While the advent of auto enrolment means that more people than ever are saving in to a pension, they may need more specialised advice later on in life. How then should people who have been used to saving passively be transformed into active participants in shaping their future?

The old days in which those who wished to secure their retirement had very few options are long gone. It used to be that retirees would have a salary-defined pension at a definite date or they could buy an annuity. Pension freedoms, combined with the move away from defined benefit pensions have made the landscape for retirees more complicated than ever, with those that are close to retirement having to take more responsibility than ever before, including when to stop working. So when should you start to think about your retirement?

Don't leave it too late

Your pension provider will send you a "wake up pack" within months of your retirement date, waiting until then is far too late. While it is best to start well before then, the government has floated the concept of a mid-life "financial MOT". 

At a particular age, everyone should review their finances in anticipation of retirement. It has also been suggested that a mid-life career review should also be done in concert with this. Instead of merely working in the same job until retirement age, people could be retrained in a new field in order to see them through to retirement, rather than risking burnout. This would then hopefully enable people to save for longer, and build up their retirement savings. 

Matching your plans

It's important that the fashion in which you have invested is in tune with your retirement plans. The previous approach to this was known as "lifestyling" in which pension saver's money was moved into lower risk, lower return products as they approached retirement. This was mainly designed to smooth the transition to an annuity. However, annuities are no longer purchased by the majority of retirees, making this option no longer make sense.

It's important to keep your investments and pensions under regular review in order to ensure they are being invested in line with your goals.

Your Financial Adviser can construct a financial plan for you that will enable you to meet your financial goals. 

The value of investments and income from them may go down as well as up and you may not get back the original amount invested.

A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend upon the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.