When Can I Afford to Retire?

By FMB on 

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The date we retire has become very significant for a number of reasons. We are all living longer, so our finances need to provide for us for longer too. At some point we will pick that date where we'll leave full-time employment and be reliant on our pensions and other investments to support us and help us enjoy our chosen lifestyle in retirement. Not many people can find a job in retirement that would command a similar salary to the one they've left behind, and fewer and fewer people these days belong to generous final salary pension schemes. Just to make it that bit more difficult, the rules about what we can and can't do with our pensions seem to change all the time too. You can see why it's a big step to take, and it's hard to reverse, so it's really not a decision to take lightly, and without good financial planning.

It used to be made for us by employers and the state. Now an employer cannot ask you to retire, you must make the decision for yourself. Most would argue this is a step forward, however it is still a  difficult decision for a variety of reasons.

Affordability, although not the only reason for inertia, is certainly the biggest blocker. Giving up a secure income to rely on a pension is quite a daunting prospect, it's rare that pension income will match your current salary. But it is the fear of the unknown and such a huge change that people find difficult to address and therefore put off.

Here are some thoughts from our team of planners, who work with clients day in day out discussing this very issue

  • Clients need to create an expenditure analysis based on what they will spend once they finish working NOT what they spend now. In the majority of cases, it will be less than you think.
  • Cash flow forecasting is a great tool for planning out the years ahead as we decide where to take the income and capital from to sustain you in retirement.
  • Once we've done the cash flow we can see if there is potential to retire sooner than thought, but if not at least you know. Some people continue to work part time to supplement their income
  • Our cash flow forecast can take into account the different stages of retirement, it's important to do the things you want while you still can and plan for that.

Remember every year you delay retirement is a year when you are in good health and able to enjoy whatever makes you happy be it the Grandchildren, travelling or gardening.

Jon Palser our Financial Planner and Fellow of the Personal Finance Society had this to say, "when my clients say they want to put off retirement, I ask them what that year would be worth to them if they could buy it. One year of good health and a year of freedom at the beginning of retirement?. Most agree it is priceless."

Cash flow forecasting is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

Our Financial Advice is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

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