Case Study: Retirement Planning in Practice

For most of us, saving for retirement – or even at retirement planning is all about ensuring that when the time is right, there is enough money set aside for the lifestyle to suit your requirements.

Certain factors along the way may alter the way you take your retirement funds, here at Bellpenny we understand that and will work with you to incorporate your new circumstances.

In fact, our Bellpenny Financial Planners all have considerable experience working with clients to establish your needs and create a financial plan, which takes into consideration your personal circumstances, the use of allowances, changes to tax thresholds and recommending the products most suitable to your needs.

In this article, we’ve constructed a case study to give you an idea of how your Bellpenny Planner may work with you to build a financial plan. Our study should serve as a guide only and if you have any questions about your own individual situation, then please contact us for more information.


A married couple are approaching retirement.

Spouse 1 - John, a 59 year old male who earns £60,000 a year as a Civil Engineer, is considering cutting back his workload this year to spend time with his father who is in his 90s and in need of greater care.

Spouse 2 - John’s wife June, 60, is a retired Nurse who earns £15,000 a year from her combined pension income. In addition June has recently inherited cash from the sale of her late parents’ home.

Generally, as a couple, they both live a comfortable lifestyle and after holidays and social events they spend around £30,000 a year.

As a couple they own their own home and have Cash ISAs they have been saving into. Combined with the inheritance due to June, and the value of John’s workplace pension, their combined wealth can be summarised as follows:

Home and Contents


Cash ISA [John]


Cash ISA [June]


John’s Pension


Cash from sale of June’s parent’s home


They have one liability:

• A car loan with £5,000 outstanding, which they pay £300 per month.


Having met with their Bellpenny Planner, John and June identified two key objectives:

  1. The couple would like to look at ways of generating an income, which would enable John to work less and spend more time with his dad.
  2. The couple want to ensure they have a comfortable retirement and based on their current requirements will require an income of £30,000 a year.

A Bellpenny Planner discusses a suitable strategy with John and June, their investment preference and associated level of risk, before researching the best options available. Following this research, a conclusive recommendation is provided to the couple to achieve their set objectives. These recommendations include:

  1. Repay the car loan and free up £300 a month of income.

By repaying this loan now, this reduces the couple's expenditure to £26,400 a year to live on, meaning John only has to provide £11,400 after June’s pensions are paid.

  1. In addition, it was recommended that John and June utilise the wealth they hold to provide a natural level of income to support their living.
  • Take the tax-free cash from John’s pension of £75,000.
  • Retain £35,000 of this tax-free cash as an emergency fund.
  • From the remaining funds from the lump sum, invest the remaining £40,000 into a Stocks and Shares ISA, with £20,000 for John and £20,000 for June (in-line with the current allowance set by the UK government). The existing £50,000 Cash ISAs that they hold would also transfer into these Stocks and Shares ISAs to provide income.
  • Invest June’s inheritance into an Investment Bond to provide an income.


The recommended and therefore proposed plan makes the following changes:





Emergency Funds




Stocks and Shares ISA (John)




Stocks and Shares ISA (June)




John’s Pension




Investment Bond




In Summary:

The agreed strategy provides £7,700 tax-free income a year, meaning in the future their pension only needs to provide £3,700, a yield of 1.6% which increases the sustainability of John’s pot.

This personalised plan enables John to reduce his workload significantly and meet the original objective to spend time with his father. The couple are also able to see their income as sustainable and this strategy in-turn protects their capital, in particular by reducing the level of tax they need to pay.

In this scenario, once John and June are comfortable that their objectives have been met and a suitable income provided by their Planner enables their plan, all investments chosen are then subjected to our standard detailed and due diligence process.