Wealth Check: 'How should I plan for retirement?'

Andrew Crowe moved from Brighton to London almost three years ago. He has just started his second job since moving, as a net developer for a mortgage company. He is currently living in a one-bedroom rented flat. He would like some advice on saving up for retirement and also the possibility of buying his own property.

Our panel of independent financial advisers – Jason Witcombe from Evolve Financial Planning, Keith Churchouse of Churchouse Financial Planning Limited and Raj Shah from Simpli Independent Ltd – provide their recommendations for Andrew.

Case notes:

Andrew Crowe, 25, London

Salary: £46,000

Mortgage: None

Monthly spending: £2,350

Debt: £3, 000

Pension: None


All the advisers are concerned that Andrew doesn't have any protection in place to cover him if he is unable to work due to illness or disability.

Witcombe and Churchouse say he should check whether his employer offers him any cover for such eventualities, such as death in service, private medical insurance or income protection. If they don't, he could look at additional income protection insurance to protect a percentage of his salary if he is ever unable to work.

Shah suggests Andrew considers critical illness cover, and adds that it may be cost-effective to have it integrated into a life-insurance policy.

All three advisers also suggest building up an emergency fund equivalent to between three and six months' salary.


Andrew has a credit card debt of £2,000, and a loan of £1,000, which is due to be paid off in March. He is currently paying £340 per month in debt repayments, but in March he should be free of this. This surplus can then be used to pay off his credit card.

Shah suggests that once the debts are paid off, he should consider saving for large purchases in future, rather than using his credit cards.


Andrew has had an ISA account, which he used to save for his expenses over Christmas and between jobs. But Churchouse points out that he has not used his full ISA allowance this year, so should start making regular savings into the account immediately. To fit within his budget, this could be at a starting level of around £165 per month.

Witcombe is also keen for Andrew to use his ISA to its full potential as he thinks that it would be a good way of building up a deposit on a house. He recommends Landsbanki, which has recently introduced a cash ISA product paying a high level of interest.

Churchouse says that after deductions for living expenses, Andrew should be left with around £428 a month to save towards his future.


Churchouse says that Andrew should think about starting a pension as, on his current salary, he will qualify for higher-rate tax relief of 40 per cent. He will receive 22 per cent relief at source via his pension provider and then will be entitled to reclaim a further 18 per cent tax relief via his annual tax return.

Both Churchouse and Shah suggest that Andrew should check whether his new employer offers a pension scheme.

If they don't, Churchouse says Andrew should consider starting a stakeholder pension. He should also check his state pension forecast using a BR19 form (available on the Pension Service website, www.pensionservice.gov.uk), to see what he is likely to get from the state in retirement.

Witcombe says the problem with pensions is they won't help you to put down a deposit on a house, so it is important for Andrew to weigh up what is more important to him – a home now or a comfortable retirement. The earlier he starts saving for his retirement, the less money he will need to put away each month to secure a good pension.

To find an independent financial adviser in your area, visit www.unbiased.co.uk

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Suggested Topics
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

    £70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

    Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

    £23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

    Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

    £13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

    Guru Careers: Communications Exec / PR Exec

    £25 - £30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a highly-motivated and ambitious Comm...

    Day In a Page

    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific
    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

    Dame Colette Bowe - interview
    When do the creative juices dry up?

    When do the creative juices dry up?

    David Lodge thinks he knows
    The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

    Fashion's Cher moment

    Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
    LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

    High hopes for LSD

    Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
    German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

    Saving Private Brandt

    A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral