Thinking About Retiring?

Nobody wants any nasty surprises at retirement so these are some areas to consider:

1. Think about semi-retirement. This can be a great way of easing the transition between fulltime work and retirement. A less stressful job can be enjoyable and will help supplement your day to day income.

2. Get a State Pension statement. This will give you an estimate of how much State Pension you might receive when you reach state retirement age, based on your National Insurance contributions so far. You can do this at the GOV.UK website.

3. If you’ve lost track of any pensions from previous employers, the Pension Tracing Service can help you find them. This is a free service run by the Government – don’t confuse it with commercial services that have a similar name but charge a fee.

4. Adding up the savings and investments that you could use for your retirement. A pension is a good way to save for your retirement but you might also have other savings or investments that you could use to increase your retirement income. Seek professional advice to help you invest.

5. You should normally try to start your retirement as free of debt as possible. Add up how much you owe on your credit cards and any personal loans and check the interest rate you are paying on each debt. If you have money to spare, pay off the debt that charges the highest interest rate first.

6. In an ideal world, everyone would like to retire having paid off their mortgage in full. However, there are still lots of people who have interest only mortgages with no definite plan in place to repay them. Your Mortgage Required Adviser will be happy to look at the most effective way to repay your mortgage, all of your loans and if possible reduce your overall outgoings and the term of your mortgage allowing you to retire earlier.

7. Preparing a budget planner for after you retire will help you understand your annual expenditure compared to your income. Some costs may drop for example work related costs (such as travel to work, lunch, work clothes) and of course if you have paid off your mortgage and other debts this could make a big difference. Don’t forget to include one off items (such as a broken boiler or other household repairs). This will give you a better idea of when you will be able to retire and a goal to aim at. Make sure you allow for luxury items such as holidays, there is no point retiring simply to live on the bread line.

8. Equity Release used to be a bit of a dirty word, but following the formation of the “Equity Release Council” in the 1990s the market has been tied up and made safe for consumers ensuring they can stay in their homes. With a generation of pensioners owning very expensive properties with long life expectancy, many home owners use Equity Release schemes to supplement their income in retirement. Ask your mortgage adviser for details of Equity Release products to suit your needs. This is a lifetime mortgage to understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration.

Mortgage Required are unable to give advice on pensions, but may be able to put you in touch with a specialist who can.