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Retirement Calculator Page

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.

a couple walking hand in hand on a beach after saving a retirement nest egg for retirement

Retirement nest egg

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a couple walking hand in hand on a beach after saving a retirement nest egg for retirementNearly a half of over-50s regret not saving into their pension earlier

The days of working for a single employer for your entire career and retiring with a comfortable pension are largely gone. The responsibility for accumulating a retirement nest egg now rests with individuals as opposed to their employers.

Saving enough for retirement is challenging for many people, but an era of changing demographic trends, such as increased longevity and delayed marriage, can make this journey even more difficult.

Not financially stable enough to contribute

New research[1] into the attitudes of the over-50s towards their pension has uncovered that nearly a half (49%) regret not saving into their pension earlier, and almost two-thirds (64%) wish they had contributed more into their retirement savings at an earlier stage.

Just over a quarter (26%) stated that they only started paying into their pension after they turned 30 years old, primarily because they did not feel financially stable enough to contribute any sooner (51%). Many, understandably, prioritised raising children (42%) and paying o” their mortgages (40%) before putting any surplus cash into their pension. However, a third put leisure/holidays (32%), clothing (21%) and their pets (10%) before their retirement income.

‘Moderate’ standard of living in retirement

Almost four in ten (39%) people over the age of 50 believe that an income of between £10,000 and £20,000 per annum in retirement will be enough to live ‘comfortably’. This is despite figures announced stating that £20,800 per annum will only provide an individual with a ‘moderate’ standard of living in retirement. To enjoy a ‘comfortable’ standard of living, the amount would need to increase to £33,600 per year.

Just under a quarter (24%) of those aged over 50 believe that a personal contribution of between 0% to 5% of their salary is an ‘appropriate and achievable’ level to attain a savings pot big enough to support them in retirement.

Taking professional financial advice is key

When asked about financial advice, worryingly more than 70% of over-50s say they have never sought professional financial advice regarding their pension. Almost a third (30%) say they feel they know what they are doing and don’t need financial support, whilst 10% say they rely on their family and friends for support and advice. However, after hearing that they could add as much as £47,000 to their pension[2] (over a decade) by taking professional financial advice, half of them say they would.

Pensions are more important to more of us than ever before. Automatic enrolment has brought pension savings to millions, but this was only introduced in 2012 and for many, especially those over the age of 50, it is perhaps too little, too late.

Take stock of your financial situation early

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and life in your 20s and 30s can often take over, with children to raise, debts to pay and holidays to be had. However, it’s important to take stock of your financial situation early. You may think you have enough spare cash, or that you have years until you retire, but most people over the age of fifty (64%) wished that they had paid more into their pension pot, earlier.

It’s also important that people are realistic about how much they might need to live on in retirement. With more people continuing to pay rent or mortgages after they finish working[3], it is unlikely that an income of between £10,000 and £20,000 per year will be sufficient to have a ‘comfortable’ lifestyle.

Planning for a full and happy retirement?

To avoid sleepwalking into retirement it’s important to understand how much you have in your pension, what that money might look like as retirement income and how long you might need that money to last. For advice on all your options, including your retirement nest egg, please contact us.

Source data: 1,034 UK adults over the age of 50 (retired and nonretired) interviewed between 31.01.2022-07.02.2022
[1] https://www.retirementlivingstandards.org.uk/news/retirement-living-standards-updated-to-reflect
[2] https://ilcuk.org.uk/”inancial-advice-provides-47k-wealth-uplift-in-decade/
[3] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42193251

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until age 55 (57 from April 2028 unless plan has a protected pension age). The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up which would 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 under your options at retirement.

Staggered Retirement

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A more popular and increasingly common option many are considering.

Giving up the 9-to-5 doesn’t necessarily mean stopping work. But retirement planning has taken on an entirely new dimension as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak with many big questions being asked. When you picture yourself in your golden years, are you sitting on a beach, hitting the golf course, or still working behind a desk? For many people of retirement age, continuing to work is an option they are considering. Increasingly people are planning to stagger work or work flexibly. This can really appeal to some individuals who have caring responsibilities or health issues, or who are thinking about retiring in the next few years. 

Sudden transition from working five days a week

Several decades ago, working and retirement were binary terms, with little overlap. People were either working (and under the age of 65) or had hit the age of 65 and were retired. That’s no longer true, however, as staggered retirement is becoming more popular and more common.

Few people benefit from the sudden transition from working five days a week to not working at all. Retirement can often be an unsettling period and it’s not surprising given that the most common path into retirement is to go ‘cold turkey’ and simply stop working. 

More flexible retirement and working part-time

New research has highlighted the fact that fewer people are deciding against completely stopping working and are opting for a staggered and more flexible retirement and working part-time[1]. Nearly one in three (32%) pensioners in their 60s and 16% of over70s have left their pensions untouched. And of those who haven’t accessed their pension pot, nearly half (48%) of those in their 60s, and 24% of over-70s, say it is because they are still working. With people living longer, and the added prospect of health care costs in laterlife, retirees increasingly  understand the benefits of having a larger pension pot in later life.

Pensions are required to last as long as possible

Of those who haven’t accessed their pension pot, half (51%) say it is because they are still working while more than a quarter (25%) of people in their 60s say it is because they want their pensions to last as long as possible. Of course, retirees who haven’t accessed their pension pot must have alternative sources of income. When asked about their income, nearly half said they take an income from cash savings (47%), others rely on their spouse or partner’s income (35%) or State Pension (22%) while 12% rely on income from property investments added prospect of health care costs in laterlife, retirees increasingly understand the benefits of having a larger pension pot in later life. 

Offering people different financial and health benefits

This trend for staggered retirements offers many financial and health benefits. It is often taken for granted but continued good health is one of the best financial assets people can have. The benefits of working – such as remaining physically active and continued social interaction – can make a big difference to people’s mental wellbeing and overall health in retirement. People are increasingly making alternative choices about retirement to ensure that they do not run out of money, but it’s also really important to make pension savings work past retirement age so as not to miss out on the ability to generate growth above inflation for when there is the requirement to start drawing a pension. 

Worried about retirement uncertainty?

Planning your financial future is one of the most important things you can do in your life. Do you require professional advice and help with your retirement planning during this difficult time? Speak to us to find out how we can help you.

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.

An older lady on her iPad planning for her retirement

The Power of a Plan

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An older lady on her iPad planning for her retirementHow to create a personal financial plan in 8 steps

When thinking about your future financial wellbeing, it can be helpful to consider a plan. It is a good idea to have a clear sense of what you want from life and use this as a guide for making important decisions.

A comprehensive financial plan helps you achieve your goals by analysing your current situation, planning for the future and providing continuous monitoring of progress towards those goals. A well-thought out plan can help you protect yourself from unexpected events that could affect your ability to meet long-term financial commitments. What do you want to do in life? Who are the people who matter most to you? What do you worry about at night?

Step 1: Set your goals

Without them, it’s hard to know what direction you’re headed and even harder to remember where you came from. Critical goals come before needs and wants.

When life changes – and it always does – your goals help guide your financial decisions and focus on what’s important.

Step 2: Make a budget

So you’ve decided to start keeping track of your income and expenditure, but how do you know where to begin? Creating a budget can seem like a daunting task, especially if you are not familiar with the process.

Not only is it important to know how much money is coming in and going out of your household each month, it’s also vital that you understand where that money is being spent. With a budget, you can align what you make with what you spend. With goals set, you can now organise your money.

In fact, when creating your budget, it’s important to remember that there will be some things that don’t fit into your monthly spending plan, and emergency savings make a great way to cover these unexpected costs.

Step 4: Protect your income

Falling ill or having an accident doesn’t have to become a financial burden on you or your family. What if you or your partner got too sick or hurt to work? Or passed away unexpectedly? Could those who depend on you still pay the bills – and save for the future? Planning your financial future isn’t only about savings and investments.

Of equal importance is putting protection in place for you and your family for when you die or if you become ill. Most people have heard of life insurance, but may not know about the different types or about the options for people affected by ill health. No one likes to think of these things. But life can change in an instant. It’s good to hope for the best, but be ready for the unexpected. Insurance helps you do that.

Step 5: Pay down debt

The importance of paying down personal debt cannot be understated. But it can be difficult to prioritise paying down debt while still paying for essential day-to-day living expenses. However, ignoring the significance of personal debt could lead you to major financial trouble in the long run.

Paying off your debts will not only free up cash flow to allow you to save, it will also go towards improving your credit score. The lower your debt-to-income ratio is, the better your credit rating. Your credit rating affects the interest rates that lenders charge you for mortgages, car loans and other types of financing.

Step 6: Save and plan for retirement

Everyone needs to save and plan for retirement. No matter how much you make or whether you have a job, you should always start saving as early as possible. It is important for you to take control of your retirement planning and make decisions regarding your pension. It is often not appreciated that contributing to a pension arrangement can help you build up an extremely valuable asset.

People are living longer and leading more active lives in retirement. As a result, it is more important than ever for you to think about where your income will come from when you retire. Pension saving is one of the few areas where you can still get tax relief.

Step 7: Invest some of your savings

Saving and investing are important parts of a sound financial plan. Whereas saving provides a safety net for unexpected expenses, investing is a strategy for building wealth. Once you have an emergency savings fund of three to six months’ worth of living expenses, you can develop a strategy to grow your wealth through investing.

Investing gives your money the potential to grow faster than it could in a savings account. If you have a long time until you need to meet your goal, your returns will compound. Basically, this means in addition to a higher rate of return on investments, your investment earnings will also earn money over time.

Step 8: Make your final plans

The importance of estate planning is necessary for all individuals, not just the wealthy. Without proper estate planning in place to protect your assets, you could end up leaving large amounts of money to be fought over by your loved ones and a large Inheritance Tax bill.

Your estate planning should sit alongside making your Will, both key parts of putting your affairs in order later in life. Working out the best ways to leave money in a Will before you pass away can help to make the lives of your loved ones easier when you’re no longer around.

I am ready to start a conversation

Financial planning may be complex, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. We’re committed to ensuring you feel comfortable, informed and supported at each stage of your financial planning journey. To find out more, or to discuss how we could help you and your family, please contact us.

Scared-of-running-out-of-money-in-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.