Have you planned ahead for the future?

by Hannah

I don’t think anyone likes to really think about the prospect of getting older. When you’re young you think it’s never going to happen to you and that life is for living, not meticulously planning for the future that seems a million years away.

What is really quite worrying now is how much our state pension will be once we reach retirement?

I do wonder what provisions I would have made had I not started a career in the health service. I opted into the pension scheme and the money is taken from my wages every month. I have never missed the money as it’s taken away before I see it and despite a period where I left my job and took the pension money (for a holiday!), I am happy to say I am now back in it.

I do realise that a lot of companies do not offer pensions to their employees. My husband being one of them. As we are a little stretched financially with a mortgage, bills and two children to look after, he hasn’t actually got round to taking out a private pension of his own. It is of course a priority but it is difficult to then make way for that extra money to be put aside. We do however know that it isn’t something we can put off for much longer…

Now Pensions really want to get people thinking about their future and how they are preparing for their retirement. To get me thinking ahead I was asked to outline our weekly budget and compare it to what we would receive on the state pension alone, which stands at £107.45 at the moment.

I wouldn’t have thought we would survive solely on my measely pension that will be mostly made up of part-time hours let alone our state pensions. So to put it into perspective and scare us both a little, I did our weekly budget of our outgoings for a comparison. Of course we won’t know our situation come retirement age but I would like think that we will have paid off our mortgage and cleared our debts by then. We need to be realistic though and consider the possibility that we may still have debts.

You can look at the figures several ways and assuming that we are taking into account two state pensions at £208.90 and we were living off the top figure (which is the bare minimum) – minus the mortgage, with no car, television or internet connection. We would be looking at around £38.90 a week to live on. No car, tv or internet? in this day and age?!

Of course this is all hypothetical but you can already see that the figures are unlikely to add up in the future. Quite a scary prospect isn’t it?

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