Retirement is far more than being the end of your working years. With a little more time on your hands, it could be the opportunity to travel to places you’ve always dreamed of, to take up new hobbies or to spend more time with family and friends. However, being prepared and planning for retirement is something which often slips down the priority list. It can often be difficult to talk to your loved ones about the future or sometimes this part of your life just feels like such a long way off.

Whether it’s learning about your pension options, understanding the importance of having a will or gaining tips on how to broach difficult conversations with your loved ones, we’ve worked together with Relate and Scottish Widows  to produce a wealth of information to help you feel more prepared.

A wide range of helpful guides on retirement planning and budgeting are also available from MoneyHelper.

6 tips to help you start conversations

1. Work out what retirement looks like together.

Have a chat about what you want to save for and spend on when retired. Avoid making assumptions. You may think you know what your partner wants from retirement, but the reality could be very different.

2. Be willing to compromise.

One of you may be concerned about saving to ensure you have enough to last through your retirement, whereas the other person may wish to spend it in a different way. Try to reach a compromise that works for you both and is within budget. If it feels like you’re on totally different paths and can’t seem to agree, consider speaking to somebody objective such as a counsellor.

3. Be kind to each other.

Retirement is something many people think about for years, and others barely think about at all. Your conversations might reveal different expectations and attitudes, but try to remember that you’re in this together and take time to really hear each other.

4. Be aware of changing dynamics and power balances.

If one of you retires sooner than the other, it might mean you’ll lead different lifestyles, even if you’re living together. The person who was the key breadwinner may be bringing in less money. It’s important to talk openly about how you’re feeling about this, and reduce the risk of any resentment building up.

5. Create a new budget.

Your income is likely to be different to what it was before retirement, so make sure you sit down together and create a new budget that works for your new reality.

6. Try to be fair and honest with your children.

Having a chat about what you plan to leave to your children and why can help reduce upset at a later stage. But, it’s important that you’re both in agreement before having the conversation. When you are ready, asking them whether they have any questions, and how they feel will help to manage expectations. Also, let them know if you update your will at a later stage.