Retirement planning is something not many people think about – at least until retirement age looms near enough to seem real. In truth, though, it's something everyone would benefit from dedicating a bit of time to, no matter how far off actual retirement may be.
When you've spent your whole life working hard, it's important to ensure you have enough money to enjoy life to the fullest when you can finally call it a day. You'll also want to be confident you'll be able to support anybody who depends on you financially.
While there are state and company pensions available, it's always a good idea to see what you can do to add to your entitlements privately. Here are the steps you can take today to start securing your future.
Work out what you'll have
Many people pay into pension schemes or just await retirement without any idea how much money they'll end up with. Before you start making additional plans, you should find out exactly what your income will be after retirement. Add up any pensions you'll be getting, plus savings you're keeping for retirement.
Check your saving routine
If you're not already putting away some cash each time you get paid, now is the time to start. If you don't think you can afford to, see if there's anywhere you can cut back so you can save something, even if it's only a small amount.
If you're already in the saving habit, work out how much you'll have by the time you retire. You might want to increase it, especially if you have money left over that otherwise goes on luxury purchases.
Find out if your money is working hard
Ordinary bank savings accounts are fine, but there's usually a more effective way to increase your savings, especially if they're building up to a large amount. Have a look at alternatives that may give you more back.
Investments and specialist financial products can be confusing and scary, but seeking financial advice from a professional will help you make sense of it all and find out what's best.
Chip away at debts
It's best to clear debts as soon as possible, but especially before you retire, as they'll eat away at your carefully saved funds. Don't ignore debts that have been hanging over you; start a repayment plan and reduce them as much as you can. Contact any creditors and discuss what you can afford to start paying, or if you're already doing so, see if you can increase your payments.
Get extra advice
While it's possible to do it all on your own, a financial adviser can help you maximise your post-work finances by suggesting the best ways to save and invest. Make an appointment to discuss what you need if you're serious about retirement planning.