29th April 2013 at 2:21pm
As one of the few 30-somethings at a recent 70th birthday party, I reflected afterwards that I felt very under-travelled.
A trip to Vietnam, 5 week road tour across various American states and spending a few months with family in Australia were all recent examples enjoyed by those almost twice my age.
Those baby boomers and war babies were making the most of their retirement. Their pensions and other investments were funding their lifestyle. It hadn’t happened by accident – they’d saved for decades.
And with more following in their footsteps as the post-Second World War generation moves into retirement, what do you need to consider when planning to retire?
1. How much State pension will you receive?
You can now log onto http://www.gov.uk/calculate-state-pension to get a State pension forecast.
2.Track down your missing pension(s)
One estimate put the figure at £3bn for missing or lost pension pots which are as yet untraced in the UK.(1) As you move from job to job, it’s possible to you could lose track of which company your pension’s with. Use this site to track your lost pension www.gov.uk/find-lost-pension.
3. Think about the “what if” scenario – who inherits your pension pot?
This is particularly important if you’re not married and you want to safeguard your partner’s position. Most pension providers have an Expression of Wishes form where you can state a preference for who should receive your pension pot once you’re no longer here. There will different choices depending on the type of pension and also whether you’ve started to take an income yet.
4 How much do you have for retirement?
When thinking about your income in retirement, don’t forget to include your ISAs and other savings and investments as part of the total value.
Divorce rates have gone up among the over 60s. If you’re in the so-called “silver separation” category you may want to seek legal and financial advice to help preserve your chances of having the retirement you want and are entitled to.
A final thought. For all that it’s possible to take control and plan logically for retirement, remember some things are priceless. I was reminded of this at the 70th birthday party by the absence of certain family friends.
As Virgil once said: “The greatest wealth is health”.