»

Planning for 40 and beyond.

New Post Advanced Search

Welcome to the new MSE Forum!

If you were registered on the old Forum BEFORE 6th February 2020, you will need to reset your password (here) before you are able to log in. When you've reset your password, you can close this message with the 'X' in the top-right corner to make it disappear. If you need any help getting started, click here.

Planning for 40 and beyond.

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Savings & Investments
30 replies 2K views
LXVLXV
13 posts
Forumite MoneySaving Newbie
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Savings & Investments
Hi All,

I have recently signed up to the forum, despite the fact I have been reading posts for many months with intrigue.

I am putting together a plan for our future and wanted to share my journey so far and what I am thinking as to our savings. At present my investments are a bit all over the place and I hadn’t any real direction or goal until recently.

Both me and my wife are 31 and we have a daughter born in 2017. My first investment was over 4 years ago into Royal Dutch Shell in a HL account. A bit of research went into the company itself but it was more attributed to luck than knowledge that I made a healthy return. At the time – just married no kids and 27yo and the first time (after saving for wedding and house) of having larger disposable income. I stumbled across the AIM market (I know, please feel free to slap me). As of today I am sitting just in profit I believe after charges, again more luck than judgement and rather than fully understanding the shares, my research was more amongst people who I felt were trustworthy on social media to pick winners, cross referenced and if all the ones I trusted were invested into a certain share and then set upon researching more into that stock to buy. A very risky strategy, at times I was up by a way and others way down. As our little one has come along I recognise our family future can’t be relied upon in such a risky market with limited knowledge. As it stands I still hold around 12 stocks, there are some that were from very early days that are so down that they aren’t hurting me (circa £50 value) and I am happy to keep in the bottom drawer should they come good again. There are some that after more and more research I am happy to hold as I feel they will bear fruits this year and prepared to take the risk. I have set sell limits to get out as soon as they do. Then of course there are some that are in profit, which I am considering where to position my sell in order to reinvest into funds instead. To note I have barely traded these in the past 24 months. I recognise I have been very lucky and despite my profit being minimal over 4 years I have attributed it to a learning curve that I shall move on from that being a novice it could have been much worse.

Around 12 months ago I did some reading and research on here and I opened a Vanguard ISA where I decided upon some LS80. More recently as I had planned this financial year to top up a couple of the shares that were down, so I opened the ISA in HL. I only made one trade (which I was happy with) and then have since further invested into more LS80 on here and also Vanguard Global All Cap.

In addition for context I invested £1000 into Ratesetter last year through MSE link and now the bonus is in the account I will withdraw for what will effectively have been a 15% profit in 13 months. Finally I also bought into my company share save scheme which I can’t touch for around 2 ½ years. With a good number bonus shares and the share price being some 25% above the offer price it was too tempting to not buy (company has multi billion turnover).

In total at present my investments are worth a total of 30k with an additional 10k in the bank and a large bonus due this month. I believe I can save around 6-8k p/a, this allowing us to live our lives with holidays etc. I plan to drip feed £500 per month (leaving around 5-10k in our Santander 123 – again other easy access account recommendations welcome) and then assess each quarter to add as and when I have had bonuses. For the past 12 months or so I have overpaid on the mortgage 2.01% by around £170pm. After looking at many posts on here I may stop this and put the additional £170 pm straight into the Vanguard funds too, thoughts appreciated.

What do you think about holding 2 platforms? I recognise it is more expensive to buy Vanguard on HL, is there cheaper platforms than HL that are recommended that would bring a happy medium should I wish to invest anything other than Vanguard in the future? I don’t believe there is any extuastionate penalties from HL. I assume just the cost of the trade for as and when I am ready to sell said share?

We currently are putting away £250 per month for our little one at present (to be split if we are fortunate enough to have a second). Would you recommend my wife investing in Vanguard funds in her name and then when the time is right we can gift it? The ideal would for it to go towards a wedding / first house / first car rather than just to have access at 18 to spend as she likes (so I am unsure on a JISA). My thinking is 15 years minimum into Lifestrategy 40 or 60.

I currently pay 8% into my company pension (company matches 6%). I joined a company pension late, currently just over 30k across 2 pensions. I am a 40% tax payer. I see the general consensus here is pay what you can, I am relunctant to put every penny away so it is untouchable for a penny until 55 at the earliest as I believe life is still for living and I hear too many stories of people foregoing things only to have something tragic happen shortly after retiring. My daughter also has CF and despite us having a positive outlook on this for her future, I want us to have a degree of access should we need to.

At present our mortgage is 254k. With the current 170pm over payment we are paying off around 620pm of capital. My end goal to summarise is to reach a point where I can get a crossover point between investment and mortgage as close to age 40 as possible (say 10 years). From there it will be to make decision of paying off the mortgage or continuing to retire early. Based on the knowledge above (phase out AIM, increase Vanguard funds) and plan to invest a target of 9k per annum if I use the 2k overpayment to go straight into Vanguard – is this realistic?

At the moment I haven’t really considered Capital gains taxes and whether things like Bed and ISA are applicable, at what stage should I really focus on whether this will affect me?

Sorry for the long message, I am sure I will have missed something, I look forward to your thoughts and if anyone can let me know if they would be focusing their efforts elsewhere and why (eg pension).
«13

Replies

  • torrencetorrence
    45 posts
    Forumite
    I can't offer specialist financial advice, but I think some other members with knowledge in this area will reply. But for general information on platforms and choices look up monevator.com platform comparison on Google.

    I tried to give you a link to it but for some reason it won't let me.
  • edited 14 January at 9:51AM
    ThrugelmirThrugelmir
    67.6K posts
    Forumite
    Part of the Furniture 50000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 14 January at 9:51AM
    Sell your losers within your portfolio concentrate on the winners.
    “Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing. – Warren Buffett”
  • kangoorakangoora
    953 posts
    Forumite
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    You don't mention if your wife is working, I assume she isn't as you haven't mentioned any income from her.

    If that is the case then definitely start a SIPP/Pension for her and she contributes £2880/year grossed up by HMRC to £3600. She can do this amount without any income.

    Make sure your wife is claiming child benefit in her name, free NI credits until child is aged 12.

    Try to ensure you don't pay 40% tax if at all possible. Extra pension contributions will help reduce your taxable income and are a better bet for a higher rate tax payer than ISAs (caveat: ISAs available at any time, not just after 55). Money you pay into an ISA that has been taxed at 40% is not very sensible if you still have available pension limit to use. No reason not to do a split of ISA/pension if you want to.
  • MaxiRobriguezMaxiRobriguez
    811 posts
    Forumite
    500 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    If you're a 40% tax payer and not sacrificing every bit of that to get you under the limit then I would have a re-think of your strategy.

    Remember you can take 25% tax free lump sum at what is likely to be 58, and then you can use the remainder over what may be the course of 40 odd years for you, plus potential inheritance for your children.

    Overpaying the mortgage makes little sense with interest rates as they are. You may as well carry the debt in order to sacrifice more into pension, then extend the mortgage into your later years and use the additional pension to pay it off. 37% bonus doing it this way currently, every year.
  • LXVLXV
    13 posts
    Forumite MoneySaving Newbie
    Hi Kangorra

    Thanks for the reply, apologies the wife is working too and earns over 20k pa and is in government pension through work.

    I also earn over the child benefit allowance (over 60k). I am salary plus bonus but if expectations are my salary will remain over this (else I'd be grossly underperforming in my role!)

    Is this the same for NI credits?

    With my pension I can put in as much as I like but the company will match 6%. Can I also open a SIPP if I have a work pension too and pay into that (as I suspect the Standard life And Aviva pensions will be mainly bonds?) as well as a S&S ISA? Completely understand your point on tax relief, in my head my plan was to get the equivalent savings in ISAs to equal/surpass my mortgage in the next 10years and then the remaining 15 years before I am 55 I could really pump into a pension as I will be closer to that age and it not tied up for what is probably going to be 40 or so years by the time I get to retirement age.
  • MaxiRobriguezMaxiRobriguez
    811 posts
    Forumite
    500 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    LXV wrote: »
    Hi Kangorra

    Thanks for the reply, apologies the wife is working too and earns over 20k pa and is in government pension through work.

    I also earn over the child benefit allowance (over 60k). I am salary plus bonus but if expectations are my salary will remain over this (else I'd be grossly underperforming in my role!)

    Is this the same for NI credits?

    With my pension I can put in as much as I like but the company will match 6%. Can I also open a SIPP if I have a work pension too and pay into that (as I suspect the Standard life And Aviva pensions will be mainly bonds?) as well as a S&S ISA? Completely understand your point on tax relief, in my head my plan was to get the equivalent savings in ISAs to equal/surpass my mortgage in the next 10years and then the remaining 15 years before I am 55 I could really pump into a pension as I will be closer to that age and it not tied up for what is probably going to be 40 or so years by the time I get to retirement age.

    What difference does it make if you're going to pump it into a pension from 40 as it would now? You still won't be able to access the money until 58. Chances are if you still feel like you don't want to lock money away then you're unlikely to do so at 40, at greater volume are you?

    Pension contribution better than S+S ISA as it gives you the benefit of avoiding tax at source rather than at withdrawal and means you can avoid 40% rather than 20% - strongly worth reconsidering your approach. Also, if your in a salary sacrifice scheme then it's 42%/32% you can avoid depending on how far you go.

    You don't need to just stick to what your employer will match. Mine goes to 10%, but I'm giving up 30% - it just makes sense as a higher rate tax-payer.
  • LXVLXV
    13 posts
    Forumite MoneySaving Newbie
    Thanks Maxi, I have never thought of the mortgage that way with the 37% discount (providing rates stay where they are). I suppose parents and the generation above me typically have drilled in that being mortgage free is a goal and gate opener to earlier retirement when in reality it isn't the be all.

    Ref pension, I would need to ascertain what I can afford and if that gets me to the 40% cut off. My salary is different every month due to commission and bonuses. I will do some numbers.

    As per the other reply, would you recommend maxing out on a company pension even though it is only matched to 6% or could I/ would you open a SIPP on the assumption that I am happy with the risks that come with funds such as the LS80 that are heavier on equities?

    Thanks again for your input!
  • LXVLXV
    13 posts
    Forumite MoneySaving Newbie
    Hi Kangorra
    Sorry, to clarify my daughter has CF (Cystic Fibrosis - a life limiting illness) and this is what holds me a little. We have a positive outlook as drugs are coming through pipeline which in theory touch wood give her a full life. However when born the life expectancy was under 40. For that reason in case her health was to take a downturn I would want to have a degree of flexibility should we need to do something eg move house / leave work for a period to be with her.

    I'm currently paying 8% (paying 2% more than they match).

    Company scheme is just a purchase of shares that you can make once a year which you must hold for 3 years to receive the bonus shares. (German company so more complex as it required a German bank account).

    It's certainly more a predicament personally due to our family situation, again in 5 years that could change upon response of potentially life changing drugs!
  • AlbermarleAlbermarle
    2.5K posts
    Forumite
    1000 Posts First Anniversary
    ✭✭✭✭
    With my pension I can put in as much as I like but the company will match 6%. Can I also open a SIPP if I have a work pension too and pay into that as well as a S&S ISA?
    Pensions and S&S ISA's are completely separate with their own rules , so no problem to invest in both at the same time .
    You can open as many pensions as you want .
    However do not dismiss your workplace pension(s) before investigating the details properly first .
    Often workplace pensions have good discounts and one of them could be just as good , if not better place to make extra pension contributions , rather than a separate SIPP.
    (as I suspect the Standard life And Aviva pensions will be mainly bonds?)
    Not sure where you got this idea from ?
    Standard Life and Aviva pensions will typically have the choice of 200 to 300 fund choices , at all kind of risk /equity% levels. If you have never chosen any fund you will be in their default fund , which is typically 50 to 60% equities.You should be able to get on line access to have a look.
    They only offer their own funds so you can not buy VLS 80, but they will have many similar type funds.
  • edited 14 January at 4:53PM
    MaxiRobriguezMaxiRobriguez
    811 posts
    Forumite
    500 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    edited 14 January at 4:53PM
    LXV wrote: »
    Thanks Maxi, I have never thought of the mortgage that way with the 37% discount (providing rates stay where they are). I suppose parents and the generation above me typically have drilled in that being mortgage free is a goal and gate opener to earlier retirement when in reality it isn't the be all.

    Ref pension, I would need to ascertain what I can afford and if that gets me to the 40% cut off. My salary is different every month due to commission and bonuses. I will do some numbers.

    As per the other reply, would you recommend maxing out on a company pension even though it is only matched to 6% or could I/ would you open a SIPP on the assumption that I am happy with the risks that come with funds such as the LS80 that are heavier on equities?

    Thanks again for your input!

    If you are in a salary sacrifice scheme then it's going to be easier and likely more fruitful to max that out rather than a new SIPP, as with salary sacrifice you get to avoid NI. Only 2% bonus as a higher rate NI payer, however, 2% shouldn't be scoffed at, and can make a big difference over many years of compounding. It's also easier to manage one pot rather than two, and chances are you're likely to benefit from lower cost of entry in an employer scheme rather than a SIPP thanks to economies of scale. Worth checking but probably the case.

    In terms of what you can afford on your pension, the answer is (all else equal) at least £300. £300 after tax for you currently is a net of £175, which you're using to overpay the mortgage. Stop paying that overpayment, and sacrifice £300 into the pension instead, and you keep at least £294 of that a month. £119 a month you're better off for doing that, £1428 a year, £38,556 until you reach 58, assuming you make zero investment gains on all that. Assuming you take 25% out as a tax free lump sum and only pay standard rate tax in retirement, going down that route rather than overpayments leaves you roughly with £20k more in assets than you would otherwise have.

    Your debt burden is bigger though because you've not overpaid the mortgage, however - it's likely to only be around £2,000 bigger based on £170 p/m payments and interest rates around 3% for the duration. So use the £20k to pay off the £2,000 and then sun yourself on a beach with the remainder for a year if you so wish.

    Edit: Your company scheme should offer you various funds, including index trackers, that allow you to create your own portfolio which gives you an 80/20 split. Won't be quite the same as VLS but with a bit of care you can diversify yourself round the planet with large cap and small cap equity and a bond fund chucked in with about 4 or 5 different funds, and paid little AMC on them as well. Likely to be slightly more expensive than VLS but gives you greater control of the split and if you can dodge the NI if the company scheme is salary sacrifice then definitely preferable than VLS SIPP.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms