How Planning Your Finances Helps Retirement Feel Less Daunting

Retirement is a daunting prospect for many of our clients at Applewood Independent Ltd. It’s like moving into a new home or learning how to drive in a little Corsa and then going out into the big wide world on the motorway all on your own: it’s new and completely different to what you’ve experienced before.


How Planning Your Finances Helps Retirement Feel Less Daunting

Retirement can feel particularly difficult for people aged between 50 and 70 years old – work hard and save has been ingrained in their minds. 

Experience

Applewood Independent Ltd has supported hundreds of families over decades to retire. We know how it works, and we’re supremely confident that when we work with a pot of X amount of pounds, it can produce Y; often it surprises clients when we tell them that they will be financially better off if they retire than if they continue to work.

To an extent, we go beyond the monetary planning and become lifestyle planners (more on this in next week’s blog). We help you to explore what retirement might look like for you.

We discuss:

  • Your intended lifestyle.
  • Whether we can produce more income for you than you currently earn.
  • What you want your children to inherit (where applicable).

Retiring early means relying on your assets to give you some or all of your income. The majority of people are eligible to retire and receive a state pension at age 67.

Misconception 

People tend to think that if they are earning £40k now, they need to earn £40k in order to retire and maintain their lifestyle; however, they are currently paying 20% income tax and 12% national insurance (due to increase to 13.25%), so the net income they get is a lot less.

If you are retiring with a large pot of ISAs, they produce tax-free income. This means that a £40k income is worth the full £40k. Dividends and pensions are also tax efficient. We will consider all of the options for you and advise what will support you the most.

It’s not uncommon for us to work with a client who has a £500k pension pot, in which case we would advise taking a £20k yearly income from that (assuming there’s no other income). Of that £20k income, 25% is tax free, so only £15k is taxable. Of the £15k that is taxable, the government gives you £12,570 tax free, so you are only paying £486 tax (you’ll pay out a lot more if you have to earn the £20k) through normal work via PAYE.

The key to retiring early

People who are working tend to be spreading their net income over a number of things, including car loans and mortgages. Paying off the mortgage is a good catalyst to being able to retire early.

The question we need to answer is how much will it cost to support your intended retirement lifestyle?

We take into account:

  • Council tax
  • Utility bills
  • TV subscriptions
  • Grocery shopping
  • Any other consistent outgoings.

If your costs add up to £1,000 per month, then £2,000 per month net would be sufficient to live comfortably. A state pension (where applicable) is £179.60 per week, which can go a long way.

Expert advice

Applewood Independent Ltd can get into the financial details and establish how much your assets can produce on a small, manageable scale, or a large scale that will draw the funds down until you reach 67 and your pension kicks in.

We can help you find out how soon you can retire, and help you use your money as efficiently as possible.

Contingency planning

Cash flow planning or future planning is based on a list of criteria which, unfortunately, might not bear any resemblance to what might happen going forwards.

We will make sure that if your objective is to retire early, we make your money work as hard as we possibly can to meet that objective. However, there are always unknown factors to consider, including:

  • What happens if inflation goes through the roof?
  • What happens if there’s a recession?
  • What happens if you become ill?

Performance

Cash flow will give you a flavour of what’s possible, but everything comes down to performance. It’s our job at Applewood Independent Ltd to make as much money as we can for our clients. Performance is everything – nobody can guarantee what the future holds.

As I mentioned earlier, retirement is like moving into a new home or like a new driver learning to navigate the open roads. When you start to live that life, we will find out what needs to change for you to be comfortable, and over a period of six or 12 months we can make any necessary adjustments. 

When considering early retirement, remember that it is our job to look after your money; you have done all the hard work to save and produce income. We’ll use our experience and expertise to make sure your money works for you.

I’d love to hear your comments or questions. To find out more, feel free to get in touch by emailing alex@applewoodindependent.co.uk.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not constitute financial advice. Applewood Independent Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. For financial advice designed for you and your specific circumstances, please contact the author using the contact details provided in this article or, alternatively, contact the Applewood Independent Ltd office on 01270 626555.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may not get back the full amount invested.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance.