After decades of working hard and saving away to enjoy a comfortable retirement, you’ve come to the unfortunate realization that you might not have enough pension funds to finance the retirement you’ve been planning all along. What do you do in such situation?
The first thing to do is to calm down and reassure yourself that all will be well. In this article, have compiled some pension advice to help you get your retirement finances back on track.
Trace All Your Pension Funds
The first step towards getting your pension in order is to track down all your pensions. If you’ve changed jobs frequently, the chances are that you’ve lost track of some retirement savings. You need to trace all of them and add them up when making your retirement plans.
Some pension funds may be small, but they still contribute to your overall finances. One great tool you can use is the government’s Pension Tracing Service which can help you identify the companies where you have pension plans so you can repossess your funds.
If it makes things easier, you can put all your pension funds in one central account. However, you need to consider the charges, risks, and benefits that may be lost by doing so. If in doubt, get professional pension advice on the best course of action for your situation.
Identify Your Benefits
If you have an employment history and made contributions or received credits from the National Insurance, you should be entitled to a State Pension. However, it’s advisable to check what you are entitled to as the amount individuals receive depends on several factors. You can also increase your State Pension if you delay taking it immediately after you retire.
Other benefits you can enjoy in retirement include winter fuel payment and pension credit, among others.
Put Off Retirement for Now
If your retirement plan is way off the mark due to finances, one way to remedy the situation is to delay your retirement. By continuing to work, you can pay off some debts and increase your pension funds before you retire. If you are still physically and professionally capable of working, you can reduce your working hours or work part-time to enjoy the freedom of retirement while also earning some cash by the side.
What this means is that you may have to defer your pension scheme by some years. Consult your employer or pension advice agency to navigate this route safely.
Review Your Investments and Savings
While your pension scheme is dedicated to your retirement, it’s usually not the only source of funds to finance your dream retirement. Now is the time to evaluate your investments and savings, if you have any.
Check the returns and performance of your investments, and you can consult a financial adviser to guide you on how to make your investments and savings work harder for you. It’s important that you receive up to date investment and pension advice before taking any decision about your finances to avoid making a bad situation worse.
You can also buy an annuity with part or all of your pension savings. However, it’s essential that you understand how much you will get per month. Another way of funding your retirement is equity. All these plans require having a deep understanding of the risks, benefits, charges, and tax implications, so you should get financial advice before attempting any.