How to avoid a pitiful pension

Neither of my children has saved a penny.

That might sound like a surprising admission for a financial adviser, but sadly it’s not that unusual.

I’ve offered to put them in touch with colleagues who could give them confidential advice, and warned about the difficult old age facing those who don’t save for a pension.

Nothing.

It seems to me that the younger generation live in the fast lane and spend all their money then expect mum and dad to bail them out.

I recently advised a big company based near Heathrow where all the staff had opted for private medical insurance rather than a pension.

The young HR manager told me she’d rather have private medical cover she could use now because she wouldn’t be drawing her pension until she retired – and that was years away.

It’s true that it’s never too late to start financial planning for retirement, but the sooner you start the better:

  • The more you save, the more likely you are to have enough when you retire to enjoy life to the full.
  • With no private pension you will have to manage with a state pension that at the moment can only be described, in my view, as pitiful. No living in the fast lane then.
  • Millions of over-50s worry they will have to sell their family home to make ends meet because of rising inflation, according to research from Saga.
  • Savings accounts may offer poor interest rates but if you were able to expose your capital to some risk you could consider stock market investments which might offer the potential for better returns.

Seeking advice from an independent financial adviser should be the first step. To hear more of my thoughts on this subject
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