Month: April 2024

Would you start your own business ?

Many of us dream of being our own boss and taking control of our own destiny.

That’s why so many of us are drawn to the idea of starting our own business.

In fact, a study by Travel Counsellors has found that 59 per cent of people in the UK would consider setting up their own venture.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger people are the most entrepreneurially minded, with more than two-thirds of 16 to 34-year-olds saying they would think about starting up a business.

But one in three over-55s are also considering setting up a business – a significant proportion by any measure, and a sign that even 20 or 30 years into your working life, it’s never too late for some to make a big change.

Interestingly, when asked why they want to start a business, people didn’t cite negative reasons such as hating their current job. Instead, they highlighted ways in which they felt that being a business owner could make their life better.

For instance, 41 per cent stated that they want to start a business in order to make more money, while 31 per cent said they thought this would give them a better work-life balance.

In addition, 28 per cent said they were drawn to this option as they wanted to work flexible hours, while an identical proportion revealed they felt it would help them feel a greater sense of control.

The study also revealed that 21 per cent find the idea appealing as they want to feel more fulfilled, while 18 per cent said they want less day-to-day pressure and the ability to set their own targets.

But simply wanting to start your own business often isn’t enough, as there can be many obstacles standing in the way.

For example, 54 per cent said a lack of finance is holding them back, while 36 per cent admitted they are afraid of failure.

Meanwhile, 21 per cent stated that they don’t have a good idea for a business, while the same proportion said there is a lack of adequate infrastructure and support in place.

Matt Harding, Director of Franchise Sales at Travel Counsellors, said: “Our research suggests that starting and owning a business is an aspiration for many British workers, who are increasingly seeking both better financial rewards and work-life balance.”

However, he acknowledged that many of those who want to “embark on an entrepreneurship journey” find the prospect “daunting”.

That’s why it’s so important for aspiring entrepreneurs to get professional, regulated financial advice.

By speaking to a specialist in this field, you can find out what options are open to you as you seek to obtain the finance to start a business and demonstrate that you’re a good risk for lenders.

And once you’ve got going, they can continue to guide you on managing your company’s money and help you navigate the complex world of business finance.

If you have any questions on starting your own business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Will the state pension still exist when you retire ?

The beginning of the 2024-25 tax year saw an 8.5 per cent increase in the state pension – in other words, an extra £900 a year for pensioners.

That’s great news for the current crop of retirees, but what about upcoming generations?

Well, many younger adults aren’t confident that they’ll receive any state pension at all in later life.

In fact, a poll by Phoenix Group’s longevity think tank Phoenix Insights has found that half of under-50s don’t believe a state pension will exist by the time they retire.

It’s understandable that this age group isn’t feeling hugely confident about what they’ll receive in the future, given the wider debate about the state pension that’s currently rumbling on.

With people living much longer these days, providing a state pension is becoming much more expensive for the public purse, especially when you factor in the government’s commitment to the triple lock.

Add to that the fact that the state pension age is set to increase from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028, and could go up again before today’s younger adults even start thinking of retirement, and you can see why under-50s aren’t hopeful.

But as Patrick Thomson, Head of Research and Policy at Phoenix Insights, puts it, the state pension is “an important intergenerational social contract”.

As a result, any moves to scrap the state pension altogether would certainly be hugely controversial, especially among this age group.

Indeed, 84 per cent of adults of all ages said they believe that providing a state pension is an essential role of the government.

In addition, 87 per cent said they think the state pension is there to make sure every single person has a minimum level of income when they retire.

“The state pension matters to all of us,” Mr Thomson continued.

“It is the biggest single part of the social security system and has been the foundation for many people’s retirement income for over 75 years.”

But while the level of support for the state pension came across loud and clear, the survey also highlighted some significant gaps in people’s knowledge.

For example, more than a fifth of over-55s admitted they didn’t know their state pension age – and many of those polled said they didn’t know what the triple lock is.

That’s a real concern, as many of these people will be hoping they’re in the last decade of their working lives and wanting to enjoy a retirement free of financial worries.

Another notable finding was that nearly one in five adults across all age groups believe they could live on the state pension alone in retirement.

The full rate of the new state pension is £221.20 a week, and that’s clearly not enough to cover all your living costs and leave you with enough left over to enjoy hobbies, pastimes and luxuries.

That’s why you should make sure you have plans in place to supplement the state pension, such as workplace pensions, private pensions and other investments, and ensure that these make up the bulk of your income.

Then you can set yourself up to enjoy a much more comfortable lifestyle during your retirement, and ensure you have the means to live the kind of life that you want and deserve.

If you have any questions about saving for retirement and making the most of your pensions, get in touch with our specialist team of financial planners.

We’re here to help and will be happy to speak with you, so get in touch and take charge of your retirement planning today.

How do you decide when to retire ?

As you move through your working life, it’s easy to get a rosy picture of retirement and dream of the day when you finally step away from the office.

But how do you work out when that day should actually be?

Well, there’s no simple answer to this question, as there are so many factors that are unique to you personally.

However, there are several other questions you can ask yourself beforehand as you decide whether or not to make the leap into retirement…

Can I afford to retire?
Ultimately, your ability to enjoy a happy, fulfilling and secure retirement and the lifestyle you desire will be underpinned by your financial situation.

So take a holistic look at your finances so you can work out how much income you’re likely to receive in retirement. This includes your:

Private pensions
Investment income
State and workplace pensions
Cash savings
Social security benefits
Other assets, such as property
It’s also really important to look at your existing debts, as this will eat into your income unless you pay them off as quickly as possible.

What do you want from retirement?
There’s no one-size-fits-all model of retirement. Some may dream of a quiet life, staying at home and pottering around the garden.

Others, meanwhile, might see it as their opportunity to be more adventurous, travel the world, go to festivals and indulge in their hobbies and passions.

Or perhaps you’re someone who wants to spend time looking after your grandchildren and making the most of precious family time.

By asking yourself what you want from retirement, you can then work out what your chosen lifestyle is likely to cost you, and when you’ll be in a financial position to fulfil this goal.

Are you ready for the change?
Retiring is one of the biggest life decisions you’ll ever make. So it’s important to consider the practical and emotional impact of hanging up your professional hat.

You should ask yourself probing questions such as:

How will you fill your days?
Do you have hobbies and interests to keep you physically and mentally engaged?
Do you have friends and family around you, so you stay socially connected?
Are you disciplined enough to structure your days without work?
Is your job a key facet of your identity, and if so, what will you be without it?
Of course, you might have been counting the days to retirement for many years and have no qualms whatsoever about stopping work.

But if you’re someone who thrives in the workplace and has struggled to achieve a good work-life balance in the past, adjusting to retirement can be difficult.

Are you in good health?
Retirement should be a time when you have the freedom to enjoy days out, holidays, family time and activities, so you don’t want to be held back by health issues.

You should therefore do all you can to increase the chances of enjoying good health in later life, such as maintaining an active lifestyle, managing existing conditions and not neglecting your mental and emotional wellbeing.

Investing in your health in the present is an investment in your future, and could put you in a position where you’re able to truly enjoy your retirement years.

Speak to your partner or spouse

If you’re unsure about when to retire, talk about it with your other half. Openly discussing your hopes and expectations ensures you’re both on the same page and working towards the same goals.

Seek financial advice
Getting to grips with every aspect of your finances and working out your likely income in retirement can be complex and overwhelming in equal measure.

However, a specialist financial adviser can take away this burden, examining your finances in the round to create a personalised retirement plan.

They’ll look at everything from your various sources of income to your existing debts, and guide you on what tax strategies can help you maximise your retirement income.

A financial adviser can also help you adjust your plan as your circumstances change over time, so you can be confident that you’re still on track to achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.

Retirement is something many of us dream of, so carefully considering your finances, health and lifestyle ambitions straight away can set you up nicely for the future you want and deserve.