This is the best summer of my life.
I’m not writing this to make you jealous or to brag (well, maybe I’m bragging a little …!), but here are some of the highlights:
My kids and I had a wonderful day at Wembley watching Fulham win at the playoffs – we’re in the Premier League!
For my birthday, my wife bought us tickets to see The Killers at the Isle of Wight Festival. It’s the 5th time I’d seen them and the set list was nothing short of glorious.
A friend won tickets to the ladies’ semi-final at Wimbledon – and took me….
Plus, a good friend of mine is performing at the Edinburgh Festival and has invited us to see his opening night performance. I love stand up comedy, so seeing my friend perform is going to be very special.
I can’t believe my luck.
And the best part about it?
It all happened without my having to lift a finger – all these memorable experiences just fell into my lap.
Some people think that pensions work the same serendipitous way…
…That they’ll put money into a company pension scheme, sit back and when they retire, they will magically have a large pension pot to live off.
Unfortunately, there is simply no such thing as a good pension ‘falling into your lap’ or just happening on its own.
If your aim is to live a full, fun life post-retirement, your pension needs careful planning and strategic nurturing so that you have the money you need.
The same is true if you are responsible for your company scheme. Getting pensions right for your employees takes careful management – it doesn’t happen on its own.
Here are four necessary steps I suggest should be taken:
It’s rarely enough to divert a percentage or two of your salary into your pension fund, if you want a pension pot that will provide you with a comfortable lifestyle. And yet, that’s what many people do.
What post-retirement lifestyle do you plan for and how much money will you need to get it?
Work backwards from this and make sure you are investing a large enough percentage of your income to achieve your pension goals. And if you are in HR, encourage your employees to invest sufficient amounts as well.
Where the money you put away is invested is of supreme importance.
If you are handling your company’s pension scheme, you must make sure that the money is invested well. And this is something you must track and monitor for your own pension, too.
You need to make sure your company’s pension scheme is well-run.
Just because the funds it has invested in were good 10 years ago, does not necessarily mean they are still appropriate today. And mistakes do happen with pension schemes.
Your company has a responsibility to make sure that there is close oversight of the pension scheme so that it is delivering the best outcomes for its members.
You have worked for years to build up your pension pot – don’t fall at the last hurdle.
Should you take small cash sums or go for a regular income? Is leaving the pot untouched an option? Should you shift your investment strategy as you approach retirement?
A professional can help you get the most out of all the money you save, and make the best use of the funds.
Yes, it sounds like a lot of work and focus. But the truth is that it’s a small amount of effort to help ensure a comfortable retirement, for yourself or for the staff in your company.
In fact, take these 4 steps, and your retirement might be as effortlessly good as my summer!