What's Your Retirement Income Outlook?
The pension freedoms of 2014 radically altered the way many expats are now able to access their retirement funds. The changes, which came into force in April 2015, ended the age of annuity-by-default and allowed people to take multiple tax-free sums, have flexible options regarding income drawdown and provided more scope for expat pensions and transfers into schemes such as SIPPs and QROPS.
However, although these changes have been empowering, they do place a greater emphasis on the need for trusted expat financial advice, particularly for those who wish to maintain the same standard of living they have enjoyed while working once they are retired and have to live entirely of the retirement income generated by their pensions and other assets.
Europe's retirement income outlook
According to a February 2019 study by Ipsos for the ING Group, nearly two in five of non-retirement age Europeans believe that they will be unable to maintain their current standard of living once they retire; while half of the retired people surveyed said they had less income in retirement than they did during their working lives.
There was also some gender-split in the outlook of those surveyed: 30% of non-retired European males were optimistic about their retirement lifestyle, compared with only 23% of non-retirement European females who expressed this view.*
In fact, so many Europeans expressed doubt about whether they would have sufficient retirement income from their assets that half said they expected they would need to work during their retirement. However, 63% said that working into later life may bring social and health benefits, so it is perhaps not all bad news.*
Retirement savers need help and advice
The pension reforms of 2014 were largely only beneficial for wealthier savers with defined contribution schemes. But even this group is not necessarily immune to retirement income problems.
Anyone who has saved hard to create a pension, including those who have a career-spread of smaller pension pots, should seek pension advice sooner rather than later.
Expat financial advice for a wealthier retirement
Whatever the state of your savings and investments, seeking qualified, regulated advice is key to achieving peace of mind as you move towards retirement.
Blacktower Financial Management provides expat financial advice from its offices throughout Europe, the UK and the Cayman Islands. We bring more than thirty years of experience to our clients, helping them to protect and grow their wealth while taking full account of their unique cross-border financial situations.
If you would like to speak with us about having a review of your expat pensions and retirement investment strategy or to talk to us about other broader international wealth management concerns, contact your local office today.
* All figures taken from:
https://think.ing.com/uploads/reports/ING_International_Survey_Savings_Retirement_Saving_Challenges_2019_FINAL.pdf - Accessed 11-07-19