Sandra was 59 and planning to retire after her 60th birthday. Her husband, Colin, was already retired and in receipt of his Teachers’ and State Pensions. Sandra was due to begin to receive her Teachers’ Pension from age 60 and her State Pension from age 65. These combined incomes fully met their regular income requirements.
Sandra also had two personal pensions and wished to investigate the best use of these for her retirement. She was keen to be able to use these funds to achieve some personal goals; she was hoping to be able to visit her daughter, who lived in Australia, as often as she could.
We investigated both pensions and discovered that Sandra’s only option for taking benefits was to use the capital to purchase an annuity. Neither plan has any enhanced benefits, such as Guaranteed Annuity Rates (GARs) or enhanced levels of tax-free cash.
We then considered and investigated alternative pension arrangements that allow for benefits to be taken in other ways.
We performed a cashflow analysis based on Sandra and Colin’s existing pension income and expenditure requirements.
We concluded that once Sandra began to receive her Teacher’s pension, they didn’t need to secure further guaranteed income; their income needs would already be met from guaranteed sources. This income base would be further increased in five years’ time, when Sandra’s State Pension came into payment.
We recommended that Sandra transferred both existing pensions into a new arrangement that allowed for benefits to be accessed by flexible drawdown. This gave her full control over the amounts that she withdrew from her pension, tailoring her income to her needs.
Following her retirement, she was able to access sufficient income to take her dream holiday; visiting her daughter in Australia, with a short break in New York on the way home. She was then able to leave the pension untouched for two years, before doing the same again for Colin’s 70th birthday.
Sandra was in a relatively fortunate situation where her income needs were already met from other sources, allowing her to use her pensions for alternative means and objectives. As her existing arrangements didn’t allow her the flexibility that she required, a transfer to a new arrangement allowed her to achieve her goals.
Not everyone approaching retirement will find themselves in this situation and regular income from a pension will usually be essential to meet regular day-to-day expenditure. It is important to consider the various options that are available, be that flexible drawdown or an annuity purchase, and assess which is the most suitable option.
Whilst having flexible access to a pension may seem appealing, this carries risks. It is therefore important that each available option is carefully considered. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to retirement planning.
What our clients say
The people we help are at the heart of what we do. Here are some of their testimonials.
I knew I needed to begin saving and planning for the future but didn’t know where to start. Stratton helped me to understand my finances and put together a savings plan that is affordable and works for me. I now have and an ISA and a pension, and whilst retirement is many years away, I have the peace of mind that I am saving for my future. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.
Martin Corrigan -
A client since 2016
I have been impressed with the advice and service provided by Stratton Wealth Management and have always found Darius to be approachable, dependable and highly professional in his approach. It is reassuring to be able to have such a high level of confidence and trust when it comes to financial advice.
Russell Jones -
A client since 2018
Many thanks indeed for your in depth report for my client Mrs H – it is most thorough and above all readable. This might sound particularly strange; however you may well gather that in my profession we see many such reports, and I often feel that if the adviser fills it with charts and graphs it evidences a level of research. In truth most of what is produced is readily obtainable from the internet.
I would like to thank you (and your organisation) for your prompt and professional attention to my requirements on behalf of my client. As a practice we shall definitely be putting Stratton Wealth Management on our “preferred supplier list".
Colin Dunstall, Donaldson Dunstall Solicitors -
A client since 2015
I would highly recommend Darius and John. I’ve used a financial adviser previously and could never get in contact with them when I needed their help. Stratton Wealth Management have been excellent from the start. They are always available to talk, and they also don’t talk in financial jargon!
Dave Rigby -
A client since 2015
Having recently transferred my financial management to Stratton Wealth Management, I have been extremely impressed with the highly professional service I have received. I feel I have been fully involved in all decision making, and the company's highly skilled advisers have shown commitment and patience in any dealings I have had with them. I have also always found them to be easily accessible for any discussion I may require.
Denise Thornton -
A client since 2019
As a business owner and father of four children, finances are usually the last thing we think about. Stratton oversees and manages our finances, both in terms of advice for my business and our personal investments. It is comforting to know that our retirement, investment and life insurance planning has been taken care of. Darius and John are always so efficient in dealing with our affairs. As someone with no real understanding of the ins and outs, it has been fantastic to have experts giving us great advice and making sure our best interests are always the top priority.
Lee and Claire Parkinson -
Clients since 2016
Darius deals with my family’s finances and is a very trusted adviser. We meet a number of times a year, but I know I can call him any time if I have any questions. He is proactive, helpful and friendly!
Jonathan Dennis -
A client since 2019
Darius has been our adviser for a number of years, and when he told us he was starting his own firm, we had no hesitation in moving with him. We had a number of areas that we needed help with, including the complexities around an employee share scheme, investments for us and our new child, in addition to our retirement planning. Darius has continually provided us with a first-rate level of service and we would highly recommend Stratton.
Eamon and Holly O’Hara -
Clients since 2017
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