Updated: Mar 21
Are you dreaming of an early retirement? To make that dream a reality, careful planning is essential. Here are our expert tips to help you achieve your goal.
1. Get Professional Financial Advice
Navigating the complex world of pensions and investments requires expert guidance. Seeking the help of a professional, independent financial adviser who is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority is crucial. These advisers can help you make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes.
2. Tackle Debt Head On
Paying off debts should be a top priority, as debt interest always exceeds savings interest. As debt interest always exceeds savings interest, it is often helpful to make the minimum payment on each debt and focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. To tackle debt, you could consider consolidating your debts to reduce interest rates and/or pay extra towards your mortgage to reduce the total amount of interest paid. Before doing so, you should check if there are any early repayment penalties from your mortgage provider. Organisations such as StepChange can provide you with free and impartial advice on debt management.
3. Develop a Solid Plan and Follow Through
Create a structured plan that aligns with your financial goals. Start by assessing your current financial situation and determining your income and expenses. This will help you determine how much you can afford to save for your retirement.
Consider your current investments such as ISAs, cash deposits, and shares, and whether they could better serve you in a pension fund. However, remember to keep some easily accessible savings for unexpected events (refer to tip five). You could also review your existing pension arrangements with a view to consolidating them into one place. Once you have developed a budget for regular pension fund savings, stick to it, but make sure to regularly review your plan to take into account changing circumstances, markets, and regulations. One of the many benefits of a Financial Adviser is that they will review all of this with you, to make sure you stay on track.
4. Establish Your Retirement Income Requirements
The purpose of pension planning is to save enough money to sustain your lifestyle during retirement. To do this, you must carefully calculate your monthly income needs. Start by determining your basic necessities such as energy, food, transportation, etc. Then consider the things you want to do and purchase, such as holidays, social activities, hobbies, or a sports car. Next, consider the length of your retirement, which will depend on your retirement age and health. Finally, factor in that your expenses will decrease as you age, such as children becoming self-sufficient, fewer holidays, and reduced social activities. Your financial advisor can help you determine the size of the pension pot you will need and whether you can afford to retire early, and if so, at what age.
5. Have a Backup Plan for Emergencies
Unexpected events can happen at any time, so it's essential to be prepared. When developing your retirement plan, consider unexpected expenses and unforeseen events. For instance, what would you do if you were unable to work due to an illness or accident? Do you have enough savings to cover these expenses, or should you consider insurance? Additionally, even after you retire, you should still have a reserve fund for unexpected expenses, such as a new central heating boiler or other emergencies.
The articles are for information only and should not be construed as advice or a recommendation. The investment strategies mentioned are examples only and may not be suitable for your particular: circumstances, tax position or objectives. Please seek independent financial advice before taking any action.
No advice should be conferred from the articles. No action should be taken without independent professional financial advice as any actions on your pension may be irrevocable and have a big impact on your income in retirement.