Living costs in retirement
Life changes when you retire - and so does how you spend your money. Whatever your plans, it's important to keep on top of things and think about the lifestyle you want.
Take a moment or two to work out a budget. That may sound daunting or just plain boring, however the better you know and plan your own finances, the more confident you'll feel about the decisions you make now.
Your personal circumstances
Everybody's circumstances are different, but the key consideration for most people when they think about retiring will come down to factors such as:
- how much money you think you need in retirement
- if you plan to phase your retirement by working part-time
- if you have any debt to pay off
- your life expectancy and health
- how much money you've saved in pensions and other investments.
How much will you need?
Everyone’s circumstances are different but our research shows that on average people think they’ll need an income of around £25,000* each year for a comfortable retirement.
As the cost of living increases, the effective value of income decreases.
However, there are steps you can take to protect any income you may be taking from your pension. Some retirement products offer some degree of protection from inflation. And you don't have to take all your pension - you can keep some invested, so that it can continue to grow.
Your State Pension is also protected. It currently goes up at least 2.5% each year, or more, if prices or earnings rise by more than that. This is known as 'The Triple Lock'.
You will only be able to receive the State Pension when you reach a certain age, and if you have paid enough in National Insurance contributions.
In 2020/2021, the State Pension is £175.20 per week.
If you are in debt, you should consider the impact any debt has to your retirement planning.
Using your pension to pay off debts
If you're looking to use your pension to pay off your debts it's important to make sure you've still got enough money to live on in retirement. The money you have left after tax might not be enough.
To get an idea of how much tax you might have to pay on any cash lump sum from your pension, use our tax calculator. If you're just taking tax free cash, there won't be any tax to pay.
Plus, if you cash in all or part of your pension, then it will no longer be protected from any debt proceedings against you.
It's worthwhile looking at other possible options to pay off your debt which can be found on the Government website.
You can find impartial advice on debt on these government websites: