Are you in your 60s and still confused about your upcoming retirement options? You’re not alone!
With so many options, it’s hard to make a decision. Don’t worry, though – you’re definitely not the only one worrying about planning your retirement.
The good news is that we have an entire section dedicated to retirement and pensions – so let’s outline your first steps here before you delve deep into the options ahead of you.
- First step – Don’t Worry
- Second step – Take a Big Deep Breath
- Third step – Get Help
- Fourth step – Again… Do Not Worry
- Fifth step – Keep Coming Back Here
Seriously, you don’t need to worry. It may all seem daunting, but if you take it step by step (and read all the advice available) you will get there.
Coronavirus, the looming mountain of Brexit and conformation of another recession are bringing a lot of uncertainty to everyones finances at the moment. Not knowing how to plan can make it seem overwhelming – so take a step back and have a breather.
In reality, there are various reasons why you don’t need to worry too much about your about retirement finances.
Here are some of the reasons:
- The pension triple-lock gives some peace of mind
- Pension rules changed in 2015 to give you greater freedom of choice
- There is plenty of free advice available through Pension Wise, the Pensions Advisory Service, and the Money Advice Service.
- Your pension provider(s) will help guide you through your options, so make sure you talk to them
- The State Pension is your starter-for-ten: it’s a small – but guaranteed – income for your retirement
- Jasmine and MoneyMagpie are here to help! Post your questions in the comments below, or have as chat over on our forums.
Before you launch into doing something about the retirement situation, stop…
Don’t do anything quickly.
In particular, don’t be taken in by strangers calling you, emailing you, coming to your door or taking out ads in newspapers, websites or magazines telling you that they have a fabulous, sure-fire investment opportunity for your money.
These are VERY likely to be scam-artists. Anyone trying to pressure you into transferring your pension pot, taking your pension early, or offering too-good-to-be-true investment returns is highly suspicious.
Here’s what to do in these situations:
1. Put the phone down.
2. Ignore the calls.
3. Just say ‘no’ to anyone who is not a bona fide financial adviser. Ask for proof!
You have time to make your own mind up, so don’t let anyone lead you off-track.
If you’re not sure whether a pension provider is legitimate, you can always check to see if they’re registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. If you can’t see them listed, stay well away!
You can also report scammers to Action Fraud – whether they’ve attempted to scam you, or you’ve been caught out and lost money through a scam. You can call them on 0300 123 2040 or file a report on their website. The information in your report is passed to the police, who will investigate if they think a crime has taken place.
You don’t have to do any of this on your own. If you’re in a couple, bouncing ideas off each other can help take some of the stress off. We strongly recommend you still seek pensions and retirement financial planning advice together, too.
There is help around in the form of:
A good starting point for an overview of your options. It’s run by the Government, so you know the information is up-to-date. Click here to go to the Pension Wise website.
Independent Financial Advisers
You will need to pay for one. We suggest opting for an independent adviser instead of a cheaper one linked to a big financial company. An independent adviser has whole-of-market access and isn’t limited to the options they can offer you. They also aren’t allowed to recommend things that aren’t in your best interests. It’s like to cost you £500+, but it could save/make you THOUSANDS to get the right advice, so do pay.
We have tons of articles – and new ones always arriving – about pensions, money in retirement, and investing for your future. Sign up to our weekly newsletter for the latest info.
Your pension company (or companies)
Different companies offer different ‘solutions’, so it depends who you’re with as to what they will suggest. Their advice won’t necessarily be the best – and you certainly shouldn’t just grab an annuity off them if they press you to do so – but, like Pension Wise, it will be free and a good start at least.
The Money Advice Service
This is a great resource. They have lots of really helpful articles about pensions, investments, savings and more. Visit the Money Advice Service website here.
If the points above made your stomach lurch (“what? Speak to my pensions company? Talk to Pension Wise? Pay for advice? Are you kidding?”) don’t let it get you down.
You don’t have to do it all at once. Take small steps and write down the key points, so that you can digest them in your own time.
If you don’t know how to work things out because you:
- Don’t know when you’re going to retire
- Aren’t sure what you want to do in retirement
- Can’t guess how long you’re going to live so you don’t know how long your money needs to stretch for
…you’re just like everyone else.
Seriously, no one really knows. Life has changed and pensions are changing so it’s all a brave new world for everyone (including the regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority!)
Don’t worry. We will work it out.
Take time away from retirement planning
If the stress of planning your retirement causes you anxiety or distress, reach out for help. We’re not just talking about financial advice, either!
Looking after yourself and your wellbeing is important. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to make rash decisions or be persuaded into a financial product or strategy that’s not really right for you – just so you feel like you’ve ‘done something’ to plan for retirement.
Take time away from your planning to enjoy yourself! Spend time with friends and family, join a local exercise or social group, and visit your favourite places. This’ll all help you bring things into perspective so that you can make sensible – and considered – decisions about your retirement future.
These are the first baby steps you need to take to find your way in the retirement maze. Now, it’s time to do a bit more reading. We’ve got a bunch of articles about:
All of these are designed to help you learn more about your financial options so you can make informed decisions about your retirement plans. Good luck, and remember – we’re always here to help.
Have you got any wisdom to share when it comes to your retirement? We’d love to hear it, if the answer is yes. Let us know over on the forums.