Tax-efficient investing across the ages

sarahgibson • 28 Apr 2021

As investors progress through the various stages of life, their investment priorities as well as their financial goals will inevitably change. However, whatever life stage you are at, it’s always important to take advantage of any tax efficient investment opportunities available to you.

Generation Alpha

The principal tax-wrapper available to the youngest generation (new-borns to 18-yearolds) is a Junior ISA (Individual Savings Account). Changes announced in the Spring Budget mean parents, grandparents and family friends can invest up to £9,000 a year in a Junior ISA from 6 April 2020, with the proceeds free from dividend, income and capital gains tax. Another tax-efficient investment option for Generation Alpha is a junior pension which allows a maximum contribution of £2,880 per year – equivalent to investing £3,600 when topped up by government tax relief.

Generation Z

This cohort includes 11 to 23-year-olds, with younger members still being eligible for both a Junior ISA and junior pension. Older Generation Z could also open an adult ISA and those in paid employment will be eligible for a workplace pension. Another opportunity open to older members of this group is a Lifetime ISA, which allows adults under the age of 40 to invest up to £4,000 a year to fund the purchase of a first home or for retirement, with government adding a 25% bonus up to a maximum of £1,000 per year.


Buying a home will inevitably be a key financial goal for members of this group (24 to 39-year-olds), which means a Lifetime ISA is usually an investment priority. While extra commitments mean cash is not always plentiful at this stage of life, if possible, Millennials should also direct regular amounts, large or small, into an adult ISA in order to take advantage of the overall £20,000 annual allowance. Making additional pension contributions can also be an effective tax-efficient savings strategy for this group.

Generation X

Members of this cohort, aged between 40 and 55, will often be at the peak of their earning prowess. Financial demands also tend to reduce at this life stage which means Generation X often have the resources to maximise ISA investments. With retirement looming, members of this group are also generally keen to boost pension savings, particularly higher rate taxpayers who qualify for extra tax relief on contributions.

Baby Boomers

This group includes 56 to 74-year-olds and maximising pension contributions is likely to be a key tax-efficient investment strategy for its pre-retired members. Baby Boomers will also be able to take advantage of the 25% tax-free lump sum they can withdraw under the pension freedoms rules. Cash ISAs are also likely to feature more prominently for members of this group, particularly those who are retired.


Please note. HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen. The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount invested.