COVID-19: Keeping Your Retirement Plans on Track

By FMB on 

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The COVID-19 pandemic is having a widespread impact on all aspects of our finances, including retirement planning. However, while recent stock market volatility undoubtedly poses a challenge, particularly for those close to retirement, it is important not to allow the outbreak to derail your plans.

A resilient retirement plan

One thing the pandemic has vividly highlighted is the importance of developing a resilient retirement plan. Although market turbulence will impact all pension holders, those with a clearly defined, carefully considered plan will inevitably be in much better shape to weather market volatility. For instance, as they approach retirement, an increasing proportion of their pension fund will be ‘lifestyled’, meaning it shifts to ‘safer’ havens such as cash, gilts or bonds, thereby limiting their overall level of investment risk.

Stay the course

At times like these, it is also vitally important to remember pension savings are designed for the long term. This means that, particularly in the case of younger investors, there should be plenty of time for markets to recover and pension pots to achieve growth aspirations before retirement income is required.

In addition, making decisions based on short-term economic upheaval can be extremely risky, with the potential to lock in losses following declines in investment values. Historically the best strategy is therefore generally to be patient, resist the urge to sell and stick to a long-term investing philosophy.

For those closer to retirement, now is a good time to take stock of your full complement of retirement resources before making any decisions, this will involve reviewing your pensions, and any other savings and investments. We can review your level of income and whether this has been adversely impacted by, for example, reduced savings rates or cut dividends.

Making your pension last

Another factor that could impact pension holders’ response to the pandemic relates to staggered retirement. As a result of increased longevity, a greater proportion of the population now withdraw more gradually from work, as retirees find an optimum worklife balance that accommodates their specific needs. This trend clearly provides for greater flexibility with part-time work enabling many pensioners to preserve retirement funds into later life – an increasingly popular choice for many.

Advice increasingly essential

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the heightened economic uncertainty, the past few months have seen a sharp rise in demand for professional financial advice. Indeed, it has never been more important for people to obtain sound advice in order to ensure their retirement plans remain firmly on track.

We’re here to help

So, if you are concerned about the impact of coronavirus on your plans, talk to us. We will help you see the bigger picture, weigh up all your options and make a balanced assessment of risks tailored specifically to your individual needs.

Please note, the value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested.

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