Read time: 4 mins Pensions

How much should you save for your retirement?

  • It’s never too early to start saving for your retirement – the sooner the better
  • How much you need in retirement depends on the lifestyle you want to live
  • We explore how much you might need for your golden years

Long story short - there is no set amount of money you need to retire. Many factors contribute towards how much you’ll need to live comfortably in later life, but having a plan from early on can help reduce stress and money worries later down the line.

In this blog, we’re going to look at what you might need to do to prepare for the life you want to lead after you retire and explore how every situation is different.

When do you want to retire?

Data published by the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions)1 tells us that the average retirement age in the UK for men and women is 65 and 63 respectively. However, the age you decide to retire at is down to personal choice.

If you have enough money to tide you over until you can access your SIPP at 55 or State Pension at 65 (increasing to 68 years old by 2039), then you can technically retire at whatever age you decide to. Although, just because you can, doesn’t mean that you should.

Planning when to retire is a balancing act between when you want to retire and how much you can comfortably afford to save for your retirement. If you want to give yourself extra time to save or reduce your monthly contribution to take the pressure off, you could choose to move back your retirement date.

How much will I need for my retirement?

How much you need in retirement depends on the lifestyle you want to live.

Keeping up the same lifestyle as you have when you’re fully employed might seem a little farfetched, but it may be achievable if you plan ahead. Your outgoings are likely to go down quite a bit. You may have paid off your mortgage, have no dependants and cut down on work-related costs like commuting, lunches or your morning coffee.

According to consumer group Which?2, a couple who are retired would need a household income of £26,000 per year to cover basic living expenses, such as groceries, utility costs, European travel and more. However, if you plan to live a more luxurious lifestyle with comforts like a new car every 5 years or an annual long-haul holiday, you’d be looking at a yearly household income of £39,000.

Picture of a couple boarding a plane

How much are you able to save before retirement age?

You can decide when you want to retire and how much money you’d like to save for your retirement, but ultimately, how much you have comes down to how much you’re able to save.

It’s a good idea to think about how much you can save each month now and think about how much you may be able to save in the future. It won’t be concrete, but you need to give yourself an idea of what could be achievable for you – rather than bury your head in the sand!

Calculated by research company CLSA 3, people who put £2500 per year into a pension between the ages of 21 and 30 (10 years) and then leave their pension pot untouched until they reach 70 will have a bigger pension pot than those who begin saving £2500 into their pension each year at 31 and carry on contributing the same amount until 70 years old (40 years) – all because of compound interest. No wonder Albert Einstein called it “the 8th wonder of the world”! You can find out more about compound interest and how it helps your money grow in in our blog.

It’s not just how much you can save, it’s more about how soon you start saving into a pension.

How to get more from your pension

That’s what we all want to do – make our pension go further. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

  • Get free money from the tax man
    Every time you pay into a personal pension like our Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), you get money back from the government in recognition of the tax you’ve already paid on those earnings. How much tax relief you get depends on how much you earn. That’s free money, straight into your pension pot! Find out more about tax relief in our blog on how to get free money from the tax-man.
  • Combine and conquer
    If you've worked for various employers over the course of your career, you probably have several different pension pots. Consolidating them all into one place could help you better monitor and manage your money, and it could also help to reduce the charges you pay. Rather than paying various fees for different pots, your whole pension pot can be managed by one low cost provider, like us – a win-win! If you’re not sure whether you’d benefit from consolidating your pensions, we can also review your pots for free and tell you whether it’s in your best interest to transfer them to us.