Updated 08 August 2017
Considering retirement? Need some advice? Take a look at Mark Brownridge’s top ten tips for making the most of your retirement.
1. Get a valuation of your state pension entitlements. You can do this online at www.dwp.gov.uk.
2. Do you have any dreams or goals for retirement? You may want to take more holidays, improve your handicap on the golf course, take on that gardening project or spend more time with your family. Whatever you want to do, you will need to incorporate it into your retirement plans.
“If you have health issues or are a smoker, be aware that you may be entitled to a higher level of pension income”
3. Consider if you can afford to retire. To do this you will need to calculate the approximate income from all pensions and investments and then calculate your living costs and expenditure to set the budget you will need.
4. Set a possible date in mind for your retirement and plan towards that date. Discuss your plans with your family and employer.
5. Consider moving your pension funds into less volatile investments as you approach your retirement date. If you pension fund is invested in stocks and shares, stockmarket falls weeks or days before your retirement date could significantly reduce the fund available to provide income.
6. Will you need a lump sum from your pension plan? Usually, up to 25 per cent of your pension fund is available as a tax free lump sum. Remember, however, that taking tax free cash reduces the amount available to provide you with an income in retirement.
7. Providing an income in retirement doesn’t have to come from pension plans. Consider rearranging other investments you may have such as shares, cash held on deposit, savings or even property to help provide you with an income.
8. Let your financial adviser have details of any health issues. If you have health issues or are a smoker, be aware that you may be entitled to a higher level of pension income.
9. Understand which retirement income option is best for you and shop around for the most competitive provider. You don’t have to take an income from your current provider.
10. Finally, find an independent adviser to make sure you receive the best possible financial outcome for years to come. You’ve worked hard your whole life so now is the time to do the things of which you’ve always dreamed.