Blog – 2023 Quarter 4

What sort of lifestyle will you be able to afford?

How inflation could be impacting on your retirement plans

Inflation can affect your retirement savings depending on what you do with that money. Leaving your money in a bank account with low interest is a risk, as your money will not outgrow the rate of inflation.

Thats why it’s important to have an understanding of how inflation could be impacting your retirement plans and how best to respond. With the right strategies in place, you can still make progress towards achieving your goals and remaining financially secure during retirement.

Retirement plans
The first thing to know is that inflation won’t necessarily derail your retirement plans. The important thing is to recognise the impact it has on long-term savings and investments and take proactive steps to keep your goals in sight .

One option is to review your investment portfolio and consider assets that have the potential to outperform inflation. It may also be worth assessing and identifying further opportunities for growth and investment diversification.

Financial objectives
Although inflation may have an impact on short-term finances, its effects are typically less dramatic over the long term. Regularly reviewing your financial objectives and taking steps such as increasing contributions to a pension plan or Individual Savings Account (ISA) can help ensure your retirement plans remain on track.

When it comes to managing cashflow, paying off debt should take priority over building up savings if you want to keep pace with inflation. Reducing interest payments can free up more money each month which can then be put into a retirement fund or other investments.

Increased contribution
If you find yourself falling behind on your retirement savings, it is important to take action now to get back on track. A useful first step could be to review your budget and identify any areas where you can reduce discretionary spending in order to maintain or even increase how much you are regularly contributing towards your pension.

This increased contribution will benefit from tax relief at your marginal rate of Income Tax up until age 75, making it an especially valuable move. However, make sure you only contribute what you can really afford, as pension money is locked away until age 55 (rising to age 57 from April 2028).

Phasing retirement
It is worth remembering that the amount you contribute should reflect what you can realistically afford in order to avoid taking on more financial commitments than you can manage over the long term.

Phasing into retirement is an option to consider. It would mean you can still maintain relationships and stay engaged with the professional world. Also, by working part-time or flexibly, you might be able to keep your pension fully invested and draw on other savings and investments to top up your lower income and still be able to retain benefits such as healthcare. This could help to provide additional financial security in your later years.

New opportunities
Additionally, a phased retirement gives you time to explore new opportunities and interests outside of work, while still earning money. It can also be a way to transition out of the professional world slowly and give yourself time to adjust to life after work. Whatever your motivations for a phased retirement, make sure it’s right for you and that you fully understand the implications for your finances. Do your research and consider all scenarios before making any decisions about when you will retire.

Remember that no matter what your decision is, it’s important to review all aspects of your finances. This will help ensure that you have the best chance at achieving a comfortable retirement lifestyle. With the right planning, phasing or delaying retirement could be a choice that helps you to have the retirement that you want.

Financial benefit
Before deciding whether to take a tax-free lump sum from your pension, professional advice should always be sought so you fully understand the implications of withdrawing large sums in one go. You will need to consider not only the immediate financial benefit, but also how it might affect your future retirement income.

This means looking at your options, discussing potential risks, suggesting appropriate strategies and explaining possible tax consequences so that you can make an informed decision about your pension. Ultimately, receiving professional advice will help you decide whether taking a lump sum from your pension is the best decision for you and your long-term financial security.

Managing finances
Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are another tax-efficient way to supplement your income in retirement. Unlike pensions, the proceeds you withdraw from an ISA are completely tax-free. So if you have any savings that you can put aside relatively safely and access when necessary, this could be an ideal solution for managing your finances during retirement.

It may also be appropriate for you to consider investing in stocks or bonds, as these could provide even greater returns over time with some risk attached. However, it’s important to remember that stock market investments carry a certain amount of risk and can go down as well as up, so professional advice should always be taken before investing large sums of money.

Golden years
When planning your retirement income, make sure you factor in other sources such as inheritance or rental income. This will help to ensure that you have enough money to enjoy your later years in comfort and security. Additionally, annuities may also be a way to turn your pension pot into a regular income stream. An annuity is an insurance policy taken out with an insurer that pays out a fixed sum each year until the policy matures or you pass away.

Overall, you should consider all of your options when planning for retirement. Using professional advice and understanding the different types of investments available can help you make informed decisions and maximise your income during the golden years of life.



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