How do I know what my pensions are really worth?
David and Brenda’s story:
“I knew I wanted to retire early but was not sure if I really could afford to.”
David had never really thought of himself as well off. He had a job that brought in a salary of £60,000, he and Brenda had built up savings of around £20,000 – but they still had a mortgage outstanding. So when he had the option to take early retirement at 56, he loved the idea of finishing work, but didn’t really think it would be possible. Thankfully he came to us and we were able to put his mind at rest.
We asked David what he wanted from his retirement, and what things did he need money to do? He told us he wanted to get his hands on some cash to replace the kitchen and bathroom in his house, and said he’d also love to help his daughter replace the windows in her house. And top of his bucket list, was to celebrate his retirement, with a trip for him and Brenda to Australia.
How we helped…
We could see straight away, that if David was to take early retirement, he’d want to free up some lump sums right at the start to carry out the home improvements for himself and his daughter. He’d also need to fund his trip of a lifetime to Australia. And that’s fine – we always tell our clients that it makes sense to have more money available for the ‘golden years’ of your retirement when you’re fit and healthy, and then plan for a slightly lower income as you get older and do not want to do quite as much.
David had an occupational pension worth around £900,000 as a transfer value, so we showed him some scenarios around what he could do with it. It soon became clear that if he kept it in a defined benefit scheme, he wouldn’t be able to afford all the things he wanted to do, but if he transferred it into a private scheme it could all be possible. This route had a higher element of risk, but we were able to show him through clear graphs and charts, that even if the stock market fell by 20%, he’d still be ok and his money would last way past age 100. We were also able to demonstrate how his wife would be secure, whatever happened to David in the future, giving him total peace of mind.