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Hiring Financial Services To Plan Your Retirement Smartly 
by:   Kathryn Dawson

Ensuring financial freedom after retirement is a crucial factor in a financial plan. Most individuals have several plans to realize after retirement. Some people plan to buy a villa on a beach; while others dream of a world tour. Even if you do not have such ambitious dreams, you need money to be readily available after retirement for your daily expenses. This requires smart planning from early years. Taking a small step towards financial planning at an early age can guarantee financial security for a lifetime. If you do not begin early, the pace at which you would need to save would accelerate and the cost of the financial instruments at your disposal would increase.

One can hire financial services to demystify pension options and retirement saving plans. These service providers will answer your questions on how to sponsor your retirement plans and will help you to make an informed investment decision.

Financial Services: How Much Do You Need to Retire?

Consult financial services to determine the right time to start planning for retirement. Remember, retirement planning is not only about finance, it also involves mental preparation to get accustomed to a changed pattern of life. For some people, it is very hard to stop working altogether and spent time at home. In such a case, financial consultant may advise him/her to start working part time for a few years prior to full retirement. Alternatively, one can consider a home-based business after retiring from regular services.

Coming back to finances, it is important to analyze your monetary requirements in the long run. Prepare an estimate of monthly expenses in consultation with a financial expert. Now consider different investment options that align with your long-term financial goals. Pension funds are an important source of income post retirement. Thus, one should give due consideration to different types of pension plans available and understand how one can monetize them. Other instruments that blend well with retirement planning are:

Investments in stocks
Individual Savings Account (ISA)

Ask the Financial Service Provider about Types of Pension Plans.  

Financial service providers focus on three basic types of pension plans:
State pension
Personal pension
Company pension

State pension is probably the most reliable foundation for your retirement. An individual who has attained the state pension age can claim it. According to UK Government data, the state pension age for men is 65. However, the state pension age for women will increase from 60 to 65 between 2010 and 2020. Usually, the contributions to National Insurance (NI) are accumulated over the years to provide pension to individuals. Additional state pension is rendered to individuals who are taking care of a child or are employed.

Personal pension schemes, which can include Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)for higher earners, are an important investment option for better control over retirement planning. It involves investment into HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) approved financial products. Some of the financial products covered under SIPP are:

Stocks listed on recognized exchange markets
Investment trusts regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA)
Commercial property
Bullion market
Authorized unit trusts
Futures and options traded in recognized markets

One can seek expert SIPP advice to leverage these investment options and secure financial freedom after retirement. Remember, state pension guarantees only sustainable income to every individual. To maintain a good lifestyle and make your ends meet, personal pensions (including SIPPs) are an important element in your long term financial planning strategy.

Company pensions are set by employers and vary between organizations. Usually, the company pension fund is deducted from an employee's salary or deposited by the employer or both.

Since April 2006, the government has simplified regulations governing personal and company pension. Tax relief has been increased on investment into retirement instruments. With investment planning, it is possible to invest into a homogenous mix of different types of pension instruments. Consult financial services providers to make the best of the available retirement options.

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