‘You can’t afford to get this wrong!’ Britons urged to ‘rethink’ retirement plans

Feeling fear or worry can often come from the “not knowing”, but this may be the time to properly plan and rethink current strategies and seek professional advice. Expresss.co.uk spoke exclusively with financial expert Peter Komolafe on the ways people in their 50s can maximise their pension pots before retirement, even if they are worried that they haven’t saved enough.

The first thing he stressed was the fact that it is never too late to get started, however for people of this age “time is of the essence”.

For most people, they may spend some time trying to figure out what to do, but he argued “don’t waste any time, rethink and go over your strategy and start from the beginning”.

The first thing Mr Komolafe suggested was looking for workplace pensions.

At that age, it is likely that one has had several job roles in the past so it’s important to know whether they have a pension in place there.

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He said: “If you’ve had previous roles as an employee in a business, you may have an old pension scheme such as defined benefit or final salary pension.

“If you do, that will generate a guaranteed pension pretty much for life, but you have to look and find if you have this.”

He said Britons should sit down and write lists of every person they have worked for to make the process easier over the last 30 or 40 years since they began working.

He mentioned there are providers who will consolidate one’s pension and do this for them.

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Mr Komolafe continued: “Pension Bee for example, all they ask you for is your name, National Insurance number and the name of the employer. They will then approach the companies and see if there is a pension there.

“If you do have a final salary, they will tell you that you have guaranteed benefits with the pension, however you will need to see a financial advisor for this.

“At least now you would have gone from not knowing, to actually knowing you have something.”

Moreover, the next step people should take is trying to get a state pension forecast.

He urged Britons at this point to seek professional advice, so they have an active target to work towards.

He said: “Do you want to live a life where you can only afford essentials, or do you want to be able to have a comfortable retirement and lifestyle?

“You will need a different amount of money depending on your answer.

“Don’t be afraid of asking for help.”

For those in their 50s who may be worried, Mr Komolafe stressed “you cannot afford to get this wrong”.

He concluded: “There are so many other factors to take into consideration when you’re this age such as the age you want to retire, can you withstand the dips in the market, what type of growth can you get with investments so it’s important to just start.”

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