What will your retirement look like?

Let’s plan a breath-taking bucket list

Imagine what your retirement will look like. Where will you be, how old will you be, who will you be spending it with and what will you be doing?

Will you be an avid adventurer exploring ancient cities or a mindfulness enthusiast relaxing on a glorious white sandy beach or mountain retreat? Do you see yourself as a green fingered gardener tending to an array of colours in your back garden or getting stuck into an exciting new hobby? Maybe you are simply picturing spending quality time with your adult children and adorable grandkids in a loving family environment.

Couple with financial freedom in retirement ready to travel the world
Willow question icon

When do you need to retire?

The general perception is that you will work for most of your life only to retire once you hit a ripe old age – but who says you won’t be ready for retirement by the age of 50? By 40? Or even 30 years old?

You can retire at any age you choose to as long as you have the financial means to support yourself and any dependents. There are a few options to consider.

Retirement is a point in time when you cease working for good. From this point, your employment income will typically be replaced by one or more of three options:

  • The State Pension
  • A workplace pension
  • A private pension

The State Pension and some other pension funds are governed by certain rules and will have access restrictions. In order to know what’s right for you and to ensure your retirement is a fertile one, it’s best to understand the facts and speak to a professional advisor.

How much retirement money is needed to live your life to the full?

The main thing to ensure is that you have enough money when you retire to maintain the lifestyle you’ve become accustomed to. If not, you’ll be working for many more years or making some big sacrifices in order to live.

A basic way to calculate how much money you will need during retirement is to work out the cost of essential bills and allow for disposable income. Once you have this figure multiply it by 20. This will give you a guestimate pot of money needed if you were to retire at around 65 years old. As with any financial predictions, please consult a professional to weigh up your personal circumstances and requirements.

What pension investment is right for you?

Taking your pension depends on a number of factors, including when you plan to retire, how much pension you will receive from all sources, any other income or investments you have and your attitude to investment risk.

The State Pension requires you to have made National Insurance contributions for at least 35 years in your country of residence.

Investing in a workplace pension will see about 5% of your (Qualifying Earnings) automatically taken from your wages every month and safely placed into your pension pot. Your employer will also contribute to your pension scheme at around 3% of your (Qualifying Earnings) per month into their chosen Workplace Pension Scheme.

There are restrictions on how much you can pay into pension savings each year and the age at which you can draw from your pension but at least you know exactly how much is there.

Becky has been a god send to my husband and I in navigating the complicated world of pensions and life insurance. She always has time to explain your options (even multiple times!) and her advice is practical, always with your goals in mind. I wouldn’t use anyone else for our personal financial advice.

Client 2020

What other ways are there to fund retirement?

You are quite within your rights to pay more National Insurance to top up a State Pension or add a lump sum at the end of the tax year into a workplace pension. There are other ways to fund your retirement too such as property investment, tax-relief ISA funds or private savings.

Again, there will be some restrictions as to how much money can be paid in to or withdrawn from funds but in most cases, long-term investing will pay off.

Private funds, property investments and stock market trading offer many options to choose from, so it’s best to seek professional advice before investing.

Should you be worried about retirement?

The most important thing to remember when planning for your retirement is that life is full of challenges … many unexpected.

Ask yourself how long your money would last if you had an unplanned arrival, departure or event in your family? What would you do if you lost your job, received an unexpected huge bill, had an accident or if inflation spiked or the stock market crashed?

Always be cautious and plan for the unanticipated by being smart with your money. Being creative in how you use and save money can help you to enjoy the present, plan for the future and allow for the unforeseen.

Talk to Willow Financial Solutions to gain a full understanding of what retirement should look like and how you can plan for a fulfilling future.

We have worked with Becky and the team at Willow Financial Solutions for the last 5 years and could not be more impressed. Becky has managed all aspects of our scheme and her technical competence underpinned by a friendly, down to earth manner is greatly appreciated by myself and our employees.

Client Gerry BarkerGerry Barker, Components & Sub Assemblies

I have worked for various Companies over my career and had amassed many pensions from various providers. It was a mess, but Becky sorted everything out for me. She made a complicated and confusing subject really easy to understand and gave me complete peace of mind. I was confident with her advice in consolidating my pensions and appointing a fund manager.

If you want true impartial and professional advice, then you need to trust Becky from Willow Financial Solutions.

Andy Chell , Navitas Edge

To trust a financial advisor with your pension pot is a big decision. However, Rebecca has definitely stepped up to the mark with sound, unencumbered financial advice. Over the years she has been guiding me with robust, thorough and safe judgement taking on board previous and current financial pressures and constraints. I find her advice logical and easy to understand and is deciphered from the jungle of financial jargon. With Rebecca’s evaluation and guidance we are treading a path to a pension model that will certainly suit the lifestyle that I had planned.

Alan Rogers

Becky has been a god send to my husband and I in navigating the complicated world of pensions and life insurance. She always has time to explain your options (even multiple times!) and her advice is practical, always with your goals in mind. I wouldn’t use anyone else for our personal financial advice.


Becky advised us on setting up our corporate pension schemes and life insurances. She expertly guided us through auto-enrolment and continues to advise on updates to the schemes and things to look out for. This is invaluable to the business as we didn’t have the time or expertise to do this ourselves. We trust Becky’s advice and value how proactive she is in looking after the business interests.

Kimberley Walley, AEON Engineering Ltd