It’s safe to say the past year has been challenging – especially for school leaders. But have you been able to take anything positive from it?
Tanya, a teaching assistant from London, says the pandemic has given her time to reflect on what really matters.
“Suddenly the priority is not work,” she reveals. “The priority is that I want to enjoy being with my family.”
At 62, Tanya had expected to work three more years before retiring. But after sadly losing her husband a few years ago, and with lockdown stopping her meeting up with friends and family, retiring earlier holds huge appeal.
Tanya will officially stop working in July. “I just want to spend more time with my family. I’ve got one or two projects in mind with friends, writing books. I’m also hoping to do some tutoring, helping kids who have lost out on education over the past year.
A great opportunity to think about your retirement
Due to the pandemic, there are 1.3 million over-50s who now plan to retire early – according to Legal & General March 2021.*
Yet not everyone feels confident about their ability to retire early. A further 1.45 million expect to delay retirement by an average of three years, because of Covid.
If recent events have prompted you to think more about retirement, it’s worth taking a look at your financial plans now. Acting early could make a big difference to the life you lead in the future.
Feeling financially stronger
“Your personal financial situation is going to be one of the biggest factors that dictates your ability to retire,” explains Gareth Smith, a retirement planning expert at NAHT Personal Financial Services. “Even if you have already have a pension through teaching, it might be worthwhile considering having other provisions in place. This could give you a better chance of fulfilling the lifestyle you want in retirement.”
We appreciate that preparing for retirement isn’t the easiest task. That’s why it’s a good idea to seek financial advice.
This is the path Tanya took – after initially turning to senior financial adviser, Tom, to help with her late husband’s affairs. “What I really liked was that Tom went into great depth to understand my particular situation,” she reveals. “I felt he really wanted to understand what I wanted to achieve.
“We talked through what level of risk I wanted to take, what my short-term and long-term goals were. I remember at one stage thinking ‘oh no, do I really have to do this?’, but oh my goodness it was absolutely worth it.”
Discovering your options to make better plans
When Tanya first met Tom before Covid, retiring wasn’t in her thoughts. But whilst past performance is not a guide to future returns, the way her investments have performed, so far, has given her the confidence to take the plunge early.
“I’m happy with the returns I have been getting. It’s all been done through the level of risk I want to take.
“But as my son keeps reminding me, I’m not going to take my money out today, tomorrow or in five years’ time. You always have to look at any investment over the long haul. We can’t be complacent.”
Tom helped Tanya understand all the extra things she might be able to do in retirement. Tanya explains, “I have a son who lives in Brazil, so it would be great to visit him. Tom has encouraged me to save a bit more, so I can do those extra things and have more of a cushion for unforeseen expenses.”
As Tanya discovered, sometimes we need the help of an expert to tell us it’s okay to make a big decision. “I needed Tom to tell me if I had enough money to retire early. And it was only when he said, ‘you’re fine’ that I felt I could make this decision.”
For over a year we’ve had less freedom to see friends and family, go on holiday and do the things we love. After everything we’ve gone through, the appeal of a happy and fulfilling retirement might now feel stronger than ever.
As the end of the pandemic looks to be in sight, this could be a good moment to look at your future. Through work, you already have a pension in place – but what about other provisions that could really help you in retirement? We can help you put a worthwhile plan together.
Gareth explains, “With NAHT Personal Financial Services, there are no upfront fees to pay with our personalised advice. A charge only applies if you decide to take up a recommendation.”
A pension is a long-term investment and your capital is at risk. Your fund value will fluctuate and can go down. You could get back less than you paid in. Your eventual income will depend upon the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.
For more information, or if you’d like to book a no-obligation consultation with NAHT Personal Financial Services, call 0800 121 4596 or request a call back.
NAHT Personal Financial Services is a trading name of Skipton Building Society, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, under registration number 153706, for accepting deposits, advising on and arranging mortgages and providing Restricted financial advice. Principal Office, The Bailey Skipton. N. Yorks BD23 1DN