Historically, most people had a set retirement date. Why is that? It’s probably because that’s what their employer set as a retirement date. But why then? Why retire when someone else says so? More importantly why retire at all?

A wise man once said, we only retire from what we don’t like doing. Unfortunately, many people don’t have the option to do what they like so work is a requirement not a choice and sometimes it’s not what you really want to do.

Traditionally, retirement was set at age 65, at a time when many people did not even live to make that retirement age. Nowadays, statistics show that we live 20-30 years past retirement age. Being 65 now is totally different from being that age some 30 or 40 years ago. Most do not consider 65 to be old.

Start to think of your pension as ‘financial independence’ rather than a pot of money that you access when you get old. If you don’t have a plan of how to use it, and when, now’s the time to put such a plan in place.

You can access your pension from age 55, giving a great deal of flexibility as you can decide how much you want to take from it.

However remember that your pension pot will more than likely have to last you a lot longer than you might have thought when you originally took out the plan. Many people fail to comprehend that if they retire at 55 they may spend as many years in retirement as they did in their working life, giving the chance to be much more active than all those years ago when the age of retirement was first mentioned.

So start thinking differently, and start planning. Freedom may be closer than you think!