After years of hard work, most of us look forward to a well-deserved, long retirement. But how can you make sure those hard earned years of leisure are not ruined by money worries?
Here are some tips for a financially stress-free retirement:
Use the GOV.UK website to check at what age you will be eligible for your state pension, and how much you will receive. This, very useful, website provides an indicative figure of what your pension will be, based on National Insurance contributions, etc. This will give you an idea of how much additional income you will need to live comfortably, during your retirement. At the time of writing, the full state pension is £159.55 a week.
Workplace pension scheme
Pay a percentage of your salary into your company pension scheme. In the majority of cases, your employer contributes money to the scheme, in addition to your payments, making this an excellent way of saving towards your retirement.
By 2018 all employers must provide a scheme for you. So, if your company does not have a pension scheme at the moment, they will have one soon. However, to qualify you must be older than 22, and earning more than £10,000.
Particularly suitable if you are self-employed, a personal pension plan helps you save towards your retirement. You make regular payments, which are invested, to give you an income when you retire. Tax relief is available on the contributions you make.
The final amount you will receive is dependent on how much you have invested, and how well your investments perform. Some carry a higher risk than others but give a greater return. Before going ahead with any investment, it is always advisable to seek advice from an independent financial advisor.
An Independent Savings Account (ISA) is an account where the interest you earn is tax-free. There is a limit to how much you can invest in an ISA. For the 2017/2018 tax year, that limit is £20,000.
There are two main types, cash ISAs, and stocks and shares ISAs. You can invest in both, up to the £20,000 limit.
The cash ISA is simply a savings account which is tax exempt. The stock and shares ISA is reliant on the performance of the stock market, as your money is invested in various funds, and trusts. Obviously, there is a greater element of risk with this ISA.
With very low interest rates, the return on most savings accounts is minimal. Therefore, investing your money where higher returns are possible is very appealing.
Unit trusts, investment trusts, stocks and shares, etc. can all yield greater returns. However, greater rewards usually mean greater risk. Unless you are an expert in this area, the best option is to use a financial adviser.
Finally, the key to a comfortable retirement is to plan ahead. Contribute to a pension, and invest as much as you can afford, on a regular basis. You will reap the benefits later!