Thinking ahead when it comes to retirement planning is vital for anyone who wants to enjoy a financially comfortable life in their later years and pass on their legacy to the next generation in a tax-efficient and sensible way.

At a time when life expectancy is on the rise and healthcare is forever evolving, many Britons are living for 20 to 30 years after they retire, which is why making adequate preparations for retirement is now more important than ever before.

Here are a few things to consider:

Investing in property

Those who decide to invest in property need to factor in the costs of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on additional property purchases, and the phasing out of mortgage interest tax relief for higher rate taxpayers if they intend to let out a property in order to supplement their retirement income.

Similarly, anyone who is investing in a property with a view to selling it on needs to plan ahead for the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) implications of this.

Keeping on top of your pensions

Pensions are one of the most important aspects of retirement planning. But equally important is structuring your investments in a tax-efficient way and ensuring that the contributions you pay towards your pensions benefit from tax relief where appropriate.

Life insurance and medical insurance

It is important to consider the benefits of life insurance, long-term care and medical insurance in order to safeguard yourself and ensure that you and your family are guaranteed a good quality of life.

Business succession and exit planning

The exit from a business, be it sale or introducing family members for succession, can have significant CGT and Inheritance Tax (IHT) implications – as well as a change in your income streams. So as to manage exposure to these taxes on exit, and to plan your future income streams, it would be recommended to seek specialist tax advice and plan ahead accordingly from an early stage.

Passing on your legacy in a tax-efficient way

Drafting a Will can help you to ensure that your estate is passed on in line with your wishes when you pass away. However, you will need to think about the IHT implications of passing on your legacy and plan ahead accordingly.

In England and Wales, each individual is entitled to a tax-free allowance of £325,000, above which estates will attract IHT at a rate of 40 per cent. Fortunately, there are various ways you can mitigate your IHT liability, such as: making lifetime gifts; converting assets that do not qualify for relief from IHT to assets that do qualify for relief; passing property down to direct lineal descendants using the residence nil rate band (RNRB); or by leaving money to a charity in your Will.

Good investment and future planning is hard work, which is why it is always best to seek specialist advice at the earliest possible opportunity.  

Let us help you to plan ahead of your retirement and speak to our expert Ben Thiim on 01482 326916 or simply email at

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Smailes Goldie Group

Smailes Goldie Group

We are a leading firm of chartered accountants, tax advisors and business advisors offering a full range of financial advice for you, your family and your business. Our clients range from SMEs and large corporations to Owner Managed and Family Businesses, Professional Partnerships, Sole Traders, New Businesses, Charities and the Not for Profit sector.