Retirement Planning Advice

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There’s lots to consider when planning for your retirement and it’s a good idea to seek expert advice when making your decisions.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and Liberty Partnership can help you come up with a personalised plan for your retirement.

We offer trusted advice on a wide range of topics, like pensions and investments, annuities and how you can budget for the future.

Our fully qualified, friendly advisors are on hand to answer any questions you might have, and your dedicated financial planner will talk you through all the options that are available to you.

Why should I get retirement planning advice?

From what to do with your pension pot to budgeting for the future, planning for your retirement can be a daunting task; which is why you should consider getting some financial advice to help make sure the choices that shape the rest of your life are the right ones.

After working hard for many years, you’ll want to relax and enjoy the next chapter without having to worry about whether you can afford certain things.

It’s advisable to consider your retirement options around two years before you want to give up work. With that in mind, here are some of the things you might want to start thinking about:

Working out your retirement income

The first thing you’ll need to do when planning for your retirement is to sit down and work out how much you think you’ll have by the time you finish work for good. Our retirement planning advice includes coming up with a realistic budget that will help you to work out what type of lifestyle you can afford to have in your later years.

We can help you with the following:

  • Getting a State Pension statement – This will give you an estimate of how much State Pension you’re likely to receive, based on the National Insurance contributions you’ve made so far
  • Getting a defined benefit pension statement – If you’ve worked in the public sector or for a large employer, you might be entitled to a secure income for life that increases with each year
  • Tracing lost pensions – If you’ve lost track of any old pensions, we can help you find them
  • Savings and investments – Adding all these up and working out whether you could use any of them once you’ve given up work could be a good way to top up your retirement income
  • Deciding when to retire – It’s a good idea to start thinking about the kind of lifestyle you want to lead in your golden years, as this will affect when you can afford to stop working

What to do with your pension

Private pensions can be complex, and it can be difficult to know whether you’re investing in the right one for you. Your Liberty Partnership specialist can assess your current pension plans and explain everything clearly, without using jargon.

Part of our retirement planning advice also includes discussing what you want to do with your pension and when you want to withdraw it. You can take your pension while you’re still working but you must be at least 55-years-old, unless you’re in very poor health, in which case you could be entitled to take it earlier. In contrast, you could defer your State Pension so you receive a higher amount when you do decide to start taking it. This is also possible with some workplace or personal pension scheme providers, although there may be an additional charge for doing so.

Either way, we’ll talk you through how to convert your pension benefits into a retirement income and the most tax efficient way of taking a lump sum. Together, we can decide which is the best option for you.

It’s worth noting here that there are new rules for accessing your pension. In the past, once you’d taken your tax-free cash from your pension, you had to use the rest of the money to buy an annuity that would provide you with a guaranteed income for the rest of your life. But new rules, introduced in April 2015, mean that once you’re aged 55 or over, you can use your pension in any way you wish.

With more freedom comes more choice, meaning professional financial advice is essential. It could well be the soundest financial decision you will ever make.

How to budget once you’ve retired

As mentioned above, you need to think about how you want to live in retirement. You may want to go on a round-the-world trip or you might just be happy to take on a new hobby, like gardening. Whatever you decide, you’ll have to budget accordingly. It’s worth remembering that although you’re likely to have less money coming in, your outgoings may be reduced due to things like paying off your mortgage and not having to pay travel-to-work costs. That said, your spending might go up in other areas such as leisure, healthcare and utility bills. You’ll probably need to get used to a new way of living when you retire and we can help you prepare for this. In the meantime, here are some budgeting tips that you might find helpful:

  • Calculate your mortgage – Working out how many years you have left to pay on it can help you to budget better
  • Reduce your outgoings – Go through your bank statements to see whether you’re paying for things you don’t use any more, like old membership fees
  • Consider downsizing – Moving to a smaller house could release equity
  • Remember medical costs – These can increase as you get older
  • Look at your health insurance premiums – They could change after you retire

Caring for your loved ones

Whether you’re thinking about your partner, your children or a close friend, you’ll want to ensure that your loved ones will be taken care of when you’re gone. We can advise on how to reduce an inheritance tax bill by doing things like donating money to charity and putting your assets into a trust or giving them away before you die.

We can also help you to write your will. Amongst other things, you’ll need to decide on how to divide up your estate, whether you want to leave a donation to charity and who your executors will be. One of the trickiest tasks is likely to be working out the value of your estate, but we can assist you with finding out exactly how much your assets are worth and offsetting them against any debt you may owe.

Seeking financial advice

You don’t have to be on your own when it comes to planning for your retirement. It’s likely that you’ll have a lot of complicated decisions to make and some of the questions you might be asking yourself include:

  • Can you afford to retire?
  • Should you bring your pension pots together?
  • How much will your state pension be?

But you can rest assured that with our retirement planning advice service you’ll receive full support, every step of the way. Your fully qualified pension expert will assess your current situation and give you a clear indication of where you stand in terms of your finances. We can then design a retirement plan that’s uniquely tailored to your specific situation and help you to finalise any other decisions you might need to make to ensure you get the most out of these precious years.