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Alcohol, cigarettes and annuities - don’t hide your habits

We take a look at how disclosing your habits could lead to a higher annuity income.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

One in five of us are drinking more than the weekly recommended amount (14 units of alcohol), the NHS says. And it’s older drinkers who drink more than anyone else.

Smoking is another habit we all know is damaging for our health, yet an estimated 7.4 million adults in the UK smoke. It’s also smokers aged 50 and over who smoke the most.

Lots of people are cautious when it comes to giving unhealthy lifestyle details when applying for insurance products. It usually means higher premiums, more paperwork to complete, or check-ups from the doctor.

But when it comes to your retirement income, it actually pays to disclose everything.

Unlike other insurance products, giving details of your unhealthy habits when you apply for an annuity could mean you get a higher income.

How much more income could you get?

Annuities are a way of turning your pension into a guaranteed income for life. Annuity providers will pay you a higher income based on certain lifestyle choices, like alcohol consumption or the amount you smoke. So don’t hide your habits when you apply.

Annual income from a £100,000 pension

These quotes were run using our annuity quote tool. Quotes run on 18 March 2019. Based on a 65 year old with a £100,000 pension. The quotes are all based on a single life annuity, with no escalation, no guaranteed period and paid monthly in advance.

The income you’ll get depends on the value of your pension, your circumstances, the options you choose and the rates available at the time. Annuity quotes are only guaranteed for a limited time. Rates change frequently so might go up or down in future.

Explore your options today

Quitters qualify too

Nowadays, ex-smokers outnumber smokers.

If you used to smoke, you could get a higher income by providing your smoking history when you apply. For example, a 65 year old who smoked 20 cigarettes a day from age 18, and gave up two years ago, would receive £5,733 a year if they bought a single life annuity with a £100,000 pension (on 18 March 2019). That’s £239 more each year than if they didn’t share these details.

It’s worth checking how much income you could get, or if you qualify.

Get quotes now

It’s worthwhile providing all your details

To get the best possible annuity rate it’s important to provide your full health details – including those that can be linked to smoking and drinking. Even minor details are worth mentioning, such as your height or weight.

Annual income from a £100,000 pension

Quotes run on 18 March 2019 using our annuity quote tool. Based on a 65 year old with a £100,000 pension who drinks 14 units of alcohol a week. The quotes are all based on a single life, with no escalation, no guaranteed period and paid monthly in advance.

Remember, you don’t have to be ill to qualify. In fact, last year more than half of our annuity clients qualified for a higher income by providing their health and lifestyle details.

Don’t underestimate your life expectancy

When thinking about your retirement options, make sure you’re not underestimating the number of birthdays you’ve still got left to celebrate.

Lots of us do it, and it’s those aged 55-70 who are significantly underestimating their chance of living to older ages. Unlike more flexible options, if you decide to buy an annuity your income will last regardless of how long you live.

It’s easy to see if you could qualify for a higher income. Use our online annuity tool to receive quotes within minutes. It’s free to explore your options.

Check if you qualify today

What help's available?

What you do with your pension is an important decision. We strongly recommend you understand your options and check your chosen option is right for your circumstances. Take advice or guidance if you’re not sure.

The government provides a free and impartial service to help you understand your retirement options - more on Pension Wise.

This article isn't personal advice. We offer a range of information and support to help you plan your own finances. We also have an award-winning advisory service that can help you achieve your goals. Our flexible approach means you only pay for the advice you need.

If you’d like to get annuity quotes over the phone, you can call our annuity experts on 0117 980 9940. They’re available six days a week: Monday-Thursday 8am-7pm, Friday 8am-6pm and Saturday 9:30am-12:30pm.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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