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Retirement needs planning

Chris Maguire, Financial Planning Consultant
14/10/2022
Handwatch- on - beach

The need to do something

As a financial advisor, part of our role is to work with our clients to determine how much money they will need in retirement. Clearly, this will vary from client to client as they all have differing needs and expectations. Most people I have come across have managed to put something aside towards their retirement whether that is an old employer’s pension arrangement, ISA or other investments such as property etc. My job is to sort out arrangements that clients already have in place and to shape them into a robust plan to help the client achieve the retirement they want, or get as close to it is as possible.

One of the challenges is how to make their retirement pot of money last as people are now living longer. A girl born in 1951 was expected to live to 82 and a boy to 77, but this has now increased to 92 and 90 respectively. Increasing life expectancy means people may have to save more to get the retirement they want, while spending too much too early in retirement can cause problems later in life such as running out of money too soon!

How much will I need?

This is a question that I am often asked and encourages one of the more satisfying discussions that an advisor can have with their client. Here are some of the questions that need to be addressed:

  • how long do you want to continue to work?
  • are you going to stop completely or continue to work, perhaps part-time or doing something you enjoy such as a hobby or charity work?
  • how are you going to fill your time in retirement?
  • what do you expect your on-going costs and obligations to be?

Typical answers seem to be:

  • to spend time with family, possibly grandchildren and friends
  • travel – if/when allowed
  • passing on wealth to the next generation
  • and probably because of the longevity mentioned earlier, looking after elderly parents.

Once a discussion with the client and their spouse has taken place, and they’ve agreed what they would like their retirement years to look like, an income figure can be determined to meet their anticipated expenses.

How am I going to get there?

In my experience, everyone’s circumstances continue to change and it is likely that by retirement that clients would have most of, if not all, of their mortgage paid-off and their children would no longer be dependent on them. As a result, their expenses should be much lower, so their income needs may not be as great as they are now.

As a first step, don’t forget your state pension. A full State Pension is now around £9,600 a year according to 2022/23 figures. It is based on your national insurance contributions throughout your life, so yours may be higher or lower than this. You can check your state pension forecast online to find out what you could get, and when you can get it. However, it may be a shock for some as the state pension age will reach 67 by 2028 for men and women.

If you want to retire sooner and wish to enjoy a greater income in retirement, there are a number of arrangements to help you do this. Making use of tax-advantaged arrangements such as ISAs and pensions makes a lot of sense as wealth and capital can be accumulated to produce a cash flow to meet future income needs. Funding via a pension makes a lot of sense as:

  • personal contributions can continue to benefit from income tax relief at your highest marginal rate (subject to annual allowance rules)
  • your employer may match the contributions you make up to a certain level thus boosting the amount saved
  • employers can benefit from corporation tax relief on the contributions they make
  • the pension funds grow free of income tax and Capital Gains Tax
  • 25% tax free cash is still available (subject to lifetime allowance rules)
  • most pension funds sit outside of the estate for Inheritance Tax purposes.

In addition, benefits can be now drawn flexibly so you can vary your income according to your needs. You can also secure your income via an annuity if required.

To give you some idea of benefits, a pension pot of £750,000 will buy a 65 year old at retirement an annual annuity of about £39,750 gross per annum with a 50% spouses benefit should you pre-decease them. For those of us who are still saving for retirement, it does take some time to accumulate £750,000 so it’s best to get into the habit of saving regularly as soon as possible. As the old proverb goes, the best time to plant a tree is yesterday. The next best time is today.

Please note the information contained is correct as at the date of this article.

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The information set out in our publications is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice to undertake a particular transaction. Appropriate professional advice should be taken on specific issues before any course of action is pursued. Any advice provided by a Crowe Consultant will follow only after consideration of all aspect of our internal advice guidance.

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