Top 10 financial planning tips for retirement

Most of us can expect more than 20 years of retirement nowadays. So how can you ensure that you'll be able to make the most of this time, financially secure and able to enjoy life? Flying Colours, the next generation of financial advice and investment management, shares 10 financial tips for things you should consider when planning for your retirement.

1. Prepare to succeed

Write down how you are planning on investing for retirement. This helps focus your mind on what you're aiming to achieve and provides a roadmap for action. It also gives you a yardstick that you can return to periodically, to gauge success and potentially formulate alternative strategies.

Annuities can be an important part of your retirement portfolio

2. Scrutinise everything

Part of that plan should be an analysis of your income and all expenditure. Scrutinise everything. For example, are you still paying direct debits for products or services you no longer use?

3. Get out of debt

Focus on clearing all your credit cards and other high interest debt before you start making retirement investments. Unless you are unusually successful, the positive returns from investments you make will never come anywhere close to exceeding the costs of servicing existing debts.

4. Harness the power of compound interest

You can do this by starting saving for your retirement while you're young. A steady five per cent interest rate delivers more than 60 per cent returns over ten years.

5. The best retirement investments are made early

If you can start saving in your 20s, the returns over 40 years will be over 600 per cent!

6. Take the long view when investing for retirement

Time in the markets matters more than timing the market. Over a 15-year period, Flying Colours Wealth identified a whopping 35 per cent overall performance deficit in investor performance compared to benchmark indices that was due to attempts to 'time' the market and fund costs.

6. Keep your retirement investment costs to an absolute minimum

Annual management charges, dealing costs, taxation, bid spreads, and all the other expenses associated with such investments are a constant burden on your fund.

7. How will the government contribute?

Find out about your state pension benefits and don't forget that regulations and allowances can change. You can find out more about the New State Pension here.

8. Consider the potential impact of external factors

For example, what might happen to inflation if the UK votes to leave the EU – and how might that affect your chosen retirement investments?

9. Be realistic about life expectancy

The very best retirement investments will be the ones that pay out right until the end, whenever that may be. According to the Office for National Statistics, the proportion of the population over state pension age is predicted to rise to 23 per cent in 2031 – as compared to 16 per cent  in 1971. Annuities may seem unfashionable, especially with the current low rates, but can be an important part of your overall income portfolio when you retire.

10. Ask as many people as possible, and with as much expertise as possible

Each retirement investment you make carries risks and returns that are specific to your individual circumstances. The more information you have, the better the decisions you will make. For more tips on finding financial advice, click here. Plus find out about the Goverment's free retirement guidance called Pension Wise here.

  • There are more money-saving tips in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.