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Plan for what is difficult while it is easy

Plan for what is difficult while it is easy – Sun Tzu

We all know we need to save for retirement, don’t we? But we also know it’s not always that easy to find the spare cash required to do so, especially amid a global pandemic.

Research studies, though, typically show that many retirees wish they’d saved on a more consistent basis and managed to accumulate a larger nest egg. Mike is one of those people who entered retirement harbouring financial regrets.

Plan? What plan…?

Last January, after working for over 45 years, Mike decided it was finally time to retire. But he soon hit a snag; Mike simply hadn’t thought enough about the detail of how he would finance his retirement. Although he knew the State Pension wasn’t huge, he hadn’t realised just how difficult it would be to make ends meet and found it quite a shock when reality hit home.

And Mike isn’t alone. Research suggests more than a third of over 50s either leave their retirement financial plans until the two years before retirement or don’t plan at all. As a result, many retirees are ill-prepared for what’s to come.

Funding retirement

Many people save for their retirement through a pension. Encouragingly, the introduction of auto enrolment has resulted in a rising proportion of the workforce having access to a pension with research highlighting almost three in four workers are now offered a retirement plan by their employer. Worryingly, though, the self-employed largely seem to be neglecting their retirement needs, with just 16% currently saving in a private pension.

An alternative strategy is to use other investments, such as ISAs. These also offer a tax-efficient savings route and can provide greater flexibility than a pension. There is also a specific type of ISA – Lifetime ISA – that 18 to 39-year-olds can use to accumulate retirement funds. Bricks and mortar can also be a valuable source of retirement income, either by investing in buy-to-let property or unlocking wealth tied up in a family home by downsizing or through equity release.

Advice is key

Like many people, Mike regrets not saving more across his working life and has two pieces of advice for younger generations: start planning your retirement in plenty of time and seek expert guidance on how to best organise your retirement finances.

Retirement should be something we all look forward to and enjoy but, to do so, it’s vital to plan ahead. We can help with all aspects of retirement planning, whether you’re just starting out and want help choosing a pension, or you’re ready to utilise your retirement pot and want to know the most efficient way of accessing the funds. Just get in touch if you need our expertise.

An ISA is a medium to long term investment, which aims to increase the value of the money you invest for growth or income or both.

The value of your investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back the amount you invested

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance and should not be relied upon

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