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Floydy
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02-06-2019, 05:23 AM
1

Pension at 55

In a few months time I will hit the grand old age of 55, an age which has become some kind of milestone these days since it is a point whereby those who still work can now 'dip into' their pension before their official retirement date some years later.

I have numerous long-standing debts, mostly from stupid and ill-advised credit card spending many years ago which accumulated to a rather horrific stage. Most of this is paid back but the reason I still have to work nights (now almost 14 years!) is because I've had to pay back almost £600 per month from my wages, a massive proportion of my monthly earnings. I have learned my lesson the hard way by having to be very careful over the past twenty years and even shelving such normal activities such as restaurant meals and expensive holidays.

When I am eligible to take 25% tax free of my works pension, which has a rather nice pot to date, I intend to do so which will pay off all my (and my wife's) debt but also take out enough extra also to get our house absolutely spruced up with repairs and modifications (new bathroom, kitchen, complete re-wire, new garage) so that we don't need to worry too much in our later years, i.e. having to save up for anything. I also intend to place a reasonably sensible amount of about £5k into a separate bank account to cover 'essential happenings' such as a new boiler or things which suddenly go wrong. The nights paid off our mortgage is paid off so at least that's nothing to worry about anymore.

I know most of you on here are over the age of 55 and may not have been in my situation with the early pension pot but I'm wondering if you have any advice as to whether I need to get financial advice just to be safe? I'm thinking about long-term plans and how much to leave in my pension pot without blowing the lot.

One of my main priorities apart from paying off the debt is to get myself off night shifts which are now starting to kill me off slowly, mentally and physically. Do I leave my current job or stay there? If I leave, will I get a job on a similar wage without losing too much? If I stay at my present company but go onto days will a similar job be available without working shifts? These few questions are ones which only I can ask but I need to be thinking about the future soon.

So in effect, it's basically the financial part of my post here that I'm looking for advice on. What would you do if you were in my situation do you think? If I have some options it may help me and my wife decide more easily.

Thanks folks
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swimfeeders
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02-06-2019, 07:28 AM
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Re: Pension at 55

Hi

Keep your Pension, it is accumulating Tax Free at 20%.

Earliest you should take it now is at 64, a royal pain, but such is life.

Use your income to pay off the debts.

One night a week not going out will make a huge difference.

You have to think long term.

My two divorces, not my choice, have cost me £411, 000 over the last 12 years and half my pensions.

Difficult choices to make, but worth it.

I now have a three bed, lovely house, mortgage free and Pensions of over £30k a year after tax.

Take the pain for a few years, it is worth it long term.
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02-06-2019, 08:14 AM
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Re: Pension at 55

I don't know Floydy, you're an intelligent young man, push for promotion!

I've never been in debt, so not the best person to ask. I've got a private pension I could have dipped into at 55, I'm now 67 and still not dipped into it. Not because I think I'm going to last forever, it's just, I can manage without it, in my current situation, so I do.



EDIT to add .... I've been skint, but not in debt.
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02-06-2019, 08:39 AM
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Re: Pension at 55

Keep hold of your pension Floydy and cut your lifestyle expenses instead to pay your debts, your pension is the best form of savings you can get.
I know life has to go on with certain comforts, but we all make choices about priorities for instance...
How many foreign holidays have you taken in the last couple of years?
How much do you spend on the gym or going out to gigs etc?
Didn't you have an inheritance a while back, what happened to that?

Personally, through being in business most of my life I have always cut to the bone to pay off debt as debt interest is just dead money, so I would always rather go without for today and look forward the jam tomorrow, but like I say, we all make our own choices of priorities....
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swimfeeders
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02-06-2019, 08:42 AM
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Re: Pension at 55

Hi

You are so much like me Barry it is scary.
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Donkeyman
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02-06-2019, 09:06 AM
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Re: Pension at 55

Originally Posted by swimfeeders ->
Hi

You are so much like me Barry it is scary.
These two guys have just given you the best advice you
can get Floydy!
Only thing l can add is try to do your house repairs etc
yourself where-ever you can, as it sounds like a lot things
you need doing!
I was surprised at what l could accomplish once l got
started!
Good luck and be careful if you decide to invest your pot!

Regards Donkeyman!
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Primus1
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02-06-2019, 09:18 AM
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Re: Pension at 55

Floydy, Iím in the same situation, I am working in a job I didnít apply for, for a company I wouldnít have chosen to go and work for anyway, a few months ago, a guy from prudential came to see us, my pension is worth a bit, and I could take a lump sum, we have been shafted by them before, so we made an appointment with pensionwise, a government run thing, and free, for 45 mins, I would advise you go and see them, the lady told us that pru, will pay an extra 21k if I donít touch it for another year, my other pension , a company one is worth about 80k, atm, now itís easy for others to say to leave it alone, if you had a job you loved then yes, it wouldnít be hard to just plod along, and draw your pension later, I also have no mortgage/rent, I plan to use mine to semi retire, and leave the job Iíve been doing for thirty years now, find something part time ( or even 40 hours) just less stressful, I plan to see a financial advisor soon to set things in motion, but as I said floydy, make an appointment with the pension wise people , they will advise of your options, although they canít tell you what is best for you, I would start there, good luck mate
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02-06-2019, 09:59 AM
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Re: Pension at 55

Just to give a different view on things, I'm not money minded so I wonder if taking some pressure off by clearing debts and changing jobs might help you healthwise.

It's no good making yourself ill and unhappy if it shortens your life, giving you less time to enjoy retirement.

Make a list of pros and cons, discuss it with your wife and see which gives you the best quality of life.
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02-06-2019, 10:13 AM
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Re: Pension at 55

I was thinking the same thing Tess.

Go for it Floydy.
If you can balance quality and enjoyment of Life , obtain financial security and pay off your debts now why slog along like a fence post getting slowly hammered into the ground just to have more dosh a decade or two later ..when you could get hit by a car crossing the road in 5 years time.

A home owned outright, in good nick, with a reserve emergency fund sounds a perfect strategy to me. Be nice too if over the next decade you can enjoy life more and manage to salt a way a little more money for retirement.

Good luck to you
Remember .... there are no pockets in shrouds.
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Artangel
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02-06-2019, 10:29 AM
10

Re: Pension at 55

If you havenít got peace of mind in your life and your night job is slowly killing you, whatís the point of having lots of money at the end of it? Thatís if you make it!

Live for now. Get rid of the debt because at the moment it is like a rope around your neck that is strangling you.
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