Approaching retirement, my pension lump sum wont clear my debts!

On November 17, 2010, in News, by Lewis Alexander
  • When you bought the Beatles hit ‘When I’m sixty-four’ on short play vinyl with one of your first pay packets, it all seemed so far away.  Now a mere forty-something years later, you’ve reached the age of the song’s infamous title!
  • But wait, you’re not ready for it yet!

free credit report UK from ExperianThe unexpected ‘surprise’ third child that you tagged on the end has only just finished university and you are still about ten years away from finishing paying for their studies, the new conservatory and that place by the sea that your wife insisted upon. (Note to self, why oh why didn’t we keep the wife’s flat when we moved in together in the swinging sixties?)

The pressures of ensuring that the children completed their studies, whilst keeping a stable home meant that real planning for retirement seemed pointless as it felt just so far away – except it wasn’t. So the daily expenses were still being piled onto the credit cards, whilst new mortgage deals had still been taken out in your early sixties.

  • The bit that said you would be repaying until you were 75 was lost in the reams of small print that so many of these agreements commonly contain.
  • So surely it wasn’t just the unexpected extra child that led you into this mess?

Well, despite being one of those baby boomers born just after the end of World War Two, whilst many have been very lucky, there are some that seem to have fallen foul of every possible financial mishap.

  • For all too many a family the story reads like this:

Taking an endowment out in the 80’s, just prior to the Wall Street crash, was not the best of starts. A failure to capitalise on Maggie’s privatisations followed, prior to the blackest of black Wednesdays meant that you then lost a job in the early 1990’s, right in the middle of the era of ageism. That is before Brussels interfered!

The remnants of the ‘Power 80’s’ meant you were finished at 40-something, with none of that modern thinking that the middle and end-career applicants have oodles of experience to offer.  Sadly, there was more to come. Being loyal to the bank had meant that you enjoyed a good relationship with a bank manager (who still wore a mac in the pouring rain), but also meant that you missed out on the Abbey National, Alliance and Leicester, Halifax & more demutualisations that handed out £thousands in a short space of time. Then finally, when interest rates started to come down at the end of the 1990’s and the turn of the century, you took a 5-year fix as 6.5% seemed like a great rate (you recalled only just hanging onto your house when rates topped double figures in the 1980s). So you missed out on several good years when you could have been paying a sizeable chunk down on your mortgage.

  • Sob story over, put quite simply, what are you going to do now?
  • The first step in any financial planning is to understand the here and now.

Start by calculating how much you really owe and who you owe it to. Continue by detailing the everyday regular expenses that you incur and your anticipated earnings for retirement. By contacting your pension provider to understand your exact pension income and lump sum options, you will now know exactly what retirement means for you and so it is now possible to look at the options available.

Many people approaching retirement opt to work beyond the standard retirement age. Although the ability to do this varies by industry and employer, start by having a chat with your boss to see if this is something that might be possible – if you want to stay on that is!

If you are worried, unsure or simply don’t know what to do next, then contact Lewis Alexander on 0800 018 6868. Lewis Alexander are personal debt management consultants who can help you understand what options may be available to you.

By calling FREE for a confidential financial healthcheck, we can talk you through the debt solutions available and find one that is best for you at the moment. As we are independent, we look at all cases individually and without bias, prior to agreeing with you the best next steps to take.

We offer a range of financial solutions, from debt management help to insolvency advice. Call one of our debt management consultants now on free phone 0800 018 6868 and start to work out a way to clear your personal debts.

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