10 steps to a brighter retirement

Concerned about the financial aspects of retirement planning?

With all the talk and concern about dwindling retirement funds and our shaky economy, many retirees and soon-to-be-retired boomers are concerned about the financial aspects of retirement planning. These are 10 steps to give you a brighter retirement.

Investment opportunities

Building a consistent, long-term and well-diversified investment strategy

To make the most of your investment opportunities, allow your lifestyle and not stock market fluctuations to dictate your investment approach. Your goals are what count, so keep them firmly in mind when you make financial decisions. 

Smoothing out market highs and lows

Time-tested method for controlling risk over time

It’s natural to be looking for ways to smooth out your portfolio’s returns. Investing regularly can smooth out market highs and lows over time. In a fluctuating market, a strategy known as ‘pound-cost averaging’ can help smooth out the effect of market changes on the value of your investment and is one way to achieve some peace of mind through this simple, time-tested method for controlling risk over time.

Retirement

Consolidating pensions

Most people, during their career, accumulate a number of different pension plans. Keeping your pension savings in a number of different plans may result in lost investment opportunities and unnecessary exposure to risk. However, not all consolidation of pensions will be in your best interests. You should always look carefully into the possible benefits and drawbacks and, if unsure, seek professional financial advice.

Realising life-long ambitions

You now have more options than ever before to help you find a solution

For many people, retirement now represents an opportunity to realise life-long ambitions, pursue new passions or help family members with their income needs. Since pensions freedoms, you now have more options than ever before to help you find a solution.

Carrying out regular portfolio reviews

Make sure that any changes in your attitude to risk are accurately reflected

It is important to carry out regular portfolio reviews to consider the suitability of your investments and to make sure that any changes in your attitude to risk are accurately reflected. Over time, your attitude to risk is likely to change. If you are approaching retirement, for example, you may want to preserve capital or generate an income, while if you are investing for growth, you may need to take on more risk to potentially boost returns.

Socially responsible investing

Not sacrificing your life principles in exchange for chasing the best financial returns

For investors concerned about global warming and other environmental issues, there are a plethora of ethical investments that cover a multitude of different strategies. The terms ‘ethical investment’ and ‘socially responsible investment’ (SRI) are often used interchangeably to mean an approach to selecting investments whereby the usual investment criteria are overlaid with an additional set of ethical or socially responsible criteria.

Investing for income

Safeguarding your money at a time of low interest rates

How do you generate a reliable income when interest rates are stuck at all-time lows and the Bank of England’s quantitative easing policy of ‘printing’ money is squeezing yields on government bonds (gilts) and other investments? Investors today can still rely on a well-balanced portfolio to meet their needs for income. However, they must be open-minded about the sources of that income and recognise that low-risk income generation is a thing of the past.

Offshore bonds

Utilising tax deferral benefits to minimise tax liabilities

Finding the right offshore investments can be a key factor in making the most of your wealth, and it’s not only for the wealthiest of investors. With a few well-advised decisions, you could broaden your investment portfolio.

Individual Savings Accounts

Tax-efficient investment wrapper holding a range of investments

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) have been around since 1999 and are tax-efficient investment wrappers in which you can hold a range of investments, including bonds, equities, property shares, multi-asset funds and even cash, giving you control over where your money is invested.