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Our top 7 tips for boosting your income in retirement

Posted on 28/08/2018, by Joe Jones

As life expectancy in the UK increases, so too do our retirement lifestyle expectations. For those fortunate enough to live a long and full life, it might not be unreasonable to expect a retirement to last upwards of 30 years. 

Unsurprisingly, then, many retirees plan on living their remaining life to the full, reporting that they expect to travel and be more active than their parents' generation.

But living longer – and continuing to live well – carries a cost. Retirement is getting more expensive. According to recent research, the average worker will need to build up a pension pot of around £260,000 if they want to maintain their living standards in retirement. It’s a big jump (75%) from the £150,000 roundly considered to have been the benchmark figure in 2002.

For those retirees who are lucky enough to have a pension that covers most of their day-to-day expenditure then, it’s important to be smart about how you manage your other investable assets to support all aspects of your lifestyle. However, today’s low interest/high inflation environment has made this is more difficult than it once was.

Similarly, for those nearing retirement, the fact you’re likely to live longer means you’ll be wanting to shore up as much as possible, making the most of your last years of earning a salary. But the stock market is far too risky so close to a time when you might want the money back.

Luckily, there’s still plenty of ways to boost your income when in retirement – or coming close to it – without investing in the stock market. Here’s our top seven.

1) Reassess your investment portfolio

First and foremost, you should make sure your investment portfolio is adjusted to suit your new situation – preferably with the support of a financial adviser.

Many people will want to be getting a good return on their hard-earned money. However, with a gradually decreasing investment horizon, the daily fluctuations of the stock market may be too much for some.

There are less volatile options available, however, that still target an inflation-beating return. Property-backed peer-to-peer investing  is one example. With some platforms also allowing you to withdraw the interest as an income each month. Although remember, your capital is at risk and instant access cannot be guaranteed.

2) Downsize your home

Are you still living in the family home? Or do you no longer need to be based with easy access to the commuter routes? It could be worth thinking about moving to a smaller property, in a less expensive location. Also, smaller houses tend to require less maintenance, giving you more time to enjoy your retirement.

3) Take in a lodger

Maybe you don’t want to move home, but you still have rooms going free. One good way to earn regular cash is to rent out a room to a lodger. And, following the introduction of the Rent a Room scheme, you can do so and earn up to £7,500 a year tax-free It’s a good way to meet some new people, too!

4) Is there anything else you can rent?

There’s plenty of ways to earn some extra money by renting out assets you have. JustPark connects you with people willing to pay to park their car at your house. Or you could even use Airbnb to let a room for a few nights if you’re not quite able to take in a lodger full time.

5) Track down all your workplace pensions

According to the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP), there is an estimated £400 million in unclaimed pension savings. Often, the reason is simply because people forgot they had one from a previous job. Use the Pension Tracing Service to make sure you haven’t lost track of any of your old pensions.

6) Defer your state pension

If you can afford to, consider boosting your state pension by putting off when you start claiming it. Your state pension will go up by 1% a week for every nine weeks you defer – equivalent to an extra 5.8% a year.

7) Continue working

While many people dream of reaching retirement, many others may feel they’re simply not ready to hang up the boots and give up something they love. More and more people are choosing to return to work after retiring – or ‘unretire’ – often because it’s what they’d rather spend their time doing.

And, it’s by far one of the most effective ways to generate a good income in retirement, too – even part-time. And, once you reach state pension age, you don’t pay National Insurance, which means you’ll receive an extra 12 pence for every pound you earn.