Here are our top ten tips for retirement planning:
You may have an age in mind of when you would like to retire, or it may be dependent on achieving a certain highlight in your career. Either way it is important to obtain a State Pension forecast before deciding when you would like to retire, as this will give you an estimate of how much you might receive. State Pension entitlement is determined by your National Insurance contributions, the forecast could bring peace of mind that you have contributed 35 years in full or may highlight any gap in National Insurance contributions.
It is likely over your lifetime that you may have worked for several companies resulting in you accruing pension pots with several providers. In order to create a retirement plan, you need to know the value of your pensions and what options are available to you. If you feel you may have a pension for a previous employer but do not hold any paperwork, you can use the Pension Tracing Service for free.
Understanding your regular income versus expenditure is imperative to making a retirement plan. Overspending in the early stages of retirement is detrimental to a long-term plan. We have a budget planner available to download to help you. In addition to regular outgoings, it is worthwhile considering any large one-off expenditures you are planning for retirement: that once in a lifetime holiday you have been dreaming of; a new car; perhaps helping towards the wedding of your children. When allocating a budget, don’t forget about inflation as this could reduce the value of your income over time.
Once you have an idea of how much you have accumulated in pensions throughout your lifetime and a budget, you may wish to consider increasing your pension contributions if you have sufficient surplus after your regular commitments. The current annual allowance for pension contributions is £40,000 however this allowance tapers down once your income reaches a certain threshold. If you are a high earner, we would be able to help you calculate your adjusted annual allowance. Additionally, if you have not fully utilised your annual allowance in the three previous tax years, we can conduct a ‘carry forward calculation’ to potentially enable you to make pension contributions over and above the annual allowance and still benefit from tax-relief.
Ensuring your pensions are invested in funds aligned with your attitude to risk and capacity for loss is imperative. We can recommend a portfolio of funds to suit you including ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) funds which aim to invest in socially responsible companies who not only aim to achieve growth for their investors, but also ensure they are having a positive impact on the world around them
In our years of experience, we have noticed that our clients choose to slow down in the latter years of their career rather than come to an immediate halt. Once you have a budget planned, you may wish to consider reducing your days or hours at work, if it is affordable.
In the early stages of your retirement, it is likely you will want a well-deserved rest. However, with having more time on your hands you could consider taking up a new activity to keep your body and mind active. Planning for what month to retire in is usually not given much consideration but retiring in Spring or Summer allows you more opportunity to plan activities and get used to retirement.
Once you have an idea of when you might like to retire, or if you have no idea where to start, we would be more than happy to help you make a retirement plan. Pensions can be very complex and rules surrounding them have changed in recent years, so building a comprehensive plan tailored to you may give you more peace of mind. If you have created a budget in the early stages, we can help create a more comprehensive plan known as a cash flow model to map out how the funds available can meet the income/expense needs over the retirement.
It is imperative that you review your pensions at least annually with your financial adviser. This review ensures you remain on track with your retirement plan. It gives you the opportunity to raise any queries you may have e.g. about an upcoming one-off expenditure, investment of funds or how sustainable your retirement income is.
After establishing a comprehensive retirement plan, the most important thing is that you enjoy your retirement.