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Your Home is at risk if you do not keep up any mortgage or payments secured upon it!

You should remember that past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future. Market and currency movements may cause the value of units, and the value derived from them, to fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested when you decide to sell your units. The tax treatment of investments and pensions is not guaranteed and may change in the future.  

If you’ve been offered early retirement or simply wish to stop full time work and cash in your pensions etc then it’s a relatively simple set of calculations you need to do except for one thing: -

How long have you got?

If you know the answer to that question then it’s easy, spend all your money in the intervening period and depart this mortal coil penniless, perfect if you’re single!

The good news is we don’t know how long we’ve got and we must therefore work on the assumption that we will be around for quite some time. Did you know the average life expectancy of a 60-year-old non-smoking male is 24 years?

The Key is your expenditure. It’s your budget that controls whether or not you can afford to retire.

First Step

Download the Budget Planner and fill it in honestly.

Then start work on it. Look at each item and ask if you really need it. Is it essential and is it the best value I can get.

There are excellent websites sites to save you money on Insurance heating bills etc. is a good place to start.

There are of course Bills beyond your control like domestic rates but have you considered a water meter for example to reduce water and sewage rates?

Once you have stopped all expenditure on things you do not need and ensured you have good value on what you do need its time for the: -

Second Step

Now look at your house. If you are not moving then your Energy bills (after rates) could be the largest item of expenditure and you need to consider, draft proofing cavity wall and loft insulation.

These three items are relatively cheap to install and yet the savings in energy costs can be as much as 25% a year of the cost of the installation. (If I said there was a building society account paying £250 a year net interest on a £1,000 investment you would be very interested!)

Third Step

Now you know you have reduced your outlay to the minimum can begin to look at your savings and pension options and the right answer may well stand out.

Should you take PCLS from the pension scheme for example?