Old age and retirement can feel a long way off, and with the world seemingly lurching from crisis to crisis, many of us are focused on simply getting through the next few days and weeks, rather than looking too far ahead.
This approach, however, could simply cause problems in the future, which is why we urge everyone to start planning for their retirement as soon as possible.
According to a new study by Hargreaves Lansdown, one in five people said they would leave planning their retirement until they’re aged 60 or above.
The same survey showed that one in five people would only begin retirement planning at the age of between 30 and 39. Similarly, just one in seven people said they started planning for retirement when they were aged between 18 and 24.
The Earlier the Better
So, what does this mean for future retirees? Well, it’s a fact that the sooner you start putting money into your pension, the more time you have to build up a sizeable sum that should see you through your retirement and allow you the retirement that suits your lifestyle.
Conversely, if you start too late, you’ve got a very short space of time in which to build up a retirement fund, which could hugely affect your ability to lead the lifestyle you want to enjoy after you finish working.
If you start projecting your likely pension income in retirement, you may find that you don’t have very long in which to make up any shortfall.
It’s easy to put off planning for your retirement until the last moment. It is important to acknowledge that pensions are a long-term game, which means action needs to be taken sooner rather than later.
It’s important to put a plan in place early on in your career that allows you the kind of retirement that you’d like.
Don’t let a Lack of Knowledge and Education be a Barrier
A lack of financial knowledge and education about pensions and retirement could be one big reason why so many people are kicking the can down the road.
In fact, according to a YouGov survey, commissioned by Drewberry, 41% of people with a workplace pension don’t actually know what they’re paying in and what they’ll get from it when they retire.
More than half of those polled also said they’d like to know if they’re saving enough for retirement, and significantly, one in three believe their employer should pay for them to discuss retirement planning with a financial adviser to get a better understanding of their finances.
Whether a lack of financial education leads to people ignoring and putting off financial planning is a constant topic of debate in the financial services industry. But it’s clear that more needs to be done to engage with both employers, employees and the general public on this issue, so people are properly set up for later life, and the fear factor that surrounds pension planning is taken out of the picture.
Interestingly, 87% of the people polled by YouGov said they pay into a workplace pension, while 56% said the provision of a workplace pension is important to them when they’re looking for a new job.
That suggests that many people do want to lay down the groundwork to secure a happy and prosperous future, but don’t necessarily know-how – and that’s where making financial advice available and accessible becomes so important.