There comes a point when you reach the other side of the hill and you realise it’s time to think about what’s going to happen once you leave full-time employment.
We can’t work forever and retirement seems a frightful prospect for some when income is concerned. With an ageing population and a dependency ratio about to reach tipping point, there has never been a more vital time to get your finances in check for later years.
As a general rule, you should begin saving for your retirement in your 20s or as soon as you start earning if you want to live comfortably beyond your working years. With so many ways to save, which one is right for you?
Recent legislation in the UK now means that anyone over the age of 22, earning over £10,000 per year, will be automatically enrolled into a working pension scheme. At the moment, employees contribute 2% of their wage and the employer pays 1%. In 2017, the ratio will change to employees paying 3% and employers paying 2% and again in 2018 to employees paying 5% and employers contributing 3%.
Personal pension schemes are one of the most popular forms of pension planning, offering a range of benefits depending on your supplier. You’re more likely to be able to shape the plan to your needs and as the market is so competitive, you’ll also probably find a plan with extra benefits when you first sign up.
Originally known as ISAs, NISAs came into effect on July 1st 2014 and allow you to build your savings without being taxed on the interest you earn, until you reach an annual limit. There are plenty of benefits from this option whether you’re a high or modest earner. For those on the ‘basic’ tax band, you could receive a saving of 20%; whilst those paying the higher rate can avoid being taxed up to 40% on their savings earnings.
NS&I plans are backed by the Government and boast benefits of both taxable and tax efficient long-term savings accounts, perfect for building yourself a nest egg for your future endeavours.
They are also launching a spin off for those of you who may not have saved enough. In January 2015, NS&I will create a ‘Pensioner Bond’ for those who are already retired and looking for access to a fixed-rated savings account.
Although being prepared for your retirement is your main goal, saving money is a valuable budgeting lesson that will influence you to live a more economical lifestyle. You’ll also have opportunities for unlocking your pension early for any little mishaps that happen later on in life, which mean you need the extra cash. There are ways to cash in part of your pension early for emergencies that may occur as the years pass by.
When you’ve worked all of your life, you deserve the chance to rest with peace of mind. If you start researching plans now, you’ll be able to live a life of luxury in your later years and perhaps even have enough for a retirement holiday or two!
Failure to prepare may see you having to scrape by with a state pension or downsizing your house to make ends meet. It may seem a long way off, but preparing for your retirement is something that you should be considering today.