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A crucial decade: financial planning in your 50s

Maximising your earnings or laying down a robust financial plan

As you sail into your 50s, it becomes pivotal to consider your financial strategy. Life has likely found a steady rhythm by now. Children have probably taken flight, becoming financially self-sufficient, and the idea of reducing work hours or even retiring completely starts to surface.

Each person’s life journey is unique and has different resources and challenges. However, there are shared goals and steps that one can take during this stage. Knowing where to begin can be daunting, whether you aim to maximise your earnings or lay down a robust financial plan.

Finding the balance between cash and investments

The key to financial stability lies in balancing cash and investments. It’s generally advisable to have an emergency fund that can cover three to six months of living expenses and any planned spending. This provides a safety net for unexpected events like job loss or significant sudden expenditures. However, the exact amount depends on factors such as employment security and expense levels.

While it may be tempting to hoard cash, having too much idle money is only sometimes the best strategy. For long-term goals, investing can offer the opportunity for your money to grow and outpace inflation.

Boosting retirement savings with higher earnings

As you enter your 50s, retirement planning should take centre stage. This period often comes with increased earnings, which, when channelled towards pension contributions, can yield extra benefits from tax relief. Determining how much capital you’ll need for the rest of your life can be challenging, but tools like pension calculators can provide guidance.

If your income has increased compared to in your 30s or 40s, consider using the extra money to accelerate your retirement savings. This could be in the form of additional pension contributions, with options like a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) offering flexibility.

Understanding State Pension forecasts

The State Pension forms a significant part of most people’s retirement income. Yet, there’s often confusion about its specifics. In your 50s, it’s crucial to understand the rules for qualifying, how much you’ll receive and from what age.

You can obtain a State Pension forecast from the government website https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pension, which helps you understand how much you could get and how to increase it. Monitoring your National Insurance (NI) contribution record is also essential, and you can fill any gaps in contributions from the last six years through voluntary payments.

Weighing mortgage payments against investments

Deciding between paying off your mortgage or investing the money is a personal decision that involves considering factors such as your risk tolerance, financial goals and tax situation.

If you’re risk-averse, you may prefer to pay off your mortgage quickly for peace of mind. On the other hand, investing could provide higher returns, especially for higher rate taxpayers making pension contributions if you’re open to taking some risks.

Downsizing could also be an option if you own a large home. This could free up equity to fund your retirement and reduce maintenance costs.

Planning for succession and Inheritance Tax

As you age, it becomes increasingly important to plan for the future, particularly regarding passing on assets and managing Inheritance Tax. Even those who aren’t exceptionally wealthy may be subject to this tax.

Inheritance tax is levied on the value of an estate upon the owner’s death, but there are ways to reduce this liability, such as making gifts or setting up trusts. Ensuring your Will is updated to reflect your current circumstances is also crucial.

Are you in your 50s and looking to maximise your earnings or develop a robust financial plan?

For further information or personalised advice related to financial planning in your 50s, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to help guide you through this critical stage of your financial journey.

A PENSION IS A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT NOT NORMALLY ACCESSIBLE UNTIL AGE 55 (57 FROM APRIL 2028 UNLESS THE PLAN HAS A PROTECTED PENSION AGE).

THE VALUE OF YOUR INVESTMENTS (AND ANY INCOME FROM THEM) CAN GO DOWN AS WELL AS UP, WHICH WOULD HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE LEVEL OF PENSION BENEFITS AVAILABLE.

YOUR PENSION INCOME COULD ALSO BE AFFECTED BY THE INTEREST RATES AT THE TIME YOU TAKE YOUR BENEFITS.

Adam Reeves

Author: Adam Reeves

DipPFS Cert CII (MP&ER)
Independent Financial Planner, Wealth Manager, Director

Last updated on

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Adam was quick to assess & understand my situation, and was able to discuss & communicate in a very concise and simple way the various options available to me, taking time for me to understand and clarify where necessary. My understanding & knowledge of taxation & pensions has increased significantly allowing me to feel much happier making financial decisions for the future.

Rob – West Sussex

Adam and his team undertook in-depth research into our existing QROPS schemes and clearly set out both pros and cons of transferring the funds back to the UK. Having decided to go ahead with the transfer, Adam and his team worked extremely hard to facilitate the transfer. The QROPS pension trustees were not always the most professional or responsive organisation – however we were very grateful for the perseverance and commitment that Adam showed us as clients.

Jonathan – East Sussex

Adam offered a range of financial products , the one he suggested was affordable and proved to be a good choice.  Returns on investments have exceeded my expectations, based on Adam’s advice and guidance. Profits have enabled house improvements to take place.

David - Surrey

Adam arranged an appointment very timely, he explained his role and qualifications as an IFA giving me reassurance , we went through my retirement and investment goals. Adam discussed my options explaining in great detail, I felt relaxed during our discussions allowing me to fully understand my choices. I feel very confident in the financial advice allowing me to enjoy my retirement.

I was very happy with Adam’s recommendations and explanations of financial products which would suit my retirement goals, I feel this has helped me review and reduce my financial risk as I reach retirement, leaving me feeling confident that I can enjoy my retirement plans.

Ron – West Sussex

After initial meeting Adam put together a very detailed and thorough written plan. At our second meeting he went through the whole booklet and explained everything in layman’s terms which made it a lot easier to understand.

I am very happy with everything that was suggested and put in place especially with something as big and important as pensions. Adam and his team have taken a huge weight off my shoulders and I would highly recommend their services to anyone needing help with their financial planning and pension.  Adam couldn’t have been more helpful, and even came outside his normal area to meet me on a number of occasions.

Richard - Kent

Unfortunately I had to claim on my critical illness insurance due to my wife being ill and because of the sound advice Adam gave in acquiring this insurance we ended up being financially safe through a tough time.

Steve - Kent

Adam did a review of our financial situation, confirmed that Flexible Drawdown best suited our needs as a family, and then did all the research into the best product for us. He will continue to monitor it for me. He acted extremely promptly because we had a deadline for requiring the lump sum; went out of his way arranging meetings during non-office hours, was professional yet friendly and explained a difficult subject very well.

Clare – East Sussex

Adam did a thorough review of my pension policies, clearly explained how well they had performed, how flexible they were, how the market regulation has changed, and, crucially, what the tax implications would be if I were to leave them untouched. He accurately assessed my attitude to risk and recommended an up-to-date solution that will offer me the greatest flexibility at retirement.

Greg – East Sussex
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