Estimates suggest the average length of time a person spends in retirement is around 25 years, yet much of our financial planning is based on a 10 to 15 year time horizon.
The art of good savings management Once you have reached the point where you have 12 months or less until you retire, the reality is that, for some people, even saving significant sums from your monthly salary will have a limited impact on the size of your retirement pot.
It will now be more important to manage what you do have rather than focus on what you don’t, and to consider other options such as part-time work if you feel you need to.
What will help is the art of good retirement budgeting and savings management. You can make a start by listing your incomings and outgoings - our budget planner below could help with that - and below there are useful links to websites that compare savings account rates.
Getting into the details This is also the time to look at what type of savings and investments you have. Are your savings in instant access accounts or are there restrictions on withdrawals? How much risk do you want to take with your investments as retirement approaches? Will you be caring for elderly parents? What about inheritance tax?
These questions and others could usefully be discussed with your financial adviser, if you have one. He or she can help you see the whole picture - your pensions, state benefit entitlements, savings, investments, loans, property, tax liabilities and family responsibilities - so that you can plan a comfortable retirement.
If you don't have a financial adviser, you can find one local to you at Unbiased.co.uk.
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Useful links Inheritance Tax Planning - useful information from HMRC Pension Tracing Service - forgotten pension pots? Benefits and allowances Part-time work
What are your choices?