Saving for retirement might be something you have thought about, but are yet to take the next step. It can definitely be a daunting prospect and it’s hard to know where to begin. If you can begin. What type of account you should go for. How much is a good amount to put away. They are really so many questions that surround this topic that it’s hard to know where to start.
It may also seem like there is always plenty of time to think about this, but the sooner you explore your retirement options, the better position you’ll be in later life. It can be a difficult task to catch up with further down the line, and do you really need the added stress? Any progress right now is worth the effort.
In this article, we look at some options to help steer you in the right direction.
When you’re ready to start feeding your retirement pot, it can be done via an ISA or pension. You can start paying into a pension as soon as you start earning, either through a personal pension or a workplace pension. You can decide what you put away and this money will not be accessible to you until you are least 55 years old. Once it’s in, it’s in. If you earn more than £10,000 and are an employee, you should be able to put into a workplace pension.
Many companies also buy into the pension plan so your employer too will contribute to your pension, up to around 10% of your annual earnings. With you also aiming to top this up to at least 15%. The workplace pension is available to those aged 22 years plus. Fees that are claimed by your provider will determine the amount earned at retirement age.
Many people, however, are self-employed, so workplace pensions are not available. This is where the personal pension comes in. This way provides more control as you will find the suitable provider and work out how much will go into saving for retirement. Generally this is done via monthly payments, or bigger, less regular instalments. These types of pensions are more flexible than the workplace pension, but of course you won’t have the advantage of an employer also contributing.
An ISA is usually more flexible in terms of accessing the pot before you hit retirement age (if its easy access), though this isn’t always a good thing. It’s quite a nice feeling to know what you put away you can’t access on a rainy day. One of the great things about opening an ISA is that they are tax free. Plus, you can add up to £20,000 a year. A fixed rate ISA is always sensible as a contract will determine the time your retirement fund will be held for.
If you’re going for a workplace pension, there will be some cashing in and saving for retirement options. For example annuity provides the reassurance of an income for life or for a period of time agreed. Or, if you need the retirement money early, you may have the option to cash out with a workplace pension, with the first 25% tax free. You may also want to draw out a lump sum and have control over how much you withdraw. This can be done again with the first 25% tax free amount.
In short, it makes sense to think about saving for retirement as soon as you are able. You’ll have more investment options and have more time for your funds to grow. A state pension in the UK is currently £185.15 per week.
This can seem like an impossible task if in debt. Of course the overall goal should be to clear any debts first to free up the money to put into a pension. It’s easy to think about all the things needed in life in the short term. But having a long term plan is hugely beneficial, although it may not seem like a priority right now. You can start as small as you like and add regularly but not outside your means. It will feel great to take charge of this part of you life and know that you’re doing what you can for your future.
For more savings ideas including tips on how to spend wisely as well as how to create a realistic budget, click here.