We all know that having a decent pension is vital to enjoying a comfortable retirement. However, understanding your pension and setting clear financial goals can be difficult.
Furthermore, as average life expectancy continues to increase, having a healthy pension is essential. This is especially true for younger generations, as they could expect to live upwards of 30 years if retiring in their 60s or 70s.
In particular, this is worrying for self-employed individuals. With the rise of the gig economy, 15% of the UK’s workforce are now self-employed, yet only 25% of those are contributing to a pension.
With that in mind, here are some top financial tips to help you plan for your pension.
Before you can plan properly for your pension, you need to consider your current financial situation. This includes keeping track of your spending and understanding your true living costs – you can find several effective methods here.
Secondly, it is important to improve and simplify your finances especially if you are currently repaying multiple loans or credit cards, including debt consolidation. This is an important step as one in five retirees’ in the UK stop working with £34,000 worth of debt – a figure that is set to rise.
Alternatively, if you enjoy a lot of luxuries, you could take proactive steps to reduce your outgoings, freeing up funds that could be invested for your future and help you build a bigger pension pot.
It makes sense that the earlier you start saving, the more money you should have come retirement. After all, the longer you can contribute, the more the funds can be invested and the more time they have to grow.
Whether this is through your workplace pension, a private provider, or in an ISA (for the year 2018/19, you can save up to £20,000 tax free), it is advisable to start saving as early as possible. Even saving a small amount can add up in the long run.
Increase Pension Contributions
Arguably one of the best ways to save for retirement is by investing in your career. After all, every promotion and salary increase provides more disposable income, affording you the opportunity to save more. As such, consider increasing your pension contribution with each pay rise you receive.
Knowing how much you can save is important, too. In the UK, you can contribute up to £40,000 per year towards your pension, tax free. This annual allowance resets at the end of each financial year, with the total Lifetime Allowance currently standing at £1,030,000.
Set a Manageable Target
Finally, while simplifying your finances, saving from an early age and increasing your pension contributions as you progress in your career are important, it is also advisable to set targets and goals.
While many people take a passive approach when it comes to pensions, becoming more active could help you boost your savings and enjoy a more comfortable retirement. To do this, you could consider seeking the advice of a financial planner who can help you diversify risk and present different investment options, with approaches that can be utilised over the short and long term.