Do you have a five year plan for a comfortable retirement? Retiring is a huge life event and the very concept of retirement is changing with phased retirement becoming more common. The way we access our pension is now a lot more flexible, and it’s no secret that in the UK we’re living longer than ever before which means we need to make the right choices.

Financially secure future

But with a longer retirement ahead of you than previous generations and a greater choice over how you take your pension, planning ahead will help ensure you’re on track to a financially secure future.

There’s a very rough rule of thumb to follow in order to find the magic number for a comfortable retirement. To do this, take the age you started saving into your pension and then divide it by two. This will give you an indication as to the percentage of your pre-tax salary you should be putting aside each year until you retire. Also don’t forget to include your employer’s contribution in that percentage.

We’ve provided our ten things to consider to boost your retirement finances during your final years in the workplace.

Countdown has commenced – your five year plan to retirement

  • Firstly, it may seem obvious but decide the age you’re likely to retire
  • Think about phasing your retirement and continuing to work part-time for your current or new employer
  • Boost your pension by increasing your contributions and/or adding lump sum payments – making sure to take advantage of any unused pension tax allowance
  • Trace any lost pensions through the Pension Tracing Service
  • Ask for up-to-date statements for all your pensions. You can also get a forecast of your State Pension at
  • Review your investments and savings to see if they still meet your attitude to risk as you approach retirement
  • Consider whether you’d like to take an income from your pension or whether you want a pot of cash, including any tax-free allowance, to do something different in retirement
  • Write a Will or review your existing Will – and plan what will happen to your pension and estate if you die, plus any of the tax implications
  • Finally, discuss your plans with us and we’ll apply all of the above to your plans with us and we’ll apply all of the above to your particular situation

Early retirement planning is identical to conventional retirement planning with one big exception – time. You have less time to achieve your financial goals and more time that your money must last after retiring. What this means is that you have a shortened, accelerated financial preparation phase and an extended, post-retirement spending phase when you retire early.

Time for a wealth check?

The precise amount you’ll need to save each month to retire depends entirely on the kind of lifestyle you plan on having in retirement. Whether you have just started out on life’s journey, or are counting the days to retirement, pension planning should be high on your agenda. To assess you current position, contact one of our independent financial advisers here, for a wealth check.


Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change. Tax treatment is based on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. Although endeavours have been made to provide accurate and timely information, we cannot guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No individual or company should act upon such information without receiving appropriate professional advice after a thorough review of their particular situation. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions.