Feeling guilty about your pension plans? Don’t. Fact is, many people in Ireland reach their 40s before they really start to think about how they’ll afford life when they stop working.
The good news is that if you take action now, you have several decades of working life to see the benefits come through.
Here are five practical steps you can take today to secure your financial future. If you’d like our help to get there, get in touch today.
1. Track down your old pensions
The average worker in Ireland these days will have around 15 jobs during their career. If you’re in your 40s, it’s likely you’ve had several jobs along the way.
Make a start by pulling together any paperwork you might have been sent, or contact your old HR departments how they can help. It doesn’t have to be pretty – but you need a list of the pensions you’ve amassed so far – where they are, and what they’re worth.
Watch the video we recorded during Pensions Awareness Week on the importance of tracking down your old pensions.
2. Think about combining your pensions
Pensions can get confusing when you have many different accounts, scattered among different providers. It’s hard to know how much you’ve got, where it’s invested, and how much it’s costing you.
You can sort this by combining your pensions with a single provider – Moneycube can help you get a single view of your pensions. There are lots of good reasons to combine your pensions – read more here.
3. Just add cash
There’s no getting away from it: the more you pay into your pension now, the more tax you will save, the more your investment will grow, and the easier – and maybe earlier – your retirement will be.
The figures speak for themselves – here are a couple of scenarios:
If you start from scratch at age 40, and you’re a top-rate taxpayer, you could assemble a €500k pension pot by age 68, by saving €330 per month from your after-tax pay. You can read here about what €500k can do for you in retirement.
If you want a more comfortable retirement – or want to hang up your boots a bit earlier, then saving €500 per month from your after-tax pay could build a pot worth €750k.
And if you’ve built a pension pot of, say, €80k already, then with the same €500 monthly saving into your pension, you could build a pot of almost €1.25 million.
And remember you can make a lump sum contribution too. You can claim tax relief on contributions made from last year’s earnings up until October/ early November of this year.
4. Increase contributions over time
Once you’ve got to grips with your current pension position, it’s time to develop some good savings habits.
If you receive a pay rise, consider upping the amount you’re chipping in.
Lump sums are also possible. If a bonus comes your way, your future self will thank you for reserving a portion of it for your pension plan.
5. Map out your financial future
What does your retirement look like? Will you stop working altogether, or would you rather wind down over time? It’s worth putting some target dates in place.
Sure, your plans may change, but you’ll stand a much better chance of reaching your destination if you map out the journey and check progress on the way.
If you’re 45, for example, and want to retire at 65, you’ve 240 monthly paycheques to go. It’s worth making each one seriously count towards your pension.
Staying on track
If you’re in your 40s, then over the next ten years, your pension is likely to become one of the most valuable assets you own. Look after it.
We can help if you like. Remember pensions and investments move on over time – so it’s well worth reviewing your position to be sure you’re on track. What looked like a good investment choice, or price to pay, for your pension five years ago might be due a significant upgrade today.
From our experience helping people plan their financial future, there’s almost certainly something you can do today to improve your income in retirement.
Moneycube can review your present pension position and help you:
- Understand what your retirement could look like based on your current position
- Improve investment control and choice
- Drive costs down
- Track down old pensions and possibly combine them
Can we help?
We’d love to help you get to grips with your pension. Get in touch today using the form below.