Crucial knowledge for anyone at any age.

Fewer than half of us are saving enough for retirement. Around one in five aren’t currently saving anything for those “golden years” and roughly a third are under-saving quite significantly. For most of us, the idea of not having enough to live on in old age is quite shocking – but this is increasingly a reality for many. So, whether or not you’ve already started saving for retirement, it’s crucial to make sure that you have what you need for later life. Although it is possible to find a loan in later life if the need arises, it is not recommended.

It’s important to start as early as you can

There’s just no substitute for early saving when it comes to putting aside cash for retirement. The younger you are when you begin saving for retirement, the more there will be in the pot when the time comes to pick up your golf clubs and start enjoying life. Plus, the earlier you start saving, the less of your income needs to be put towards retirement.

Debt could be a factor for you

Increasingly, we are entering retirement today with a much larger volume of debt than was previously the case. Personal loans, credit cards and mortgages, and even bad credit loans, are a factor for many pensioners today – and that changes the way that we need to approach retirement. Paying off debt before retirement is a priority but the reality may be that, as well as calculating your living expenses, you may also need to factor in debt repayments too.

Do you really know how much you’re likely to need?

There are many different ways to work out what you’re likely to need to enjoy a comfortable retirement, often involving complex equations or calculations. A very simple way to do this is to estimate your annual expenses and then times this by 25. This will at least give you a minimum – as opposed to a maximum – figure that you can aim to accumulate to ensure that you have your basic expenses covered.

Diversifying your savings could be important

There are many different ways to save for retirement and it is often worth investigating more than one option. A combination of occupational and personal pensions can give you access to the performance of difference funds, as well as a back up plan should something happen to one of your pensions. Cash free savings vehicles, such as an ISA, are also useful to maximise the income you get from the cash that you have. Regular savings accounts, property and cash investments could also help to create a portfolio that generates a healthy retirement income.

You may need to carry on working

Pensionable age changes regularly but, given the increasing cost of living and the fact that many of us simply won’t have enough cash to retire, continuing to work may be a reality for a lot of people. Some prefer to continue to work – the mental exercise and social engagement of even a part time job can be beneficial for the over 65s. So, when it comes to considering if you’ll retire it’s worth thinking through the process of whether that’s likely to be a reality – and whether you want it to be. If working is going to be your choice/necessity it’s a good idea to think early on how you could continue to generate income as you age.