As the baby boomer generation nears retirement, their thoughts invariably turn to pension funds and how they will support themselves once their working life has come to an end. An ageing population means that the average retirement pot typically needs to be larger, to account for the fact that people are simply living longer.

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Most often cited as a concern is maintaining a decent quality of living right through into the 90s; a scenario which is increasingly common as life expectancy increases. The key to ensuring that the requisite financial resources are in place once retirement comes around is in maximising investments whilst working.

  1. Stocks

While this is typically considered a high risk option, there are benefits to be had in certain areas with the right know-how and some thorough research. Industry experts are best positioned to offer guidance on stocks, with expertise that spans decades in understanding fluctuating markets that can often move at dizzying speeds.

Companies such as Fisher Investments in the UK provide portfolio management services and retirement planning to help clients meet their long-term retirement goals and needs.

It might seem as though American companies dominate the headlines in the stock market, but there is definitely money to be made in the London Stock Exchange with the right guidance and some careful planning.

  1. ISAs

ISAs differ from the typical savings account in that they don’t accrue tax liabilities on interest earned up to a specified limit. This is particularly useful for those in a higher tax band who could save a substantial amount on taxed interest in the long run.

It’s worth shopping around with ISAs, as new ones appear all the time. And with increased life expectancy there are more and more specialised ISAs that are tailored towards retirement planning.

Once again, the key is in speaking to advisers who are well-versed in the various types of ISA on offer and who can give you professional and insightful advice that will steer you in the right direction.

  1. Property

The most common form of property investment is buy-to-let. Correctly managed, this can deliver a regular perpetual rental income, in addition to which there is the potential for substantial capital growth and the release of equity upon the sale of all or part of a property portfolio.

Historically, the average return on buy-to-let has been significantly higher than the interest on most savings accounts, making it a potentially lucrative option for those willing to invest the time and effort.

Of course there is a certain degree of commitment required in being an independent landlord and with recent legislative changes to stamp duty and landlords’ responsibilities, there is much to consider in designing and acquiring a portfolio.

If you choose to go down this avenue it is vital to be realistic as what you can feasibly put into this type of investment. Success stories are, however, inspiring.

  1. Maximise Pension Plans

If you already have a pension scheme through your employer or your own business, you may well be working towards a healthy retirement pot. However, there are numerous potential opportunities to improve the longer term return on the capital you have accrued thus far, in addition to your future contributions.

With recent changes fuelling the growth of self invested personal pensions (SIPP) and other variants for business owners, there are a bewildering number of options now available. While choice is a good thing, it can be confusing if you’re not sure as to how your particular income would be best directed.

Investment professionals will take the time to understand your specific circumstances and objectives in order to identify the most appropriate approach. In some cases, this may require a combination of schemes.

  1. Exploring New Income Streams

This is a something of a wild card and will appeal to those who have a potentially profitable hobby or decades of industry experience that can be brought to bear in helping other businesses.

Being creative is beneficial here, and do keep an open mind as to how much work you’d actually need to put into something. Perhaps you have a passion for buying, restoring, and then selling classic cars? If this is something that you’ve enjoyed as a hobby during your working life, it may well translate into a sizeable income once you have more time to put into it.

Professional advisers will be able to offer the best direction in terms of investment allocation, making sure that you are putting an appropriate percentage of your funding into your business idea when balancing it against potential risk.

Be realistic however. Do you really want to start afresh with a new business with the risks and hard work that comes with it?

On the other hand, if the thought of 20 plus years with no official work doesn’t appeal, thinking about ploughing some time and money into something you really care about and could monetise can be an attractive option.

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