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The thought of retirement is daunting for many people. This is compounded by all the negative press about the retirement age being pushed back, or how pensioners can struggle to pay their way. Some people avoid thinking about retirement because they have no idea what they are going to do once they’ve retired, while others have lots of ideas but no plan in place to make them reality. Humans are living longer than ever, and more people are seeing their retirement as a second lease of life where they can enjoy many of the hobbies or interests they’ve been too busy for.

Too of the most common wishes we come across when helping people is having enough to help close family members and a desire to travel. The good news is, with some forethought and careful planning, you can enjoy the exact retirement you want. Retirement planning might have the image of being something just for the very wealthy people out there, but in the current climate it really is something that should be considered by everyone.

The earlier the better

When it comes to a pension plan, the earlier you put something in place the better. Extra years on your retirement planning really does pay dividends later on. Having everything in place also removes much of the anxiety from retirement, allowing you to concentrate on the important things. However, many people don’t address their concerns about retirement until they are much older. Retirement seems so far away when you’re younger, but the earlier you plan for it the better.

A holistic view of your pension plan

A pension plan should be part of your entire financial strategy for retirement. This is why we take a holistic approach that encompasses every aspect of our clients future life. When we’re looking at pension plans for a client, it’s crucial that we consider the bigger picture. In order to do this, there are several stages we must go through to make sure you achieve your goals.

A realistic assessment of your situation

Looking at where you currently are and what you want to achieve after retirement can help you to establish what needs to happen between now and then in order to live your dream retirement. Nobody wants to have to spend their days counting the pennies. That’s why we look at all the available options.

Our clients understand that a completely honest assessment is the best way forward. Spending some time getting to know you and how you want to live is critical to our process. Our friendly service makes it easy for you to relax and discuss you pension plan and retirement goals.

Pension plans aren’t your only option

Many people avoid retirement planning because they don’t think they have the means. However, delaying retirement planning or a pension plan only compounds the problem. There are a number of tools you can use to maximise your retirement funds. We can look at pension plans, investments, cost reductions, and ways to reduce risk and protect your capital.

Striking the right balance

A realistic image of what you want to achieve when you retire allows us to build a picture of the funds you’ll need to achieve it. This can be a mixture of a lump sum and a consistent regular amount, or just the consistent amount. Everyone’s needs are different, and we tailor our service to suit your requirements. Many people have ideas about things they want to do, but don’t have a plan in place to achieve them. A solid plan creates a clear and achievable path to your retirement.

How much does a pension plan cost?

You should never view a pension plan as a cost. The money you pay into a pension plan each month is an investment in your own future. How much you decide to pay into a pension plan is your choice. However, there are legal limits you cannot exceed. No one can accumulate a pension fund that exceeds two million euros. Also, there are other limits that vary depending on your age.

Despite being an investment, it’s important to be realistic about how much you’re going to pay in. Your retirement and pension plan are important, but they shouldn’t come at the expense of your current wellbeing.

A pension plan also has tax benefits. You will get tax at your marginal rate of tax on payments made into a pension fund. The money your pension plan makes is also tax free. Upon retirement, you can take a tax-free lump sum of up to 200,000 euros. The next 300,000 euros is only liable to tax at 20%. Any life assurance cover attached to the pension plan also attracts tax relief at your marginal rate.

What should I look out for when picking a pension plan?

When you’re thinking of taking out a pension plan or planning for your retirement, it’s always advisable to speak to an independent financial advisor. If you speak directly to any provider, they will always tell you their plans are the best. Seeking out the help of an experienced and qualified financial advisor will maximise your chances of success.

If you’re unsure about your advisor’s qualifications, never be afraid to ask to see them. A genuine advisor will be happy to show you their credentials. There are many relevant qualifications they may hold. A QFA means they have completed a Professional Diploma in Financial Advice. They usually use QFA after their name, which means Qualified Financial Advisor, and is the absolute minimum you should accept. Further training in more specialist areas might also lead to SIA (Specialist Investment Advisor) or CFP (Certified Financial Planner).

Whether you’re 25 or 45, starting planning earlier can give your retirement a huge boost, increasing your options and your income in the years to come. Mason Wealth Management have decades of experience helping people plan for their dream retirement and secure their financial future. Contact us today to start discovering how you can create your dream retirement. Call 01-9695786 or e-mail us on [email protected].