Retirement Planning – How much is enough?

Planning for a happy and secure retirement

Whether you have just started out on your working career, or you are nearing retirement age, we are here to make planning for a comfortable retirement easy. Depending on how far or near you are to retirement, you will have different decisions to make, and we’re here to help. Find out more below, or schedule an appointment today.

Retirement Planning 101:

What You Need To Know When Planning For Retirement


The Lifestyle You’ll Lead

Will you still work? Will you pack everything up and go on the holiday you’ve always dreamed of? Do you want to live in the country or in a bustling city?

Social Welfare

Is Social Welfare Benefit applicable to your circumstances? Will you be on the State Pension or do you have a private pension or investments?

Personal Affairs

Do you have a will? Are your personal affairs and legalities in order?


Your Health

As well as your diet and general well-being, you should always consider your health. If you have any illnesses or long-term problems, you’ll need to factor them into your retirement plan.

Time Management

How are you going to spend your time now that you’re retired? Will you pick up a new hobby or take up an interest? Do you want a sedentary retirement or do you plan on keeping active?

Symmetry Financial Management

How We Can Help You

We Listen & Assess

Retirement looks different for everyone. Whether or not you get the life you want to enjoy after work will largely depend on the choices you make now. Together, we start with the big picture, outlining your retirement goals and assessing your current and future needs, taking all of your income and assets into account.

We Plan & Advise

We’ll review and discuss all of the possibilities with you and provide you with a roadmap for a successful retirement that aligns with your goals and with your financial circumstances.

We Help You To Maximise Your pension

Pensions and the rules around them are complex. Our team will work with you, reviewing your financial circumstances, lifestyle, and goals to help select the best pension plan available to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you set up a pension?
  • To achieve financial independence​
  • To retire early​​
  • You’ll probably live longer than you expect in retirement

According to the CSO in 2016, life expectancy for a healthy male aged 35 is 88 years; 91 years for a female​. The Contributory State Pension is unlikely to cover all your retirement expenses, so now is the time to start planning​.

How much is enough?

Deciding what your goals are for your retirement lifestyle will help you to determine how much you will need to fund your retirement.

Due to better health for an ageing population, life expectancy is increasing in Ireland, so it’s unclear exactly how long we’ll live in retirement for.

A general rule of thumb is that you will need two thirds of your income in retirement.

Can I afford to retire early?

You can retire at any age, but whether you can afford to or not is what you need to assess. Retiring early usually requires a substantial pension fund due to the increasing life expectancy in Ireland.

The decision depends largely on what your goals are for your retirement lifestyle and you need to make sure you are thinking and planning for this as early as possible so you have a longer period to save more for retirement.

How can I best prepare for retirement?
  • Start saving
  • Know your retirement needs and lifestyle goals
  • Know your pension options
  • Maximise your pension contributions whenever possible
  • Speak to an advisor to ensure you are getting the best pension plan available to you and that you are in a position to achieve your retirement goals


Types of Pension

Saving for retirement is essential. In Ireland, we are living longer and becoming more active in our retirement so it is more important than ever for you to think of where your income will come from in retirement.

Your state pension will provide a basic level of income for you in retirement, providing you qualify for it. The full single persons State Pension is currently €248.30 (2020) – approximately €12,912 per annum.

When planning for your retirement you will need to decide if this is enough for you to live on, and to live the lifestyle you want. If you don’t think this will be enough for the retirement you want, you need to decide on where your additional income will come from. 

Below are the different types of pensions available and we are here to talk through them with you and help you to choose which plan best suits your and your retirement goals.

Personal pensions allow you to build up a pension fund to provide an income in retirement at any time between the ages of 60 and 75. They are available to self-employed people and employees who are in non-pensionable employment.

Tax relief is available on contributions at the highest rate, and there are limits on the percentage of your earnings that can be invested in the pension, and the tax relief that can be obtained.

There are a wide range of products available in the market place with different fund choices and charging structures.

This can be confusing so our team is here to walk you through it, step by step. 

An Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) is a personal pension fund that allows you keep a lump sum of your money invested after your retirement. You can withdraw funds from it regularly to give yourself an income, on which you pay income tax, PRSI and USC.

Investing in an ARF may be an option if you are self-employed, a proprietary director, or if you have a PRSA.

If you are a member of a defined contribution employer pension plan, you may also have this option, depending on the rules of your own pension plan.

As a company director you can set up a Small Self-Administered Pension (SSAP).

Benefits of an SSAP:

  • Control
    An SSAP allows you to control where your pension is invested, and there is a wide range of investments to choose from.
  • Transparency
    You can see exactly what assets are in your pension and what the associated costs are.
  • Borrowing
    You can borrow from your SSAP to purchase an asset.
  • Lower Charges
    An SSAP is usually less costly than a traditional pension scheme.
  • Confidentiality
    Not being part of a group/corporate pension scheme gives you greater confidentially in terms of benefits.
  • Portability
    You can easily move your pension from one company to another without having to liquidate assets.
    • You can transfer the assets to a self-administered Personal Retirement Bond in the event of having to make the scheme paid up without having to liquidate any assets.
    • You can transfer the assets to a post-retirement self-administered Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) without having to liquidate the assets.

It is possible to purchase a property through your pension.

Why should you invest in a pension property?

All income and gains within pension schemes are exempt from income tax and capital gains tax (CGT) so the rental income is not subject to income tax nor will CGT be payable on the sale of the property.

You can also gain superior net yields using the power of compound interest.

A Personal Retirement Bond (PRB), also known as a Buy Out Bond, is an individual pension bond that is established in your name.

You can set up a PRB if you are leaving or have left employment, if your company pension scheme is being wound up, or if you are leaving a pension scheme.

You can transfer your pension benefits into the bond if you leave a company pension or if your company pension scheme is being shut down.

A PRSA is a long-term Personal Retirement Savings Account designed to enable you to save for retirement in a flexible manner. This is especially important for people with no pension provision. Your PRSA is a contract between you and your PRSA provider in the form of an investment account.

PRSA’s allow you to change employment and continue to use the same PRSA. You can also switch from one PRSA to another at any time, free of charge. 

Tax relief based on your age will be given by the government for the contributions you pay into your PRSA.


Useful Pension Planning Tools

Pension Planning Workflow

How do I choose which pension is best for me? This pension planning workflow will walk you through the decision-making process to help you decide.

Pension Calculator

This pension calculator can help you with your retirement planning and will show you how much you need to put away for later in life to be financially secure.

Pension Glossary

Deciding which pension option is hard enough, this pension glossary explains each of the technical terms and can be printed out so that you have it to hand when you need it.


Start planning and protect your future today

Whether you have just started out on your working career, or are nearing retirement age, Symmetry Financial Management can make planning for your future easy. Take the first step and schedule an appointment with one of our advisors today.