New Year Resolutions? What better time to have a look at your pension planning and see how well you are doing? Give yourself a mark out of 10 on each of the following points. 7 or more and you are doing ok but could still improve. Less than 7 and giving this some serious attention should be top of your New Year “to do” list.
Taking a cursory glance at a gobbledygook annual valuation/statement just will not do it. An annual meeting with your adviser, if you have one, is a minimum. If you are using one of the “no advice” platforms, set aside an hour or so at least quarterly and have some systems and processes to check how well you are doing. YOUR MONITORING PROCESSES WILL LARGELY DICTATE THE SUCCESS OF YOUR PENSION STRATEGY.
DON’T LEAVE IT ALL TO YOUR EMPLOYER
The vast amount of money in employer sponsored pension plans is in “default” funds. Not funds aimed at making you the most amount of money, but boring funds aimed at the average employee. Safe funds which reduce risk for the employer. This is your money. You should be deciding where it is invested based on you aims, objectives, and attitude to risk.
CHECK OUT THOSE PESKY FEES
Do you know how much of your contributions is going out as fees each and every year? It is time to ask the question and make sure you really understand the answers. A recent enquirer told me he was paying his adviser 0.75% per annum. Correct – but on closer examination there were also platform fees, discretionary fund managers fees and underlying investment managers fees which together took the total costs to well over 2% per annum. With dividends currently at around 4% per annum that is a huge drag on performance. Fees cannot be entirely avoided but they can be considerably reduced with the right guidance.
DON’T LEAVE YOUR MONEY IN “DOG” FUNDS
You may have made an excellent fund choice when you set your plan up but even the best of funds can lose their way. The Invesco Perpetual High Income Fund performed very well for me for many years. Over the past five years it has been a disaster, underperforming its competitors by as much as 30%. Thankfully I switched out in time. This is your money. Make sure you have a monitoring process in place so that you can move funds when things start to go wrong and avoid paying fees to managers who are not doing their job.
CONSOLIDATE THOSE OLD PENSION PLANS
A pension plan taken out 10 years or more ago is about as useful to you as a ten year old mobile phone. Legislation has changed, flexibility has increased, there is wider fund choice, costs have reduced, and online valuations allow you to monitor progress better than ever before.
If you use one of the online platforms such as Hargreaves Lansdown transfers are free, and you may even qualify for a cash back. However, there are a few pitfalls to avoid. If you would like my guidance just phone or text me, Richard, on 07770 575122.
MY BUSINESS IS MY PENSION
That’s something I hear all the time. If I hadn’t sold my business my retirement would still be ok but not brilliant. For sure the contribution your business can play in your retirement planning can be significant, but don’t have all your eggs in one basket and plan your exit well in advance.
It took my business partner and I three years and two abortive attempts before we finally achieved the sale which met our objectives and set us up for retirement whilst also looking after our staff and customers. If you would like to learn from our experience give me, Richard, a ring or text me on 07770 575122 and let’s get together.
As always, I must point out that I am not a regulated financial adviser and nothing I say should be treated as personal advice. However, if you would like to “PAY ATTENTION” my coaching and guidance service will give you the thinking processes to make good financial decisions for yourself.
This document and our on going services are not personal advice. We'll give you all the help and guidance you need to make your investment and retirement decisions, but we can't advise you. If you're not sure whether you need regulated financial advice we can put you in touch with a suitably qualified and experienced regulated adviser. Because we are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service in respect of any complaints. If you use one of the "no advice" on line services to handle investment transactions they will be Regulated and you will have access to the Ombudsman and The Financial Compensation Scheme in respect of their services. The value of investments/pension plans can fall or rise depending on market performance. The Retirement Team and The Investment and Retirement Coach are trading names of Capture Success Ltd Reg No 01825075 Tel 07770575122