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16th January 2024
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pension planning

Is it ever too late to start pension planning?

A financial adviser will always recommend that you start preparing for retirement as early as you can. But what if you’re in your 40s or 50s and have only just started thinking about pension planning? Have you missed out on the possibility of enjoying a secure and comfortable retirement? Well, not necessarily, as there are still plenty of things you can do to secure your future.

Firstly, it’s important to take a holistic and detailed look at every aspect of your current finances, such as your savings, investments and workplace pensions you may have in place. Having a true picture of your starting point puts you in a better position to devise a realistic strategy and set attainable goals.

David BrowneDavid BrowneYour retirement plan will depend partly on what you want from later life. It’s important to be clear about what you want to do with all the free time you will have when you are no longer exchanging time for money through work. Do you want to spend more time with your family? Travel the world? Indulge in passions or pursue new hobbies? If you have a good idea of exactly what type of lifestyle you envisage, you can create a financial strategy with that firmly in mind.

“Every person I meet has a different view on what life after work looks like for them , and what type of retirement they believe they can afford” says David Browne, Independent Financial Adviser at Ascot Lloyd. “It’s our job as a client’s financial adviser of choice, to take those objectives, and make them a reality through careful planning. It’s never too late, if your objectives are realistic there are always ways in which we can help.”

A helpful resource is available from the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association whose Retirement Living Standards help show what a given lifestyle will cost and therefore how much you might need to save. You can find out more by clicking here.

If you’re currently in work, make sure you’re enrolled in your workplace pension scheme and the scheme is receiving both employer and employee contributions. You should aim to contribute as much as you can to your workplace pension, or your private scheme, which will be subject to certain limits and rules. As an employee your employer may also provide some degree of matched contributions, so if you pay in more then so will they, though there is likely to be an upper limit. This can make a substantial difference to the total you can pay in. Even if you’re starting to save relatively late in life, you can still benefit from a healthy degree of compound investment returns to bolster your retirement income.

Mark RodgersMark RodgersIf you’ve had other jobs in the past, you may have been auto-enrolled into workplace pensions and now have several ‘pots’ with different providers and different underlying investments. As you move from one role to the next, it can be easy to overlook them, so it’s well worth tracking them down and perhaps consolidating this money into a single scheme because there may be discounts on larger pots and you will be able to ensure that your investment strategy is aligned to your own risk profile and timeline to retirement.

“Taking into consideration all your pensions, savings and investment assets can allow for a clearer vison of what is available, where it’s invested and provide a sense of control over the future” says Mark Rodgers, Independent Financial Adviser at Ascot Lloyd. “Our job as advisers is to make sure any consolidation of plans is in your best interest and aligned to your individual needs.” adds Rodgers.

Cut unnecessary expenses

If you have a relatively short time to save for the future, you might need to make big decisions about what you do with your money. This could include identifying unnecessary expenses that you could cut in order to free up the cash for your retirement savings. Even small changes can add up. Think about subscriptions you may not be using perhaps after the ‘free trial’ period ended and inertia kept you there, or an expensive coffee habit.

Downsize your property

It may be that your home is larger than you need, perhaps because your children have grown up and left home. In that case, it could be well worth selling up and moving to a smaller, more suitable property. Any money left over from the sale could be put towards your retirement savings.

Moving to a smaller property may also reduce your monthly outgoings, from home insurance to general maintenance costs, allowing you to put a bit more aside for the future. “A large proportion of a client’s estate is usually ‘tied up’ in their property” adds Browne. “When it comes to retirement, downsizing can be a useful way of releasing capital to finance your preferred lifestyle. Or, if you want to stay in your home, we could help you look into whether equity release arrangements might work for you.  As financial advisers, we can then make the most of this additional available capital by ensuring these funds are in the right place and invested in the right way to provide the capital or income required throughout your retirement.”

Delay your retirement date

If you’re late to pension saving, then staying in full-time work for longer could be a good way to bolster your retirement income. The longer you can keep earning an income, the more you can increase your savings and delay the point at which you start having to draw from your retirement funds. Some people also have professional skills or hobbies that they can monetise and turn into an additional income after work or planning to take on contract work when they finish full time working.

Revise your investment strategy

Updating your investment strategy could be an option worth exploring in order to generate income for your retirement, although you should be careful about the level of risk you’re willing to face in order to catch up. With that in mind, it might be a good idea to work alongside your financial adviser. They’ll help you create an investment strategy and offer professional advice that’s in your best interests and work with both the risk you can tolerate and the time you have to work with. Your financial adviser can also help you optimise from where and when you access your retirement savings so you don’t pay more tax than you need to. “Taking professional advice can help with future and ongoing financial confidence and ensure that risk and tax management decisions are taken appropriately and efficiently,  enabling you to focus on enjoying a purposeful retirement, whatever that means for you” adds Rodgers.

Repay high-interest debts

Getting on top of your debts and prioritising high-interest repayments is a good idea at any time, but if you’re late starting to save for retirement, this could be a particularly effective way to free up cash that could help you fund your future.

Planning for retirement can be daunting for anybody, regardless of your age, but if you’ve missed out on valuable years of saving for later life, you might feel particularly overwhelmed.

But help is at hand. Get in touch with your financial adviser who will be happy to speak with you, so you can approach the future with confidence and peace of mind.


Our Financial Advisers are available on the phone so please contact us if you have any questions.

Important Information

Investment involves risk. The value of investments can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you originally invested.

This communication should not be construed as a solicitation or an offer to buy or sell any securities or related financial instruments in any jurisdiction. No representation or warranty, either expressed or implied, is provided in relation to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information contained herein, nor is it intended to be a complete statement or summary of the securities, markets or developments referred to in the document.

Any opinions expressed in this document are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by other business areas or companies within the same group as Ascot Lloyd as a result of using different assumptions and criteria.

This communication is issued by Capital Professional Limited, trading as Ascot Lloyd.  Ground Floor Reading Bridge House, George Street, Reading, England, RG1 8LS.  Capital Professional Limited is registered in England and Wales (number 07584487) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 578614).