Published On: Sun, Sep 29th, 2019

Retirement and me: How a retiree funds travelling world on private pension income | Personal Finance | Finance

For Sheree Hudson, who lives in the West Midlands, travelling the world in retirement is something she began thinking about a number of years ago. Now 61, she had began planning how she’d fund the trips in her 50s. “I suppose perhaps in my mid-50s I started thinking about the places that I wanted to go,” she tells And, it seems it paid off for Sheree.

In April this year, she embarked on a 19-day cruise – touring the Caribbean before crossing the ocean to the Azores and Europe.

Her travel destinations in years gone by include Vietnam, Cambodia and Japan.

“The other countries I’d like to visit are probably Singapore and Argentina,” she says.

Sheree, who is a member of Foresters Friendly Society, made the decision to fund her trips with Bonds and ISAs.

She is a former employee of Royal Mail, where she worked for 37 years, and has lived off a final salary pension since turning 60.

She retired two and a half years ago, and now, she reflects on the lifestyle change.

“For the first couple of months, I found it quite strange not having a routine,” she recalls.

“I went on holiday to Turkey, and then when I came back I got involved with the ParkLives programme.”

Now, she takes part in Thai Chi, Nordic Walking, and swing step.

“I’ve recently started playing tennis with them, weekly cycling as well,” she adds. “I mean there’s a lot out there if you look.

“And I always think, well if you go to something and try it, if you don’t like it, you might get talking to someone there who will tell you about something that they do.”

At 61, Sheree is yet to reach her state pension age, due to changes to the age eligibility.

She’s currently unsure whether she will defer or claim the state pension once the time comes, instead planning to make the decision closer to the time.

Sheree explains she is a member of the campaign group WASPI (Woman Against State Pension Age Inequality), telling “I’m fortunate in the fact that the pension I get I can live off, but I know that there’s a lot of people who really do struggle.”

While she may not currently be relying on the state pension, there is one aspect of the changes to the state pension age for women which has affected her.

“The only thing is I’d like to have a bus pass to have travel, but I won’t get that until I’m 66,” she said.

“But, as I say, I’m in a fortunate position that I have a private pension to live off, so I can manage on that.

“And of course, because I have got some savings to buff it, if there is anything.”

Sheree says she’s happy with the pension contributions she has from during her working life, explaining: “I left Royal Mail after 37 years because they were offering redundancy. If I’d stayed longer, yes I’d have had more in my pension pot, but for me it’s adequate.

“I got a lump sum with it and then I have the monthly amount.

“I think you live within your means as such, but I never turn down an invitation to anything. So it finances me going to the theatre, going to concerts, meeting up with friends, socialising, so it’s fine for me to live off.”

Was there are stand-out financial decision that she’s made during her lifetime that she’s happy with?

Sheree reflects, and explains that when she took redundancy, she spoke to a financial adviser, who she has continued to meet each year.

She explains that she’s saving some money in case she need to pay for care, and adds: “We meet once a year to decide perhaps where to move it to so obviously it’s generating the best rates really, so it’s invested in ISAs and stocks and shares etc.”

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