I was recently asked by someone in the media for my top retirement planning tip. In truth there are many 'top tips' but none of them are relevant until you've had a conversation about what you want to do in retirement.
Picture what your retirement looks like and the rest will quickly fall into place. After all, funding retirement is merely a means to an end. So if you have no idea what the end looks like how could you possibly find the means to fund it?
A Personal Pension, or employer equivalent, an ISA or perhaps less so property are arguably the most popular forms of retirement provision. How much you put towards these during your working life, again, entirely depends on how much you want to get out at the other end.
Putting 'something', a nominal figure, towards retirement is unlikely to yield the rewards you would wish for come retirement age. Start with a figure in mind, what level of income would you like to receive through retirement that could afford you the lifestyle you want? Then you can work backwards to determine how much you need to be contributing now to achieve that. Affordability, of course comes into the equation. It's not always possible to commit the level one might wish to due to present circumstances. But at least you will have a focus that was not there before.
The same is true for what is called 'at retirement' planning. That is, people that have reached retirement and need advice on what to do next with their pension. The thought process really needs to start with what your objectives are. Wealth preservation? A higher income stream now? Flexibility? Once you know more about what you want you can be in a better position to choose the right retirement option.
So my top retirement planning tip? Have a dream.