Whichever way you look at it, the standard statedoled out in the UK is barely enough to live off at the best of time. As such, those who don’t wish to spend their years struggling to heat their homes and keep food on the table would be well-advised to begin paying close attention to their future pension pot as early as possible.
While there’s much that can be done during retirement to stretch the pennies as far as they’ll go, it’s of course a much better idea to ensure there are more pennies there in the first place. So rather than spending decades worrying about how you’ll get by the next day, it’s more than worth considering what you should be doing at each stage in your life to put you in the best possible financial position when you retire.
Planning forat each stage in life
In Your 20s
For example, some would argue that those in their 20s still have plenty of time to both plan and make decisions, but there are nonetheless a few very important boxes to tick. For example, this should be a time when as many non-essential debts as possible are cleared or minimised, high-interest ISA accounts are opened and nothing is wasted frivolously. If it’s possible, there’s also no better time to start saving – assuming personal finances permit, of course.
In Your 30s
A little further down the line, it’s a case of bolstering what you started in your 20s. This is a time when all debts should be focused on with greater attention and assessed in accordance with income and other outgoings. The idea being that debts aren’t given the opportunity to pile up and become problematic. This is also the time at which it is crucial to sign up for the best pension scheme the company or organisation you work for has to offer.
In Your 40s
Statistically speaking, you’ll earn more in your 40s than you will in any other decade of your career. As such, this is also the time during which you should be looking to put away as much money as possible for your future, as opposed to just earning big and spending big. Use any extra cash to pay off debts, consider youroptions and save much more aggressively when and where possible.
In Your 50s
In the final decade running up to your retirement, it’s once again a case of increasing pension contributions as much as possible and clearing as many debts as you can, while at the same time pulling things back a little if you have any investments of an even remotely risky nature. At this stage, it’s important to remember that recouping losses if things go wrong would be nigh-on impossible, so it’s better to put what you have in a safe haven.
In Your 60s
As your retirement approaches, speak to a financial advisor in order to assist you in going through what you have, what you need, what’s still going out on debts/expenses and how best to organise your money. There are various different ways in which your pension can be accessed or topped up further – all of which you’ll need to know and understand in order to make the right decision for you.