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What if I Haven’t Started Saving for Retirement Yet?


1st Jan 2015 Insurance & Legal

What if I Haven’t Started Saving for Retirement Yet?

We all want to enjoy our retirement and live without having to worry constantly about money, and want it to be something you look forward to instead of being the cause of nightmares.
What if you haven’t started saving for retirement yet? Is early retirement out of the question for people who start saving later?

Do You Need to Save for Your Retirement?

Many people might put off saving for retirement because they believe their National Insurance contributions will be sufficient. Unfortunately, many are now realising that these contributions might not be adequate to provide the desired lifestyle and standard of living.

You’ll currently need 30 qualifying work years in order to claim the full State Pension. If you are thinking about early retirement, this might be an additional reason why you’d want to start saving yourself.

Although you will be able to save much more money if you start saving early in life, it is possible to start later in life as well. Don’t be stressed if you haven’t started yet, as there are things you can do now.

Check Your Situation

First, it is important to know you aren’t alone in thinking about retirement savings. The often dark reality is that many people aren’t saving enough money. However, being here means you’re looking to make changes and give yourself a brighter future.

Start by checking your current pension situation. If you are working, make sure to check if you have an additional pension scheme through your workplace. This might sound strange, but many people who have been with an employer a long time often forget about an employer pension and are so used to being paid that they rarely check a wage slip!

You can use the UK government’s pension calculator to see what type of pension you can expect when you are retiring.

Consider How Much You Want

Think about your lifestyle and how much money you want to have at hand when you retire. Calculate a rough estimate of your desired income. This allows you see how much in additional retirement savings you need to obtain in your remaining work years.

Then look at how much you need to put aside each month in order to achieve your desired pension. Consider any payments you need to make during this time, such as possible mortgage repayments, as well as savings you’d make for an emergency or "rainy day" fund.

Find the Right Schemes

Given the situation many find themselves in financially, there are increasing numbers of retirement saving schemes that people can start even at an older age.

You could even consider equity release as an additional type of income once you retire if you own your home. On top of this, you might think about increasing any ISA-savings or opening a savings account, if you haven’t already.

Those who have money and want it to "work harder" for them could consider investing or taking out fixed term, fixed interest accounts or bonds.

The Pensions Advisory Service offers plenty of information on the different options available. The key is to start saving as soon as possible and have a clear idea of how much money you want to save.

The Right Time to Retire?

Your most important question might be "When can I retire?" Much of it depends on how much money you want to have at hand for your retirement and how long it would take to achieve this goal.

If you are more concerned about early retirement, then think if there are ways to save more money. Perhaps you could consider downsizing your home, or find a way to get some additional income.

In many instances, working just a few years longer might be a good way to guarantee a comfortable pension. If you are in good health and you enjoy working, this might not be such a bad idea, no matter how it may sound at first!

Seek Advice

It is a good idea to discuss your savings with a professional. The Citizens Advice Bureau can offer free advice or you could discuss your retirement saving options with your bank.

Financial advisers are also good sources of inspiration and direction for those considering their options.


Reader’s Digest have partnered with pension and investment experts Flying Colours to provide you with the advice you need to identify which option is best for you. Call our pension experts on 0333 241 9919 or click here to visit our dedicated website to help you decide which path suits you best, so you are then able to access the appropriate advice.