When to Step Back…

My view is the earlier the better. Its time’s like this I wished I had listened to my dear old dad … “start saving now son”

But like most in their 20’s I knew better and went down the pub!

Most of us are looking forward to retirement. The day when you hang up your gloves and embrace that freedom. Retirement hopefully provides a new and fresh beginning. However, retirement is a moment of reflective change, especially when it comes to that dreaded word, money. A successful retirement depends on having that financial plan in place. Retirement is about the alignment of money and values. When deciding if you should retire, you need to determine the type of lifestyle that you want to live and assess whether you can afford that lifestyle.

Retirement requires careful thought, preparation, and of course specialist support.

So, how can you make sure you are ready to retire?

The first step is to ask yourself… are you actually ready? There are many factors to consider and your financial affairs are the biggest consideration. Your ability to afford retirement depends on your lifestyle, your family situation, and home ownership. If you have dependent children, or have 15 years left on your mortgage, the time might not be quite right.

Another question to consider is are you mentally ready to retire? Work can be stressful, but it can be rewarding. Individuals often miss that routine of working life and interacting with colleagues.

Financial priorities

Retirement means a major lifestyle change. You need to be clear of what you want your life to look like and how to spend your time. Then you can work on arranging your finances to suit.

Decide on your priorities for retired life. Do you want to travel? What kind of leisure and social activities matter to you?

Try not to get caught up in what happens right after you end work – also consider the later years in your retirement. Will you need that large house?  And what about in the latter stages of life, should you need to fund care?

Potential income in retirement

You must be clear on the kind of life you would like to lead in retirement, and what that may cost you. Then you can start to review what you might be able to afford. This means getting to grips with your sources of income before those earnings stop.

Your first port of call is your pension provision. If you have a financial adviser, it makes sense to get their assistance and input as early as possible. You should also find out what your likely state pension entitlement would be – you can do this by visiting direct.gov.uk

With investments in general, it is important to review your strategy before you take the leap into retirement. How much risk at that stage would you then be willing to accept?

A qualified financial adviser who specialises in retirement planning can help you to review this in detail.

Make the most of your salary

Your income can be used in other ways besides topping up your savings as you prepare for retirement.

Clearing debts, including your mortgage, should be a priority before you retire. Whatever you owe on credit cards and loans, focus on paying off the debt that charges the most interest first. Debt will be the biggest problem once you no longer have a regular level of income from working.

You might even decide you want to sell your property in order to downsize, or to release an amount of equity in order give you a lump sum of cash.

Summary

Retirement is a huge change, both personally and financially. You could even consider a phased retirement, cutting back on your work life more gradually.

Overall, the message for your retirement countdown is to prepare, and plan.

Written by Roy Butcher – Partner

For help with Exit Plans and help with organising your finances for a life after employment, contact us on 020 8551 7200 or advisory@raffingers.co.uk