Retirement often seems a long way off but the sooner you get your plans in place, the rosier your future can look.
SoGlos caught up with Lisa Morman, chartered financial adviser at Brunsdon Financial, to find out some of the best ways to get your financial planning in place for a rewarding retirement.
Why is planning for your retirement so important?
Creating a plan for retirement helps you identify your values and goals in life. It helps you prioritise what is really important to you and your family and the plan is simply the roadmap to get there.
As the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland once said: 'If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.'
What are the consequences of poor planning?
Poor planning could mean that you have either not saved enough to meet your goals, or not saved in the right places. It may result in a lower income than you would ideally like, or mean you have to work longer than hoped.
Tax can have a big effect on income in retirement, and paying more tax on your savings and pensions than you need to by saving too much in one product and not diversifying your income sources can have a big effect, leaving you with less net income in retirement.
What are the advantages if you start planning early?
The earlier you start saving, the less you will need to save for the same result!
People underestimate the benefit of compound growth (the growth you get on previous growth) as well as tax planning.
What do many people fail to realise about retirement planning?
It doesn’t have to be long or complicated! A great plan has everything to do with why you are doing it in the first place rather than how to save and invest your money.
Do you have any examples of people who have planned well, as well as those who have struggled in later life?
I have recently had a client that retired at 55 years old through good planning when she was younger. She saved a large portion of her salary into pensions and ISAs on a monthly basis from her early twenties and these were invested cautiously. Now she is able to volunteer at local groups and just work for fun.
In another scenario, I had a client contact us when she was almost 65 to look at her pensions and review these. We found that some were invested in high risk funds and the total value of these dropped around 30 per cent in the year she was hoping to retire. This may have been different if these had been reviewed regularly. Ultimately, she had to reduce her hours and continue working rather than fully retiring.
How can Brunsdon Financial help?
At Brunsdon Financial, our motto is ‘Let’s Talk About You’, which I think says it all!
We work with our clients to find out their goals and plan for the future and work back from there.
With everything in life, things change, therefore it is important to keep reviewing and adapting the plan to work with clients’ new circumstances.
We believe in the importance of cash flow planning, and regular reviews to make sure we are on track to meet their goals.
Is there anything you’d like to highlight about retirement planning?
We believe there is not one size fits all, and there won’t be two clients that have the same goals and dreams for the future.
It’s so important to make sure you are keeping an eye on your pensions and investments, where they are and how they are invested.
Also, just because something was appropriate 10 years ago doesn’t mean it is still suitable for you.
New funds and providers come onto the market and it could mean that by reviewing that old employer's pension you have from years ago, you could be make your money work harder for you than it is at the moment, resulting in a higher income in retirement.
If you get it right, what does a good retirement plan and prospect look like?
A good prospect is someone that is open to planning for the future. If you are willing to tell us, we can help!
A good retirement plan is something that will enable our clients to meet their goals and not ‘worry’ about money.
We focus on short, medium and longer term planning and can plan for many different scenarios.
We have found one of the biggest concerns is ‘will I have enough’. We can plan, project and work together to make sure that isn’t a question you need to ask.
DISCLAIMER: Investments and pensions can fall as well as rise, irrespective of the level of risk chosen. The value of an investment or pension and any income generated from it cannot be guaranteed and can fall as well as rise as a result of market volatility. You may not get back the amount you originally invested.