The secret to happiness is freedom’, wrote the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. And with the introduction of the pension freedoms rules, those aged over 55 now have far greater freedom of choice over how they use their pension pot to fund their retirement years.
The pension freedoms have given retirees a whole host of new options. There is no longer a compulsory requirement to purchase an annuity (a guaranteed income for life) when you retire. The introduction of pension freedoms brought about fundamental changes to the way we can access our pension savings.
A year lost for saving and a year added for spending
An increasing number of people have been forced into early retirement due to the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), with many worried about how they’ll make ends meet in the future. Because of the pandemic, we are currently in a challenging economic period. The global economy has taken over ten years to recover from the shock of the last financial crisis.
Financial security in retirement can never be taken for granted
Life changes when you retire – and so does how you spend your money. Whatever your plans, it’s important to keep on top of things and think about the lifestyle you want. It’s also worth noting the average life expectancy at age 65 years is 18.6 years for men and 21.0 years for women.
If you are approaching retirement age, it’s important to know your pension is going to finance your future plans and provide the lifestyle you want once you stop working. Pension legislation is extremely complex and it’s not realistic to expect everyone to understand it completely. But, since we all hope to retire one day, it is important to get to grips with some of the basics.
Make the most of the tax breaks before it’s too late
If you hold a Cash Individual Savings Account (ISA) you may be dissatisfied with the low rates of interest you receive, which could make it difficult to grow your money even at a rate that keeps pace with inflation.
How to ensure your money is protected from rising inflation
With current interest rates on cash savings very low, it is difficult to achieve growth above the rate of inflation. And if the cost of living is rising faster than your savings are growing, you’re effectively losing money.
Identifying the best options to preserve your wealth
No one likes to pay tax on their hard-earned money. But due to the complexities of the tax system, without expert professional financial advice, some individuals could be paying more tax than necessary. Before the end of every tax year on 5 April, you have the opportunity to save money on taxes and plan for the year ahead.
Responsible, sustainable and environmentally friendly investing is here to stay. But, while demand is growing among all age groups, genders and income bands, some savers and investors are missing their biggest opportunity for responsible investing, which is through their pension.
Planning your financial future, and how to get there
One thing retirement is not, is an age. Not any more anyway. Gone are the days of being told to stop working one day and pick up your State Pension the next. Today you have new pension freedoms to decide when and how you retire.
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