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How much to retire page

Worries About Retirement

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Worries about retirement, research has found:

52% of 1,212 UK adults surveyed are concerned they have not saved enough money to sustain their current lifestyle in retirement

34% of full time works say the state of their retirement finances is a cause of “significant stress”

9% said they doubt they will be able to fully retire

37% say they have a clear retirement savings strategy

24% had reduced their contributions since the start of the Covid pandemic

On average, respondents said they saved £298 into their pension each month

Steps to Retirement

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Step One: think ahead to the type of retirement you want

The first step is always to have an idea of what you want to do when you eventually stop work. It is helpful to have a good idea of the lifestyle you want, how much it will cost and how you are going to pay for it. You may want to travel, spend more time with family and friends, pursue hobbies and interests or move house. However you see your retirement, itis important to think ahead, plan ahead and cost up how much this may cost so you put a savings/investing plan in place.

Step Two: plan to cover your costs

You will need to make sure that you have enough saved up to cover your basic costs including living expenses and any debts or financial obligations you may have. You will need to look at your current savings levels, investments, pensions etc and map them all out to see what you already have/expect to have and then to put additional savings/pension contributions plans in place. Once this is done you will have a better idea of how much you will need to retire. At Ellis Bates we use sophisticated cashflow to map out your income and expenditure and map these against your retirement goals to bring your retirement journey to life. Hop over to  https://www.ellisbates.com/retirement-calculator/to add in some overview numbers to get an idea of how much you will need to retire.

Step Three: be enthusiastic

Retirement planning is complex but the more enthusiastic you are about retiring, the more likely you are to develop a robust retirement plan and retire at the age you want to and with the lifestyle you want.

Step Four: factor in inflation

The cost of living will go up as we are seeing currently, so you’ll need to make sure that your savings and investments including your pensions not only keep can keep pace with inflation but keep ahead if possible so that your buying power is not eroded.

Step Five: seek impartial advice

External advice compensates for any emotional biases you may have about making big financial decisions. A DIY approach to managing large pension funds at retirement is fraught with risk. People can easily buy the wrong products, incur unnecessary tax bills or simply exhaust their retirement funds too quickly, whereas an adviser will provide an impartial, cool-headed approach to your finances and offer solutions you will not have considered. Obtaining expert professional financial advice will ensure you are on track to meeting your goals. The sooner you start planning, the more likely you are to achieve a comfortable retirement, at an age you choose. We can help you calculate how much you need to retire, simply book a free consultation.

Retiring happy

Retire Happy

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Retiring happyPlanning your future has arguably never been more important.

10 tips to enjoy the retirement you want

  1. Review your spending habits and consider if you have the scope to save a little more each month.
  2. Look up your annual benefit statements – you may have saved with more than one employer’s pension scheme.
  3. Think about what financial milestones you’d need to reach in order to increase your pension contributions and review your investment choices.
  4. Find out more about your current pension plan. If you pay in more, does your employer match your contributions?
  5. Track down old pension schemes using the government’s finder service https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details. Or request contact details from the government’s Pension Tracing Service on 0800 731 0193 or by post.
  6. Check that your Expression of Wish form is up to date. This is a request setting out whom you would like to receive any death benefits payable on your death.
  7. Check your State Pension entitlement. To receive the full State Pension when you reach State Pension age you must have paid or been credited with 35 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions. Visit the Government Pension Service https://www.gov.uk/contact-pension-service for information about your State Pension.
  8. Add up the savings and investments that you could use for your retirement. A pension is a very tax-efficient way to save for your retirement but you might also have other savings or investments that you could use to increase your income when you retire.
  9. If you’re getting close to retirement and the amount you’re likely to retire on is less than you’d hoped, consider ways to boost your pension.
  10. Decide when to start taking your pension. You need to set a target date when you want to start drawing an income from your pension – and remember, you don’t have to stop working to take your pension but you must be aged at least 55 (you might be able to do this earlier if you’re in very poor health).

Please contact us if you require any further information or guidance on your retirement.


Scared of running out of money in retirement?

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Scared-of-running-out-of-money-in-retirementAre you scared of running out of money in retirement?

It has been well recognised that many are simply not saving enough into their pension pots for retirement. To avoid unwanted stress if you are planning to retire, you need to be absolutely sure your money is going to go the distance. Concerns you may have are:

  • Do I have enough to retire?
  • Will I run out of money, and when?
  • How can I guarantee the kind of retirement lifestyle I want?

Firstly, it is never too early to start saving for your future, and the earlier you start the better.

Pensions have a tremendous compound effect so the basic principle is the more you put in, the more you get out. The way you accumulate your retirement money and how you use it during your retirement will have a big impact on how long it will last – and also the amount of tax you pay.

Here are just some of the steps you can take to improve your pension pot size:

Making the most of pension tax relief

The Government encourages you to save for your retirement by giving you tax relief on pension contributions. This means some of the money that you would have paid in tax on your earnings goes into your pension pot rather than to the government. Tax relief has the effect of reducing your tax bill and/or increasing your pension fund. For a more detailed look at pension tax relief visit https://www.gov.uk/tax-on-your-private-pension/pension-tax-relief

Know your state pension

The State Pension is a weekly payment from the Government that you can receive once you reach State Pension age (66). The current state pension amount is £179.60 a week (2021-22), but you may get more or less than this.

To qualify for the State Pension you need a minimum of 10 years of National Insurance contributions. To find out more on how much State Pension you could receive and when visit https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension

Investing during retirement

When it comes to investing during retirement, it is important not to view your portfolio with an element of finality. Your investment risk profile and strategy will almost certainly need to adjust to look at ways of making your money work as hard as possible, but with a view to generating earnings to boost your retirement income.

This is a time to look at how balanced your investments are and whether you are exposed to more risk than you are comfortable with. It is a time to review all your investments and decide how much you can afford to withdraw each year and whether this balances with your needs.

Let us take the fear out of your retirement planning?

It is always important to think ahead to retirement and not rush into making life-changing financial decisions. We can help you determine which retirement income approaches may be best for you based on your personal needs and goals. If you are scared of running out of money in retirement and would like to talk to us about your retirement requirements, then please get in touch.

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

Retirement planning journey

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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

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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.