Can you afford to retire, and when?

Feeling comfortable about the future and knowing someone you can trust is dealing with the planning and risk management removes all the pressure, allowing me to concentrate on the things that are really important to me and my family.

Bill Briggs

When it comes to providing for retirement, too many people are doing too little too late. Planning for retirement is all about giving you the freedom to choose when you retire and matching the income you receive in retirement with your desired lifestyle.

Retirement isn’t about growing old gracefully

Retirement is another lifestyle change, an exercise in personal choice funded by the good decisions you made in your younger life. Retirement should not be governed by an arbitrary age such as when you can receive your State Pension nor controlled by a third party. ‘Retirement’ can mean different things, take different shapes and last for 40 years or more. Whether you ‘retire’ in your 40s, 50s 60s or 70s some of the key questions are:

  • Will you have enough money to live the life you want without the fear of running out of money or dying with too much?
  • How can you achieve this as tax efficiently as possible?
  • How can you pass your wealth down through the generations if you wish to?

Pensions Freedoms

20 March 2014 – George Osborne ‘…no-one will have to buy an annuity…’ No doubt you recall this famous speech by the former Chancellor. Great news, even if a Lamborghini wasn’t what you were planning to spend your pension fund on. However, not really news though…in reality Pensions Freedoms, or the flexibility to spend your pension fund as you want, has been part of mainstream retirement planning since 1995. Indeed Adrian wrote his first flexible pension in 1996, shortly after creating HarperLees. What did happen for the good though was creating flexibility on benefits for smaller pension pots, offering additional planning opportunities.

29 September 2014 – George Osborne ‘People who have worked and saved all their lives will be able to pass on their hard-earned pensions to their families tax free…’ Actually this was a huge and beneficial change, removing the previous 55% tax charge on pensions fund on death (down from 82% at its peak) once benefits had started in payment. Overnight pension funds had become the most tax efficient asset to pass on, significantly changing the status quo.

So, all good then…but, being aware you can do something is not the same as doing the right thing, making good informed decisions about not just your pension but all your assets to create tax efficient income in retirement, financial security for loved ones and the tax efficient transfer of wealth in life and death. Pensions are just part of the retirement answer, as all your incomes and assets need to be taken into account including property, investments, savings and even debts.

The decisions you make today will impact on you and your family for the rest of your lives. Nobody plans to fail…they just fail to plan. Given the opportunity, wouldn’t you want these decisions to be the best they can be?

Adrian is recognised by the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) and the Personal Finance Society (PFS) as a Retirement Planning Specialist


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