As we head into 2022, we are all a year closer to retirement.

If you haven’t already made financial plans towards this eventuality, then an ideal new year resolution is to get the ball rolling and make sure when retirement comes, you are financially prepared for a long and happy one. Remember, it is never too early to start planning for your retirement.

And if you have plans in place, then why not make 2022 a year when you sit down and carefully consider whether your plans are heading along the right track.

In either case, it is always useful to have some expert advice to help you make sure that your pension and retirement plans are maximised towards ensuring a long and financially stable retirement.

So, we have compiled a list of expert tips to help you plan for the perfect retirement.

1.    It’s never too early to start

It may seem that retirement age is a long way off, however, it will happen much faster than you believe. If you haven’t already started, now is as good a time as any.

If you have plans in place, then start by checking on what they are. This could be a work pension or pensions, state pension and any investments you may have. Once you have established this, then the next step is to calculate whether these will be enough to meet your expected needs in retirement.

There are plenty of online pension calculators that can help you assess the situation regardless of whether you have started or not. Once you know the state of play, you will be in a better position to make any necessary changes.

If you are unsure about how to do this, then seek assistance from a financial adviser.

2.    Invest in a workplace pension

Relying on a basic state pension will certainly result in a hefty drop in your quality of life. Ideally, this should be started as soon as you enter full-time employment, this means you won’t miss the money (you don’t miss what you never had!), and delaying can cost you thousands of Euros when you do retire.

Company pensions may also be supplemented by your employer and offer tax benefits.

3.    The Spending Gap

Saving is a simple concept and, taken to its extreme, can be summed up in one phrase – Mind the Gap.

The gap in question is the gap between your income and you’re spending. You want to make sure that the gap between your income and your spending is as wide as possible. This could mean working more or spending less, the result is the same.

Widening this gap gives you more money for pensions, and other investments, and this simple step can go a long way to ensuring a comfortable retirement.

4.    Make sure your plan is flexible

It would be nice to have a crystal ball that allowed us to ensure the path to a happy retirement is smooth and trouble-free. However, the reality couldn’t be further from this.

The best retirement plans need to be flexible enough that when the world around you change, both in a financial and emotional sense, your retirement plan is flexible enough to smooth out the bumps.

Even the best plans rely on forecasts that are easily upset, so spreading your risk and ensuring that there are contingencies and some leeway in your plan is essential.

5.    Use a Financial Planner

Planning for your retirement is something that you need to get right. There are no second chances once you arrive at retirement age and find your plans have come up short.

This is why getting sound financial advice from as early an age as possible is essential, but also remember that it is never too late. At Financial Architects, we have years of experience in helping people achieve their retirement goals. Why not contact us today and see how we can help plan the retirement of your dreams.

6.    Set Achievable Milestones

It is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when looking ahead to your retirement days. But by breaking your retirement and pension plans down into smaller, achievable milestones, it is easier to stay on track and remain focused on the ultimate goal.

Milestones could be as simple as clearing off some unwanted debt, a financial milestone, or maintaining a lifestyle within a set budget. By breaking your plan down into easy to understand and follow strategies, the whole picture will seem, and be, more achievable.

7.    Monitor your Spending

It is all too easy to arrive at the end of each month and wonder where all the money went. For many of us, the problem is just that – we simply have no idea what we spend our money on.

It could be as simple as checking all those online subscriptions and other “trifling” amounts that monthly exit our bank accounts – Do you use the gym often enough to warrant that membership fee?

Small things like these can add up to substantial amounts, so if you do spend each month wondering where all the money went, finding out can go a long way to helping you achieve your retirement goals.

8.    Put your money to work

Money left lingering in current accounts is doing very little to help you achieve your retirement. As early as possible, start investing excess money into a well-structured and diversified portfolio.

Even if it is a minimal amount each month, investing regular sums will soon add up. Once again, a good financial adviser will always be able to help you make the right investment decisions.

Here to help

At Financial Architects, we are here to help you plan the best possible retirement. Whether you are just starting out and want to make sure your future is as secure as possible or are a late starter needing sound and impartial advice, we can help.

Why not contact us today and use 2022 as a springboard to your dream retirement. It is never too early or late!

Financial Architects Ltd t/a Financial Architects is Regulated by the Central Bank Of Ireland.