Will your pension meet your needs in retirement?

In view of the latest announced changes in the 2014 Autumn Statement you now need pension advice and financial planning more than ever to review the options and make sure that you do not run out of money during your lifetime.

This is now a complex area that requires lifetime cashflow forecasts to ensure that you meet your goals and get no unpleasant surprises later in life. It demands close scrutiny and complete understanding of the tax implications.

If you are wondering whether your pension will meet your needs in retirement, you need expert independent advice to help you make the best decisions for the future. Alpha Investments & Financial Planning’s director, Alan Solomons’, has specialised in pension advice for over 30 years and has extensive experience in dealing with pension funds in all their guises: occupational schemes, stakeholder or personal pensions, SIPPs etc. Getting the balance of investments right is crucial and will depend on your attitude to risk and how close you are to retirement.

We can advise you on money purchase pensions, Self-Invested Pension Plans (SIPPs)and Small Self-Administered Schemes (SSASs) which allow you to invest in a variety of investment funds, such as unit trusts and investment trusts. Keeping annual costs and fees down is another part of the pensions equation and we can help you be sure you are getting the best deal from your pension providers.

There are also now options to use your pension fund to avoid Inheritance Tax and to pass your pension down the generations.

SIPPs and SSASs can be used to buy commercial property including your businesses office or factory and there are other ways in which they can be used to help fund your business. If your pension fund owns your business property your business will pay rent to your pension fund and get tax relief on that while it will not be taxed in your pension fund.

When will you be able to retire?

When will you be able to retire? When will you be able to afford retirement? What are your other financial priorities? – Your children? Moving home? Does it involve selling your business? Are you planning to retire abroad? All these factors are important because they will dictate not only how much spare money you have to invest but also how much you will need in later life to sustain your standard of living.

Alpha Investments & Financial Planning Ltd can help you with all your pension plans – whatever your age. We understand that you have different priorities at different stages of your life, all impacting your ability to prioritise pension planning – and can advise you accordingly. Here are a few age-related thoughts on pensions:

Are you in your Twenties?
Money is likely to be tight because you are probably taking the first steps in your career – often in lowly paid jobs. Finances may be stretched by paying off hefty university debts and you may be paying large sums in rent – as well as funding a healthy social life. However, it’s important to at least make a pension start – even if what you can afford to put away equates to just a few pounds. You could really feel the benefit later in life of any money you put away now as it will be earning for you from day one.

Your Thirties?
Despite the fact that you may well be more settled in your career and starting to earn a better income, your thirties can often be a financially stressful decade. As well as being the time when you’re likely to be taking your first steps onto the property ladder, it’s also a popular period for settling down and having children – which will inevitably hit your finances! Joining an employer’s pension scheme is a worthwhile consideration – if they will also contribute, but if not, it’s a good time to set up a private plan.

Your Forties?
You will be established in your career by your forties, often at the peak of your earning power. For many, you will be enjoying the benefits of your hard work, perhaps with regular foreign holidays. If you’re only just starting to save for your retirement now then you’ve already wasted the best years, so now’s the time to knuckle down and start putting money away as a matter of urgency. As well as clearing any outstanding debts, including credit cards and other loans, you need to increase the amount you save to at least 15% of your income.

Your Fifties and Sixties?
If you have avoided starting a pension until you are in your fifties you have left yourself with an uphill struggle – it is never too late, but you may need to save a significant proportion of your income from now on.

Call now to arrange a Review Meeting – at our cost

If you’d like to discuss your pension with us, or if you’d simply like to explore the options available to you, please call now to arrange a review meeting. There’s no obligation… just a good opportunity to discuss your position with an investment and financial planning expert who understands the marketplace. Contact us now…