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GrahamL Posted 3 months ago
How much do you need to fully retire at 60 years old?

I’d love to get people’s views on what they feel is a safe amount to retire and not have to work again (other than voluntary work). Mortgage is paid off. Single so don’t have partners income. Enjoy couple of foreign holidays each year (cheaper rather than 5 star). I do enjoy going out each week for a night out and an occasional meal. I feel I can do that on about 19k each year. I know I would need to drawdown more each year till I get my government pension at 67. I’m hoping to have £300k in my pension pot by then and think it would be sufficient but love to hear other people’s views. I’ll obviously speak to professional advisor first. Appreciate anyone’s experience in this area.

2 likes & 42 replies
    • JensW 8th September 2021 at 7:30 pm

      WHICH did a calculator that you complete based on how you want to live and come up with a figure. I don’t have the link but google it.

    • LucasH 8th September 2021 at 7:57 pm

      I feel a spreadsheet coming on 😁

      Firstly, don’t listen to anything I have to say 😁
      But you did ask for views.
      I’m late fifties and have retired.
      Retired or stopped working?
      I’m working on a twenty year spending horizon and not whole life so I could get to my eighties and be skint.
      If I’m fit and healthy at eighty then I might regret spending all the money in this next twenty years.
      If I’m knackered (sorry for the medical term) at eighty then I will be chuckling at my good decision and if I have Altheimers then I won’t have any idea.

      Sorry I’m probably not helping.

      You mention going out and the occasional meal. This could be expensive especially if you up it to a few times and what if you get into a relationship?

      I think you need a spreadsheet to model the what if’s

      • GrahamL 8th September 2021 at 9:59 pm

        I echo your thought process about a 20 year strategy lol. I may regret it if I’m healthy and strong at 80 with no money but not as much as I’d kick myself if I’m ill and worn out at 70 with a ton of money and a very short retirement because I worked till 67.

    • PaulEssex 8th September 2021 at 8:30 pm

      Yes I think a spreadsheet is called for, but ask your Financial Adviser if they can produce a financial plan for you with a tool some use called Voyant, this will give you a far more accurate picture.

      But at a high level for an annual spend of £19K you’ll have to drawdown just over £20K a year to allow for tax due. Assuming you live to 87 the pension required is 27 years x 20K = £540K. But between 67 and 87 you’ll have the State Pension, assuming you are eligible for the max state pension (have you checked) that’s 20 x £9.3K = £186K. With your £300K that gives you a total pension of £486K against a requirement of £540K, so you’re £54K short….

      Of course your spend will likely reduce as you get older, but the calculation above does not take into account inflation eroding the value of your £300K… The only answer to that is to invest the £300K, but then you could lose money if the stock market tanks. An annuity is not really an option as the annual amount you would get from that would unlikely be near enough.

      Sorry if all this sounds negative, but it is a worse case picture. An IFA with Voyant can model the effect of inflation and make assumptions on likely investment returns to give you a more accurate picture on whether you can afford to retire at 60.

      • Nelle96 14th September 2021 at 10:10 am

        But you’ve not taken growth into account. On a £300k pot, if you achieved growth of 4% which in ISA or other stock market based draw down vehicle is reasonable, that’s £12k per year (obviously going down as you eat into the capital).

      • Retirement Planner 18th October 2021 at 2:07 pm

        I’m not sure that Voyant will give you that much of an accurate picture as it uses straight-line assumptions for investment and inflation.

        This is considered a better tool for modelling retirement sustainability.


    • GrahamL 8th September 2021 at 9:53 pm

      Thank you. I was hoping that the remaining pot would continue to grow at a slightly higher rate than inflation whilst invested. I know that may sound like a risky strategy though. My average growth over the last 10 years has been 8%, with a couple of strong years (12 and 17%), a couple of poor years (-2%) and a few years between 5% – 9%).

      • Anonymous User (no longer active) 9th September 2021 at 3:29 am

        I reckon you can go for it and retire. You are making your money work and that is the main thing.

      • KR 9th September 2021 at 10:21 am

        Talking to a financial advisor definitely makes sense. A tool I use to look at what pot of money might be needed to generate a particular income is FIREcalc.com (it’s aimed at the Financial Independence Retire Early community). It’s US$ based but you can tweak the assumptions about returns. It would give you an idea of what the likelihood is of having enough money to generate £19k – although nothing in life is certain…. I think you can even add in an income stream so you could model the state pension at 67.

      • harrinda 14th September 2021 at 1:13 am

        If you are investing mainly in the US,Vanguard are projecting much lower returns over the next 10 years of 3-5%,than the last 10 years. The 4% ‘rule’ assumes that you will take the same amount every year (adjusted for inflation),no matter what happens in the markets. Most people I think would be happy to take less in a year when markets were down,although if there was a prolonged bear market this would get progressively more difficult.

    • Brighton Belle 8th September 2021 at 11:52 pm

      A King’s Random..

    • Steve32 9th September 2021 at 7:35 pm

      I’m in a similar position took early retirement at 55 due to illness have been living off savings and small pension pots at about £14k a year, must say i rarely go out or go on expensive holidays but i’m ok with that. Now 60 and will get my state pension at 67. I have about 250k plus a small works pensions which seems enough for me. I have financial advisor who seems to think i won’t need to work again although currently looking for p/t work more to relieve boredom than anything else

    • Sandyg 9th September 2021 at 7:58 pm

      Iv got no private pension as my (ex) husband always said he’de have enough for is both in his pension..but he mis- invested it, now there is Zilch to have half of..so now I have to keep working, probably til I drop…

    • hulldon1 9th September 2021 at 8:57 pm

      This is the UK. What you think you need the Government and banks will soon remove it for you. Personally I get an idea from Pension Bee free calculator. But I read the other month that state pension in relation to the average wage, the UK has the lowest pension in Europe. Take your pension and change country. You’ll be better off.

      • GrahamL 9th September 2021 at 9:44 pm

        I’ve considered that and if it wasn’t for my family that I love spending time with, I’d do it. I lived abroad for 16 years when working in travel industry and love warmer climates. In Spain, I can live comfortably on £15 day including eating out and having a few drinks. The one thing that do put me off is the health service when you need it most. I’ve seen a few pensioners eventually return to the UK for the NHS service.

    • hulldon1 9th September 2021 at 10:16 pm

      Of course Graham the health service is very important as we age and I would never give up my UK citizenship but I hate being robbed of all my savings. People forget that your savings is always equitable to time from your life. It is not just money. Having said all this, I am fortunate in having no family and unfortunate in being robbed through divorce. I need somewhere cheaper to live.

      • GrahamL 10th September 2021 at 9:04 pm

        Do you know if we retire overseas would we still be required to pay tax if we were simply doing drawdown on our pension? My understanding is that we have an allowance of £12,570 and if we haven’t take a 25% tax free sum up front, then the first 25% of each drawdown amount is tax free meaning I could drawdown £15,700 and only get taxed on withdrawal amounts above that. I think I would need about 19k each year so would pay 20% on £3,300. About £660 tax a year.

        • harrinda 14th September 2021 at 12:39 am

          If you live abroad yes you will be required to pay tax but where/what that is depends on the double taxation agreement. Cyprus has a very beneficial system for retirees where you just pay 5%-just keep your money in another EU country to avoid another potential haircut on your savings. Spain would count your pension towards its wealth tax which starts at €700000 (plus there is a €300000 allowance for your main residence).

    • Pins 9th September 2021 at 11:03 pm

      I’m on a same boat. It was very interesting to read other people’s points. Thank you 😊

    • Fuff 10th September 2021 at 8:24 am

      I’m in the same boat as some others, ex husband misinvested and now left with no pension. My own fault should have arranged my own.

      Will get my state pension next year and have savings so planning to reduce my hours next year.

    • SelsdonLion 10th September 2021 at 4:13 pm

      the usual advice is that you need ½ to ⅔ your pre-rerirement income, depending on the lifestyle you expect to have in retirement. I’d aim for ⅔.

    • amandajmlyons 10th September 2021 at 4:22 pm

      Depends on your demands!

    • EJM 10th September 2021 at 6:50 pm


      I have been looking at this which drawdown calculator for my own finances. If you have a look it estimates your pot lasting you c22 years for what you said. I’ve heard that the rule of thumb is if you drawdown 4%of the pot, this is likely to only be the growth and will leave the pot pretty ,I have intact but this won’t give you the £19k. I guess a lot of us are in the same boat that we will have considerably more when the state pension kicks in when we will potentially spend less.

      I have bought a buy to let to plug the gap. There’s a lot of red tape and the tax breaks aren’t so good now. I’m in two minds whether to access a tax free % of my pension pot to buy another. It may be something you want to consider although I am not a financial advisor, just speaking of my own experience.

      I don’t have a financial advisor and could do with one but am nervous about finding the right one and not paying through the nose. Some interesting comments about software previously. At the risk of jumping on the back of your post if anyone could advise how you go about finding a suitable one and what I should expect to pay, it would be appreciated. I’m also mindful that it isn’t always prudent to drawdown your pension with the original provider but I’m baffled how you find out which ones perform best. As far as I can see there doesn’t seem to be any transparent league tables or comparisons.

      Sorry , as many questions as answers from me, but personally I have learnt to live on considerably less than I earned and am a lot happier for it (I also have more time to review my finances and spend carefully)

      Good luck!

      • GrahamL 10th September 2021 at 8:48 pm

        I have some similar thinking to yourself. I’ve heard about drawing down 4% so pot remains fairly the same. I was thinking of whether I dare take 6-7% in early years before my state pension kick in and then reduce it to 4% then. Whilst I’m in great health now and very sporty, I like to party and have a drink so I don’t expect to live far past the average expectancy (84 ish). Therefore, if my pot depletes a bit, does it really matter is what I’m asking myself as long as it gets me through to then. Ive owned a buy to let and hated it so I would not go there again although some do really well out of it. I think you have to have bought them a few years ago so you have low mortgages to make a profit. Today’s prices must be difficult to make a decent profit. I share your feelings about how to choose a financial investor that isn’t out to recommend products that are good for them and bad for me so I’d be interested in anyones advice as well. Many thanks.

        • KR 12th September 2021 at 8:57 pm

          I’ve been thinking a lot about retiring, but in the end decided I probably want a career change. Anyway, I ended up doing lots of research (or wasting time on the internet, depending you look at it) into how long a certain pot of money might last – given that most of us won’t have final salary pensions. I came across the 4% rule too which refers research done by William Bengen in the US in the 1990’s. It basically says that you can withdraw 4% of your original pension pot every year for 30 years without running out of money based on analysis of historical US stock and bond returns. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/four-percent-rule.asp

          So you do deplete your assets, but you shouldn’t run out of money entirely. Of course this can’t be guaranteed. The research is based on US returns, so may not be true for UK/international portfolio, and there’s a debate about whether it’ll continue to hold given how high stock and bond valuations are at the moment. Still 4% gets used as a rule of thumb of how to take an income from your portfolio while allowing for the risk that you might face a stock market crash early in your retirement.

        • Retirement Planner 18th October 2021 at 2:14 pm

          Re current stock and bond valuations, it’s worth understanding just how severe some previous economic/market cycles were


      • PaulEssex 10th September 2021 at 10:58 pm

        Hi there, it seems a common refrain that people believe they need a financial adviser but are struggling to find someone suitable. There’s a growing move towards recognising that what people need is the services of a Financial Planner rather than a Financial Advisor. My experience of Financial Advisors is they are focussed on getting people to transfer their pension pots to them so they can charge an initial fee and then an ongoing fee for its management. A Financial Planner works at a higher level to understand your financial goals and how they might be achieved. See this link for more https://frazerjames.co.uk/financial-advisor-financial-planner-the-difference/

      • KR 12th September 2021 at 9:32 pm

        The distinction between financial advisors and financial planners in the link below is interesting and, as it says, there are a growing number of financial advisors who’ve taken additional qualifications to become financial planners. I’m thinking about a career change to become a financial coach – because I find personal finance fascinating and I’d like to help more people feel confident about financial decisions. I haven’t made the switch, but hope that some things I’ve found in my research may be useful to others.

        I’ve been looking at training for financial coaches (and considering whether to train as a financial advisor), and the life planning approach where your finances are seen as an enabler of your life goals seems to make sense to get a really holistic approach. There is a “Registered Life Planner” qualification which some financial advisors and planners hold. You can find them through searching for “find a registered life planner uk”.

        I would look for a fee-based financial advisor/planner rather than paying commission so you know exactly what you’re paying and the advisor has no incentive to sell you products. Like you said, they’re quite hard to find.

        Finding a firm who gives an indication of the fees on their website is a good start. I’d also ask whether if their advice would include transferring your pension to their preferred pension platform – which might not have all the drawdown or investment options you want.

    • Imelda007 10th September 2021 at 7:38 pm

      I retired two years ago due to work related stress. I’ve bought 3 x Buy to Let properties and another outright. Although not as lucrative as it once was due to tax changes, I’m now earning more than when employed nett of all expenses and aside from a few days a year sorting out new tenancies, maintenance on my self managed properties, it’s mostly passive income and good times – wish I’d done it years ago. The initial investment was quite modest (c £80K) and I’ve remortgaged two of the properties when values rose to recycle into additional purchases.

      I love my life now and live very well.

      Maybe not for everyone, but I absolutely love it!!

    • GrahamL 10th September 2021 at 8:34 pm

      That’s brilliant and well done. I’ve been a landlord and absolutely hated it myself. I didn’t make very much although I did buy a new apartment just before the financial crash. Prices dropped so much and it took me 10 years till it returned to the price I originally paid. Had I bought terraced houses that were not affected so much in the crash, it would have been different story. I do think all property has increased so much in last 2 years that it’d be extremely difficult to get a ROI. There is hardly anything less than 150k in my area and with mortgage, I can’t see how the rental income would cover it and give any income.

    • HalloweenJack 13th September 2021 at 12:19 pm

      It’s a very interesting question. Having just turned 60 I now think more and more about retiring. I’d hate to be one of those people who carry on working and then retire mid-60s and then suffer health issues which mean the retirement isn’t as carefree as hoped. I’m still working and transferred my (closed in 2010) DB pension out last year and am currently still working and paying into the replacement DC pension. The 25% cash free sum was ring-fenced to pay the mortgage off in December this year – I had to defer paying this off to get to the end of a ‘deal’ which meant a paying 5% redemption fee. This has left me a £720k pot. In an ideal world I would take VR now after 27 years with the company, and current payments could mean about a years salary as the compromise payment (less after tax of course) . Add that to the £720k pot from the DB transfer, the £90k in the DC fund and the fact my wife can also retire next year , with a circa £50k tax-free payout and £11k annuity from her local authority and it looks rosy enough to retire. Obviously I can’t guarantee VR, but even if not then I’m still employed with no mortgage to pay from the New year. However, the closer this situation gets, the more wary and worried I am about having enough to last our lifetimes. I know that sounds daft, as on paper I would think we’re pretty Ok compared to many others of the same age.

      It seems to me that all the general advice is very much on the cautious or pessimistic side, and whilst its admirable to use some caution, subconsciously I think it’s contributing to the idea of retirement being a luxury rather than a right. I think society is also moving towards one where people will be expected to work until they die. I just can’t see my grown up kids retiring until well into their 70s…a frightening prospect.

      My experience of friends who retired at 60 (or before) has not been living ostentacious lifestyles, but rather more just ‘comfortable’ lifestyles , and many argue they have as little time available to them as when working, with the caveat that the time is now spent doing much more of that they want. Most of them also say they need less to live on as they spend much more time at home and they buy what they need rather than what they want. It’s a huge step for anyone after 40 plus years of work under their belt, and the psychological effects of retirement need covering as well (feelings of usfulness etc) . I do agree with many others that its down to circumstances and how you feel about working, retirement and security and todays choices do make it a more complex and nuanced decision. Good luck with whatever you decide.

    • GrahamL 13th September 2021 at 5:59 pm

      Your pension pot looks very good. I hear drawing down 4% annually is a fairly safe amount so that would give you 28k from your pot, plus your wife’s on top.

    • Joannaissleeping 14th September 2021 at 8:44 am
    • GrahamL 14th September 2021 at 9:07 pm

      Thank you. I love the drawdown calculator. Gives me confidence that I could potentially retire immediately although I’ll give it another year.

    • Mad Ralph 14th September 2021 at 9:19 pm

      I took VR at age 50 and thought I’d have to take another job but after getting seriously ill (I’m over it now) and the pandemic I’ve decided life’s too short. I’m going to live off my savings & If I need money in later life I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
      Probably not the most responsible plan but I’m happy with it for now.

    • hulldon1 16th September 2021 at 9:33 pm

      How much do you need to retire at 60? As much as you can get. You have been enslaved all your life. Retirement is a time when the bosses say you’ve hard it. I see it as the time to go wild and live as you always dreamed. Go out with a bang. Recently I noticed all calculations are based on you living till 100. In reality your active life, if you are lucky will be till you are 85. Personally, I will blow the lot while I can enjoy it.

    • Anonymous User (no longer active) 16th September 2021 at 11:59 pm

      well looks like we can save a little less now or blow a little more earlier……..

      Life expectancy in England has fallen to its lowest level in nearly a decade, say health officials. Public Health England (PHE) said the drop of 1.3 years for men and 0.9 years for women was due to the “very high level” of excess deaths in the coronavirus pandemic. The drop means male life expectancy in 2020 fell to 78.7 years and 82.7 years for females – the lowest for both genders since 2011.

    • DavidChurul 16th October 2021 at 12:03 am

      I think it depends on an incredible amount of factors. I don’t think there is a general amount of money that would fit anyone. I think you should be aware of the expenses that you’ll have and what lifestyle you’ll have during your retirement. Besides that, there are many other factors, but I think these ones are the most important. You can actually find answers to many questions about retirement on https://seekingretirement.com/can-i-retire . Even my dad, before retiring, was seeking a good retirement plan, and he found some good answers there.

    • Retirement Planner 18th October 2021 at 2:05 pm

      It’s really got to come down to the cost of your desired lifestyle – some may be happy to retire to an undeveloped island and live in a tent, but this may not be what you want! Some recent research here


      One way to undertake this exercise is to work out what you are spending now (at a granular level, on a row-by-row basis), and map that onto early and late retirement, estimating how each row might change over time.

      It’s also worth having a think about any big-ticket items you may have and also whether you want to make provision for later life care.

      Once you know the estimated cost of your future lifestyle you need to best work out how this will be paid for.

      You have 3 unknowns:

      Investment returns

      In terms of longevity, for a couple at 60, I would typically plan to age 100 given the ONS – a single person potentially a tad less (unless there were underlying health conditions.