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Friday, 1 May 2015

It's never too soon to think about retirement

At 46 years old, the prospect of becoming a pensioner is very real. However, as a stay-at-home mum who has worked only intermittently over the past 27 years, my pension pot is pitiful. I also haven't contributed enough to my NI payments to get a full state pension. So basically, my financial future looks pretty bleak. Ian, however, does have provisions in place for the future and I will be hoping to be supported by him in my old age, in the same way that I have been supported by him over the years while raising our children. This is not a very 21st century or enlightened way to conduct myself as a woman, but it is the way our marriage has worked for us. He works. I stay at home. We are a team and we work together to provide our family with the life we want for them.

I have to admit that I find the world of finance very complicated, and the ever changing rules and regulations only add to my confusion. Consequently, my own personal financial provision has been woefully neglected. Not having a long lasting career has meant that I haven't paid into a private pension for any length of time. In fact, I have had pension payments repaid to me on leaving jobs, or been able to opt out altogether. Throughout my life as a parent, I have made financial provision for my kids, supporting the older children when needed and bailing them out where necessary. Any savings I had have been eaten up by supporting my university student daughters who were only eligible for the minimum loans or paying for my son's unexpected car repairs. Having five children is an expensive business and their happiness has always been my priority over squirrelling away cash for my future. So, short of winning the lottery, I will have no guaranteed personal income in my old age.

pensions

Mumsnet Blogger Network have asked me to review the Retiresavvy portal from Skipton Building Society, which aims to demystify the subject of retirement. I agreed to do it in the hope that I might glean some information that may help make my future finances seem less terrifying, forcing me to not just bury my head in the sand.

Facing the question "How prepared are you for retirement?" makes me realise that this is something I need to seriously think about now and find some practical guidance for my current needs.

retirement, pensions


The site is very user friendly for both those approaching retirement or for the already retired. It has plenty of information and articles related to many aspects of retirement both personal and financial, and provides an online community for like minded individuals to share knowledge and experiences. It is free to join up and create a profile allowing you to contribute to discussions or ask questions. Retiresavvy has a strong social media presence on Twitter (@retiresavvy), on Facebook, G+ and Youtube, giving plenty of ways to connect.

        


Retired bloggers tell their real life stories of retirement, which I found very interesting and inspirational. As a blogger myself, it is great to see that there is a future for me and my blog in the years to come and an audience of retirees online looking to share their experiences. As I evolve from mummy blogger to granny blogger, I'm sure a whole new world of opportunities will open themselves up to me!

On the Retiresavvy portal, there is a really useful FAQ section on pensions. I found this really helpful. I wasn't even sure what questions I should be asking before reading through this comprehensive list. These include details of how to track lost pensions using the official Government Tracing Service. I'm pretty sure I have some money in a council pension scheme from my time working as a teaching assistant before I had Freddy. It won't be much, but it might amount to something.

Research conducted by Aviva in 2014 found that the average typical monthly outgoings for a pensioner was £1,357. This doesn't include anything special you might want for your retirement such as to go travelling, buy a caravan or take up new hobbies. Given that the New State Pension is £148 a week for those with the required amount of qualifying NI contributions, many retired people will experience a shortfall. It really does give me food for thought.

Whatever your age, it is never too soon to start thinking about pensions and retirement. We should all be thinking about and talking about our financial futures to make sure we can fund the retirement we want. It is great to have found a portal such as Retiresavvy, which will give me the chance to read up and keep up to date on everything to do with pensions and retirement. Fingers crossed, I will be able to overhaul my finances and work out a way to facilitate the future I hope for - even if I don't win the lottery!


"I was asked to review retiresavvy.skipton.co.uk by Skipton and the Mumsnet Bloggers Network. All views are my own. I was entered into a prize draw to win vouchers as a token of thanks for blogging. View other blogs on this topic here: http://www.mumsnet.com/bloggers/retiresavvy-portal-what-our-bloggers-thought-"

1 comment:

  1. Jill Stan Jones5 May 2015 at 14:03

    It is never too soon to think about the future, especially retirement and what it entails. I am sure Wendy, knowing how bright you are, you will without question work a way to facilitate your future regarding finances. xxxxxxx

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