I still remember getting my first ever payslip. At the time, it felt like untold riches.
Anyone looking at me would have seen pound signs light up in my eyes, as I suddenly realized that I was going to get one of these slips every single month...
And that meant that over 12 months…
(I quickly did the calculation…)
I was going to be RICH! Well, obviously not really 😊
But certainly, seeing that payslip in my hand suddenly made my earnings feel much more real. I could suddenly visualise how much money I was going to have, and start planning how I was going to spend it. (Saving, I’m afraid, was not yet on the radar!)
So - if you’re not already retired - today I want to do a little thought experiment with you, that will help you work out how much money you need to have a comfortable retirement.
How much money do I need in retirement
The experiment comes in two parts.
You see, whenever I ask people how much money they’re going to need to have a comfortable retirement, their eyes tend to glaze over. If you’ve never been through the figures properly with a financial advisor, it’s actually really hard to figure out. It all seems so theoretical and so abstract!
But I find this question helps clarify things.
If you want to stop working at 65…. 68…. 70… and live (all being well) for another 20-25 years…
…how many “payslips” are you going to need in retirement?
Will you need 240 payslips? 300 payslips? 360?
When you think about it like that, the amount you need to save up suddenly feels a lot more momentous, doesn’t it? (And that’s true no matter what figure actually appears on those payslips).
You have between now and the time at which you retire to earn all those hundreds of payslips that will get you through your retirement. Sure, you’ll get a bit of help from the government and your employer. But essentially, it’s up to you to have those payslips ready... all 200 or 300 of them.
How much should I put in my pension
Now for the flip side… let’s say you’re going to need 300 payslips once you’ve stopped work.
How many payslips are you going to get between now and the point at which you retire?
For example, I’m in my early 50s. I might have 12 years left of full-time work… that’s just 144 payslips!
It’s true that there is already money in my pension pot, so I’m not starting from scratch. Some of those payslips have already been earned.
But it still hits hard. I have just 144 payslips left in which to earn all the rest of the money I’m going to need for retirement!
That really focuses the mind, doesn’t it? Because of course, only a relatively small portion of those working payslips can go towards my retirement…
…and when I’m done, I’m potentially going to need 300 retirement payslips ready to go.
Pension pot size
How about you? How many payslips are you going to need when you retire….
...and how many working payslips do you have left from which to earn that money?
If you haven’t yet retired, time is running out, because every month that goes by means one payslip less from which you can build a pot for your retirement.
That’s why you can’t delay. The time to consider your pension contributions, and work out how you are going to make up any potential shortfall, is now.
Of course, you don’t have to do this alone. Our financial advisors can work through the numbers properly with you, so you understand exactly how much you need to save up for a brilliant retirement (i.e. how many payslips you’ll need)…
…and no matter how many working years you have left, how much money you need to put aside right now, from each one of your current payslips.
We can look at your pension arrangements to make sure your money is working its very hardest for you.
And if the funds from your salary are not sufficient to give you the kind of retirement you want, we’ll also look at alternate sources of funding. (There are always options, although it can take a professional to see them and make the right decisions!)
And we can even do some really powerful cashflow modelling, so you can clearly visualise all the numbers involved every year, turning this from a theoretical discussion into something really concrete.