Retirement Planning

Planning for Retirement: 11 Secrets to Unlock Your Dream Pension!

Planning for retirement can feel like swimming through treacle at times. You need to make so many choices and decisions that the whole idea may seem somewhat daunting at first. That is why I’ve broken down the most critical points from our latest retirement planning guide, ensuring your golden years are as comfy as a well-worn armchair.

Start Early and Keep an Eye on Your Plans

When you’re planting a tree, the earlier you plant it, the quicker it will start to grow. Same goes for retirement planning. The sooner you start, the better off you’ll be. Checking up regularly on your savings and adjusting your plans can make all the difference in the world to your pension pot further down the line when you need it most.

Get to Grips with State Pension Changes

Starting April 2024, the State Pension will increase by 8.5% thanks to the ‘Triple Lock’ mechanism. Look on it somewhat as something akin to a safety net that adjusts itself to inflation, wage growth, or a minimum increase. It’s in your best interests to keep up to date with any changes.

Tweak Your Pension Plans Accordingly

Some big changes are due to come into place as the minimum age to access your pension is going to rise from 55 to 57 by 2028. You might need to put a bit more away a bit more for those extra years as a result. It’s crucial to keep an eye out by reviewing your retirement date and tweaking your investments on a regular basis.

Keep Inflation at Bay with a Diversified Portfolio

Inflation is insidious—it sneaks up on you and can wreak havoc when least expected if you’re not careful. Your best defence is a diversified investment portfolio, with your investments spread across different asset classes as a cushion against market volatility. A professional advisor can help you structure your investments and withdrawals to be tax-efficient, too.

Dreaming of an Early Retirement? Plan Thoroughly

If you’re thinking of or planning an early retirement, then it’s in your best interests to undertake a thorough financial check-up. This will entail understanding your pension pots, tracking any lost pensions, and also considering any other income sources. Picture your ideal retirement and estimate what it will cost—this way, you’ll know what you’re aiming for.

Young Savers: Boost Your Contributions

Young folks dreaming of early retirement need to up their pension contributions significantly. Even small changes early in your career can make a huge difference in later life. And compound interest means the earlier you start, the more you can make your money can grow over time.

Mind the Gender Gap in Pension Savings

There’s a glaring gender disparity in financial engagement here since women often lag behind in pension savings due to career breaks and generally lower pay. In addition, it’s accepted that women often live longer than men so they will really feel the difference unless they take steps in their financial planning to close this gap.

Mid-Lifers: Time to Boost Your Savings

Many people in their mid-life are tightening their belts and upping their retirement savings. Whether it’s cutting down on luxury expenses or setting up automatic savings transfers, ant such changes can make quite a big impact in time. It may sound like a cliché but it’s never too late to start, so why not start today?

Understand Auto-Enrollment

Auto-enrollment is a cornerstone of retirement savings. With upcoming changes lowering the enrollment age to 18 and removing the lower salary limit, it’s becoming more inclusive. Leveraging the  auto-enrollment ticket could turn out to be one of the best decisions you make for your retirement.

Considering a SIPP? Take Control of Your Investments

A Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) offers singular control over your investments. Making regular contributions or occasional lump-sum deposits into a SIPP is another way to top up. They provide the flexibility to significantly grow your retirement pot. However, it is always important to bear in mind that investments can go either way, up or down.

Don’t Hit Pause on Pension Contributions

During tough times, you might be tempted to pause your pension contributions for a while, trying to take care of the present whilst gambling the future. Doing so can have long-term consequences that might seem less important now. Higher earners particularly stand to lose more in this situation. Weigh the short-term gains against the potential long-term losses carefully. Take a look at our guide to growing your pension pot.

Final Thoughts

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to retirement planning. Start early, stay informed, and don’t hesitate to seek professional pension advice. You’re looking to make smart choices today for a bright and comfortable tomorrow.

For more detailed guidance and resources, check out this useful retirement planning guide.

If you’ve got questions or need a helping hand with your retirement plans, give me a shout. Together, we can ensure your retirement years are everything you’ve dreamed of and more.

Planning for Retirement


This guide is for general information purposes only and does not constitute financial or legal advice. You should not rely on the information contained herein as a substitute for seeking professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

Tax & Legislation:

Tax treatment and pension legislation can change. Consult a tax advisor for personalised tax implications and visit GOV.UK ( for updates.

Investments & Access:

Pensions are long-term investments with fluctuating value. Access is typically restricted until age 55 (57 from April 2028, exceptions may apply).

Accuracy and Timeliness:

While all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy and timeliness of the information contained within this guide, no guarantee can be offered. We cannot accept liability for any loss arising from actions or omissions taken in reliance on the information provided.

Professional Advice:

For tailored financial or legal advice regarding your pension arrangements, it is highly advisable to seek professional guidance from a qualified financial advisor or solicitor.

Regulatory Statements

Equity Release

Equity Release plans are not right for everyone. And it is important that you fully consider your options and receive independent financial advice before making a decision. It is also important that, if you do decide to use an equity release product, you choose one that meets your needs.

Remember that taking an equity release plan is generally a long term option. However, there are flexible plans available that may fit your varying needs and some will allow you to repay in the future without penalties.

Buy to Let Mortgages

Some Buy to Let Mortgages are not regulated by the FCA.




All investments involve a degree of risk of some kind. This section describes some of the risks which could be relevant to the services we provide you. We may provide further risk information during the course of our services to you, as appropriate.

Our services relate to certain investments whose prices are dependent on fluctuations in the financial markets outside our control. Investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and you may get back less than the amount you invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

True Advice Financial Services is a trading style of TA and SE Hollom Ltd. Which is an Appointed Representative of New Leaf Distribution Ltd. Which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority : Number 460421.

Registered Office : New Leaf Distribution Limited, 165 – 167 High Street, Rayleigh, Essex, SS6 7QA

Tony Hollom