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What do you want from your retirement? To just make ends meet or to enjoy your hobbies and desired lifestyle? This is a critical question as the answer could influence what you do now.

Although retirement might seem some way off, you’ll be much more likely to have the kind of retirement you want and deserve if you act sooner rather than later.

Setting a clear goal of what you want in later life can be hugely motivational, giving you something tangible to work towards and driving you to take the necessary steps to ensure you have a steady and secure income.

It’s likely that you’re already contributing to a pension if you’ve been auto-enrolled into a workplace scheme. We’d recommend you pay as much into this as you can as early as possible, partly because it gives you more time to build up a sizable pension pot, and also because a private pension is more expensive and you won’t get employer contributions.

In short, the earlier you can start planning for retirement, the better, so you can enjoy this special time of life to the full.

How Much Should I Save?

There is no right or wrong answer to this, as everybody’s financial situation and wider circumstances will be different. But there are two popular approaches that many pension savers take.

Some will follow the common rule that you should save half your age each year until you retire. So if you’re 30, you should be aiming to save 15 per cent of your income, and if you’re 40, save 20 per cent, and so on.

Others will choose the option of saving four times their age, so if you’re 25 years old, you’d be putting £100 a month into your pension. This encourages you to get into the habit of saving, starting with a fairly modest amount, and get used to increasing your contributions over time.

The approach you take should depend on your specific circumstances and your financial goals.

Why Start Early?

There are five good reasons why you shouldn’t delay when it comes to planning for your retirement.


You can set aside a lower share of your income each month into your savings

Making more but smaller payments means you won’t necessarily miss the money you’re putting aside as much as you would if you had to make bigger payments in a shorter space of time.

You have time to make your plans

You’ll have the time you need to get professional advice from the right specialists and put together a financial plan that works for you.

You have time to enjoy the benefits

By starting earlier, you’ll have more time to reap rewards such as compound interest.

More time to be flexible

Your financial plan shouldn’t be something that’s set in stone, as your circumstances will change over time. For instance, you might buy a house, get married or have children. So it’s worth having longer to save so you can be flexible, and change how much you’re saving depending on what’s going on in your life.

It helps you learn to manage money

Putting money into a pension early on helps you get into the habit of saving and you will learn to budget accordingly, which can be important with other aspects of managing your finances.

Keep Track of Your Pension Planning

Having visibility over your pension is really important, so you know what you’re saving and have a good idea of how much you can expect to receive from your pension in the future.

With the Creative Pension Trust Member Portal, understanding your progress is easy.

We can help you trace and claim old pension pots you may have lost touch with as you’ve changed jobs over the years. You can also get a forecast of how much you could expect to receive from your pension in the future.

That gives you a good starting point so you can work out how much to save today.

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