Given the precarious nature of the UK economy, it is fair to say that consumers have become increasingly immune to periods of austerity. This trend may be set to reverse, however, as inflation continues to rise at a disproportionate rate to earnings nationwide.
In fact, worries about rising inflation among UK consumers are at their highest since January 2014, with a monthly poll by Lloyds Bank reporting that 65% of respondents felt negative about the rising cost of living. This number rose from just 60% in June, as households begin to feel the pinch of an unforgiving economic climate.
As a result, individuals are also seeing their pension contributions squeezed, making the concept of early retirement an increasingly fanciful dream. It is far from being an impossible vision, however, and in the following post we will look at ways of achieving this objective:
Build Your Savings and Minimise Debt
As disposable income levels fall in the UK, one of the biggest challenges is building your pension pot. This is a crucial part of the process of when planning for an early retirement, however, as without this you will not have the financial means to sustain you once you have left work.
One option to consider is making a salary sacrifice, through which you marginally reduce your take-home pay and divert this income into your pension fund. Your employer will also be compelled to match this rate of contribution, so you can quickly boost the value of your pension even as the economic climate worsens. By also aiming to save between 10% and 15% of your remaining monthly income, you can build wealth incrementally and over a sustained period of time.
It is also wise for you to take a proactive approach to minimising personal debt, as this reduces the amount that you will be required to pay creditors over time. Start by obtaining a copy of your most recent credit report, before removing any outdated accounts and attempting to settle others that are impacting on your monthly spend.
Create a Full Financial Plan for the Future
When attempting to save money and build your pension plan, the notion of paying for professional assistance may not be one that immediately appeals. This type of initial expense can deliver an excellent return, however, particularly when you partner with experts who can develop a tailored fiscal plan for your future.
Take service providers such as Tilney, for example, who have the capacity to create personalised financial plans to meet specific goals, circumstances and requirements. This helps to create a pension plan that is comprehensive and manageable, while optimising your contributions over a sustained period of time.
Firms of this type can also help to minimise inheritance tax and similar fees, helping you to realise the full value of your pension fund.
Consolidate Your Pension Plans Into a Single Fund
One of the main obstacles to retiring early is the management of your funds, particularly when you have several private pension plans with previous employers. Remember, job security is a hard-earned thing in the modern age, so you are likely to work with several companies during the course of your career.
To negate this, it is worth consolidating all of your pension schemes into a single, manageable plan. The value of these can be easily combined into vehicles such as self-invested pension plans (SIPPs), which often deliver exceptional returns while also making the process of executing decisions far easier.
While you may be required to pay a transfer fee to combine your pension plans, you should keep your eyes peeled as this varies depending on your provider.