5 years to Retirement
This is the perfect time to start getting organised
Wow. Five years to the big day... Are you getting excited? Or is it more a feeling of trepidation?
Whether you are looking forward to it right now, however, or are keen to put it off as long as possible, there are some things you ought to start organising.
This is the last chance you'll get to take proper control of your preparations. And you only get one chance at retirement after all. So here are our suggestions for your 5 years to go task list...
✓ Write down your goals
If you've not already worked out what you want to do with your time, now is most definitely the time to do it. This will not only help you get organised but will also focus your mind on the amazing opportunities you are about to have to reward yourself. You've been working for a long time.
It's now time to get your reward - and really enjoy yourself.
So whether you want to travel the World, drive round Europe, Ski Canada or just take it easy with the family for a while, get the list written. And maybe start day dreaming about what's on it.
✓ Do your retirement budget
Now is the time to confirm your income requirements for retirement so you can start to work out where the remaining gaps are and work out what to expect from your money. Importantly, now, you should also start to separate your budget into the things that you will have to pay for (essentials) and things which would be nice to have but you could potentially compromise on if required (luxuries).
This will ultimately help you work out what income you might need to guarantee or underpin - and what scope you have, if any, for being a bit more adventurous. When the time finally comes.
If you need it, we've got a template you can complete, right here >
✓ Consider your timeline
Have you decided the date you actually want to retire yet. Do you know whether or not you will continue working? Part or full time? Or have you got a business idea you want to try out?
Your answers will help you work out what money you are going to need when - and whether you want to maximise your income from day one, or will phase the transition from employment to savings over a period of time.
✓ Request a State Pension projection
Find out now what your State Pension will look like. If you have a Gateway login already, you can get this by logging into your HMRC account.
If not, start here: https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension
✓ Dig out your pension statements
Dig out the latest valuations and pension projections from each of your existing pension providers or ask them for the latest if you don't already have them. Make sure you pick up all your plans, including any defined benefit employer schemes you may have been a member of.
And if you've got any ISAs, savings accounts or investments, get hold of those statements too.
These will tell you how much you've currently got and whether you can expect any future income from it to be guaranteed. So that you can then...
✓ Get a retirement forecast
We suggest getting a retirement forecast in every single one of our checklists. Because you should always be aware of how your money is progressing and what it means for your future.
But even if you have never worked out what your total savings are worth, you cannot overlook this step right now. You've still got some time to make a difference - but if you don't find out now, that opportunity will quickly disappear.
So, use an online retirement calculator, or join the pilot of our brand new set of assessment tools. So that you know exactly what position you are in and what final adjustments you might need to make to meet your expectations.
✓ Consider your income plan
Thanks to pensions freedoms, you have a range of options for how you can take your money at retirement now. But with each option comes a different level of risk. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you necessarily should.
Your starting point will therefore be the relationship between what your retirement forecast says you can expect and what your budget planner suggests you will actually need. If the equation is a close one, you will potentially need more guarantees.
If you are in the nice position of being able to afford everything you need and more, then you will have much more flexibility in those decisions.
What you don't want to do, however, is pay over the odds, just for the privilege of retiring. Which means you may find our '5 Pitfalls of pensions freedom' eBook useful...
✓ Talk to an expert
At this point in your preparations, you want to make sure you are completely prepared and your money is working as hard as possible. If any of what you are reading or finding out doesn't make sense, speak to an expert. Because how you mange these next five years or so is crucial to how you then spend the next 20.
As well as which, research suggests that those who use a financial adviser to help with their retirement planning are an average £40,000 better off* than those who do not. And three times more likely to have saved over £150,000**.
And it really doesn't have to cost the earth. If you don't think you've got enough money to worry about paying for support, maybe our prices can persuade you otherwise...