0 Ready for Retirement? You’re in the Minority if you are. By The Bower Team / In Retirement Planning Only 5% of pre-retirees are feeling ‘fully prepared’ for retirement says the latest MGM Advantage Retirement Nation Report, and this is a shocking drop in comparison to 2008 figures which dictated 39% were ready and waiting for a comfortable retirement. Worryingly, only 15% took financial advice from a professional. 8% went to their bank for guidance and 6% asked a friend what they should do. 35% of over 65s who are still working expect to carry on until they are 71 and 9% plan to carry on until they are 80. MGM Advantage director Craig Fazzini-Jones said: ‘It is hugely worrying that so many people nearing retirement are unprepared for the financial implications of this stage of their lives. Part of the problem is that relatively few people seek professional advice before they retire, but it’s crucial that people are extremely proactive in checking their finances at this time. This lack of financial planning means that more people will have to work longer to ensure that they have an adequate income in retirement.’ Only 31% have managed to get some sort of savings together to live on in retirement. Don’t want to work until you’re 80? So, what to do if you don’t want to go on working until you’re 80? If you haven’t put anything by to supplement your pension once you can finally get your hands on it? How about your property? If you own it, and you have money in it, why not release some of it as tax free cash to help make ends meet and boost your spending power? You could pay off a mortgage; clear debts; get yourself an emergency savings fund; pay for improvements to the house; go away on holiday more often; treat the kids. Whatever you want, whatever you’ve always wanted, you could do by releasing some of the value locked in the home. Geoff Charles is the Managing Director of Bower, an award wining equity release specialist. He has this to say: ‘If you are worried about having enough to live on when you retire or want to make sure you have spare cash to spend on the good things you’ve looked forward to, have a think about equity release. As long as you take independent advice and choose an adviser who works in your best interests, you’ll have no worries about whether it’s the right thing to do.’ Equity release may involve a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan. To understand the features and risks, please ask for a personalised illustration. Bower is an FCA regulated independent financial advice company that offers specialist advice on equity release throughout the UK. For more information email [email protected] or call 0800 4118668. Bower offers a no obligation initial consultation to homeowners considering equity release.