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Stop the world, I’m getting off

June 4, 2020
Harvest News

Coronavirus is changing the way we live in a way that is repeatedly said to be unprecedented. We say we are living through strange times, extraordinary times, difficult times. For some of us lucky enough to be able to work from home time might be stretching out in lockdown into an endless series of Friday afternoons. For others, the increased workload at the moment might feel like time is rushing ahead of us. For those who have lost jobs or loved ones, time might seem to have stopped altogether.

As the world slowed down, many will look back on this time as a dry run for retirement. Indeed speaking to clients, many have used this time to reflect on what is important to them and are putting plans in place to bring forward the date for their retirement or a semi-retirement.

So if you’re thinking about making the slow down more permanent, answering these 5 questions should help you to be financially prepared to do it sooner.

1. The first question we should all answer is what level of income will you need in retirement? This is very personal to each individual and goes beyond making adequate provision for your basic needs.  Essential income needs for some will be to cover golf club membership, for others it will be a number of long haul flights each year to visit children and grandchildren abroad. For many, some big monthly costs will have been removed, for example mortgages may be repaid, children may no longer be dependant and pension funding will have ceased.  This in itself can be a useful exercise to become more mindful about where the money goes!

2. What assets do you have now? What pension contributions are you currently making? Do you have deferred pensions from pervious employments? Are they defined contribution or defined benefit pensions? Do you have regular passive income that will continue in retirement, e.g. rental income, dividend income.

3. What is the retirement gap and how will you bridge it? IF there is a gap between what you currently have and what you will need to provide the level of income required in retirement, what can you do to bridge the gap? Can you contribute more to your pension? Can you look at your current investments and make changes to aim for a better return on the funds? Do you need to amend your plan?

4. Will you continue to work in retirement? How will you transition from working life to retirement? Do you plan to continue to work part-time? Will it be in the same field or do you want to explore other options? Do you need other qualifications to compete for these roles, e.g. directorships?   

5. What are you going to do to make this happen? Do you have a written plan to be financially ready to retire in 3/5/10 years time? What are the annual markers that you need to meet to achieve this? Who will make you accountable to follow through on these financial commitments to yourself?   

At Harvest we work with our clients to plan the transition from working life to retirement. If you have been thinking about how you can prepare yourself financially for this life transition we would be delighted to work with you to put in place your retirement plan.

Contact us on 01 2375500 or email

Investing in Times of Crisis

This marketing information has been provided for discussion purposes only. It is not advice, it is provided for general information purposes only and does not fully take into account your financial position, investment needs and objectives, attitude to risk, liquidity needs, capital security needs, capacity for loss etc. It should therefore not be relied upon to make investment decisions. Prior to any formal investments taking place you will be provided with a detailed suitability letter taking into account all the above and outlining why the investment(s) are (not) suitable for you.