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Ten investment tips for teachers taking early retirement

1. Take your time in deciding how to invest your lump sum; decisions made now can affect you for the rest of your life.

2. Don't leave your lump sum in a bank or building society current account for too long - most current accounts pay little or no interest.

3. Plan your investment strategy before your retirement date so that you are ready to start investing soon afterwards to make the most of your capital.

4. If you don't have time to plan before you leave - transfer the money into a high-interest instant access account such as a Postal Account as a temporary measure.

5. Try to work out how much income you will need from your lump sum by projecting income and outgoings for the year ahead.

6. Think carefully before paying off your mortgage. You may be left with little or no capital and need to raise funds in future, and you could both lose tax relief on the interest and be hit by penalties for early redemption.

7. The pension is index-linked to inflation but the lump sum isn't. To preserve the value of your capital some of your funds will need to be invested for growth.

8. Keep enough funds available in instant access acounts to cover emergencies and impulse expenditure.

9. Make use of tax-free investments such as TESSAs, PEPs, and National Savings Certificates, but don't let tax treatment alone dictate your investment choices.

10. Go for a variety of different investment types and aim for a balance between risk and reward. Invest for the short, medium and long-term to enjoy all of your retirement.

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