Retirement planning – the sooner you start, the easier it will be to achieve your dream retirement. It’s never too early to start planning for the future, a retirement plan will be different for each and every person so should be tailored to your individual circumstances and requirements.
When you are planning your retirement, there are a few areas to consider, which include:
What sort or retirement do you want?
Whether you are hoping to travel the world, live abroad, spend more time with the family or simply sit back and relax. It’s important to understand what you want to do in retirement, so you can plan to achieve it.
Decide when you want to retire
This is important as it could determine how much money you’ll get from your pension pot. Everyone is different and some people will have an age in mind however you can’t access your state pension until you are 66 and this is being phased to 68. Whilst for most private pensions you will need to be least 55 years of age. The longer you leave it before you start collecting your pension, the more money will generally be in the pot when you do come to retire.
Some people will carefully plan to retire at a certain age, and others will stop working as soon as they can afford to do so. However, this can depend on the type of pension investments in place, so it’s always worth keeping an eye on how your money is doing.
How much pension will you need?
When planning your retirement, it’s important to understand how much money you’ll need based on your lifestyle choices. You should start by reviewing your finances to make sure your future income will allow you to enjoy the lifestyle you want.
You’ll need to also budget in everyday costs, such as household bills, council tax, insurance etc. Remember your income could go down in retirement, but as you may be mortgage free and work-related costs could be reduced. Read our tips on pension planning here.
How much could you get?
The rising State Pension Age (SPA) means that people are getting a regular government-provided income at a later age. You can request a pension statement, which will give you an idea of how much you’re likely to get based on your NI contributions so far.
Keeping track of any other private or work-based pensions and savings is also a good idea throughout your working life, as you may be able to boost your pension pot. Look up any old pensions and update your contact details so they can get in touch when you decide to retire.
Keep an eye on your pension pot
Even if retirement is a few months or a few years away, don’t forget about it. It’s important to review your pension each year to ensure you’re getting the most out of what you put in. It also allows you to review how your pension is invested and assess the risk. Annual reviews will help to see the value of your pension and are also important to make sure you’re still comfortable with the level of risk in investments – and make changes if not.
Boost your pension
If you won’t have as much money in retirement that you’d like you can boost your pension in a number of ways. The most obvious way is to save more money if you can. If you have spare income, putting it into a pension is one of the most tax-efficient ways of investing it. Another way is to put back the date when you start taking money from your pension pot. This allows you to increase the amount you’ll have to retire on and decrease the amount required due to having a shorter overall retirement.
As your income may be reduced in retirement, it’s a good idea to try and pay off any debts before you retire. Work out how much you owe on any credit cards and personal loans and check the interest rates. If you have spare income you should pay off the debt that charges the most interest. Some people use their pension tax-free cash lump sum to clear debts, such as their mortgage or loans.
It may seem too early to think about setting up a Will, but it’s the only way to ensure your property, investments and money goes to the people you care about. It will give you peace of mind that all your hard work throughout the years is passed onto your loved ones. It also allows you to make donations to charity should you wish. It’s worth remembering that if you and your partner are not married, they won’t have a right to inherit if you don’t have a Will.
Setting a Will also plays a part in reducing the amount of inheritance tax paid when you die. Inheritance Tax is levied on a person’s estate when they die, and certain gifts made during an individual’s lifetime. Most gifts made more than seven years before death will escape tax. Therefore, if you plan in advance, gifts can be made tax-free and result in a substantial tax saving. Speak to Langricks who will be able to offer advice on estate planning and inheritance tax matters.
It can be beneficial to turn your assets, stocks and shares into cash at the point of retirement to provide the money you may need to live off. If this is your intention, it is worth speaking to a member of the Langricks team so that you are maximising their value and you are not getting large tax bills associated with their conversion.
Property is often the largest asset we have and as family leave to live their own life and space is less important, we often don’t need the homes we have when it comes to retirement. If your plan is to downsize and benefit from the revenue generated from the sale, this money should be taken into account when planning your retirement.
Your health can often have a big impact on your lifestyle and requirements in retirement. Many people may prefer the single floor benefits to a bungalow, others may prefer the security of retirement homes/villages. Often these are not part of initial retirement plans but should be considered. As should how you will pay for any care homes or external health care that might be needed during retirement. Especially as care homes need to be personally funded if you have more than £23,250 in assets.
A trust is a legal arrangement where a person gives money, property, assets or investments to someone else to look after. The reason for doing this is often related to passing on assets to loved ones in a structured and tax efficient manner to protect both them and you.
Trusts can be utilised for business succession on retirement, to account for the future stability of the business.
Retirement planning is often something that is put off but if you have some complex decisions to make and/or are unsure about your options, it’s always best to speak to a financial advisor sooner rather than later who can talk through the options which meet your individual needs. Here at Langricks we have a team of financial experts who can help with your retirement planning as well as other services that will be useful in your retirement.
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