What constitutes a comfortable retirement (and what finances need to be in place to support it) is different for everyone. Whether your plans include embarking on a round-the-world adventure or something a little closer to home, planning ahead and making smart decisions is crucial.
Wherever you currently are in life, and no matter what level of income you expect to need, it’s never too early to start planning, and putting in place the portfolio of pensions, investments and savings that will enable you to enjoy a stable and enjoyable retirement.
At Talis IFA, when we’re talking to our clients about financial planning for retirement, there are 10 key stages which we generally walk them through. There’s no substitute for working through them with an experienced independent financial adviser. But if you’re thinking about how to approach your retirement savings, here’s our plan to help get you started.
Get clarity on your current financial situation
Start by evaluating your current financial position, including your income, expenses, assets and liabilities. Determine how much you can save for retirement without compromising your current lifestyle, and look for opportunities to pay off any debts as soon as possible.
Set your retirement goals
Think about the kind of lifestyle you want to have during retirement. Consider factors like travel, hobbies, healthcare and support for family members. Estimate the annual income you will need to maintain this lifestyle, taking inflation into account.
Calculate your pension gap
Comparing your projections of the income you’ll need with your current savings and expected pension benefits will help you identify any potential shortfall in your retirement fund, known as the ‘pension gap’, and give you a clear target to work towards.
Contribute to your pension plan
Commit to regularly contributing to your pension plan. The earlier you start, the more time your investments have to grow. Look into your employer’s pension scheme and take advantage of any matching contributions.
Diversify your investments
Don’t rely on the default investment choice but review all the options available to help spread risk and provide the potential to increase your returns.
Review your pension plans regularly
Together with your IFA, review your pension plan at least once a year to ensure it’s still on track to meet your retirement goals. Adjust your contributions or investment strategy if necessary, and talk things over with your IFA if you need help with your decisions.
Plan for the unexpected
Life can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to have contingency plans in place. Make sure you have an emergency fund, and talk to your IFA about insurance policies like life and health insurance to protect yourself and your family from the unexpected.
Reduce debt before retirement
We usually suggest that clients aim to pay off high-interest debts, (e.g credit card balances and personal loans) as early as possible, and certainly before retirement. Paying these off as early as possible will save you money and free up more to invest, and entering retirement with minimal debt will help you enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle.
Consider full vs semi-retirement
Semi-retirement has become quite popular lately, as it allows people to maintain their networks and activity as well as some income, and possibly the ability to continue to save and invest.
Stay informed about pension regulations and changes
With the help of your IFA, keep updated with any changes to pension regulations, tax laws and investment options that could impact your retirement planning. Staying informed will help you to spot when you might need to adapt your strategy and make better decisions.
The Talis IFA approach
Talis IFA is a firm of independent financial advisers focused on helping our clients to make smarter financial decisions when planning for financial freedom. What makes us stand out is that we take a life first, money second approach: yes, the numbers are important, but what matters more is that you achieve the financial freedom you need to live the life you want.
We take time to get to know you – not just your attitude towards money and investment risk, but what really matters to you.
We’ve been providing straightforward, fully independent financial advice for over 30 years, and now look after over £250m of our clients’ money.
We understand that money matters make many people anxious, and we aim to provide reassurance and easy-to-understand advice, without drama, and never with a hard sell. We sit on the same side of the desk as you, looking together into the finance world as we inform and guide the decisions that will make your money work for you.
If you’d like to explore how we can help, Click here to find a Talis IFA.