Your Financial Journey

Your Financial Journey

Life is a journey, and its many twists and turns can significantly impact your finances. Events will invariably affect your financial situation, so it is essential that you manage your wealth throughout life. Different circumstances bring different opportunities, but it can be difficult to understand just what these are.

Our interactive infographic is here to help. Charting your financial course from when the children fly the nest up until retirement and beyond, it details the steps required to ensure you can make the most of your finances throughout later life.

The information contained within the website should not be looked upon as advice or recommendation. Clients should seek the appropriate guidance from their financial planner.

Beginning the Journey - Planning for the Future

The journey to retirement starts at different times for different people. However, we recommend planning for the future sooner rather than later, and it is never too early to start thinking about how you will support yourself and your family once your working days come to an end.

Creating a financial plan

  • The first step
    Why creating a financial plan is an important first step
  • Guiding you through financial decisions
    Click to see why a financial plan can help you prepare for different eventualities
  • Investment help
    Investing can form part of your financial plan and boost your assets
  • Speak to Equilibrium
    We can help you compile a bespoke financial plan

A financial plan represents the first step in organising your finances for the rest of your life. It not only enables you to look ahead to and plan for retirement, it also helps you make the most of your money now and to build your assets over time. Certain stages in life provide an opportunity to assess your financial situation and determine how you can make your money work even harder for you.

Getting organised early means you can set your starting point and end goals, working out the best route to take in order to meet them. You can ensure you're on track to have the right amount in the savings pot, while also helping to organise other financial aspects of your life.

The children may have flown the nest, but you are not out of the woods just yet - there is always the possibility they'll return to the family home, and some may continue asking for support. A financial plan can help you prepare for such an eventuality, as well as guide you through any other financial decisions you are yet to make, such as speeding up mortgage repayments or taking out life insurance.

At Equilibrium, we have several years of experience in drawing up genuinely personalised financial plans designed to match the personality and objectives of our clients. By creating a financial plan you give yourself the best opportunity to get your finances in order well in advance of your retirement.

Investing is a great way to use your existing savings to really boost your retirement fund. Forming part of a sound financial plan, we can help you build an investment portfolio tailored to your individual objectives and personality. We will assess your circumstances and attitude to risk, and advise you on the investments best suited to you.

Different people have different attitudes to risk, so it is important you are careful and calculated when deciding which investments to make. Don't rush into the market blindly, give yourself the best chance of success by following a bespoke investment strategy that meets your personal needs.

The first step is to get in touch with Equilibrium. Here, you can discuss not only your current situation, but your goals for the future. We can help you compile a plan to ensure you save enough money for the comfortable retirement for which you are hoping. While a general financial plan can lay a solid foundation for good saving habits, a personalised plan is more likely to ensure your retirement fund achieves the goals you set.

Speak to Equilibrium today by calling us on 0808 168 0748, or fill in our online contact form and we will get back in touch.   

Empty nesters: The importance of planning your finances early

  • Planning ahead
    Organising your finances early will stand you in good stead
  • Empty nesters
    Assess your finances when the children fly the nest
  • Assess retirement savings
    Begin planning ahead for life after work
  • Maximising retirement contributions
    Now might be the time to put more aside for the future
  • Wealth management guide for high-net-worth empty nesters
    Download our wealth management guide aimed at high-net-worth empty nesters

With finances, it is never a bad idea to plan ahead. Organisation is key, and you will reap the rewards by laying the foundations early. It can be all too easy, though, to delay your financial planning, safe in the knowledge you have plenty of time to get things sorted. However, this can be a dangerous path to follow, and important life stages can present good opportunities to get the ball rolling. One such stage is when your children leave home, leaving behind an empty nest.

Empty nesters is a name derived from a term used to describe the feelings parents often have when their children move out of the family home. Empty nest syndrome is a feeling of grief or loneliness at this time - but the label empty nesters has stuck to describe any parents no longer supporting their children.

This is an important stage in life because it has a significant impact on your finances. You'll often find you have more money at your disposal - but it also represents an opportunity to assess your finances and set forth on the road to retirement.  

Empty nesters will often use this change to not only re-evaluate their spending, but to also assess their retirement savings and plan ahead for life after work. Retirement often represents the next financial goal for empty nesters and gives them something to focus on moving forward.

With children still at home it can be easy to neglect your retirement savings. With them gone, however, you have the opportunity to think more thoroughly about your retirement options. How much do you want to retire with? Are you on track to achieve this? Now is the perfect time to really focus on this and ensure you're on track to meet your goals.

When your children move out, your budgets will often change. With fewer financial obligations, you may find you have more money at your disposal, and this will not only free up money to use now, but also enable you to maximise your retirement contributions. By placing more in your retirement fund early, you can accumulate more savings and ensure you enjoy the comfortable retirement you are hoping for.

By focusing on your retirement objectives, an empty nest need not represent the end of an era, but the start of a new one.

Just because your financial situation has changed and potentially freed up more money for you and your partner, it doesn't mean it's easy to know what to do with those assets in the long run. That's why we have created a wealth management guide for high-net-worth empty nesters.

Inside the guide you will find a range of important information and expert advice, including how to create a financial plan, examples of relevant investment strategies, and the importance of intergenerational and tax planning.

Read our wealth management guide for high-net-worth empty nesters for free here.

Approaching Retirement

With retirement just around the corner, it is important to consider the different actions you need to take. Explore all of the options available and check to make sure everything is in place to guarantee a happy retirement.

Five years and counting

  • Explore your options
    Check your finances and tie up loose ends
  • Big decisions
    It's time to ask yourself some important questions
  • Preparations and checks
    Ensure everything is in place ahead of retirement

Retirement is something you should bear in mind for some time before your working days come to an end, but it is imperative you start getting everything in order in the five years before you intend to call it a day. There may be various loose ends you need to tie up, ensuring you enter retirement safe in the knowledge your finances are in the best possible shape.

The five-years-and-counting-mark represents a great opportunity to explore all of your options and ensure you're aware of the different pathways open to you. It is important you also know the pros and cons of these options, the best ways to continue maximising your pension fund income and understand what will likely happen to your pension when you pass away.

Therefore, this is an ideal time to check in with Equilibrium and make sure your finances are on track. If you haven't already, you should consider putting together a financial plan encompassing the various aspects of your finances, ensuring your money is working for you as well as it should be. We can help you put together a strong financial plan to ensure you enter retirement in strong financial health.

Approaching retirement means you have a lot of big decisions to make. Not least, you have to decide the age at which you want to retire. This may well depend on how much money you hope to have saved in order to lead the comfortable life in retirement for which you are striving. You therefore need to ask yourself some questions, including:

  •  How much income do I need in retirement?
  • When will I need it?

By answering questions like these, you can rest assured you are entering retirement with no stone left unturned. Preparation is key, so make sure you have given thought to all available options before pressing on.

Ticking off a checklist is a great way to ensure you are covering all the different aspects of approaching retirement. You should review your investment strategy to make sure it is achieving its goals and also think about whether it needs to be tweaked as retirement approaches.

For instance, you may wish to alter your investment strategy in order to reduce risk ahead of retirement. Likewise, you might want to review your pension contributions to ensure your retirement fund is in good shape, while also checking your savings and even looking over your property portfolio.

One year and counting

  • Comparisons and checks
    Be sure to assess the finer details of your retirement plans
  • Income Options
    Now is the time to review your income options and choose the most appropriate such as income drawdown or secure annuity

With your retirement date set, it is crucial you use the 12 months beforehand assessing the finer details of your retirement plans. There are various stages you need to complete, including:

  • Checking all of your pensions
  • Obtaining a state pension forecast
  • Getting comparison quotes for the different options available
  • Checking if you will face any penalties at the particular date you wish to take your pension
  • Making sure you know what guarantees apply and whether you will be penalised if certain conditions are not met

You should also think about more than just your own pension. If you are married, your spouse's pension provision will be a key contributor to your welfare in retirement, so you should check that both pension pots are as they should be.

It may be a difficult subject to broach, but you should also consider the impact death will have on you and your family. For instance, what will happen if you die first? How will this impact pension provision? Has your will been updated? Do you even have one? These are all questions you should seek to answer ahead of retirement.

Checking the health of your finances should not be the only checks you make in the lead up to retirement, of course. You should also seek reassurances over your general health. Not only does a visit to the GP afford you greater peace of mind in the autumn years of your life, it can also benefit your pension. Indeed, if purchasing an annuity is an option, the income could be positively impacted by what may be considered as a relatively minor health issue. Annuities are based upon health at point of purchase - the better health you are in, the less likelihood there is you will die in the short term, so the longer the provider will have to pay out. The worse health you are in, the higher the income you may receive due to potentially reduced longevity.

One of the biggest decisions to make as you near retirement is whether you wish to remain invested through income drawdown or if you would like to move to a secure annuity. To help make your decision, it is firstly important to understand what your options are.

Income drawdown enables you to draw from your pension pot a variable income, and the decision of where to invest lies with you. It allows for more flexibility than a secure annuity, but also carries more risk.

An annuity ensures a secure income. Annuities allow you to turn your pension savings into a regular income, designed to provide you with the money you need throughout the rest of your life.

The choice depends on your individual preferences, situation, risk appetite and objectives. Equilibrium is on hand to help guide you through the decision-making process, ensuring you are properly equipped to make the right choice to a decision that will heavily affect your life in retirement.

In addition, the reforms introduced in April 2015 provide new pension freedoms for you to consider.

One month and counting

  • Last-minute checks
    Go through your retirement plans with a fine toothcomb
  • Revise investment strategy
    Ensure your investments are tailored to your needs

With retirement just around the corner, it is time to make those all-important last-minute checks, ensuring nothing has slipped through the net that might come back to bite. You should:

  • Ensure all details used to get quotes regarding your health are correct and fully up-to-date. As we get older we may need to take new or different medications, and this should all be accounted for
  • Check to make sure the quotes you have obtained for an annuity are on the correct basis and current rates, or consider the financial strategy you wish to use if you are opting for income drawdown

Now is also a great time to intensify focus on your investment options. It is useful to have a good idea, if not to be fully certain, of the type of investments you wish to make prior to retirement. By speaking to Equilibrium and following a detailed and personalised strategy, we can help you make the investments to best match your personality and meet your goals.

We are experienced in helping people make the best investments to suit their needs. We place a lot of emphasis on meeting with our clients, getting to know them, their circumstances and ambitions. Through our in-depth fact-finding activities, we can create a bespoke financial plan designed to ensure your investments will deliver the results you want to provide the retirement for which you have planned.

Retirement

Congratulations! You've arrived at your destination and are ready to wind down. However, your financial journey is not finished just yet, and some decisions are yet to be made.

The final decisions you make in retirement

  • Important matters to sort
    Retirement doesn't mean the end of your financial decision-making
  • Finalise your financial plan
    A financial plan helps you make the most of your assets
  • Final checks
    Check and review your current position
  • Enjoy your retirement!
    You can finally kick back and relax
  • Wealth management guide for high-net-worth retirees
    Download our wealth management guide aimed at high-net-worth retirees

Despite reaching retirement, there are still important financial decisions to be made. Although we highly recommend planning well in advance, there may be some matters you are yet to sort. What's more, you may need to check that you're happy with the previous decisions you have made, and to make sure you fully understand all of the relevant documentation.

A bespoke financial plan will provide the guidance needed to help keep your finances on course throughout your journey in retirement. At Equilibrium we place great emphasis on designing a plan tailored specifically to your wants and needs.

We leave no stone unturned to ensure your money is well looked after in retirement - after all, you've spent a long time accumulating your wealth, so it is important your money is managed effectively at this important point in your life. 

An effective financial plan will likely include:

  • An investment strategy
    Investing wisely enables you to grow your assets, making retirement that little bit more comfortable. An investment strategy will ensure your investments match your personality and objectives
  • Tax planning
    Tax can be a very complex issue, so it is important you understand the relevant legislation and keep abreast of regulatory change. Effective tax planning enables you to do this and there are some very simple steps that can be taken which could reduce the tax you pay
  • Inheritance tax planning
    Retirement is the ideal time to plan for what will happen to your assets after you die, and you can make sure they are not excessively dented by inheritance tax by planning wisely

Preparation may be key, but it is essential you also continue making the necessary checks when in retirement. For instance, if you have a drawdown you will need to regularly review the income you take out.

Now is also the time to make sure you have read and fully understand all of the relevant documentation. Approaching retirement can be a very hectic period, but now your working days are over you have the time to sit down and go through your papers with a fine toothcomb. Be sure to check over all of the information carefully, and bear in mind that it may prove difficult to change options once they have been agreed upon.

You've worked so hard to reach retirement, it is only right you get to enjoy it. Now is the time to do all of the things you haven't been able to due to work commitments, so grab the opportunity with both hands. With a sound financial plan in place, you have the very best chance to do so. 

In retirement it is important to keep on top of your finances and to make sure you get the most from your assets. To help you achieve this, we have created a wealth management guide targeting high-net-worth retirees. The guide serves as a handy accompaniment when figuring out how best to look after your assets now that your working days have reached their end.

Included in the guide is information and advice on the various financial questions people in retirement have to answer, such as those related to investment strategies, tax planning and inheritance tax planning. Our wealth management guide helps to ensure retirement is all you hope it will be, and can be found here.  

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