11 Tips To Check Off Your Retirement To-Do List Before Christmas


“Checking how much is in your pot and how much was in it a year ago can be a good reminder of your retirement progress.”

Pensions are an important part of financial planning, and as we head into the holiday season it is good to take stock of what the retirement plan looks like.

“Your retirement will rarely be high on your to-do list, but if you can find time to tick off some life administrators, it can make the New Year easier and more organized,” said Becky O’Connor, head of retirement and savings, Interactive Investor.

The stockbroker’s data suggests that a large number of people check their self-made private old-age provision (SIPP) over the Christmas week.

“‘Twixmas’ – the week between Christmas and New Years could be just the right time for a bit of ‘penmin’, which means: pension administrators,” said O’Connor.

She shares her top tips on how to check off your retirement to-do list:

Get the app

Log into your pension, online or in the app, if you have one.

If your provider has an app that you aren’t already using, download it now to prioritize your retirement for the next year and beyond. You can do this for current and former company pensions.

Check-in for older pensions

Reviewing pensions from previous jobs can help you consolidate your pensions in one place.

The consolidation can help make your retirement administrator easier at retirement age. It can also help you avoid fees and look for a wider or better range of assets available elsewhere.

It can also be more convenient to be able to draw from a pot at retirement age.

However, not everyone is able to postpone their retirement as some benefits or guarantees prevent it. So this is worth checking out if you are thinking of moving your pots to one place.

Check what your pension is

By checking how much is in your pot and looking back at how much was in a year ago, you can remember your retirement progress well and give you a clearer sense of the difference a year can make.

Check the returns

“It is useful to filter the proportion of growth from investment income, from your own contributions, how much from your employer and how much from tax breaks, so that you can better assess the value of all these elements in your total pension,” say the experts.

“If your retirement fund hasn’t done that well, check out which asset classes and sectors it has invested in that dragged it down. It might be a prompt to shift the focus of your retirement fund if that is an option for you. “

Consider increasing your contributions

If you’ve found it easy to contribute to your current rate, maybe you can afford a little more.

This is an important consideration if you have not yet maximized your employer matching program. If you invest more, check to see if your company is doing the same and what is the maximum contribution from your employer.

Use a retirement income calculator

This can help you find out whether your pension is likely to bring you a decent retirement income.

The Pension and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) recently suggested that pounds 20,800 ($ 27,464) a year, including the state pension, would be enough for a decent retirement income, the experts said.

This equates to around £ 300,000 worth of pot when you retire, assuming you receive a full state pension.

Checking that you are on the right track and that this amount is okay for you or that you think you will need more in retirement can help you get an idea of ​​how much to increase your contributions by.

Consider switching to a more or less growth-oriented fund

This depends on your personal risk tolerance, as well as your age and your pension plan.

“Basically, the younger you are, the more risk you can take because you have much longer to retire. But a higher proportion of shares can also have its place for older pension investors, especially if you leave something on your pension to relatives or if you do not plan to retire for a while, “the experts say.

“Remember, while inflation is relatively high, you will have to invest some of it in higher-growth stocks to make your pension rise above prices.”

Check if your fund is sustainable

If your retirement plan offers a sustainable option that you like visually, it is usually relatively easy to switch to the same plan.

Fill out your “Desires” form

According to Interactive Investor, only about 15% of retirement customers have completed these forms.

This allows you to determine who should receive your pension in the event of death. “This is important because defined contribution pensions are not part of your estate and are therefore not covered by your will,” said the experts.

Think about your retirement age

It is a good idea to consider what age you would like to retire at and what you would do if you had to retire early and plan for the future.

You are entitled to your private pension from the age of 55, but unless you have focused very much on retirement, it is unlikely that you will be able to retire at that age. Your retirement age can be between 66 and 68 years old, depending on how close you are to retirement.

“Consider whether ISAs could also help you plan your retirement, taking into account your current taxpayer status, the age at which you would like to retire and the likely taxpayer status when you retire,” the experts said .

“With ISA you pay in from the after-tax income, but you do not pay any income tax on what you take from it; with pensions you pay no tax on the contributions, but you are subject to income tax on the withdrawals after claiming your 25% tax-free lump sum.”

Check your state pension insurance

This will show you whether you are well on your way to receiving a full state pension. You can do this on the government website using a government gateway.

If you are afraid of being behind, you can fill the gaps in your social security with contribution classes 3 or 2.

Watch: When should I start paying into a pension?

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