Retirement saving for the self-employed

A study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that only 16% of the UK’s business owners, freelancers and sole traders have a pension.

Self employed retirement planning
This statistic means that there are more than 3.5 million self-employed workers that do not have any savings for later on in life.

While lots of people are opting to work for themselves, due to the many benefits it presents, being self-employed also has its downsides.  Those who are employed can boost their retirement savings through auto enrolment – a scheme which requires companies to enrol their staff into a workplace pension and contribute towards it.  For the self-employed, however, saving for retirement isn’t quite as easy with many people put off by excessive administration, variable incomes, too much jargon and the time and effort that needs to be invested.

The good news is there are options out there for business owners and the self-employed – and you can also get a 25% tax top up from the UK Government.

When choosing a pension plan it’s important to think about the following factors:

Charges: Make note of any charges on pension plans and these will reduce the amount that is in your savings pot

Flexibility: Month to month your income may vary so it could be a good idea to look at plans which offer flexibility when it comes to minimum payments

Choice: Some plans offer more choices than others when it comes to investments.  Look at the options available and consider how they will help you grow your pension savings

Convenience: Once you’ve set your pension up it’s important to keep track of how it’s performing.  Check whether providers give you access to monitor and manage it easily.

If you want to save time and take the stress out of setting up a pension plan, we are here to help.  One of our pension experts will work with you to discuss your options and help you choose the one that works best.  Arrange your free consultation to get started.

Call us for a FREE review today 01925 396122

UK Government confirms the minimum private pension age to rise to 57 from age 55, in 2028

The UK Government has confirmed the minimum private pension age will increase from 55 to 57 in 2028.

It announced the increase back in 2014 but did not include provisions in legislation for it to be implemented.

MP Stephen Timms, who heads the work and pensions select committee, asked about the government’s plans regarding the increase in parliament. 

Responding to the questions, economic secretary to the Treasury John Glen said: “In 2014 the government announced it would increase the minimum pension age to 57 from 2028, reflecting trends in longevity and encouraging individuals to remain in work, while also helping to ensure pension savings provide for later life.”

Commenting on the news Aegon pensions director Steven Cameron says: “The government has confirmed it is to proceed with an increase in the age at which people can access their pension. Currently, under the hugely popular pension freedoms, individuals can access their pension from age 55. This is to increase to age 57 from 2028.

“The government did indicate back in 2014 its intention to do this, but didn’t include provisions in legislation, leading to uncertainty over whether the change was still planned. This latest announcement confirms the change will happen meaning those retiring in future will have to wait longer to access their pension. It will be particularly impactful on those who were due to reach their 55th birthday just after the cut off, sometime in 2028.

“It’s now imperative that both government and industry make sure this change is clear to all those saving in pensions. We can’t afford a repeat of the Government communication gaps which left many women to find out too late that their state pension age was increasing from 60 to 65.”

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When it comes to looking at your long-term future, has Covid-19 made you change track, think differently, or change your priorities altogether? If your a business owner, are you still pursuing your same business goals? What does academic theory tell us about our thoughts during this pandemic?

In 1943 an academic journal published an article by an obscure 35-year old psychologist based in New York City. It was a theory about human behavior, and Abraham Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs’ has as much relevance today as it had then, especially during these turbulent times.

maslow’s hierarchy of needs

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Taking the time to talk through your finances with a qualified, independent adviser, will help you plan effectively for what you really want to achieve in life. Your life goals will be discussed and how your current level of income, savings, and plans all fit together so you can live the life you really dream about. In a recent survey for Aviva, 6700 respondents who had an adviser, said they were more focussed on their short and long terms goals, had a clear manageable plan, their investments and savings had outperformed their original plans on average 36% more. taking control of your life and finances starts with a virtual coffee, at a time to suit you and your family. We can “meet” between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday to Friday. Planning that fits in around you, with no one sitting in your home (unless you prefer face-to-face).

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Managing your finances starts with getting to grips with your monthly outgoings.

It does not matter how much money you are earning from your salary; bonuses, rental income, dividends, pension, and annuity income, investments, savings interest, or tax planning unless you can manage your outgoings.

You need to run your personal expenditure like a business and cut out all the unwanted waste. Do you have a gym membership you don’t use? A Sky TV ultimate package that you don’t watch it to be worthwhile? A magazine subscription you don’t even open each month? That bank account with extras that you don’t use when paying around £35 a month for the privilege?

So let’s get Ruthless! Open our expenditure file and look at all your outgoings for the past six months, from your bank accounts and credit cards. List it all and see how much you actually spend each month. If ever there was a time to start to understand your outgoings, then Covid-19 and lockdown was it! Don’t forget to add in all the costs you normally have like: holidays; travel; birthdays and eating out etc. Work on averages here and if you are looking back over six months then you can simply divide the totals by six. Enter these as your regular monthly outgoings.

Do you want to plan for something in life? Travel when we get out of lockdown, or another bucket list item? Take a look at our Life Goals planning document next an to see what you really want to start spending your money on. Once you have narrowed your list from question three and know what you should be spending your money on, it will then make saving for it (by cutting your outgoings) ll the more worthwhile.

Do you want to plan for something in life? Travel when we get out of lockdown, or another bucket list item? Take a look at our Life Goals planning document next an to see what you really want to start spending your money on. Once you have narrowed your list from question three and know what you should be spending your money on, it will then make saving for it (by cutting your outgoings) ll the more worthwhile.

So you have completed your expenditure and goals list, what next? Now you need to see if you can purchase your outgoings with lower monthly costs, so you can get to achieve your life goals faster. Look at trying to buy utilities cheaper, car and home insurance, TV subscriptions. Every time you save money each month, put that into an ISA or savings account and work towards your first goal. make sure you write it down and share with others so they can hold you accountable for acheiveing your goal.

Let us know how you are getting on and what plans you have in place.

Good luck. If you need a professional review of your finances, book a FREE online review today.

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