Changing from being an income producer to living from accumulated capital, whether as a slow phased operation, or an abrupt retirement, requires very careful analysis of the options.

As an example, we can look at the question of whether to purchase an annuity immediately with the accumulated pension fund, or whether to make use of the income draw-down options now available. Many are not aware that the annuity market can be used at this time to obtain the very best annuity rate and hence the highest possible income for life currently available.

This option (known as the "Open Market Option") is greatly under-utilised by the public believing that they have to remain with the company they have been saving with.

Those with impaired health using this option may be able to obtain substantially superior rates due to their reduced life expectancy. Increased benefits of 15% payable every year for the remainder of life are regularly achieved for individuals who qualify.

The orientation of other assets may well now need to be adjusted. Savings schemes that to date have been positioned to achieve maximum growth may now need to be adjusted to produce income. Income tax and other allowances need to be re-assessed.