To retire successfully at 55, rather than say 65, there are a number of financial factors that will affect the overall balance of your retirement fund. You will need to overcome a combination of:
10 years when you won’t be making contributions into a pension. This means no employee contributions from your salary, no free employer contributions and no pension tax relief.
10 years reduced compound interest, which can make a massive difference in the final 10 years as the investment balances should be at their largest. A percentage of a small amount of money is a small amount of money, the same percentage of a much larger figure has a much greater financial impact – money makes money.
Drawing down on your investments 10 years earlier, which may affect how long your funds will last.
If you are still keen to retire early at 55 and you know the financial impact it may have on you, work through our checklist to get yourself in the best possible financial position.
Start making a regular pension contribution as early as you can – every year counts.
Contribute as much as you can every month – you can add to a private pension (like a personal pension or a SIPP) each month and automatically claim the tax relief.
Make sure you select jobs where your employer contributes generously to your pension (this is free money after all).
Work with a financial adviser to make sure your pension is invested in accordance with growth requirements and risk tolerance.
Find the details of any private pensions (defined contribution ones) you may have from previous employers and transfer them into your main account (although be careful to check you won’t lose any valuable benefits by doing this – the best thing to do is speak to a an independent financial adviser).
Consider how your capital is spread between pensions and ISAs. Moving cash into your pension allows you to claim the tax relief, however, the income and capital gains from an ISA are tax-free.
Maximise passive income-producing investments.
Regularly meet your financial adviser to ensure you are on track to retire at 55.