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Have you saved enough into your pension? For a large proportion of the United Kingdom population the answer is no. Most people are not saving enough for their retirement. Does your vision of retirement include freedom to travel and time to enjoy a comfortable standard of living? If we all to have the retirement that we aspire to one day, we will need to make sure that we are on track to achieve it. It is time to get serious and work out how much that will cost.
Pensions: Why Many People Are Failing
There are a lot of assumptions built into pension calculations, assumptions that are not true for many people. For example, the assumption that you will work 40 years of continuous employment with your salary continually increasing by X% and you maintaining your pension contributions at 12% of your salary for 40 years. Some of the realities of life such as redundancies, women taking time out to raise a family, individuals starting businesses, part time work, time out for studying and credit credit or student loan debts don’t exist in this Continuous Pension Saving Utopia.
I think when people realise that they are not on track to hit their pension goal, they give up and hope someone other than themselves will solve the problem. Let me be more specific, if you would like to live on a retired income of £25,000 you will need to have a pension pot of £500,000. That is assuming that you use your pension pot to purchase an annuity giving you the annual income of £25,000. Try this pension calculator to work out how much you would need at other income levels. As you can appreciate, £500,000 is a large amount especially when it’s considered that the average pension pot in the UK is around £50,000.
What Should you do Now?
Work out the total pension pot you currently have, if you have had several jobs during your career you may need to do a little detective work to track down all of your workplace pensions. This article will help you find your pensions.
Up Your Contributions
Re-evaluate your household budget, can you afford to increase your contributions? If you are in a workplace pension then you should maximise the contributions that you make because these will be matched by your employer. If you are self employed, you should also increase your contributions.
Develop a Plan B
It may be that increasing your pension contributions alone will not be enough for you create a big enough pension pot for retirement. If that is the case, you should develop a Plan B.
Property is a great way to supplement your pension savings, you could downsize your main residence and use the profit for your retirement. Alternatively, you could rent out a spare room and earn extra income that way. There are other ways too, they include equity release and property investing. You can read more about these ways via this link.
If you own a business, this could become your Plan B. Depending on the nature of your business, you may be able to sell it and contribute money to your pension savings after the sale.
Don’t Lose Heart
The fact that you are reading an article like this is a positive in itself. You still have time to improve your level of preparedness for retirement and there are a number of ways you can do so.
Are you on track with your pension savings? If not, what are you going to do about it? Let me know in the comments section below.
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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only. This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.