You’ve probably got debts to pay off, you may have plans to make a start on the deposit for that property you want to buy one day, and that’s on top of the rent and bills and all the other costs of life. And let’s not forget an active social life to fund – which admittedly doesn’t come cheap. So it’s easy to see why saving for your retirement seems impossible.
But let me tell you why it honestly isn’t, and also why saving now is the cheapest way to get yourself the retirement you want. Because while your retirement years feel like a lifetime away – and they admittedly are – that means even the smallest sums you can set aside now will have the chance to grow into a substantial pot of money for your later years.
You know how they say youth is wasted on the young? Well, this is your chance to be one step ahead and actually use your youth, and the benefit of time that it gives you, to your advantage.
First of all, don’t be put off by things you might read suggesting that you should devote a great chunk of your modest salary to your pension. We both know you can think of a million-and-one better ways to spend that money, right now.
What you need to focus on is starting small. Obviously any contribution from your employer into your workplace pension scheme is a no-brainer. Grab it with both hands, because that’s money you’re getting on top of your salary. While you can’t actually get your hands on it until you’re at least 55, by then it should have grown into a nice little pot of cash for you.
Any additional contributions you make will attract tax relief. This means that if you pay through your pay slip you end up paying less income tax, because contributions are taken out of your gross i.e. untaxed pay, so reducing the amount you pay tax on.
If you pay into a personal pension or a SIPP, HM Revenue & Customs will top-up your contributions at your basic rate of tax. This means you only have to make contributions of £2,880 a year to have a total of £3,600 added to your pension pot.
Pensions may be the most-effective way, but they are by no means the only way to save for your retirement.
Set up a standing order for a small sum of money to go into a stocks & shares ISA each month. You don’t have to sacrifice a large amount. Even a small sum will grow nicely. The beauty of starting saving now is the length of time that you will be giving your money to grow. Start small, but start now and it could turn out to be the best investment you make.
The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount invested. Eligibility to invest into an ISA or pension and the value of tax savings depends on personal circumstances and all tax rules may change. You will not normally be able to access money held in a pension till the age of 55. This information does not constitute investment advice and should not be used as the basis for any investment decision nor should it be treated as a recommendation for any investment. Investors should also note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon by Fidelity. Fidelity Personal Investing does not give personal recommendations. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment, you should speak to an authorised financial adviser.