Funding an adult gap year

Approaching retirement can mean winding down, stepping back and relaxing, but it could also prove the perfect time to take a well-deserved gap year.

Although gap years are typically associated with teenagers or new graduates, it’s never too late to snap out of life’s routine and recharge with a gap year.

Research has shown a rising interest in workers wanting to take a gap year when they’re 60+.1 Whether it’s a career break, language immersion, adventure activities or volunteering abroad - whatever your gap year ambitions, saving enough – and early –  to fund the trip of a lifetime is important.

How will I fund my gap year?

Once you’ve decided on your travel itinerary and how long you want to be away for, it’s time to work out the expenses.

A gap year is a major expenditure, similar to buying a new car. How long you travel for and the way you want to travel will directly impact how big the expenditure ‘spike’ will be. And, the all-important question: when do you want to retire? To understand this better, speaking to a financial expert could be helpful.

While some travellers might prefer to dip into their savings when taking an adult gap year, a qualified financial adviser can help you to understand how these plans could form part of your bigger retirement planning picture.

An adviser can help to explain how to calculate the amount of money you’ll need to finance your gap year, and for how long you would need to save to comfortably enjoy your time away. He or she will help to make this a part of your retirement plan.

It’s also important to look ahead and understand what will happen once your gap year has come to an end: if you’ve retired, will your income be enough to see you through your remaining retirement? Will you, or your partner, need to return to work either full- or part-time?

A qualified financial adviser will look at your available retirement options, pensions and savings and offer a solution best suited to your situation.

If you’re planning a gap year, here’s what you need to think about:

  • Budgeting - you’ll probably want a different level of comfort to when you were younger, so it’s important to budget for essentials (accommodation, food, and visas) before you go to prevent any unwelcome surprises.
  • Travel insurance - take out specialist long-term travel insurance and make sure it’s suited to your needs, especially any longstanding or other medical needs, so you can have total peace of mind whilst travelling.
  • Your home - renting out your home could help you relax knowing that someone is looking after your property, as well as provide funds while you’re away.
  • Legalities - before setting off on your travels, make sure you’ve got an updated will and power of attorney in place, in case important decisions need to be made in your absence and you’re uncontactable.
  • Internet banking - set up online banking so you can access and manage your money wherever you go.

Talking to an expert adviser could help you better plan for an unforgettable adult gap year.

1. https://www.yourmoney.com/retirement/workers-reveal-retirement-gap-year-ambition/

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