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Savings and lifestyle Retirement planning Financial planning
2 August 2019
Author: Emily Smits

Plan for retirement. It's the holiday of a lifetime

“Going away at all?”

Planning for retirement

Now that the summer holiday season is upon us (woo tanning!), we’re asked this question time and time again. And whether you’re jetting off to somewhere exotic, or looking forward to a staycation on our “sunny” British coast, you’ll probably spend a considerable amount of time planning and budgeting for how you’ll spend your week or two away, as well as saving towards it.

Retirement is often described as the longest holiday we’ll ever have, yet how much thought do we give towards planning for it?

To highlight the contrast…

For the next few months, I’m paying small monthly instalments towards attending my friend’s hen weekend in Tenerife – I’ve discussed with the girls, in detail: what we’re going to get up to, how we’ll surprise the bride-to-be, how can we possibly avoid exceeding our 10kg (?!) luggage allowance, how we’ll survive work the next day after landing at midnight, etc…

Pension auto enrolment

For the foreseeable future, thanks to auto enrolment, I’m paying a fair chunk of my monthly pay packet into my pension – but I’ve given very little thought towards retirement, or if I’m saving anywhere near enough for when the time comes. If anything, I often wish I had that money now to fulfil my need for instant gratification! Something which is typical of my generation…

Whilst my grandma loves lecturing me on how she and my grandad lived so frugally throughout the year to fund their multiple Saga-catalogue holidays, my generation is more accustomed to credit card-funded hen/stag weekends abroad, city breaks, beach holidays, skiing holidays and (perhaps with a little help from the bank of mum and dad) gap year travelling.

Our mindset when it comes to spending isn’t likely to automatically change when we retire; we won’t want to go without throughout the year, especially when we’ll have unlimited annual leave to do the things we enjoy!

Nor will our desire to travel to exotic places, experience different cultures, see the sights and try new things (most “pensioners” I know are not your typical OAP). What will change is the funds we have available to pay for these things. We’ll likely be reliant on our workplace pension and the State Pension.

How much money to retire?

A recent study* by Which? found that, on average, retiree households spent around £27,000 a year on all the basic areas of expenditure and some luxuries, such as European holidays, hobbies and eating out. If retirement can be viewed as an all-inclusive holiday, we could be talking about a cost of £298,000! (This is how much it could cost to buy an annuity which, when added to the State Pension, would provide an income of £27,000 a year.**)

While my retirement is likely to be at least 30 years away, these stats do make the question “Will I have enough money to enjoy my retirement?” seem a lot more important than “How many Euros shall I take to that Tenerife hen do?” Time to check my pension pot value…

You can find lots more about planning for retirement here The complete guide to a pension plan

* https://www.which.co.uk/money/pensions-and-retirement/starting-to-plan-your-retirement/how-much-will-you-need-to-retire-atu0z9k0lw3p

**According to Which? calculations, for a guaranteed income paid to you via a joint-life annuity, you'd need a pension pot of about £298,000. This also factors in the State Pension.

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