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Monthly Archives :

August 2021

Women on laptop thinking about retiring from work and not a paycheck

Money’s too tight to mention

560 315 Eleonore Bylo

Women on laptop thinking about retiring from work and not a paycheckLooking to retire from work, not a paycheck?

When it comes to retirement insecurity, one concern dominates all others – the fear of running out of money during retirement. And with people living longer than ever before, it’s a very valid concern.

A new report reveals how two-thirds (66%) of adults planning to retire this year risk running out of money[1].

The research found that a 2021 retiree plans to spend, on average, £21,000 a year in retirement – almost £10,000 less than the average UK household income (£29,900)[2].

Just two in five (39%) feel very confident that they’re financially ready to finish working this year, with a third (34%) of women feeling very confident versus two in five (43%) men.

Longer-term financial priorities and plans

Almost half (48%) of those surveyed are planning to reduce their usual spending to support themselves in retirement, while a quarter (27%) will work part-time to help financially. One in five (21%) are planning to sell their home or downsize to fund retirement.

Deciding how and when to retire is one of the biggest life decisions and transitions we make. Longer life expectancy, volatile investment markets and ever-changing regulation can make planning and preparing for retirement feel confusing, not to mention the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people’s immediate and longer-term financial priorities and plans.

Apprehensions about retiring during a pandemic

Whatever the plan, when it comes to making the decision to retire, most people find it understandably daunting. Even more so if you don’t feel prepared. There are clearly more apprehensions about retiring during a pandemic amongst this year’s retirees. Pensions are without a doubt the most popular option for funding retirement, but it’s important retirees also consider any other savings or assets they can use when deciding whether they can afford to retire or not.

Understanding what money you have for your retirement and how to spend it wisely can be difficult, but that’s where preparation and obtaining professional financial advice can help. Circumstances or priorities may change,  particularly if you’re retiring amidst a global pandemic, but it will be much easier to adapt a plan you already have rather than start from scratch.

Helping you plan to enjoy the future you want

Longer lives, less proactive saving, higher costs of living and a lack of a financial planning are all contributing factors to the risk that many
people may outlive their money in retirement. If you would like to talk to us about your future retirement plan, we can help make sure it’s a resilient one. To find out more, please contact us.

Source data: [1] Consumer research of 2,000 UK adults who were either due to retire in the next 12 months, or had retired in the past 12 months. Research was carried out by Censuswide in February 2021. [2] ONS average household income, UK: financial year 2020
A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until age 55 (57 from April 2028). The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits.
The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation which are subject to change in the future. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement.
Accessing pension benefits early may impact on levels of retirement income and your entitlement to certain means tested benefits and is not suitable for everyone. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement.

A Safe Pair of Hands

560 315 Eleonore Bylo

Ellis Bates is part of the Personal Finance Society (PFS) Financial Vulnerability taskforce.

This means we adhere to nine core pledges, to express our commitment to vulnerable clients.

The body has been put in place to:

  • Change public perception through the way in which we consciously deal with those in vulnerable circumstances.
  • Address perceptions or the unconscious reality of commercial conflicts of interest.

As a member of the society (which is part of the Chartered Insurance Institute Group) we are expected to meet certain professional standards as outlined in the Code of Ethics.

The Code sets down the principles which all members should follow in the course of their professional duties and as such, we are required to;

  • Comply with the Code and all relevant laws and regulations
  • Act with the highest ethical standards and integrity
  • Act in the best interests of each client
  • Provide a high standard of service
  • Treat people fairly regardless of age; disability; gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity; marriage and civil partnership; race; religion and belief; sex; and sexual orientation

What is Vulnerability?

The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) definition is “We define a vulnerable consumer as someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to harm, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care.”

It is estimated over 50 % of the adult population display at least one element of vulnerability and sits at the heart of our approach and communication towards all our clients.

For more information of this key element of accessibility to financial advice for all please visit www.thepfs.org/about-us/initiatives/financial-vulnerability-taskforce/

A middle aged couple looking at their laptop to organise their retirement planning journey

Retirement planning journey

560 315 Eleonore Bylo

A middle aged couple looking at their laptop to organise their retirement planning journeyWhat you need to consider at every life stage during your retirement planning journey.

When you’re starting out working in your 20s, you may not be thinking about retirement in 40 years’ time. The same goes for your 30s, 40s and even 50s. There is always something on the horizon you could be saving for besides your retirement.

No matter how old you are, it’s always a good time to review your pension savings and update your retirement plan. Understanding your retirement goals during each decade is key to making sure you are able to enjoy and live the lifestyle you want, and which you’ve worked hard for, when you eventually decide to stop working.

Starting to save in your 20s

Though you’re decades away from retirement, your 20s are an important time for pension planning. That’s because the investments you make in these early years will benefit from the most growth potential.

When you start work, if applicable to your situation, you’ll be automatically enrolled into your employer’s workplace pension scheme and they will start to make contributions on your behalf.

You should definitely not opt out of this – even if you feel you could do with the money now.

Staying on track in your 30s

By your 30s, you may have additional financial responsibilities, such as children and a mortgage. These can make it difficult to dedicate as much money and attention to your pension as you’d like.

One way to stay on track is to review your pension contributions at least once a year and make sure you’re increasing them as your income grows. Another consideration is to check your investment strategy. With decades remaining before you’ll access your pension, you might choose to take a higher-risk approach now, and then gradually move into lower-risk investments as retirement grows closer.

Accumulating in your 40s

If your salary follows a typical trajectory, it is likely to start peaking when you’re in your 40s, making this decade a crucial time for pension accumulation. You should, by now, also have a good understanding of the income required to support your desired lifestyle, which will help you plan your retirement income. Based on this, you’ll know if you need to adjust your pension contributions to save enough.

At this life stage, you might have changed employers several times, so it might be sensible to check that you have all of the details for any old pensions and, if not, look to track them down.

Maximising your contributions in your 50s

If your pension contributions have fallen behind in any of the previous decades, it’s crucial to catch up now. As well as your salary sacrifice contributions, you might consider adding lump sums to your pension to help you reach your retirement goal.

If you plan to do this, make sure that you’ve checked what your annual allowance for this tax year is, and how much unused annual allowance you have from the last three years. This will determine how much extra you can contribute and receive tax relief on. For the tax year 2021/22 the annual allowance is £40,000. This includes both contributions paid by you and contributions paid by your employer.

Alternatively, if you’ve stayed on track with all your pension contributions and your savings are at a very healthy level, you might need to take steps to manage your Lifetime Allowance. Currently, the maximum you can accrue within your pensions in your lifetime is £1,073,100, so if you’re anywhere near that number you should seek professional financial advice.

Preparing to retire in your 60s

In the decade before retirement, some people may choose to take a lower-risk investment strategy with their pension savings than in previous years. While this may limit the potential growth of your investments, it can also reduce fluctuations in value, which can help you to plan your retirement income with more confidence.

You’ll also need to weigh up your options for accessing your pension. You might want to take a lump sum or several lump sums, or you might want to take a regular income. There are advantages and disadvantages to each approach, and decisions you make now will affect your income throughout your retirement.

Advice for any age

With so much going on in your life – from family and work to pursuing your passions – retirement planning may not be your priority. But it’s your pension and overall financial situation that will allow you to keep up your current lifestyle and enjoy your golden years. Speak to us today and make sure your plans are on track for the retirement you want.

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until age 55 (57 from April 2028). The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits.
The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation which are subject to change in the future. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement.
Accessing pension benefits early may impact on levels of retirement income and your entitlement to certain means-tested benefits and is not suitable for everyone. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement.
an older couple on a boat after creating a secure retirement

Plan for a comfortable Retirement

560 315 Eleonore Bylo

an older couple on a boat after creating a secure retirementCreating a comfortable, secure retirement takes care and forethought. If you’re 10 to 15 years from retirement, you’re probably starting to think more about how you’ll spend your life after work. You might be contemplating travelling more, dedicating more time to your passions or enjoying more free time with your family.

However, are you concerned that the idea of a financially comfortable retirement is increasingly unattainable? You might have some concerns about your pension savings and whether they’ll provide the income you need. If you haven’t already done so, now is the ideal time to take stock of your current situation and make any necessary alterations to ensure you’re on track. Here are five tips to help you get started.

1. Calculate your expected retirement spending

Everyone has a different idea of the ideal retirement and so will have different spending needs. Looking at your current outgoings is a good place to start. Calculate how much you spend each month on paying down debts, paying bills, essential spending and non-essential spending.

Then, consider what might increase or decrease over your retirement. For example, you may be reaching the end of your mortgage, which will mean your debt payments go down. But you might plan to take up a new hobby, which will mean your non-essential spending goes up.

Remember to factor in any large lump sums you plan to spend, such as helping your children with property deposits or taking a dream holiday.

2. Review your current wealth

You might have accumulated several different workplace pensions with different employers over your lifetime, so you’ll need to total the  savings you have in all of them. Start by contacting previous employers to find out the name of the pension provider. If you don’t have the details of each pension, we can help you trace them.

Remember, it’s not only pension savings that can dictate your retirement spending, but also other sources of income, such as buy-to-let properties or investment portfolios, so be sure to include these too.

3. Maximise your pension savings to help create a secure retirement

If your current pension savings won’t cover your expected retirement spending, you can adjust your current financial arrangements to help you reach your goal.

You may also want to make lump sum payments into your pension. If a lump sum would take you over the £40,000 pension annual allowance, you can use unused annual allowance from up to three previous years.

Your pension annual allowance is the most you can potentially save in your pension pots in a tax year (6 April to 5 April) before you have to pay tax, unless there is carry forward available.

4. Adjust your investment strategy

Your pension savings might currently be invested based on a higher-risk strategy to maximise the potential returns on your investments. But as you approach retirement, you may want to choose a lower-risk strategy with an emphasis on preserving the wealth that you have rather than growing it.

Lower-risk strategies tend to result in fewer losses and slower, but more predictable, growth. That can be preferable when you’re trying to ensure your savings last a lifetime. We can help you establish the right strategy for your risk appetite and goals.

5. Consider a phased retirement

Some people want to stop working as soon as possible, but that’s not the right choice for everyone. They may dream of an early retirement in their mid-50s, but once they leave behind their workplace at such a young age they might not find retirement fulfilling. Also, the amount in their savings or portfolio may not reflect what they’ll need to enjoy the coming years and lifestyle they want.

These days, there is a trend for people increasingly deciding to slowly reduce the hours they work over a few years or to take on a part-time job in the early years of their retirement to keep busy and continue to contribute to a pension. Others may use a lump sum at the start of their retirement to establish a small business. There are many different retirement journeys that might suit your lifestyle and financial goals.

Feeling uncertain about your retirement?

Making all these decisions alone can be stressful, and no one should enter retirement feeling uncertain that their savings are sufficient to last a lifetime. Seeking professional financial advice can give you peace of mind so that you can relax and enjoy this next life stage. Speak to us for more information or to discuss your requirements in creating a secure retirement.

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until age 55 (57 from April 2028). The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits.
The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation, which are subject to change in the future. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement.
Accessing pension benefits early may impact on levels of retirement income and your entitlement to certain meanstested benefits and is not suitable for everyone. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement.