“Your retirement salary” – the pension best seller.

How to use your lifetime of pension savings to pay yourself an income in your retirement

your retirement salary


Richard Dyson & Richard Evans, the Daily Telegraph’s senior personal finance journalists, have written a book.

I like the title “Your retirement salary” , the book is about creating a wage in older age from the pension pots of the kind of people who read the Daily Telegraph.

I like the book’s chatty style. To the question “what is a pension?” the answer is

Simple, a pension is the money you live on when you’re retired

The book references the simpler world of previous generations,

“Come the end of your career, you collected your watch, went home and what had been your earned wage in one month, became your pension payment the next”

but this is not nostalgia – it is a very modern  self-help book.

It encourages its readers to find their pension pots, bring them together and become their own pension managers. It has chapters on integrating the “pension pot” with ISAs, income from property defined benefit  the state pensions but  its the savings pot that is at its heart.

It is at its best when it is looking for ways to empower its readers to take action without recourse to advice. It is expert on its readers, acknowledging that its authority lies in the author’s access to the questions its readers ask. If the questions listed in the introduction are typical, most readers want to be sufficient and adviser-free.

It is robust on advisers and contains a good chapter on how to engage an IFA with excellent comments from veteran annuity broker , Billy Burrows.

The book has other cameo appearances from pension experts from Just and Hargreaves Lansdown as well as an authoritative statement from Ros Altmann and a rant from Steve Webb on HMRC’s taxation of drawdown.

At its  heart is a detailed description of three investment strategies (portfolios) – one that aims to provide inheritable wealth, one that maximises the retirement salary and the third (bluntly called “compromise”) does a bit of both.

This statement is typical of the book’s plain-speaking

“What we can say is that if markets broadly perform in line with historic trends, the three portfolios the three portfolios should achieve roughly what they are intended to.”

I would happily incorporate large sections of this book into the AgeWage app as it takes its readers on a process that in digital terms would become a “user journey”.

The book does have a weakness; unless you are a fan of active fund management, you will find the detail of portfolio construction anachronistic.  Reading about fund  managers and how to hire and fire them should have been the subject of another book. The detailed fund picks are a hostage to fortune, how many will still be recommended in two years time

There are omissions; there is nothing  on  workplace pensions and the investment pathways they offer.  Not all readers will want to be their own pension manager and the SIPP Platforms discussed are fine for a Telegraph reader but will leave the readership of the red-tops cold.

The book is not cheap and at 180 pages struggle to justify its £14.99 price tag. As the book about making the most of your money, it good do with being half the price. It’s available on Amazon at £10.55 .

But it would be wrong to end this review on a couple of minor moans /This is a book for ordinary people struggling with pension pots and the freedoms they’ve been offered.

It’s hard to disagree withAndy (AJ) Bell  who succinctly advises.

“Got a pension? Need an income in retirement? Read this book.”


your retirement salary


About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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