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The later you leave it to think about your retirement, the less likely you’ll be able to fund the lifestyle you want when you’re older.

Will you ever retire? You need to start planning if you want to stop working

The later you leave it to think about your retirement, the less likely you’ll be able to fund the lifestyle you want when you’re older – and it seems lots of people now think they’ll have to keep on working beyond the age when they thought they’d be taking it easy.

According to a recent report by market analysts Mintel, the outlook is worst for younger generations, with four in 10 of 18-34 year-olds resigned to continued employment.

The figure drops to one in three people aged 54 and above – though that’s still a huge number.

The report also found we’re not well prepared for retirement. Just over half of full-time workers have a workplace pension. That drops to just over one in three part-time employees, while fewer than one in five self-employed workers currently pay into a pension.

Women are also less likely be prepared for retirement even though statistics show they are likely to live longer than men. Just under one in three women have a pension compared to four in ten men.

How much money will you need to retire?

As people are living longer, the length of time you could be retired for increases too. So if you’re currently in your 30s and retire at 70, you could well live to 100, meaning you’ll need 30 years of money to support you.

You also need to think about the lifestyle you’ll want to live and expenses you’ll need to cover. If you don’t own a home you might have rent to pay, along with bills. And you’ll need more each year if you want to go on holidays or replace big ticket items like cars or white goods.

How much are you likely to have?

You can use the Money Advice Service Pensions calculator to see how much your current pensions are likely to give you when you’re older. You can also use it to work out how much money you’re likely to need.

How to build up a retirement income

If you’re making National Insurance contributions (whether you’re employed or self-employed) you’ll be able to claim the State Pension when you’re older.

At the moment if you’re eligible for the maximum State Pension you’ll get just £155.65 a week, unlikely to be enough to fulfil any retirement dreams. 

It might be a little more than this if you had built up entitlement under the old State Pension system in force before April 2016, but it still won’t be a fortune.

So it makes sense to build up more retirement savings, usually by saving into a workplace or personal pension.

When you choose to retire, you can choose to draw an income from your pension pot or use it to buy a guaranteed income for life (called an annuity).

Most employees are now auto-enrolled into a workplace pension scheme (or will be by 2018). Employers have to pay into a workplace scheme as well.  If you pay in more than the minimum legal amount, some employers will match any contribution you make helping you save even more for the future.

If you don’t have access to a workplace pension, you can open up your own personal pension.

Finally, don’t forget that building up other savings, including ISAs, investments or property can also give you additional income when you’ve retired.

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