If you’re in your early 60s and thinking about retiring, decisions you make now can have a big effect on your post-work situation. Here’s a checklist of items to think about as you plan your retirement income.
1. What’ve you got?
It’s time to dust down your existing pensions and investments. Fact is, the pension plan that was right for you ten years ago may not be right now.
For example, the investment choice might be out-of-kilter with the level of certainty you need now. Or the charges might be exorbitant compared to today’s market.
By reviewing your existing portfolio now, you can get the benefits over the next couple of years, and reduce the risk that you have to defer your planned retirement date.
Remember: when it comes to retirement, everyone’s situation is different. And it pays to make a plan. We’d love to help you consider your retirement options – click here to get in touch.
2. What have your forgotten?
You’d be surprised how many people have forgotten pensions they built up many years ago.
Even if you only spent a couple of years in a job, decades ago, there’s a chance there is a pot of money with your name on it. And if it’s been invested all that time, it could have grown significantly.
Now is the time to track down pensions from old jobs – whether in Ireland or abroad.
3. Top up if you can
If you’re still earning, now is a great time to plough extra money into your pension pot. This is commonly called making Additional Voluntary Contributions – whether with Moneycube or through your existing pension if you have one.
You’ll receive tax relief at your top rate of tax straightaway. Your money will grow tax-free. And when you retire, you’ll be able to take out 25% of the money – tax free up to €200,000.
That’s some significant investment growth, in a very short period of time.
Moneycube can help you work out how much scope you have to make extra contributions, and put a plan in place to reap the benefits.
4. Find out if you’re entitled to the State pension
It’s critical to understand your entitlement, because knowing whether and when you’ll receive it affects your other investment decisions. Your entitlement is based on your social welfare record, which you can request here.
Our video for Pensions Awareness Week 2019 has more information:
There’s also a wealth of detail on the Citizen’s Information website.
The State pension pays up to €248 per week. But not everyone gets it, and when you get it depends on when you were born. For example, if you were born in 1955 or later, then you won’t receive the State pension until age 67. If you were born in 1961 or later, it’s 68. So you might need to bridge a couple of years’ income with your own savings.
5. Add it all up
Now you’re in a position to form a view on what your money situation in retirement looks like.
The days of a single pension income for life are on the way out. Most people these days have several sources of income in retirement.
For example, you might have several pensions from different jobs in your career, some rental income, a foreign pension, as well as some savings and investments. You might have some ongoing employment income as well, say from some consulting or part-time work.
It’s worth drawing all these strands together, because one affects the other. For example, if some of your retirement income is guaranteed, then you can afford to increase the risk profile of some of the investments you control yourself, in order to seek out more investment growth.
It’s also worth thinking about how to make best use of any lump sums you can take from your pensions. Will you take them all together? Will you use them to clear debts? Will you invest them? (If you’re interested to find out more, read on about your options at retirement).
Moneycube can help you consider these and many other questions as you approach your planned retirement date. Click here to get in touch and let us know of your requirements.