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How can Britons make their dream retirement a reality

From the age it starts to what we do during it, we all have different ideas of what a dream retirement looks like. Yet, one thing that everyone probably agrees on is that after decades of hard work and saving, Britons deserve to achieve their retirement goals. 

Unfortunately, turning retirement goals into reality can be a complex endeavour. When it comes to financial planning, sometimes life can get in the way. Not only can it be an overwhelming or complicated process, but, as recent years have taught us, unexpected roadblocks can make one’s pension journey even more challenging. 

This was proven to be the case in our new report: Dream Retirement – Understanding Britons’ retirement aspirations and challenges

We found less than two in five (35%) UK adults in work think they will be able to retire when they want to, with 55% saying the cost-of-living crisis has made retirement seem impossible.

Sadly, the harsh realities of the current economic climate are having a significant effect, with Britons feeling forced to give up on their retirement dreams. 

That said, while these are undeniably challenging times for those preparing for retirement, there are steps people can take to ensure their retirement goals stay on track. 

Start early, keep on track

Let’s get to perhaps the most obvious point first of all: the earlier a person begins saving for it, the more likely they will achieve their dream retirement. 

Keeping up pension contributions and creating the right retirement plan will generate greater odds of facilitating an individual’s desired retirement when they begin the process from an earlier age. 

But contributing to a pension pot is seldom enough. A robust financial plan is required – and before anyone can successfully put a plan in place for their financial future, they need to know the position they are currently in.

As such, savers should start with a full audit of their finances, including any savings, investments, debts, incomings, and outgoings. Once completed, you can properly start putting together a retirement plan.

This, of course, includes pension pots. In My Pension Expert’s latest study, we found that a concerningly high number of workers are failing to engage with their pension – just 38% told us they know how much is saved in their pension pot. 

This is a common story. After all, it is easy to lose track of how many pensions you have and how much is in them when many people change jobs numerous times in their working lives. 

That is why it is so important to constantly revisit, evaluate and potentially reshape one’s financial plans. The more regularly we engage with our pension strategy, the less likely it is that we lose track of pension pots and the amount within them. In turn, a saver is able to get a more realistic view regarding how much they have stowed away for retirement, and they can plan accordingly if their financial strategy needs updating. 

Seek advice 

Next, savers should explore the various retirement finance options available to them. And there will be an option to suit everyone’s needs, from flexible access drawdowns, and annuities to higher-risk investments.

However, completing this step alone can be an overwhelming prospect for many savers as it can be difficult to understand which option will help achieve their desired retirement outcome. Fortunately, this does not have to be the case. 

Independent financial advisers can help clients shape their retirement plans by assessing their financial situation, understanding their retirement aspirations, and then suggesting the right products that will align those two points. 

In doing so, they will be able to make tailored recommendations as to which product will suit their needs and set them on the right track to achieving a financially secure retirement. 

Regular reviews

As noted, once any retirement plan is placed, it is advisable to conduct regular reviews so adjustments can be made based on market fluctuations, economic circumstances, or life events. 

At My Pension Expert, our financial advisers offer the option for reviews of a client’s retirement strategy every three, six, or 12 months (based on what they would like) to ensure it still suits their needs. That way, if an individual’s situation changes, the plan can be adapted accordingly. This ensures the client remains in control of their finances and avoids any panicked decisions that could damage their financial future. 

It all comes back to making people’s desired retirement a reality. For example, 54% of Britons harbour dreams of travelling the world once they retire, while even more (71%) dream of a long, comfortable retirement with time and money to pursue their interests, passions, and hobbies. With a retirement plan suited to their individual circumstances and goals in place, bolstered by expert advice and regular reviews, there is no reason why these dreams cannot come to fruition. 

The cost-of-living crisis may have put a dampener on people’s retirement aspirations, but it is crucial that Britons remain calm and seek advice. By understanding their financial position, finding the best financial product for them, and engaging with their retirement plan through regular reviews, savers put themselves in the best possible place to make their retirement dreams a reality.