If you want to get to grips with your plans for retirement but don’t know where or how to start, consider seeking advice.
Planning your retirement is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever have to make, so it’s important you have the best chance possible of getting it right.
With the greater choice and flexibility around how you take an income from your retirement savings, there has never been a greater need for help and advice when it comes to planning your future.
There are various sources of information to help you understand the options available.
The government has a free pension guidance service, Pensions Wise, which can give guidance online, on the phone or face-to-face. There is also the range of educational articles here on retiresavvy.
If you want or need more in-depth advice that’s tailored to your own specific circumstances, you will need to look elsewhere, to dedicated financial advisers such as Skipton financial advisers.
The difference between guidance and advice
It’s important to understand the difference between ‘guidance’ and ‘advice’.
Guidance, as offered by Pensions Wise and retiresavvy, is a useful starting point for understanding the choices you face around using your pension.
Guidance can offer information and generic detail about the options available and explain what options are available and their consequences. But it cannot give specific recommendations about what to do based on your unique circumstances.
Importantly, you have no right of redress if you make a decision based on this information that you feel has had a negative financial impact.
If you need to seek financial advice, you will need to speak to a qualified, professional financial adviser. This will involve a more in-depth, thorough assessment of your individual financial situation and aspirations.
At the end of the process, you will be provided with personalised recommendations on the most suitable option to help meet your future ambitions. This could include recommending suitable investments and other aspects of financial planning, such as steps to reduce your potential inheritance tax liability. A financial adviser will also make sure you are fully aware of the potential risks of investing.
Speaking to a financial adviser could be necessary for your situation; as the choices you make with your pension fund will go a long way towards determining your quality of life in retirement and, with it, the rest of your life.
Independent vs Restricted advice
Recent years have seen a shake up in the way that financial advisers offer advice on specific products or investments. Advisers now fall into one of two categories – independent and restricted.
Independent financial advisers (IFAs) give unbiased advice about the whole range of financial products from all the different companies available.
Restricted advisers give advice on a limited range of products. They may specialise in one area, for example, pensions, or they may only offer advice on products offered by a limited number of companies.
Restricted financial advice isn’t a second-class option. For example, Skipton Financial Advisers offers Restricted advice. Its in-house Technical Research Team analyses thousands of products and funds to construct a 'Preferred Product/Fund Range' that it uses when making recommendations that are tailored to your circumstances.
Where to go for advice
Skipton Financial Advisers offers investment, retirement and inheritance tax planning advice. Its review service is all about taking the time to understand your financial circumstances and aspirations for the future.
At the end of the process, your adviser will provide you with a personal recommendation so you can make fully informed decisions about your future. To find out more about how financial advice could benefit you and request a call back, get in touch.
If you’re not sure if you need to take financial advice, but want to explore your options for retirement, consider a My Review with Skipton Building Society.
Our recommendations are likely to include stock market-linked investments. These aren’t like building society savings accounts, as your capital is at risk and you may get back less than you invest. The value of your investments and any income from them may fall as well as rise.
Retiresavvy is brought to you by Skipton Building Society. This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.