Important information: The value of investments and the income from them, can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest.
MY first experience of financial education was from my dad. He would often encourage me to be “clever with my money” and to save, save, save.
When I was a teenager transitioning into adulthood, money felt very abstract. I knew that it would fund my living costs and spontaneous shopping trips as well as more serious goals like my first car or a house deposit. But when it came to long-term saving, specifically pensions, I felt completely clueless.
The word pension only became part of my vocabulary when I started my first job after university. I was automatically enrolled into a workplace pension and I soon discovered that retiring is more expensive than I thought.
According to Which? Households with two retired people spent just under £2,340 a month on average - the equivalent to nearly £28,000 a year - to be ‘comfortable’. This figure included all basic areas of expenditure plus some luxuries, including European holidays, hobbies and eating out.1
What’s more, the research showed that if you would like to retire and enjoy luxuries such as long-haul trips and a new car every five years, you would require an eye watering £45,000 a year.
It’s a given that we all want to live a comfortable and a long life, so setting retirement goals is essential. How do we go about funding this?
Regularly contributing to a pension with a regular savings plan can certainly make the ride to retirement smoother, whether it’s a workplace pension or a SIPP. Yet it appears women are more likely to fall short on their retirement goals, compared to their male counterparts.
According to Fidelity’s global Women and Money research2 women are at risk of missing their retirement goals because they are not able to plan for them early enough.
Despite women’s top retirement priorities including to remain in their own home (37%), and to pass on wealth to their family (27%), the majority have no plans in place to achieve these goals.
The greatest barriers preventing women from investing into their pension include a lack of funds (45%), competing savings priorities (20%), limited knowledge on how to save (15%) and a lack of time to plan (9%).
Over a quarter of women (27%) say their priority in retirement is to be able to pass on wealth to their children and grandchildren but just 10% have taken this into consideration when it comes to pension planning. We have lots of useful online retirement calculators here.
If you consider these findings in a cost-of-living crisis - the pressure on people’s finances have only heightened.
So, it is a real concern that many women who are already facing significant saving and investment challenges could reach retirement age and be unprepared.
It’s easy to adopt a live in the moment mindset. However, with an aging population and increasing life expectancy… retirement planning is not something you can ignore.
With the government’s cap on care costs set to be introduced in 2023, those approaching retirement will still face the prospect of paying up to £86,000 from their own savings. These costs must be factored into broader financial planning early on or you could risk releasing equity from your home or face limited choice in the care you have access to.
Maike Currie, investment director at Fidelity Personal Investing said: “There are many well-documented financial hurdles standing between women and their retirement goals, with the rising cost of living presenting yet another challenge.”
With many households focusing on the most immediate costs facing them, it is vital not to forget about the long-term and include your retirement goals in your long-term planning.
So now that the word pension is firmly rooted in my vocabulary, I aim to not live life as spontaneously as I did when I was a teenager. Financial security is something I value more and more as I get older and if it means putting away a small each month for stability in the future, so be it.
1 Which? June 2022
2 Research conducted by Opinium research between 7 January and 17 January 2022 among 14,052 men and women in the UK, Germany, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.
Important information: Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future. Withdrawals from a pension product will not be possible until you reach age 55 (57 from 2028). This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice.