Runway to retirement

Some things are usually certain in a changing economic climate

22 May 2024

Our book Coming in to Land: Runway to Retirement has itself started the approach to its second anniversary of publication. And it's proved popular amongst readers, who have provided us with feedback on the strategies that they have implemented in the lead up to their life junction of swapping all things work to a more relaxed lifestyle. Some of course swap work for other activities and can be as busy as ever in their active years of retirement.

It is interesting to note how some of the economic factors that were prevalent at the time of writing the book have changed. For example, inflation has risen and then fallen significantly, although remaining sticky. Bank base rates and interest rates remain elevated and this has pushed up the costs of borrowing, but also pushed some non-taxpayers over thresholds as savings interest returns have risen. Disliked and liked in equal measures by each side of the fence; however an indication perhaps of a new era of elevated costs / inflation / interest rates.

One point to consider when entering retirement is to aim to be debt free, if possible. This might have not been a priority when interest rates were very low. However, with many renewed mortgage costs being a lot higher than in recent years, getting these repaid may well have moved (correctly) up the priority list. In our experience, many are now focusing on this as a priority, with some swapping savings for debt repayment to achieve mortgage freedom.

Balanced against this position is maintaining an emergency deposit fund of cash or near cash assets to cover unforeseen costs that might arise. Usually three to six months income as a minimum, these funds might earn some interest, whilst covering shortfalls, or offering the opportunity of knowing that if you just want to go on holiday, you can.

Making a Will is always important, and it should be kept up to date, along with Power of Attorney arrangements (health & wealth). If you've done this, you might relax, but one last thing to remember is to ensure that a trusted friend or family member knows where the important documents are kept if things go wrong.

And finally, just like a plane, line yourself up early (six to 12 months minimum) to come into land for your retirement. Your overall income is unlikely to come from just one pension or investment source, so know what you've got and seek advice as to what the assets can achieve.

There are many other ideas and suggestions in our book (we particularly like the blank wallpaper idea to plot the years ahead and the highlights and costs) and the notes above provide a flavour of what to consider, especially as economic factors change.

More on our book can be found here: Coming in to Land: Runway to Retirement

No individual advice is provided during the course of this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS
CFP Chartered FCSI
rChartered Financial Planner

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

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