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Pension panic: Key steps to take if you’ve left saving late – ‘there is no silver bullet’

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Pension saving at its best is considered to take a long time to build up the right amount for retirement. However, as it is often considered an arduous task, or too far off, many people may have put this off. For those who are hoping to rescue their retirement before they leave the workforce, there are various options to consider. 

Express.co.uk spoke to Lee Platt, Senior Wealth Planner at Barclays Wealth, who provided further insight.

He said: “It is never too late to start putting away money for your pension, but you will have to make some adjustments.

“You should be increasing the amount you are willing and able to put away for retirement as this will massively help.

“Doing this inside a pension is a massive benefit not only because of the tax relief on the way in, you also have the tax-free growth inside of the pension.

“Over a number of years, that tax-free growth, or what we would call compounding, of your investment can make a significant difference over a meaningful period of time.

“Even if we look over a 10 year period, having growth which isn’t being taxed on an ongoing basis makes a huge difference to the size of a pot you can generate.”

However, what is clear is that traditional pension saving is not the sole option for those hoping to accelerate their retirement plans.

In fact, it may prove advantageous to have a number of options at a person’s disposal to assist in their retirement journey. 

Mr Platt added: “I think for other people who are looking for a bit more flexibility around being able to access some of that money should they need to, which a lot of people are concerned about, there are also other alternatives to consider alongside pensions.

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“These vehicles can be used in conjunction with saving into a traditional pension, with things like ISAs being a classic example where money can be put in, benefit from tax-free growth, but also allow access.

“For lots of individuals, there will be a very important balance to strike when it comes to preparing for retirement.

“You should consider what you are happy to tie up, and what you are happy to put to one side with the comfort of knowing you can access it in the future.”

Pension saving later on in a person’s life is not an insurmountable goal, and in fact one which can be achieved fairly easily with the right amount of work, Mr Platt said. 

He concluded: “There is no silver bullet for this matter.

“The reality is that it is usually about doing a variety of things – pensions, ISAs, other alternatives to help you out along the way.

“You should always be considering vehicles which are tax-efficient, as these are likely to help you the most.

“They should be working in conjunction for your objectives, but also to help you meet particular goals. Not just now, but at any point in the future.

“Things will change, that is inevitable, and you should utilise your savings and investments in an appropriate way as much as possible.

“Reviewing those on a regular basis is also important to ensure you’re on track.”

When making decisions about pensions, it is generally advised Britons seek further assistance on the matter.

This can generally be achieved through a pension or financial adviser, who has the expertise and background knowledge to help.

They will often be able to tailor a pension plan to a person’s individual circumstances, and guide them in making important decisions. 

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