Pensions & Retirement Planning

When you’re younger, planning for your retirement is not something you think much about. As long as you’re paying into your pension every month, everything will surely look after itself… right?

But as we all know, life has a habit of constantly changing.

Your work responsibilities, income, the value of your pensions, personal circumstances, new legislation and the ever-fluctuating economy all have an impact on your retirement.

So when your retirement date approaches, it is sensible to take stock of your personal wealth to check you’re on course for the later life you want.

But how do you do this in the right way? How can you best manage and maximise your wealth? Most importantly, how can you be sure you’ll be in the right position to enjoy the retirement you’ve worked so hard for?

At Bower Wealth, we understand every question, every concern, every situation. After decades of providing expert, one-to-one wealth management advice and support, our financial professionals are perfectly positioned to help you plan for the retirement you want.

From ensuring you maximise the value of your pensions and savings to giving you a clear investment strategy, we will help you plan for the life you deserve.

How our pension and retirement planning service works

1. Initial consultation 

We will get to know more about each other during your free initial consultation, where you can ask all the questions you want to. We welcome your financial advisor, friends and / or family to join us when we meet, too.

2. Uncovering your aspirations

Together, we will go through everything you want to achieve in your retirement and review your current finances. We will discuss your retirement goals, including how much money you hope to have available when you decide to finish your working life. We will also collect as much supporting documentation as possible during this phase. 

3. Creating your retirement plan 

We will then arrange another meeting to go over your bespoke retirement plan. This plan will be created purely to help you achieve your goals in the way that works best for you, and make your wealth work harder for you as life progresses. 

4. Making it happen 

We will carry out your agreed plan to the letter, taking away the hassle by contacting any third parties on your behalf. You will also receive updates on our progress and further investment advice from our team, should anything in the market prompt us to reconsider your options. 

5.  Reviewing progress

Finally, we will schedule regular meetings (ie, annually) to make sure your retirement plan is still working for you in the most efficient way. If anything needs to change from either side, we can discuss this when we meet.

Pension and retirement planning FAQs

How much money will I need to retire?

How much you need to retire will depend on many factors. The question simply is: what do you want to do when you stop working? Knowing this enables us to work backwards to find the funds to make it happen.

Should I retire early?

Retirement means different things to different people. Some take it as selling their business but still having a say in how it is run. Others see it as an opportunity to leave their professional career completely to spend more time doing what they really love. What you want from your retirement will have an impact on your ability to retire early – and this is something we will always discuss at the earliest opportunity.  

Do I have to stop working entirely?

This is completely up to you. You don’t have to retire, of course, but we do make our clients aware of any tax implications when drawing income from other sources.

How can I use my assets in the most efficient manner? 

This depends on the assets you have in relation to pensions and investments and, of course, your age and how you want to live.

How will I be taxed when I retire?

You will be taxed in accordance with your income. However, there will be ways to access your wealth while reducing your tax liability, depending on where your wealth is and how it can be accessed. We can talk you through your options and map out a suitable way forward as part of our retirement planning service.

I already have a pension, so do I need to do anything?

Not necessarily, but it’s always a good idea to review your existing pension pot to check you are on track to achieve your financial goals for retirement. Your adviser can assist you with this.

Can I have more than one pension?

Absolutely. If you have been employed by many firms over the years, you will probably have various pensions on file. Do consider that the annual allowance – this defines how much you can contribute to your pensions overall whilst still receiving tax relief – applies to your entire pension portfolio. 

I have worked in several jobs over the years. Should I consolidate my pensions?

Possibly, yes, but we will first need to check if there are any costs involved in merging your pensions together. Our team will be able to advise you further on this. 

How much should I pay into a pension?

We cannot really answer this without first understanding your situation and accumulated wealth to date. Your pension adviser will help here by calculating your recommended pension contributions by first determining your retirement goals, and then work backwards. This way, they can devise the most effective strategy to generate the level of income you need to support yourself when you retire.

Can I withdraw money from my pension early?

Yes, you can, and you have lots of options on how to do this. The minimum age for pension withdrawals (without incurring heavy penalties) is 55. You can take all your pension out in a single lump sum, but only 25% of that sum would be tax-free. So you may want to only take out 25% of your total pot at one time to avoid paying income tax. Basically, there are many ways to access your funds, and when we have our consultation your adviser will explain them all to you.

I have never had a pension. Can you still help me?

We’d be happy to – and it is never too late to start a pension. If you are still in employment, you should have been auto-enrolled into your employer’s workplace pension. This means your employer will be obliged to pay contributions towards your pension pot. If you are self-employed, working under other circumstances, or would prefer to opt-out of this arrangement, we can advise you on what is possible.

Please note

Before undertaking any work on your behalf, we will always inform you in writing of the cost. You will then be free to decide whether you wish to instruct us. Our fee structure will be dependent on the complexity of your situation and the work you wish us to undertake. Initial meetings are offered at our expense and without obligation. Please ask for a copy of our Client Agreement which contains details of our typical fees.