Angellica Bell

Rewirement podcast

Life comes with big financial decisions. How much should I pay into my pension? Can I retire early? This show can help you make sense of your money and plan for the future, with help from our guests. Listen now.

Angellica Bell: Hello, and welcome to Rewirement, the podcast where we help you make the right connections to create your brightest financial future, brought to you by Legal & General. I’m Angellica Bell, and in this series we are meeting a whole range of real people with real financial issues.

From ‘when should I start a pension?’ to ‘how do I balance today’s expenses with saving for tomorrow?’. We have searched up and down the country for anyone willing to share their story. We’ve also found a team of fantastic financial experts who are already with some excellent suggestions. Now, each time you’ll hear what happens when they get together, and we hope that it’s not just our willing participants who get great information, but that you will too.

This time we are dealing with something lots of us wonder about - is it possible to retire early, say in your fifties? It’s an appealing idea isn’t it, being financially secure enough that you don’t have to work and being young enough to really make the most of all that freed up time to travel, pursue your passions. Not having to worry about making ends meet in the way you might have done in the past. But how realistic is it for most of us? Well, today we’re meeting two people looking for the answer to exactly this question, but whose circumstances are really very different. So, first, let’s say hello to Gwen who’s with us now.

Hi, Gwen.

Gwen: Hi.

Angellica Bell: How are you?

Gwen: I’m very well, yourself?

Angellica Bell: I’m well, thank you. Thank you for asking.

Gwen: No problem.

Angellica Bell: Now I’ve been reading up about you, but I’d like you to tell everyone listening a bit about yourself.

Gwen: I’m Gwen, I’m 44 years of age, and the question that I posed at the time was whether I would be able to retire at 51. And I wouldn’t say comfortably retire, but just have the dream of letting go a little bit.

Angellica Bell: Let’s just find out a bit more about what you do day to day, because you work in a supermarket, don’t you? You’re a cashier.

Gwen: I do, yes. I was in the army for near enough seven years, got out the army, had three children and joined the supermarket, which I’ve done for 11 years, so it can’t be that bad, but it’s got to the point and from Covid it gave me a different mindset. It gave me a different lifestyle, and I kind of liked laid back things that were happening around me and it made me want more.

Angellica Bell: So, although you love your job, COVID made you think a lot about what’s happening afterwards. And I guess you must be surrounded by people as well who are thinking about that sort of thing.

Gwen: I'm around people of a certain age. So, when they've hit the age of 63, they thought they’d be retiring at 64, then it goes on and goes on. And I don’t want to be in that situation where the goal posts keep moving. I want to take the decision out of their hands and say, " Right, this is my plan,” and work with it.

Angellica Bell: Yeah. And are there any key questions you’re specifically looking to be answered when it comes to your finances?

Gwen: It was just where to put the money. We’re pretty good with retirement plans. We can’t put them anywhere else or much more money into them. And it was just purely to get them out of that safe, safe account where they’re doing nothing to something maybe a little bit riskier to make a bit more money.

Angellica Bell: Yeah. So, you want your money to work for you, well, listen, we found someone who could help you. Jeremy Howe, he’s a very experienced independent financial advisor based in Dorset, and you two got the chance to talk. So, let’s have a listen to some of that conversation.

Jeremy Howe: The biggest problem people have with early retirement is they don’t quite estimate how much money they’re going to spend. Because suddenly, probably would sort of say with your family, et cetera, that the most expensive days of the week are the weekend.

And here you’re going to have one long weekend from age 51, which sounds fantastic by the way. So well done on your aspirations to do that. But obviously you do have to look at what your budget might be during those years, because it may be more than you think.

Where are you at the moment with savings then? Because I know you said you would look to source any gap in income from savings plans. Have you made savings or are you looking to start saving a bit more regularly?

Gwen: We have a slush fund. My husband had a motorcycle accident about four years ago and it just really made me realize how the pack of cards could fall with him being the main breadwinner. So, I save like crazy, and I cleared the mortgage.

Jeremy Howe: Wow.

Gwen: And then we have a slush fund just in case anything does go wrong, such as boiler, roof, or things like that. But obviously I think we need something on top that they take the money away from me for five, 10 years, and then I can access it then. And it’s almost liked a goal as opposed to me would probably dip into it if I was left to my own devices.

Jeremy Howe: I understand where you’re coming from because a lot of clients say the same thing really, that they do save, but oh, hang on a minute, there’s a holiday looming or whatever, or a new car, and the money goes.

And I guess where a financial advisor comes in, that we can sort of start you up with some sort of regular savings, which is a bit more disciplined saving where every month from direct debit money gets paid into an account, we would sort of think, well, if we can keep it there for 6, 7, 8 years, it's open ended, that would make absolute sense because that would tie in very nicely with your income needs at that time.

The thing to say too, because I know you were asking a little bit about ISAs, and if you are not too risk averse a stocks and shares ISA over that sort of period of time could work very nicely for you.

At the moment the ISA limit is £20, 000 per individual per year. So quite a lot of money. And when you come to draw on those funds, they are actually tax free in your hands as well.

The downside to that in a way is the fact that you’ve also to invest in that kind of arena, you’ve got to have an element of risk. At the moment, as I’m sure you are aware, we are living in quite a volatile time. So, we have to be mindful of that. How do you generally feel about investment and risk? Have you taken any financial risk that I should be aware of that are either come off or not?

Gwen: I’m more of a middle of the road person. I don’t want to do something too risky because obviously I have dependents and that would worry me a little bit. I’m not that safe that I would want to get 0. 0001% savings like we are getting at the moment, that’s slight exaggeration, but middle of the road where there are slight risks and it just goes up nicely as opposed to going up frighteningly or going down frighteningly, I’m just a little bit wary of that.

Jeremy Howe: That’s fine. I think it’s worth saying too that because of the time span that you’ve got before you sort of reach that age when you might want to slow down work wise, we’ve got time for the markets to do all sorts of things, go up and down and sideways, and still in six, seven years’ time or whatever you’re going to be in a position where you’ve got a nice little return on your savings.

The other thing that I think you need to sort of consider is that at 51, you’re still going to be young.

Certainly, young in my eyes anyway, and with that in mind, what we find is with a lot of clients it’s just a lifestyle thing these days. That they might not want to do what they’re doing for 40 hours a week at the moment, but quite honestly to be working full time and then going to doing nothing in the work environment is not necessarily the right thing for you.

And it may well be that nearer the time you decide to do some part- time work, that type of thing. And that is something that we would take into consideration when looking at what your income needs are there.

Gwen: Yeah. We don't want to fully retire. As and when needed we’d probably do some agency work. We both have licenses from the army for HGV or LGV and warehouse.

Jeremy Howe: Oh wow.

Gwen: So, we’d probably use that as and when the market wanted it, really.

Jeremy Howe: Well, there we are. We don’t know what the future holds, but that is a real opportunity. And you always sort of feel there is always going to be a demand for drivers, isn’t there?

Gwen: Yes. I was going to ask, with reference to the ISA with stocks and shares, how much would you invest a month? Because I’ve just come out of the government help to save where again £ 50 was took away from me, but it also had a very good interest rate if you left it alone.

Jeremy Howe: That’s a very good question. I’d put it back to you and sort of say, what are you looking for at the end of any given term? And we would kind of work our way around that.

You sort of said at the moment, you’ve been saving £ 50 a month and with most stocks and shares ISAs that would be a starting level. But the other thing which I think is interesting with ISAs, if you were saving let’s say for example £ 50 a month, £ 600 a year, if for whatever reason there was a bonus at work or anything like that, you could pay in a lump sum alongside that as well.

And so, they are incredibly flexible. If in a year’s time you had a pay rise and you thought, " I’d like more of that to go towards my future savings,” there’s absolutely no issue with you increasing your savings by another £ 20 a month or whatever.

The other thing that we do these days often is looking to achieve over that period of time.

So, if you sort of said, " I’ve got a goal that I want to save,” for arguments sake £10, 000 by a certain date, we will then look at what you need to do to achieve that.

And obviously it’s only guesstimate at best because of the fact that we don’t know what the markets are going to do, et cetera, but what we can do is give you a little bit of guidance.

For any transaction that we do with the client these days, we do very much look at budget analysis to know what comes in, what goes out, and what’s spare. And that’s always a really good exercise for the client as well, because sometimes they go, " Really? We spend X amount on eating out or coffees,” or whatever it happens to be.

Gwen: It’s mainly going on petrol at the moment, seriously, that’s our major outgoing at the moment is fuel.

Jeremy Howe: And that came from nowhere really didn’t it. A few months ago, we would’ve been horrified at what it cost to fill up the car now, but that’s not going to go away in the short term certainly. And again, this is the issue with your overall plans because we’ve got to make sure that you can live comfortably if you are either reducing your hours or stopping completely.

Gwen: Yeah. I’ve got an army pension, which I’m allowed to apply for when I’m 60, it’s another 15 years away, that. My husband’s pension’s actually kicking in next year. I have a pension that I can’t really put much more into with a well-known supermarket. And I have a pension that I could buy a meal for one with from a local authority. It was £34.

Jeremy Howe: You are in a similar place to a lot of clients these days where they have various career paths and sometimes you do find yourself with a bit of pension here and a bit of pension there. Again, an advisor can collectively look at those for you and just make sure that you are making the right options for them. Because you sort of said too about having a personal pension sooner rather than later, didn’t you? Do you know the values of that? Do you keep track of that?

Gwen: I do, yeah, but I must admit they’re just like figures to me. I don’t really understand them. I’m just hoping it’s a happy surprise at the end. But I do know that I’ve put down for 55 to collect it, but I won’t, I just wanted to put that goal in, but I already know that they’ve put that age back up to 57 when you’d be able to draw it. I think it’s been written into the contract that I would have to be over 57 because I think they’re that frightened of people drawing on the pension and running out of the money.

Jeremy Howe: There is an issue there and legislation is being considered at the moment because of the 55 stroke 57 issue. But that’s a good plan really when you sort of say, " Well, the plans there. I could take it, but I won’t." Because the longer you leave it there, if it’s in the right funds, et cetera, you will enjoy growth and it’ll last that much longer when you do look to draw that plan.

But again, engaging with an advisor would help you because if you selected those funds some time ago and they haven’t been looked at since, that may not necessarily be in the right place now for you. If you had a sum of money in the bank and it wasn’t making any money, you’d probably move it to another account.

And sometimes things like pensions get left behind because people think, well, that was then, it’s just running along in the background from a previous job role or whatever. And it really is worth considering what your options are with those plans.

Gwen: Where savings are concerned there are Gray areas, such as people, myself included, keep our money in one particular bank where, again, the interest rates are abysmal, but my husband won’t change it because he’s been with that bank since he was 16.

Even though I keep going, right, there’s different cash back offers, things. I've got to actually convince him and he’s frightened everything will be messed up such as direct debits, savings and things, but it really is the worst of the worst interest rates for a current account. And I think we just need to get a little bit savvier and sit down and go, " This isn’t working anymore. They’re not working hard for our money anymore. Maybe we should try a different bank." But that’s a bit of an uphill struggle sometimes with a fear factor.

Jeremy Howe: I am with you, and I’m with your husband to a degree because I hear it so often. I have to say generally speaking to switch current accounts now is that much simpler than it ever was. We look for the best energy deals and everything else and the best car insurance and why would we not look for the best bank accounts? And that’s key to part of financial planning.

Gwen: So, it’s the only thing that is probably... We’ve not evolved.

Jeremy Howe: Right. Okay. That’s interesting. Yeah.

Gwen: I’m going to replay this conversation for him. Obviously when my husband left the army was 2008 and the banks went a bit funny then as well. So, it was six months without any employment, and we did fantastic. Collected all our direct debits in someone’s space.

Got rid of any subscriptions. We took it down to the quick. And looking back, it made us stronger because we had three kids under the age of five at the time. So again, that made me really savvy, savvier than maybe I should be. Jeremy, would it be realistic for me to finish work and retire, semi- retire at 51 and almost go off grid as long as everything’s paid, such as utilities, tax, and just obviously draw my pension at 60?

Jeremy Howe: I think that you would stand a better chance the most because you’ve already said that you can budget, and you’ve lived through some difficult times. I think you are more aware than most that your lifestyle would change and maybe you would have to look at your expenditure.

Gwen: I’m 44 now, is there anything else that I can do or push for that will help me achieve my goal?

Jeremy Howe: I think there is. I think the one thing that will make a difference is I think that when you save it should hurt a little bit, not too much. So, if you’ve got a figure in mind that you think that you could save on a monthly basis, have a think again and maybe cut out one or two luxuries in life that you’ve got at the moment and think, you know what, this longer-term aspiration to stop working at 51, that may be achievable if I make it hurt a little bit now.

Angellica Bell: Gwen, what did you think? Does it feel like you might be able to do this?

Gwen: I believe so. Yes. I just need to get my husband on board now and work on him.

Angellica Bell: I mean, that’s the story of our lives really, isn’t it?
Gwen: I will drag him kicking and screaming if he has to, he has to come on board with this one. He's given me a lot to think about, a lot to sit down and have the conversation probably over a glass of wine with my husband and go, " Right. We need to do X, Y, and Z." It might hurt in the interim, but eventually when things are more relaxed, the kids have grown up.

Angellica Bell: Yeah.

Gwen: Time for us to go off and travel and do it within our time limits and relying on other things.

Angellica Bell: So basically, just taking the hit so that you can still reap the benefits later.

Gwen: Very much so.

Angellica Bell: So, as I said, we’re looking at retiring in your fifties from two different angles, and right now I’m joined by someone else who wants to, well, not exactly retire, but have some financial freedom. So, Jo, welcome to Rewirement. How are you?

Jo: I’m great, thank you. Thank you for having me.

Angellica Bell: Not at all. Now tell us a bit about your situation.

Jo: So, I worked hard as a teacher all my life in Paris. And last year we decided to come back to England with my 13-year-old daughter and am just selling my flat there. And in about two or three months, I will have a million pounds, which is a ridiculous sum of money, but fantastic.

Angellica Bell: But you’ve worked hard for years.

Jo: I know, I know. It’s just wonderful. I’ve been asset rich and cash poor all my life and now I’ll have some money. So, I’ve just signed on at Brighton Uni to do an MA in Fine Arts, and I want to have five years looking after my daughter, living without having to work full time, and just really exploring life, being creative. And I want to just make the best decisions for investment of that money.

Angellica Bell: So, this is like a new chapter for you, which is very exciting.

Jo: Yeah, it is. I love living in Paris, it’s extraordinary, but I also adore living by the sea. Brighton’s just the most sensational vibe here. People are so warm and friendly and open, and yes, I feel free for the first time in my life. And that’s a great feeling.

Angellica Bell: Well, Jo, the Rewirement team has kept Jeremy busy because you also spent some time with him and had some very specific questions.
Jo: In the old days, there was no interest on money so that nobody just saved money because there was no interest rate. But I’m wondering whether just to sit it out for a year or two, putting the money somewhere in a bank might not be more intelligent than trying to find my way around a 50% purchase of a house and 50% investment portfolio.

Jeremy Howe: I feel that although we can’t imagine that the property boom will continue at the same rate that it has over the last couple of years or so, one thing that is interesting is just how the rental market is still very buoyant. And there are still a lot of people that want to rent properties and there’s not enough houses for those.

So, I think what you’d have to do initially is to park the idea of maybe making money on your investment, but thinking, well, is this going to solve another problem for me? Is this going to solve some of my income needs in the short term? And that is a definite yes, it would do. I feel the other danger is that if you just sat on your deposits for the next year or two, we have another issue in this country now, which is inflation.

I do wonder how that would really sort of manifest itself in your everyday world, because I feel that you would probably tap into your savings at a rate more than they were growing, certainly. I think what you need to do is to maybe, let’s have a look at the property market, if I bought a property for, I don’t know, let’s say £350, 000, what kind of rental yield would that give me?

And then you’ve got to think about the other issues such as would you want to manage that rental property yourself or would you want to bring in an outside agency to do that, and where would you buy the property as an example?

So, all these things, you need to be giving consideration and thought before you proceed, but certainly with the investment markets being as volatile as they are as well now and the economy as it is, I certainly feel that property would be, pardon the pun, the foundations for what you are looking to achieve.

And if you consider that in 10 years’ time, you’re going to receive a pension income and you’re aware of what that is at this stage, it may be that you could buy a property with a view of keeping that property for 10 years if you like to help bridge that gap.

Jo: Are you advising me not to go down the route of an investment portfolio currently then? Is that really something that you’d be scared of? I’m really excited by it. I was really excited about the idea for a while until suddenly the world switched around on its axis once again, the Ukraine happened and suddenly there’s just so much anxiety and-

Jeremy Howe: I’m not saying that at all. I think what you need to do is to tread carefully and think about what your short-term needs are as well. There would be an argument to say now that to invest when the markets are so volatile, it may be a fantastic opportunity.

However, we don’t know now if we’re at the lowest point in those markets or whether the markets are going to continue to be volatile and maybe slow further. I think one thing that the pandemic’s done for us though is just showed how quickly the markets can rebound.

Jo: So, can I ask you what sort of percentage you would recommend, would you recommend me putting in 30% of the money into an investment portfolio and the rest in property, would you say 50/ 50 was a fair idea, given that I’m comfortable with a slight level of risk, obviously a medium level of risk?

Jeremy Howe: The risk is absolutely critical to what recommendations would be made, but in the first instance too I think we would need to look at what your short term needs are as well, because any money that you put into an investment portfolio, if you invested today and then in three months’ time said, " Oh, I've overdone it and I'd rather have £ 20,000 to buy a new car," for example, or whatever it happens to be, that would've been maybe the wrong time to invest the full amount now.

So, we’d really need to sit down, look at your plan for the next 10 years, and if you thought that there was a given percentage, whether that be 30% or 50% that you were able to put away for five to 10 years, then I’d be very comfortable in taking things forward.

Jo: But I know exactly what I want to do.

Jeremy Howe: Do you now? Okay. Excellent.

Jo: Well, in my plan, I gave myself a hundred grand floating, which will pay for education, holidays for the next let’s say seven or eight years, and I really want £ 5, 000 a month to live on. And I want to be able to have that as a baseline. So, the choices I make are dependent on that.

So, if I buy a property that doesn’t give me that, I’ll have to go into portfolio, investment portfolio to make that up and draw on that money and not leave it in there. So, my idea is not to take it all out after 10 years, but it’s to be able to draw on that money every three months, let’s say, to supplement my income. So, it’s not about investing something to get a big lump sum at the end. I’m not interested in that.

Jeremy Howe: Okay. That’s interesting, but we still need to consider risk and where we would invest the money. Because if, for example, that you invested in a very low risk environment, as an example, even if it was for the long term, it may be at some point that it can’t sustain your income over a long period. And obviously one of the goals that you’ve got is to sustain that income.

And it’s not a case of maybe making money on the initial capital. However, we can’t have that capital run out either. And so, these days there are many financial tools that we can use to help guide you when it comes to risk and withdrawing safely from an investment to make sure that it sustains your lifestyle for however long you want it too really. And we can also factor in things that further down the line, as an example, there will be pension income available to you.

Jo: I guess, Jeremy, what I want to know, the bottom line is am I being realistic in wanting to earn 5,000 a month for the next let’s say 10 years, the capital doesn’t have to go up that much, but can I do that? Can I pull that off? Is that feasible? With a mixture of sound financial investment and let’s say one property that brings me rental.

Jeremy Howe: I feel that your objectives for a 10-year period, it would be met. I guess as an advisor, one thing that we always do is say you’ve come up with a figure of £ 5,000 per month and I respect that, but we would want to really drill down a little bit and say is that necessary, or could we start at a lower amount?

Or are you factoring in maybe some costs that are going to increase in a year or two? Or do you need that from day one? And I’ll give you an example of where that can be a big issue, is that if you invested some money today and then drew an income from that immediately, and the markets were volatile and going down at that time, your capitals got to work particularly hard, if you like, if you draw down 60K in the first year from a falling market.

Whereas what we’d probably do is say, " Look, let’s keep 60,000 to one side to sort you out for that first year, and draw that from deposit-based investments, and let’s get your investment working for you for a year."

But the other thing I think is key is that rather than say, " Will it be enough, or won’t it be enough?" Is the fact that as part of our review process, we would always consider, let’s have a look at the previous 12 months performance. Let’s have a look at your outgoings now and see what’s changed there. It may be that your rental yield is such that the investments not got to work quite as hard. I’m going to sit on the fence if you don’t mind.

Jo: I do mind. I want certainty.

Jeremy Howe: I know. And to be honest with you, in the whole of investment portfolios and property investing and everything else, there aren’t really certainties. I think that the solution is for the client and the advisor to meet on a regular enough basis, so you don’t get a nasty shock six years down the line when we sort of say, "Do you know what, your money’s running out,” or whatever, it’s a case of let’s look at it on a pragmatic basis of where we’re at, at this stage and do that at regular intervals throughout the term.

Angellica Bell: So, Jo, you were looking for certainty, as you said, and we know that’s not really something anyone can give you when it comes to things like investments, but did talking to Jeremy help you make some decisions?

Jo: Yes, obviously certainty’s impossible in life. It wouldn’t be a brilliant life if we were sure of it, because that’s the whole point of life.

I was looking for some guidance. He reassured me that people who play the markets are geniuses, and they bounce back and they’re able to really anticipate, be agile, react to even the most difficult situations such as COVID. So perhaps I’m a bit less worried about the current climate and I will still invest some money in the stock market with a very able financial advisor, but I will also think about buying a property that works for me. I think I’m going to move forward on this with a bit more confidence now.

Angellica Bell: Gwen and Jo there, two people with very different stories, but a similar goal.

What do we need to think about if we’re trying to do the same? Well, to help us on this, I’m joined now by Matt Frain. He’s a director at Legal & General Financial Advice. Matt, welcome. So, tell me, what are the key things that need to be in place for early retirement to be a realistic option?

Matt: So, I think the key points that I would focus on here are people often underestimate just how much is required for their retirement and how long they’re going to live. If I can chuck a few stats at you, according to the Office of National Statistics, a 50-year-old woman has an average life expectancy of 87 and a one in 10 chance of living to 99.

Angellica Bell: That’s really high.

Matt: Absolutely.

Angellica Bell: High. I mean, you’d want to get that one year extra in the bag to get the card from the Queen, but still.

Matt: So, this is where the underestimation comes from in terms of life expectancy. So, say you were planning to retire at some point in your fifties, you may well need to fund 30 to 40 years of retirement or even longer if you are that person that goes to 99 plus. So, people really need to think about how long they’re likely to live for and how they fund that.

And furthermore, there was a paper called the Retirement Living Standards, which Loughborough University fed into, so independent research from them. And that suggested that a single person needs around £11,000 a year for a minimum living standard, moving to £21,000 a year if you want a more moderate living standard and then up to £34, 000 for a more comfortable living standard.

So, when you combine the two, the amount you need in retirement and the length potentially of that retirement, it really does require a lot of thought as to what is realistic for most people and how they're going to fund that. And the other side of that that I would throw in is around the state pension. So, the full state pension is broadly £ 9,600 a year as we sit today and is currently payable from age 66, although that state pension age keeps going up. So, people need to think about those shortfalls before that state pension kicks in and how they’re going to fund themselves if they do choose to retire early.

Angellica Bell: Oh, my goodness. Food for thought there, food for thought. And, as well, you can understand why some people don’t retire early. Because if you are thinking of longevity, thinking, " I might need to work longer,” to have a stand of living at the end of their lives.

Matt: That’s it. And there is a trend for people working longer or even re-entering the workforce, having retired for a period and then realize that they either can’t afford to, or purely out of lifestyle choice want to go back into work.

Angellica Bell: Okay, what’s your next point?

Matt: The next thing which I think is incredibly important and I would urge everyone to do this is to get the right help and support from retirement experts, particularly around pensions.

So, if you are age 50 or over, you can have a telephone appointment with Pension Wise who will provide a free impartial pensions guidance service. So, you can go to them and speak to them around am I making the right decisions? What are my options when I come to retirement?

And they will give you that free impartial guidance that will help you to make the decisions that you need. And then of course you can also speak to a financial advisor, who’ll provide that personalised recommendation. And if you don’t have a financial advisor, you can source one from Unbiased.co.uk, where you’ll be able to find a local advisor able to support you.

Angellica Bell: Brilliant.

Matt: The final point for me on this is just around considering all those options. Can people think about changing their careers in later years? Can you move to part- time hours, which for some people eases them into retirement whilst also allowing them to earn some income to help fund retirement in the latter years? There are other things to consider like pension contributions.

Are you maximizing those and taking advantage of tax reliefs whilst you still can?

Taking advantage of employer contributions whilst you still can. Have people looked at the potential of combining their pension pots where appropriate to have them all in one place.

And one that’s often overlooked that I would ask people to really consider is around looking at their property wealth. So, we have lots of people in the UK who are cash poor, but asset rich. And there’s just over £ 1.7 trillion worth of housing stock held by the over 55s in the UK, which is quite a staggering figure and one that’s hard to get your head around, but £ 1.7 trillion.

Now, could people potentially release some of that equity from their home to help fund their retirement? Would that take off some of the pressures of having to work into latter years when they don’t necessarily want to, or haven’t got the health to do so? Would it take some of the pressures off their pension funds? Is that an option for some people? It’s not for everyone, but it’s an option for some.

Angellica Bell: Well, Matt, three points there full of information and tips, which would be helpful for a lot of people. And it’s interesting, when you break it down like that, you think maybe I’ll look at that option. Maybe that option would be right for me. And that’s what this is all about.

Matt: Absolutely, Angellica. Thank you very much.

Angellica Bell: Thank you, Matt. And of course, a big thank you to Gwen and Jo for sharing their financial dreams and schemes. Well, wherever you are in life, you can find lots more resources and information on Legal & General’s website. Just go to legalandgeneral.com.

You’ll also see details of the free Midlife MOT course, which they’ve produced with the Open University.

That’ll give you the tools you’ll need to plan your future wealth, work, and wellbeing.

I’m Angellica Bell, and I’ll be back soon with more people looking for answers to their financial questions, more experts who can help them, and I hope some more insight just right for you. Follow this podcast on your favourite platform and I’ll catch you then.

How can I fund my retirement

If you're approaching retirement, it's important to think about the options for using your pension savings to create an income in retirement.

Read more

Couple laughing together

What tax will I pay on my pension pot?

If you’re looking forward to retirement, it’s good to know the best way to take your money without paying too much tax on your pension savings.
Smiling older woman talking on a mobile phone

What age can I retire?

Whether you're nearing retirement or considering working into your 70s and beyond, there's plenty to think about. We look at a few things that might help you choose the right retirement age.
Man with dog

How to track down your old pensions

If you’re beginning to think about your retirement, having a good understanding of how much your pension is worth can make planning easier and more exciting.