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How to Plan Your Retirement Years

Nowadays, people are increasingly aware of how important it is to carefully plan their retirement years. This does not only mean planning life from an economic point of view, but also asking yourself some important questions regarding the future. “Will I be able to retire at 55?”, “how much do I need to deposit every month to get a significant income in the future?”, “how much pension will I get?”: these are the most common questions people ask themselves frequently.

The first step to better planning your retirement is to understand what a pension is. A pension is nothing more than a long-term plan designed to provide you with an income that you can live on when you stop working. By starting to set aside money for your retirement years, you are simply investing in your future and in the future of your loved ones to try to ensure an economically stable life. You should also have a small fund to handle any emergencies that may happen in life. Depending on the pension plan you choose, your employer (if you are an employee) and the government will contribute to your future as well by applying tax relief. In fact, in the United Kingdom all employers are required to deposit a minimum amount every month to contribute to their employee’s future. But there’s also a pension scheme designed for independent workers that lets them decide how much and how often to deposit on the fund. Whichever retirement scheme you decide to open, you’ll always be able to enjoy many tax and contribution benefits. Let’s have a closer look on this matter.

Pensions in the UK: how do they work?

Let’s see how the most common pension schemes available in the United Kingdom work. Even though every single one of them has been specifically designed to meet the needs of certain categories of people, all pension schemes comply to some common rules. For instance, you will always be able to rely on the government’s contribution to your future, which, in any case, will apply tax relief. Another important thing you should keep in mind before opening a pension fund, is that you won’t be able to access your savings until you reach the retirement age. This rule has been set to delete the temptation to withdraw money before the time and to grant you a significant income when you stop working. Nowadays, the retirement age is set at 55 years old for personal pension and workplace pension. On the contrary, for the state pension, your retirement age will be set at 66. You should also never forget that, when putting money on a retirement fund, the pension provider will be investing it. This will give it of course money the chance to grow, but will also put it at constant risk. As a matter of fact, all investments are risky and subject to the market’s constant ups and downs, so the chance to get less than you expected is always around the corner.

How does retirement planning work?

Once you know how pensions work, it’s time to investigate your life and financial goals. This is a crucial part of the whole process, because it makes you aware of what your ambitions for the future are. Most people open a pension scheme without asking themselves where will they want to live when they stop working, if their children will need financial help, if they will want to buy a new house, or move to another country. These are all important questions to ask yourself before opening a pension fund: identifying your life goals is crucial to build a stable and peaceful life for when you stop working.

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