After working hard all of your life, retirement is a time to wind down and enjoy the fruits of your labour. This might mean travelling, spending time with the family or even trying the activities you never had time for in the past. To enjoy a comfortable retirement, however, it is essential you put the right plans in place. It is never too early to start thinking about your financial future, and here we explain how to plan for retirement at different stages of your life.
30s and 40s
Although we recommend considering your future finances - especially your pension arrangements - in your 20s, it is in your 30s and 40s that you really need to lay the building blocks that will help you achieve your retirement saving goals.
If you haven't done so already, it is important you consider joining your company pension scheme as soon as you can. Your employers will make contributions on your behalf, so the sooner you sign up, the more you will benefit in the long term. However, financial planning is all about giving you the best chance of meeting your financial objectives, so give some thought to the type of pension you want - it may be that taking on more risk, perhaps in the form of shares, is better suited to your needs than the default pension option. At this stage in your life, you may find your earnings are on the trajectory, potentially providing an opportunity to invest more in your pension than before.
Most financially savvy people will already be on top of their finances by this age, but it is especially important at this stage of your life - when you may be thinking about buying a house, getting married or starting a family, for example - that you get your finances in order. Think about any debts and how best to pay them off, and consider long-term investments to maximise your assets.
If you already are, or have your sights set on becoming, a high-net-worth individual, now could be the time to visit a wealth management company. This will give you the very best chance of getting everything in order, enabling you to build and follow a bespoke financial plan designed to help you meet your goals in both the shorter and longer term.
50s and 60s
Your 50s and 60s represent a particularly important time in your financial lives. This is when you'll likely decide on your retirement age, which could mean an early retirement for some. Before this, however, you will have to do lots of preparation to make sure you're not only ready for retirement, but that it's all you hope it will be.
With a date in mind, you can begin putting into action the plans that will enable you to achieve this retirement target. This will involve working out the amount of income you are aiming for, perhaps including an absolute minimum and an amount you would be comfortable with. These figures will help you work out just what needs to be done between now and retirement.
You should also take a closer look at your investments. How are they performing? Have they met your expectations? Crucially, you may want to consider whether you wish to continue with some of your riskier investments as you approach retirement age. Sudden changes in the market could spell disaster, so now could be the time to decide whether or not to play it a little safer and avoid any last-minute disasters.
As you hone in on your planned retirement age, be sure to speak to the experts. This will allow you to make sure everything is on track and that your financial targets will be met. Ensure any debts have either been paid off or are in the process of being paid off, and gauge where your pension savings are up to.
Toward the end of your path to retirement, you will need to consider the various options that allow you to take an income from your pension. This will determine how, how much and when you will receive your pension. However, it is important to think about more than simply which annuity is the most competitive, as you want an option that suits you and is flexible enough to meet your needs.
Speak to the experts
A theme that runs throughout here is the need to speak to the experts every step of the way. This will ensure you are working towards and sticking to a plan of action designed to achieve the results you are after. At Equilibrium, we can help you develop a bespoke plan that will guide you through, ensuring you are able to enjoy the type of retirement you deserve.
Your journey to retirement will require lots of planning and calculating; through regular expert consultation you can ensure this is as stress-free as possible.
For more information about how our expert team can help you better plan your financial future, visit our retirement planning section. If you have reached retirement age and wish to know more about how to make the most of your assets, check out our guide to wealth management for retirees.
To speak to one of our experts about how we can help you today, simply call us on 0808 156 1176 or allow us to give you a call back by completing our online enquiry form.