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Planning your retirement – The Platinum Approach

One of the most common queries we get here at Platinum Financial is around financial planning to achieve one’s dream retirement. This is without a doubt one of the most important pieces of financial advice you are likely to receive, why? Because this is what you have worked for your entire life, to become financially free and live off your well-earned wealth.

The “Dream Retirement” will look different to almost all people. One thing that is true for everyone however, is that the earlier you start to plan and save, then the greater your chances are of achieving your financial goals.

Knowing where to begin is always tricky, however here are some insights around where to begin, how to optimise your success and some of the key things you may want to consider.

When do you want to retire and what is your dream scenario?

Planning for your dream retirement may seem daunting, but like any other form of planning it all begins with some simple steps. In this case, it is always beneficial to have the end goal in mind. When you have a rough idea of how this looks then you can establish clear goals and aspirations.

Throughout our lives, most of us understand the importance of saving and building our wealth and accumulating assets such as property. We may overlook the importance of these assets when we retire and how they can be better used to support our lifestyles when we finish working.

It is key therefore, to firstly understand your potential level of future income for when you do retire, and if this will match up to your goals and aspirations.

Are you saving enough money and making the right decisions to meet your goals?

After you set yourself with a retirement date and consider an appropriate figure for the income you will need, the next step is to review your current financial circumstances and establish if you are on track.

This will allow you to gain financial advice around any existing investments or pensions you currently own. With this information, you will be able to understand the potential around growth rates and gain some initial projections, along with any likely shortfalls you need to overcome.

It is important to understand any potential shortfalls as this will allow you to identify any additional contribution needed to bridge the gap. In most cases, this can involve a simple increase in the contributions to your pensions or ISAs while you are still working. for the most part, you can make projections yourself based on various pensions calculators online.

How hard are your investments working for you?

One key factor to consider here is the current performance of any existing investments and if these are best suited to your goals and the level of risk you are comfortable with taking to achieve these. As such, part of the Platinum Financial process is constructing and offering a portfolio of investments that are more catered towards you.

Another important factor is cost, it is important to look at the current service offered around your investments and to ensure you are not paying more than necessary for services that may not even be needed or of value.

Regular review of your investments

With anything in life, investments come with a level of risk and you cannot predict future performance. Like always, circumstances can change and you are forced to consider adapting your approach. This highlights the importance of regular reviews, no more now than ever has this been true with the impact of the global crisis that is coronavirus (COVID-19) an unprecedented event by all regards. One that will certainly have caused many people to reconsider life in retirement and what this scenario will look like.

With this comes other volatile and influential factors, market fluctuations and changes in tax policy to name a couple.

An ongoing service will offer up regular reviews, which will allow you to periodically analyse your financial position and inform you of potential alterations (if any) that are required to keep your retirement plan on track.

Are you looking beyond Pensions?

It’s no secret that pensions can offer many fantastic tax advantages, and this is certainly true for those of us who are higher rate taxpayers or those within employer schemes. Pensions are seen by many as the foundations of successful retirement planning. It is important to note that the benefits will vary between each of us depending on our circumstances and pensions alone may not be the key to achieving your dream retirement.

For example, those of us with a significant size pension pot can sometimes find ourselves restricted by lifetime allowances, a cap on the overall amount of wealth we can secure within a pension while maintaining tax efficiency. We may wish to retain a level of freedom and flexibility around drawing upon our assets before we retire.

There are of course, other existing investments strategies such as ISAs that can be combined with a pension to help reach your retirement goals.

Using your pension in retirement

As you enter the later years of your employment your retirement options can change, and this can impact your overall investment strategy. You may be required to rethink just exactly what it is you need from your pension. If this is a case of securing income for life, then you can consider an annuity. In addition to this if your willingness to take risk decreases you can seek out less volatile investments as you approach retirement. This can help protect you against any dramatic falls in the market, protecting you from a reduction in the amount of income you can expect from your pension.

This may not be relevant however if you are planning to use drawdown, which involves your pension pot remaining invested. In which case your timeframe is extended, this means that reducing your risk can be considered less of an issue.

We here at Platinum Financial understand that planning your dream retirement can be somewhat daunting and it can be especially difficult to know where to even begin. If you are still unsure then please feel free to contact us for some advice.

The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested. Tax treatment is based on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax planning.

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