I am increasingly convinced that the majority, if not all of us, have choices to make as to what we do with our money. Money can bring tremendous pressure to bear on a household and a lot of it is self-induced. People are not aware of what’s going to happen when they want to retire (or choose not to face up to the issue) and woefully underestimate how much income they’ll need in retirement.
They assume the state pension will be generous.
They assume that some contribution, no matter how small, towards a pension will “see them right in retirement”.
The issues aren’t a lack of cash or fewer plans to ever retire – as I see it, people make choices and the choice the vast majority of people make is to spend spend spend when really they should be working out how much they need to save and spend out of the surplus rather than the other way around. (Sounds boring but that’s where a financial planner will help you).
It’s so frustrating watching people blow most of their monthly income on car purchase agreements and large mortgages in an attempt to fund a lifestyle well beyond their means – their income is going to fall off a cliff at some point and they will face a very poor retirement. One 44 year old client who was saving £400 net into his pension was shocked to realise that this would only give him a £7000 gross income in retirement at age 65. By working with me he has seen exactly how much of an income he’ll need in retirement and how much he needs to put away now to meet that target income. Like all of us he has a choice, either to save the required amount or to bury his head in the sand and spend what he should be saving.
“I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart”. ~ E. E. Cummings (1894-1962)