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Great Things To Know Before You Retire Hunt

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  • Leonie
    Leonie Posts: 101 Forumite
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    Thanks for that, ValerieHannah - it's what I thought might be the case.

    I must admit, I wasn't too keen on being married the first time so it's not really something I'm desperate to do again - I've been divorced for 21 years. I don't think I could bear to share finances again - I'm a bit obsessive :o

    Martin has a willing pupil in me, I've been doing my budget in Excel on a daily basis since before I joined MSE, and before that - on paper!

    I've often wondered about the remarriage question with pensions though. Lots of people do seem to get remarried later in life though - maybe they just find rich husbands!
    "Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato

    "After all is said and done, more is said than done." Aesop
  • Biggles
    Biggles Posts: 8,209 Forumite
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    Lyvias wrote: »
    My husband took early retirement on health grounds aged 57. Big mistake. He is now able to work part-time and would have been much better off to have taken long-term sick leave then he could have kept his job and probably returned to full time work. Part-time is because ill-health pension restricts what work is allowed or pension is lost.
    It will depend on the rules of the scheme, but most schemes will allow him to earn enough (if he returns and works p/t), when added to his pension, to equal what he was earning before retirement. And his pension can often not be affected at all if he works outside that industry, whatever he earns. Check the scheme rules in detail.
  • Jays
    Jays Posts: 410 Forumite
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    Did anyone pick up on the Sunday Times article dated May 20, 2007: "Mothers may be in line for pension top-up"?

    I know the point has been referred to in some posts but this adds to it.

    "A search has been launched to find up to 500,00 women over the age of 60 who may be losing out on more than £1billion in state pensions entitlement."

    The article goes on to discuss Home Responsibilities Protection and points out the HRP system reduces the number of qualifying years to receive a full state pension from 39 to 20 for women who have taken time off work to bring up children.

    Apparantly, HRP should have been given automatically to women who were working and receiving child benenfit at the time after April 1978. However, this did not happen because of the "incompentence of successive goverments in recording women's tax details and because of imperfections in the pensions systems"

    Thousands of women are unaware that they qualify for HRP and therefore are not receiving full pensions.

    The article goes on further but the advice is for women over 60 or within four months of retirement to call the Pension Service on 0845 6060 265 or 0845 3000 168 or go online at the pensionservice.gov.uk. Ask whether your state pension is calculated with the benifit of HRP.

    The Pension Service should investigate on your behalf and arrange repayments if necessary. (If you have not retired you can still ask for a pension forecast from the Pension Service).

    The article refers to a Liberal Democrat pensions campaigner Steve Webbb MP who is planning to investigate a sample of case studies and then put them to government it see if there is a problem that needs identifying.

    Steven Webb particularly wants to hear from women who are now drawing a less than full state pension; from those whose pension papers did not mention HRP; and from women who spent time after 1978 in receipt of child benefit and did not pay Nics. e-mail webbs@parliament.uk with details of state pension entitlement and family history.

    Hope this helps someone.

    Jays
  • seven-day-weekend
    seven-day-weekend Posts: 36,755 Forumite
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    That it a very useful post Jays, I'm sure it will help lots of people.

    My HRP has been counted, I'm glad to say I have 13 years worth.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • morganlefay
    morganlefay Posts: 1,220 Forumite
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    I don't know if I've just missed it but no one seems to have mentioned 'Impaired Life' annuities. I am 64 and have diabetes and hypertension - I am not 'ill' in the least and am definitely not at death's door, but these risk factors enabled my excellent IFA to find me a higher-paying annuity, since they reckon I will not live to be 94 like my Mum or 97 like my grandfather (I plan to prove them wrong). It's a bit of a touchy subject for an advisor to bring up with you, so it might be worth asking boldly, if you have a medical condition like this, whether you are eligible for such an annuity when you are planning.
  • margaretclare
    margaretclare Posts: 10,789 Forumite
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    If you do marry a younger man BEFORE you start to draw your State Pension, you will lose the entitlement to the part that's dependent on your ex's contributions. Unless you really feel you MUST, you'd be better off just living together at least till you reach retirement age. My partner is younger than me, and I don't feel the need to marry him. We have made wills in favour of one another though, and decided on what will happpen to our respective shares of the house when one of us dies. I never had any spare cash either, bringing up two children after my divorce, but am very happy wth my lovely partner of sixteen years. Good Luck Leonie!

    It all depends on whether you paid enough NI contributions to have a full state pension in your own right, and I think ValerieHannah said she had.

    If that is the case, it doesn't matter whether you stay single, remarry, or live together. You earned your own SRP and you don't claim it via a man's contributions, you claim it from your own.

    Also, don't forget that at age 65 both partners get the age-related tax allowance of £7550. Not like in the old days, where the wife's income was considered to be part of her husband's for tax purposes, and he got an extra allowance because he 'had a wife to keep'. Now, you both get the same tax allowance. It can therefore be advantageous to receive your incomes separately, and then of course, there's your individual ISA entitlement if you're saving.

    I was widowed in my late 50s, I used to get a widow's benefit (early 1990s) on late husband's contributions, but I changed to SRP in my own right because that was more advantageous to me. Then I married again, and my SRP continues unaltered. But I think DH's ex is claiming her retirement pension against his contributions although they've been divorced since 1999!

    Margaret
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • Leonie
    Leonie Posts: 101 Forumite
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    I very much doubt I've got enough contributions on my own - my pension statements always say I'm eligible for full pension using my ex-husband's contributions. I've worked 18 years full time, and am now working part time until I retire in just over 4 years - about 27 years all told.

    Before that, I was either in education, or raising children, and working part time when I could find work wherever we were stationed with the forces (mainly abroad). I paid married woman's stamp in the early days, but not once I started full time work. It wouldn't amount to the full 45 years without calling on my ex's contributions.

    I'm sure ValerieHannah is right, but doesn't it seem unfair that if I marry again, I can't claim on my ex's contributions? - I was still raising his children back then, they don't suddenly become someone else's children retrospectively,do they :confused:

    I'm just praying free bus passes stiil exist in 2011, I'm really looking forward to getting rid of my old car and swanning around on the bus!

    I've never really had any savings, but this year by using MSE advice and sticking to my budget I've actually managed to save a bit, so I'm considering a cash Isa for the first time ever - a bit nervous about putting my money where I can't move it around on the Internet, though!

    Thanks for the advice, Margaret, it's all very welcome.
    "Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato

    "After all is said and done, more is said than done." Aesop
  • margaretclare
    margaretclare Posts: 10,789 Forumite
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    Hi Leonie

    Because you were paying 'full stamp', you should be entitled to HRP for the years you were looking after children and not working.

    It would be a good idea to get a pensions forecast - someone posted the link a few posts back. That way you have an idea of where to start.

    I use an internet-based cash ISA with the Yorkshire Building Society, and also an equity ISA with Hargreaves Lansdown.

    HTH

    Margaret
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • EdInvestor
    EdInvestor Posts: 15,749 Forumite
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    Hi Leonie,

    As you will retire after April 2010, you will come under the new rules which mean you only need 30 years to get the full basic state pension.

    Have you got your Home responsibilities protection credits organised for when you were looking after the children?

    That should easily give you over 30 years in your own right.

    Check here:

    https://www.thepensionservice.gov.uk

    If you worked abroad you may also be entitled to credits if you paid into a slocal state pension in the countries concerned.
    Trying to keep it simple...;)
  • Leonie
    Leonie Posts: 101 Forumite
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    Thank you EdInvestor - that's been a real eye opener.

    I've had a quick browse on the pension service site after reading your comment - things will have changed by the time I retire, it seems. (Must have had my head in the sand while all these changes were taking place!) I can't get an automatic pension forecast until they've finished updating the site, but yes - it looks like I'll be easily over the 30 years by the time I retire.

    Should I be doing something now, to get my HRP credits organised, do you think? Won't they know I was raising children? Perhaps I should give them a ring.

    With my years of HRP converted into years of credits, and added onto my working years, it's going to add up to 38 or more by the time I retire. The HRP overlaps a few years with the working part, because I needed to work full time when I got divorced and both children were under 12 at that point, but it's still more than enough. The site makes no mention of education credits though - used to be able to claim years in further education too, on the old system. Largely irrelevant, now the amount of years is being reduced, though.

    I guess this makes claiming on the ex-husband's contributions irrelevant, now. How very liberating!

    I mainly worked for the Forces while I was abroad, and that was probably only married women's stamp, with only a brief interlude of 3 - 4 months working in the local community. It doesn't look like I will need to dig up information on that period, though, which is a relief.

    I'm really grateful for everyone's advice - it's set my mind at rest on the subject. Still doubt I'll be getting married again though :eek:
    "Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato

    "After all is said and done, more is said than done." Aesop
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