In your 50s: Using Pension Freedoms to retire on your terms

Helen had read up on Pension Freedoms and had concluded that she may want to access some of her pensions early, and flexibly, so she could phase herself in to retirement.

Why did Helen come to us for advice?

Helen was introduced to us by a friend who had been a client of ours for many years.

In her 50s, Helen had amassed over £300,000 in pension. However, she had no understanding of how it was being managed, the return she was getting, the charges being paid and, perhaps most importantly, what it would be worth in the future.

Helen had read up on Pension Freedoms and had concluded that she may want to access some of her pensions early, and flexibly, so that she could phase herself in to retirement.

What did we recommend?

We started by analysing Helen’s multiple pensions and understanding the level of risk that she needed and was prepared to take.

We soon realised that two of her pensions were exposed to an excessive level of risk. The other was taking too little risk. In short, none of her three pensions matched the level of risk level Helen wanted to or needed to take.

Next, we produced a timeline showing the income Helen will need in the future and the investment return she would need for this to be provided by her pensions.

Helen had also seen how our quarterly review service worked and wanted to explore that option with her own pensions.

Finally, our research also showed that Helen’s existing pensions could not be accessed before retirement. Furthermore, they did not allow Flexi-Access Drawdown, which was necessary for Helen to withdraw money as she wished and phase her way in to retirement.

To help Helen achieve her aims, we amalgamated the pensions into one and placed them on to the Novus investment proposition. This not only met Helen’s attitude to risk, but also satisfied her requirement for regular annual reviews and quarterly updates.

How did Helen benefit from our advice?

Life is certainly simpler with one pension, rather than three. However, perhaps more importantly, Helen now has the knowledge and understanding that she will be able to access the pension on her terms in the future.

Finally, she gets to sit down once a year to plan her retirement, rather than simply letting another 12 months go by with no real insight as to whether she is on the right track.

Please note:

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. Levels, bases of and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change and their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.

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