Retirement - 5 top tips
Life expectancy is continuing to increase so it is more important than ever to plan for your retirement. With a typical 65 year old now living on average for a further twenty years or so, more time in retirement means that we will spend more before turning up our toes. To help ensure a comfortable retirement, the following are our top tips:
To avoid any shocks, plan ahead
With the mortgage paid off (all being well) and with the children having left home (with any luck), work out how much you will need to cover the costs of the essentials such as food, utility bills and transport costs.
Having done this, then work out how much more you would like to cover the costs of eating and drinking out, hobbies and holidays. Knowing how much you will need in retirement as well as how much you would like to live on in retirement are the essential starting points for your retirement planning.
Get a State Pension forecast
Go online to www.gov.uk/check-state-pension to find out how much State Pension you will receive and from when. Contrary to popular belief it isn’t simply £155.65 per week (the new higher flat rate amount), it is based on your past (and also your future) National Insurance and employment record.
Track down all existing pension benefits
Moving house or a change of name can often mean that benefits built up in the past become lost. The Department for Work and Pensions recently estimated that there is £400 million in unclaimed pension benefits across the UK!
Pension Scheme Trustees and Insurance providers aren’t trying to hang onto your pension benefits; they simply can’t find you when it’s time to pay it out. For company schemes there is a Pension Tracing Service at www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/find-lost-pension.
Get your house in order
Job mobility means that numerous different pension plans are built up over time. Not only does this complicate matters, it often makes it almost impossible to have any idea just how much has been built up. Consolidation of existing benefits, where appropriate, is a good idea. We will be happy to advise on this.
How much should you pay into your pension and what is the most tax efficient way of doing it? Which of the myriad ways of claiming your benefits at retirement is best? The cost of taking professional advice is likely to be nominal compared to the many thousands of pounds lost through making wrong decisions in these areas. Contact us if you would like our help in making your retirement dreams a reality.
To discuss further or to arrange a face to face meeting please contact us.