How pensioners can beat rising inflation

The higher the rate at which prices rise, the faster the pension will be exhausted. Inflation is now 7pc, which would wipe 22 years off the lifetime of a pension. This more than halves the number of years the same retirement income would last. 

Tom Selby, of AJ Bell, said: “There will be a temptation but if you increase spending too much – particularly in the early years of retirement – or your investments fail to perform, you run the risk of running out of money early.”

Consider postponing retirement

Anyone who was planning to retire this year should consider whether they can postpone retirement, said Kate Smith, of pension firm Aegon and the Telegraph’s Pensions Doctor.

Staying in work an extra year or two means they can rely on a stable income without having to burn through their pension. 

For those who are retired, she said now was the time to make full use of the flexibility of pensions. She said: “Take your income monthly, definitely not yearly, and don’t feel like you have to take a regular amount. Vary it month by month, taking only what you really need.”

Hold onto your investments

Taking on investment risk and keeping a pension invested in stocks and shares is one of the few ways to keep up with inflation. However, markets have been choppy since the start of the year, with giant markets such as America struggling. 

This does not mean investors should sell, however. “Do not panic and head for the door,” said Mr Clark. 

It is important to remember that as markets fluctuate there will be an effect on the value of your portfolio, depending on the value of your stocks and shares at the point you start drawing income; this is known as pound-cost ravaging.

Dipping into a pension as markets fall means more shares have to be sold to make up the amount being taken out. This means fewer shares are owned when markets rise, reducing the size of a pot permanently.

Losses incurred by taking income in these circumstances may never be recovered, he warned. Luckily, this can be offset by holding several months’ income in cash so as to avoid drawing out of a pension shortly after a market drop.

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