8 Financial planning steps you should take in the 5 years before you retire
For many of us, realising there are only 5 years to go before the longest holiday of our lifetime will prompt us into sorting out our financial affairs. Here are 8 tips to help you make sure that your retirement is as comfortable as possible.
- Find your paperwork
This may sound silly, but find your paperwork. You cannot sort out your accumulated pensions, or make a decision on whether your life cover policy is still needed, if you can’t find who it’s with and what it is. Start and find all those pieces of paper that might determine your future financial well-being.
- Think about your health
Are you physically fit enough to work for another five years? If you don’t think you are – and you’d like to retire sooner rather than later – then the need for financial planning is even more urgent.
- Sort out your old pensions
Many of us have accumulated pensions from different periods of employment that we have either forgotten about or neglected. Sometimes the amounts that are accumulated in these pension schemes can be surprisingly valuable.
Whatever the amounts are, the paperwork needs finding and the pension needs sorting out – even if it is something as simple as making sure the scheme administrators have your correct address. Don’t be one of the thousands of people who leave pension benefits unclaimed.
- Check your mortgage
Many of us with five years to go to retirement still have a mortgage outstanding. It makes sense to review your mortgage to make sure (if at all possible) that it is paid off before or when you retire. It might be prudent to look at a fixed rate mortgage as well given that interest rates are at an all-time low.
- Check your state pension
You need to know how much state pension you are going to get if you are going to plan properly. Get an estimate of your state pension online.
- Are you paying for life cover you don’t need?
As we all get older our need for life cover generally decreases, especially if your children have left home and the mortgage is paid off. But it’s all too easy to simply let a direct debit go out of the bank each month: if you’re still paying for life cover, ask yourself if you really need it.
- Make sure your investments are tax efficient
Most of us are likely to pay tax on any income you receive from your pension, so it makes sense to make sure that any investments you have are arranged as tax efficiently as possible.
- Get some specialist advice
The 7 points above are useful – but in many ways they’re just the tip of the iceberg, the best way to plan is to receive independent financial advice, we help hundreds of clients plan for their retirement, so if you’d like to chat to us about it simply call your usual Cullen Wealth consultant or our office on 0161 975 6700.