The key to preparing your finances for retirement is to start planning as early as you can. By doing so, you’ll be giving yourself the best chance of enjoying a comfortable later life.

Retirement planning is also an opportunity for you to take action to help protect your family’s wealth for future generations.

Why plan for retirement?

After decades of working, retirement is your chance to have more time to yourself.

You can book that long-haul holiday you’ve been dreaming about, take up a new hobby, or rediscover a favourite pastime. It’s also an opportunity to spend more time with your family and friends.

But before you can start enjoying this freedom, you’ll need to ensure you have the money to give you the retirement lifestyle you want.

When should I start planning?

As early as possible.

Of course, we understand this is much easier said than done. After all, we all lead busy lives, juggling work, family, and other commitments. What’s more, the prospect of spending time creating a plan for your retirement might not sound overly exciting.

But we can assure you that putting a plan in place will be well worth the effort. And by the time you clock off from work for the final time, you’ll be glad you prepared your finances in advance.

What do I need to do?

A good place to start is to check when you can retire and how much pension you could get, such as State Pension, workplace pension and/or personal pension. You can also investigate whether you have any old pensions you might have forgotten about.

You may even want to consider delaying the date when you start receiving your pension, to give you more in the pot for the future.

What about inheritance tax?

Inheritance tax (IHT) is a tax that applies to your estate, rather than to you.

You won’t be required to pay any tax on the first £325,000 of your estate (the nil rate band) but anything above that amount may be taxed at 40%. You may also have a residential nil rate band of £175,000, depending on your circumstances.

And you’ll be pleased to know it is possible, and sensible, to take steps to lessen your IHT burden.

For example, if you give a gift to someone during your lifetime, they won’t be charged inheritance tax if the gift is below £325,000 and is given at least seven years before you die.

Should I set up a trust?

Despite changes in recent years, a trust can still be an effective method of protecting your family’s wealth in the long term and can offer IHT benefits. It’s a way of managing your assets, such as money, investments, land and buildings.

Anything else?

If you own several properties, you may want to consider bringing your family into a partnership. Or you may have company shares you could pass on to your family.

Professional tax advice

The team at Churchill Taxation can help you plan your finances, so you can enjoy a secure and happy retirement. We’ll also help you ensure more of your money goes to your family, and not the taxman.

Our private client team can:

  • Help you create a plan to ensure your wealth passes to your beneficiaries
  • Explain how different generations can benefit, possibly taking in to account complex family situations
  • Assist you with estate and inheritance tax planning
  • Liaise with your solicitor (or one recommended by us) to prepare a will to make sure your aims are carried out

Call us today on 07813 434195 or send an email to

Steph Churchill

Stephanie Churchill

Managing director & co-owner of Churchill Taxation

Retirement planning ad in The Guardian

Retirement planning ad in The Guardian