Are you cleared for landing?

01 October 2016

One of the key demographics that Chapters Financial focuses on is those individuals who are starting to approach retirement. Simply put, those over the age of 50 or so who are looking at pre-retirement, retirement, post-retirement and investment planning.

All of these staging points in the lead up to the rest of a client's life are vital in ensuring that their retirement 'landing' is carefully planned, and that its approach is correct with the assets available. I am no pilot, but the analogy reminds me of an aeroplane landing. Knowing where the plane will land, the circumstances that indicate how heavy the landing might be and knowing that the luggage will also be in the same place. Apologies to any pilots reading this who would quite rightly confirm that there is far more to it than that! I have no doubt that there is, but there is also far more to consider to ensure good financial planning in these circumstances, than starting the planning process when you are only a few weeks or months away from your retirement 'landing'.

On some occasions, events such as redundancy may not afford the luxury of time in planning a retirement, and we have provided prompt advice and implementation services in these cases on many occasions. However, if you have the time, it is sensible to start the process of analysing what you've got, where you want to be, and when, as far out as you can. I am not sure there is a timeframe to capture this suggestion adequately because we are all different, but 6-12 months out from the big day is usually sensible. Many have accumulated wealth at this stage of life, and usually with any children well on their way to leaving and to making their own way in life, inheritance tax may also appear on the radar as a topic for discussion.

For many, the thought of full retirement is too finite, and partial or phased retirement may be a preference. Again, this provides planning opportunities, such as deferring pension incomes or making larger pension contributions before drawing pension benefits, State Pension checks and even the interaction of pension benefits with the HMRC Lifetime Allowance, for example. We have detailed an example of this in our earlier blog, about creating 'a gap year' of income, partly helped by the new pensions freedoms introduced in April 2015: http://www.chaptersfinancial.com/news/enjoy-your-income-gap-year-update . There is also an additional recent blog on our website about the HMRC Lifetime Allowance to help consider this further: http://www.chaptersfinancial.com/news/finally-finally-available-hmrc-pension-lifetime-allowance-protection-2016

The key message in this blog is to start your retirement planning as early as you can to ensure that you maximise the opportunities available to you. The team at Chapters Financial are qualified to help clients and enquirers manage their objectives, needs and aspirations with the assets available. There is no individual advice provided in the content of this blog.

Chapters Financial looks forward to working with you and we can be contacted at our Guildford or Woking offices.

Keith Churchouse FPFS
Director
Chartered Financial Planner
CFP Chartered FCSI
ISO22222 Certified

Chapters Financial Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, number 402899.