What pension amount should I aim for?

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Ask the expert at Smith & Pinching about planning your pension income - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

I’ve been a member of my workplace pension scheme for about 10 years now and it is building up nicely – it was worth about £65,000 on my last statement. I really have no idea if this is going to be enough if I keep building it up between now and retirement to give me the life I want when I stop work. I’m 42 now. What should I be aiming for?

Phil Beck, Independent Financial Adviser with Smith & Pinching, Chartered Financial Planners

Phil Beck, Independent Financial Adviser with Smith & Pinching, Chartered Financial Planners - Credit: Smith & Pinching

Phil Beck of Smith & Pinching responds:

This is a really difficult question to answer without knowing all about you and your circumstances – and even then the answer will depend on things like what type of retirement income you plan to take, when you plan to retire, your family circumstances and what expenses you expect to have during retirement.

This is a classic case where independent financial advice can help. If you seek advice, you can get a full review of your finances and build a plan that will ensure that you get to where you want to be when you retire. We use lifetime cashflow planning to show you how your pension fund would potentially grow, with varying scenarios such as changing retirement dates and different rates of return.

The question of how much income you might need in retirement is one that concerns many people. A recent study from the Pensions Policy Institute has suggested that as many as half of us here in the UK just won’t have enough in pension savings to give us the lifestyle that we believe we should have in retirement, so it’s a really good thing to start thinking about this now, when you potentially have over 20 (and perhaps even 30) years left before you retire.

Your retirement planning should take into account things like the suitability of the investments in your pension portfolio and whether you should save more in your workplace pension or open a separate private pension.

Putting together a financial plan is just the first stage of the process. You will need to review and adjust this throughout your working life as circumstances change, to make sure you are still on track to meet your objectives.

Any opinions expressed in this article do not constitute advice. The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested.

For more information, please visit www.smith-pinching.co.uk