Six top tips for retirement planning

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Date: 27 April 2021

Successfully planning your retirement when you have been running your own business is not straightforward. You will have to carefully consider your exit strategy and deal with all the financial considerations. You might think that, because you've got a pension, you are sorted for retirement. Of course, having a pension in place is a good start. However, there is plenty more preparation you can be getting on with.

Retirement planning tips

Your retirement may be far off in the future, and you are likely to be still saving for your retirement years. Even if you are nearing retirement, there is plenty you can be doing to prepare for your post-working life in the meantime.

Exiting your business will be one of the most significant steps you take. Regardless of whether you are simply planning on closing the business and retiring, passing the business on to successors or selling to a third party, retiring can involve substantial personal and financial consequences.

A clear business exit strategy is essential as it helps you maximise the value of your business.

However you plan to retire, these tips for retirement planning will stand you in good stead:

1. Get rid of debt

The best tip we can give you is to get rid of your debts. Debt can be as damaging to your mental well-being as your financial health. This damage can be exacerbated in retirement when income generally decreases. 

Entering retirement free of debts is one of the biggest contributing factors to a comfortable retirement. Therefore, a plan for becoming debt-free should be one of the first things you do in planning for your retirement. The earlier you get rid of all your debts, the more time you'll have to save for retirement. 

When making this plan, consider paying off debts with the highest interest rates first. Think about the effect this will have on your credit score.

2. Become mortgage-free

You may technically consider a mortgage debt, but it differs from other consumer debt. For most people, a mortgage is the only way to put a roof over their heads, so it cannot be viewed as some spurious purchase (unlike many that result in consumer debt).

Even so, it is a good idea to approach retirement having paid off your mortgage. Knowing that you have a home that you own outright will remove a massive burden of responsibility when you retire.

3. Regularly review your investments

Having dealt with your debts and put a plan in place to pay off your mortgage, now you can think about investing some money. You may already have investments that you saved money into over the years. If not, consider putting some of your income into these to help accumulate your retirement wealth:

Even if you've already got these things in place, it's always worth reviewing them from time to time. Go through each one. Make sure your investments are working as they should be and take action to correct things if needed.

4. Include a financial plan

Creating a financial plan will bring together all of the aspects we've covered above. Part of your financial plan should be a budget, including a realistic forecast of your retirement expenses.

Making a budget and sticking to it will allow you to maintain your standard of living during retirement. It will help prevent you from taking on new debt and overspending. Producing a realistic budget will also inform you of the income you need for your retirement from your investments. 

5. Continue working part-time

Many people dream about a retirement free from any work. However, continuing to work part-time has its benefits. You might continue working in the business as part of your succession plan or a management buy-out or sale.

After a long working career, many people find it challenging to give work up completely. Working part-time allows you to ease yourself into retirement. You might even be able to find some work that you enjoy or try something completely new.

Of course, part-time work will also provide you with a bit of a financial buffer. It could make for a smoother financial transition between ceasing work and retiring fully. 

6. Get yourself prepared

Regardless of the amount of planning and preparation you do for your retirement, it is still likely to come as a shock. No-one can predict how they will feel once retired, so it's essential to prepare yourself as much as possible.

Try not to resist changes too much and be prepared to adapt your lifestyle. Retirement is a beautiful phase of your life, and you deserve a comfortable one. If you can look forward to your retirement, you will likely enjoy it more.

If you're thinking about your pension, speak to a regulated adviser like Portafina or, view the guides at The Pensions Advisory Service.

Copyright 2021. Article was made possible by site supporter Suzanne Elly.

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