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Ten important ways to prepare for retirement

The best ways to make sure your days are comfortable and cared for when you stop working

Retirement can bring major changes to your life – and some challenges, too. As retirement approaches, here are some options for easing the way and getting the most out of your life after work.

Make sure your health is taken care of with the aid of a reputable private insurer
Three people in a row

The NHS is a venerable British institution that is currently under greater strain than ever in the wake of the pandemic. Private health insurance is the ideal alternative as you can see a private doctor promptly and the policy will take care of your medical bills. Heath Crawford is one of the UK’s most trusted health insurance intermediaries, helping thousands of people choose their insurance package. It works with the country’s top insurers, including Bupa, AXA, Vitality, Aviva and others, to ensure you get the right policy.

Visit heathcrawford.co.uk or call 020 8421 7030 for more information. Mention ‘The Week health’ when buying your policy and get a free £50 John Lewis/Waitrose gift card. Terms and conditions apply

Invest in precious metals
Gold bars and coins

Established in 1967, Baird & Co is a London-based, family-owned bullion merchant dealing in gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium. Working with industrial products and numismatic coins, Baird provides true all-round expertise and is a one-stop shop for all precious-metal needs. In addition to producing its own bars, in various sizes, that can be used for investment purposes, including CGT-exempt coins, Baird also offers clients metal account facilities in both allocated and unallocated forms. There are many benefits to becoming a Baird & Co member, including a loyalty scheme, limit orders, price alerts and much more. The benefits of vault storage are VAT-free purchase and a state-of-the-art facility with the latest high-tech security.

Call now on 020 7474 1000 or visit bairdmint.com, or to buy in person visit 48 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8EX

Fill your garden with beautiful wild birds
A bird eating from a bird feeder

Ivel Valley Wild Bird Food is a sustainable, family-run farming business based in Bedfordshire. Third-generation owners Nick and James Parrish produce premium quality wild-bird food using solar panels and wind energy to power their farm. The firm also uses recyclable and biodegradable packaging, and develops and produces all of its own suet products on site, including balls, pellets, logs, rolls and blocks, as well as coconuts. All food mixes are developed with the aid of an ornithologist to be high in nutritional value for wild birds, and all seed mixes are wheat free – wheat is typically used as a filler product that offers no nutritional value. Next working-day delivery on all orders placed before 2pm. Readers can save 10% on their first order over £30 using promo code IVELWEEK10. Offer Valid until 31 May 2022.

Learn more at ivelvalleybirdfood.co.uk

The pension industry’s ticking timebomb
West London-style terrace with columned porches

For many years, pension advisers have been assisting clients in transferring commercial properties into their SIPP and SSAS pensions. Across the industry, these transfers have been broadly thought to attract stamp duty, like a normal purchase. This assumption is flawed because, depending on the circumstances, the transfers will often be exempt from stamp duty. If you have made such a transfer in the past 15 years, SDLT Refunds would like to speak to you about your potential to reclaim the tax. The company believes there may be billions of pounds in erroneously paid stamp duty sitting in HMRC’s coffers waiting to be refunded.

Visit sdltrefunds.co.uk to find out more

Get lost in music at the Royal Albert Hall
Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines performing at the Royal Albert Hall

The Mountbatten Festival of Music returns for its 50th-anniversary concert on 4-5 March 2022 at the Royal Albert Hall. Experience the world-renowned Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, performing over two nights at the iconic Royal Albert Hall, and raising much needed funds for The Royal Marines Charity. The bands will be performing popular hits, including music by Elton John, The Prodigy and the Two Steps from Hell production company, which has provided music for the Harry Potter films and many others. These concerts display the outstanding versatility of some of the world’s finest military musicians and are given the West End treatment thanks to spectacular lighting effects.

Order your tickets today at royalalberthall.com/tickets/events/2022/mountbatten-festival-of-music or by calling 0845 401 5018

Indulge your passion for collecting cars
Car driving down country track

Serving automotive aficionados since 2018, the Collecting Cars global marketplace makes it easier than ever to buy and sell collectable cars and bikes, thanks to a 100% online service where the vehicle stays with you until it is paid for. Founded in the UK, the business is now the country’s market leader, and its global sales have exceeded £200m. One of the hallmarks of the platform is the trust between buyers and sellers – more than 90% of transactions take place without a physical viewing, so the days of accommodating “tyre kickers” are over. For sellers looking to liquidate an asset swiftly and securely, Collecting Cars offers a hassle-free selling process, whether it’s for just one vehicle or an entire collection in one go.

Visit collectingcars.com for more information

Why wait to be gifted with a retirement watch?
Patek Philippe watch in an open case

Timepieces are the perfect gift to mark important events, whether that’s retirement, significant birthdays or anniversaries. But the tradition of the “retirement watch” isn’t as fashionable as it once was, so if your employer won’t be supplying the keepsake, you should go ahead and treat yourself. Desirable watches from brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe are subject to years-long waiting lists, making a reputable platform such as Watch Collecting a handy way of securing the watch you want without lengthy delays. Meanwhile, for existing watch collectors, retirement may be an opportunity to downsize and declutter. Unlocking the full potential of your collection via Watch Collecting’s free-to-sell platform could pay for that once-in-a-lifetime trip and, with the increase in value of your collection over the years, you may receive even more than you expected.

Visit watchcollecting.com for more information

Purchase a piece of history
An antique box and ceramic flower decorations on an inlaid wooden chest

thesaleroom is Europe’s leading marketplace for auctions of art, antiques and collectables. From the comfort of your home, you can easily and conveniently search and bid for items in auctions across the world, including historical pieces not available elsewhere. The auctions of more than 500 houses are listed, drawing on decades of experience to bring together unique and specialised items selected by experts. Every year, more than four million items are listed on the-saleroom.com, ranging from fine art, antiques and collectables to classic cars, watches and jewellery. By not buying new, you’re also supporting the planet – an antique chest of drawers has a carbon footprint roughly 16 times lower than its modern equivalent.

Uncover hidden treasures at auction on the-saleroom.com

Invest in the future of food
Robot arm picking lettuce in green house

Faced with a growing world population and climate change, the food industry was already under severe strain before Covid-19 struck. The pandemic has disrupted the food sector's supply chains and is set to change consumer eating habits for good. The Pictet-Nutrition fund directs capital to companies that improve the sustainability, access and quality of food necessary for health and growth. The fund invests across the entire food chain, from farm to fork.

Click here to find out more about post-pandemic shifts in the food industry and the growing investment opportunities for investors

How to retire ready
Illustration of hikers looking down on a coastal bay

JM Finn’s wealth planners can help you understand the complex world of pensions, no matter where you are on your retirement journey. The firm can help you with a variety of queries, ranging from how to start your pension contributions and consolidating pension pots, to using your annual allowances. Whatever your age and plans, ensuring that your pension pot is managed correctly and will eventually meet your future needs is important.

To find out more about how JM Finn could help you achieve the retirement you deserve, go to jmfinn.com

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