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Many people long for the day when they can escape the daily grind and retire, but simply stopping work isn’t enough. We want to enjoy a certain lifestyle and spend time doing the things we love.

What steps can you take to, firstly, retire early, and secondly, be in a financial position to afford the life you want to live?

1

Save money

Depositing money into savings accounts and pension schemes puts your future finances on a solid footing, so make it a priority to save some of your income every month, as early as you can.
2

Increase pension contributions when you can

If you’re in a position to increase your pension contributions by even the smallest amount, this could add up to a considerable figure by the time you choose to retire. To do this, speak to your employer or payroll, who will set up an additional voluntary contribution for you.
3

Pay off and avoid debt

The interest you pay on debt is far higher than interest on your savings, so it’s well worth paying off debts as soon as possible. Make sure you’re at least covering the minimum payments, or the debt will soon mount up.
4

Be prepared for emergencies

Accidents and changes in circumstances can happen without warning, so you need to be prepared. Make sure your home and possessions are properly insured and consider taking out life insurance, income protection and critical illness cover.

At the same time, try to have about 3 to 6 months’ income set aside in an emergency fund, so you have something to fall back on in the event of a disaster, such as losing your job or needing to pay for major home repairs.

By having an emergency fund, you’ll be in a better position to keep on top of your debts and not need to dip into the money you’ve put aside for retirement.

5

Work out what you expect to spend in retirement

Estimating how much you expect to spend in retirement can help you work towards early retirement and put a figure on the amount of money you’re likely to need. This could start with the basics, from utility bills to groceries, to those extras that mean you can enjoy the lifestyle you want, such as luxuries and discretionary purchases, including holidays.

Remember that many of your existing outgoings may not be an issue in the future. For instance, if you have children they may have grown up and left home by the time you retire.

Buid your personalised retirement plan in the Creative Pension Trust Member Portal today! See what all your pension pots might give you in retirement, if you’re on track for the retirement lifestyle you want, and make an action plan to get you where you need to be – click here to get started.

1

Look at how much income your assets could generate

If you have multiple sources of income, such as state, workplace and private pensions, savings, investments and property, estimate how much income they could generate. This will help you see where changes need to be made. For example, should you increase your pension contributions? Or maybe diversify your investment portfolio?

Build your personalised retirement plan in the Creative Pension Trust Member Portal. You can include things like pension pots, investments, rental income and other sources of income. See if you’re on track for the retirement lifestyle you want, and make an action plan to get you where you need to be – click here to get started.

2

Get on top of past pensions

If you’ve moved from job to job throughout your professional life, you may have money with a range of different workplace pensions, which can be easy to lose track of.

You can take control of your old pension pots once and for all by using our new service to help you easily track, trace and manage your old pension pots. This way you can see everything in once place, get live updates on their performance, and even transfer them at the click of a button. Get started by digging our your old pension paperwork and head to the Creative Pension Trust Member Portal.

3

Lower your living costs

Look at your outgoings and see where savings can be made. Could you switch to better rates on your mortgage? Could you switch to cheaper broadband and utility tariffs? Could you be spending less on your groceries by avoiding expensive brands? Any savings could soon mount up and help to fund your future retirement.
4

Pay off your mortgage

If you can afford to pay more than the minimum amount on your monthly mortgage payments, you could be in a position to pay it off sooner and ultimately pay less. However, you may be charged for paying off your loan early, so check with your mortgage provider first.
5

Don’t withdraw from your retirement accounts early

The minimum pension age for accessing workplace and personal retirement savings currently stands at 55. However, you should think very carefully before taking up this option, work out how much money you have left and estimate how long it is likely to last.

Build your plan for retirement today: login to the Creative Pension Trust Member Portal to get started