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Careful tax planning can significantly enhance the chances of a comfortable retirement, says Mike Anderson

31 October 2013

There's nothing like approaching retirement to focus a client's mind on when they might finish working and how much they'll need in their financial pot. Debt has usually been repaid and most education costs covered. Professionals are often at the peak of their careers and may be enjoying a golden period of maximum earnings and the lowest relative level of fixed outgoings. Careful planning is more critical than ever.

Traditionally, pensions were the cornerstone of retirement planning, but the days of unlimited tax relief are long gone. Most will be limited by a lifetime pension allowance that's been reduced from £1.8m to £1.5m, and will reduce further to £1.25m in April 2014. Similarly, unlimited pension contributions are a distant memory and maximum annual contributions will decrease from £50k a year to

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