My dream home investment

Despite having started a pension later on in her working life, IT contractor Emma Muller, 61, is now back on track with the help of her self-invested personal pension (Sipp)

In 1997, I moved with my children to the UK to start a new life in the countryside. We looked around and ended up in Devon, where we could enjoy the great outdoors, and we haven’t looked back since.

Nowadays I feel very settled here. After years of hard work and savings I am now in a secure financial position and I’ve been able to invest in a property that we’re in the middle of renovating. But it has been a journey for us to get here, helped by making some sensible financial decisions early on.

When I started my first job here in the UK I realised I needed to get a pension set up quickly, as I had left it quite late. So I decided to set up a personal pension through my limited company and make monthly contributions to it, taking advantage of the tax relief.

Last year, I took stock of my finances and realised the fees on my pension were quite high. So I started to look around for alternative providers, eventually deciding to move my pension to Fidelity, where I already held my stocks and shares Isa. Fidelity’s Sipp offered low fees, and the company offered to pay any exit fees* if my previous provider charged them.

And because I transferred more than £250,000 to Fidelity I qualified for its Wealth service, which included a relationship manager.

I’m planning to keep working and contributing to my pension for a long time yet. I’m far too young in my mind not to be working; my mother worked until she was 80 and I think I will be trying to emulate her. Having set up a pension later on in life it’s important to keep contributing as much as I can to my pension so I won’t need to dip into my savings too early on.

Sitting pretty: Emma Muller is renovating her home in the retirement revolution

Being independent is crucial to the way I manage my finances. I don’t have a company paying into a pension for me, so I’ve had to manage it. I was a bit nervous about making investment decisions, but it was the right thing for me to do as I will have a decent pension pot when I retire.

Now my pension is working well I have been able to focus on renovating my new home. It’s not so much ‘Grand Designs’ as ‘Pitifully Small Designs’. But it’s what I’ve always dreamt of being able to do, so I’m so glad that I acted when I did.

Fidelity customer, November 2018. In the interests of privacy, names have been changed and actors have been used. *Fidelity covers up to £500, if your current providers charge exit fees. T&Cs apply. For details, visit

To find out more about Fidelity's Sipp and retirement planning, call 0800 414 113 or go to

Important information

The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Withdrawals from a pension product will not normally be possible until you reach age 55.

It’s important to understand that pension transfers are a complex area and may not be suitable for everyone. Before going ahead with a pension transfer, we strongly recommend that you undertake a full comparison of the benefits, charges and features offered. To find out what else you should consider before transferring, please read our transfer factsheet.

If you are in any doubt whether or not a pension transfer is suitable for your circumstances we strongly suggest that you seek advice from an authorised financial adviser.

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