Despite popular beliefs, people claiming that they cannot afford to pay into a pension has been commonplace since the mid-1990s.  More recently, general living costs have increased at a faster rate than wages and salaries, squeezing disposable income.  Many people also either have or desire their own home, which accounts for a large proportion of their income.

Enjoying the sea and sand

In fact, presently more than half the people in the UK either aren’t saving at all for their retirement or they aren’t saving nearly enough to give them the standard of living they hope for when they retire.  Economists and the UK Government are both concerned about the potential consequences.

Appreciating the importance of pensions when you are in your early twenties is difficult, but as Paul (49 and married with 3 children) explained there are very good reasons to start paying something as soon as you can.

“I left university in 1987, got married in 1991, bought my first house in 1992 and we had our first child in 1993.  We struggled financially throughout that period, but I never considered not paying into a pension.  When I look back the contributions were relatively low anyway and wouldn’t have made any difference to our way of life.  We would have still struggled.  Next year I am 50 and I have the comfort that when I retire there is a nest egg that will ensure that I can do the things that I have always wanted to do.  That nest egg would not exist if I hadn’t paid into the pension.  Despite being 50 next year, I still feel young and have so much that I want to see and do.  In my last company, there were colleagues in their mid-thirties who were still not paying into pensions and I just wonder what will happen to them when they reach retirement age.  What will they live on?”

If you are not paying anything or not paying enough into a pension, then there are only three options as you get older:

  1. Reconsider your expectations of what you’ll be able to afford and do in retirement;
  2. Start saving;
  3. Retire later;

To find out more about personal pensions and how to start planning for the future, please contact us on 01443 229589 or by email on dthomas@dptfs.co.uk