Do you fear a future filled with uncertainy and doubt? One where you have to scrape and scrimp for every day of your fast waning life? It’s time to stop worrying and start working to ensure you retirement is going to be more comfortable that the doomsayers pridict.
Before we start, I have to admit that a lot of research time was spent putting this post together. You see, for me, the problem is that there’s an awful lot of advice out there telling how to make your retirement comfortable but all of it comes from people that want to sell you something.
What I decided to do was curate some of the most practical advice that I could find (the stuff that doesn’t scream, “buy pension top-ups from us”) and mix it with more imaginative ideas. The latter is a result of me sitting down and asking, ‘What can I do to make my retirement better?’. Some of the points may surprise and some might take too long to do for some readers liking… but that’s the point. Statistics show you’re going to live, on average, until you’re 85. Even retiring at 70 still gives you 15 years of gardening time so you’d better make sure you have the money to finance that time.
Replace Missing NI Payments
Unless you’ve never missed a working day in your life you’ll probably have missed some of your National Insurance payments. Missed payments equal a reduction in the pension you’re entitled to.
To qualify for a full pension you will need 30 NI years. In some cases, it simply might not be worth buying the NI years you’ve missed. Check out this site for a full rundown on how to buy missing NI years.
Defer Your State Pension
By deferring you state pension, you could boost your retirement fund by up to 52%. How does it work? Quite simply, you wait to a number of years before claiming your state pension instead of submitting your paperwork on the day you retire. Full details are over on the state pension area of the YouGov site
Use ISA’s For Additional Retirement Income
ISA’s are tax free and, with a little clever thinking, you can give the interest they earn a real boost. You can invest up to £10,200 per year in an ISA. Assuming an average 4% return on your investment adds up to a pretty tidy sum of money waiting for you.
Use Your Health To Boost Your Pension
Did you know that you can boost your pension fund by 25% if you are in poor health? Enhanced annuities are available for up to 1,500 medical conditions. If you, or your partner, suffers from one of these conditions then you may be eligible for higher pension annuities.
Note: I did try to find a useful resource link but the only ones I could find are trying to sell you something.
Ok, that’s 5 of the fairly standard tips that I could find. Now let’s look at a few ideas off the top of my head.
Save More Money
Don’t scream. Don’t run. It’s a simple fact of life that, to live comfortably in retirement, we’re going to need a lot of money. A report in the Metro suggests you’ll need about £550,000 in your pension fund in order to be comfortable. This means that most of us are going to have to find better, more efficient ways to save more money.
The more money you can put into stocks, shares, savings, etc the better your twilight years will be.
Do you really need to retire once you hit 65? In fact, in the future, I’m sure many of us will be retiring until much later. Unless you’re adamant that you want to spend the rest of your years tending the garden or sky diving it might be worth working a little longer.
For some us, there are a number of incentives to keep us in the work place: social, financial and even simply for the love of the job.
Start A Business
I’m being serious. what is there to stop you from starting your own business? The average life expectancy in the UK is 85. If you retire at 65 you have another 20 years ahead of you. Instead of simply losing all the knowledge you’ve gained over your life why not give some of vast pot of experience back AND earn some money.
It could even turn into a third or fourth career for you.
Recover Your Lost Pensions
Have you had jobs where you enrolled in a company pension scheme? How you left a previous employer without transferring your pension? scheme that you enrolled in? If you answered yes to one of both of those questions you might be able to recover those pensions. You might not get a massive amount back but it all adds. Try using the Pension Tracking Service to see if you’re missing out.
That should be a good starter for anyone looking to boost their pension pot. I’ll be back tomorrow with some more money saving tips.