilts and bonds. The return won't be as good but you will avoid the pitfalls of recession and it will be more accessible. In the last 5 or 6 years of employment, divert off 20% of your savings into really safe stocks so you can have some growth while still shoring up what you have. Consider overpaying your mortgage with your monthly surplus. Sounds boring but in the current low-interest environment it has two benefits - it reduces your capital loans and it means you might get it paid off earlier, or at least reduce the amount you'll pay as you move into retirement.
Shalini Sinha, Life Coach says?
That's amazing that you've begun to really take time for yourself and you should feel absolutely no guilt over that, everyone needs some 'me? time. As a working mother, stress levels can spiral and staying active not only keeps you physically healthy but it stimulates and relaxes the mind, releases endorphins and increases energy levels. What is crucial is that you maintain the momentum. It's always much easier to stay on the path than start on it but you can't expect to get to the gym every day. When those days happen, do something small like putting on your running shoes to mentally keep yourself in the daily routine.
To find out more about setting up a savings account with the savings specialists, RaboDirect visit RaboDirect.ie or call 1850 882 244