Should you ditch your pension in favour of a property portfolio?

Should you be putting money into a pension ready for your retirement or would you be better focusing on building up an alternative income stream, such as from a property portfolio? It’s a question that’s relevant to anyone who is planning for retirement and one that requires very careful consideration. The right decision could make a huge difference to the quality of the retirement in question and there are risks to both strategies.

“Sound financial planning is incredibly important when it comes to retirement, yet so many of us don’t focus on it until quite late in life. Both pensions and property have their attractions when it comes to funding your retirement, so it’s well worth investing time in discovering what will best suit your individual circumstances and plans.”

Matt Harper-Penman, Group Director, Fabrik Invest

According to recent data from Unbiased, 21% of Britons have no private pension. Meanwhile, according to pension statistics from Finder, the average UK pension pot is just £42,651. The average retirement age is 64.7 years old for men and 63.6 for women, and life expectancy stands at 79.4 years and 83.1 years respectively. This means that £42,651 pension pot will need to last around 15 years for the average man and around 20 for the average woman.

While it’s true that retirees don’t spend as much as working professionals, Which? reports that the average two-person retiree household spends £26,000 per year. That covers the basics and some luxuries (hobbies, eating out and European holidays). Those looking for a more luxurious retirement (buying a new car every five years and enjoying long-haul holidays, for example), spend around £41,000 per year. Clearly, that average pension pot isn’t going to cut it.

Building a property portfolio as a viable alternative to a pension therefore has its attractions. Property can provide a regular income through rent and is also an asset that can be sold, should the retiree need access to a larger amount of money.