By Kerry Chaloner, Financial Planning Consultant, Armstrong Watson Northallerton

IT might seem a long way off but the later you leave it the less chance you have of achieving the retirement you want.

The Retirement Living Standards, based on independent research by Loughborough University, have been developed to help us to picture what kind of lifestyle we could have in retirement. It shows what retirement could look like at three different levels – Minimum, Moderate and Comfortable – and what goods and services would cost for each level. This can be found at www.retirementlivingstandards.org.uk/

The research is eye-opening. A single person will need about £10,200 a year to achieve the minimum living standard, £20,200 a year for moderate, and £33,000 a year for comfortable lifestyle. For couples it is £15,700, £29,100 and £47,500 respectively.

The minimum lifestyle covers all your basic needs with occasional activities and one holiday a year. The moderate lifestyle fairs better proving better financial security and more choice on spending your money, whereas the comfortable living standard allows you to be more spontaneous with your finances and gives you the flexibility to go on more holidays, eating out regularly etc. the question is which one do you want enjoy.

The basic state pension is £8,767 per year. There are less and less people who will benefit from generous final salary (defined benefit) schemes and more and more of the UK population are having to rely on saving in to a personal pension (defined contribution) scheme where the pension you will receive is dependent on how much you save and the investment return. As the State Pension is less than the minimum lifestyle discussed earlier then saving for the retirement you want is crucial and the earlier you start the more chances you have of achieving the lifestyle you want.

At Armstrong Watson Financial Planning and Wealth Management, a firm of Chartered Financial Planners, we work with you to build your retirement plans and regularly review these so you know if you will remain on track. We can use cashflow forecasting to allow you to understand your plan more easily so you can make informed decisions.

n If you’d like help making the right financial decisions for your future, please give me a call on 01609-702000 or email kerry.chaloner@armstrongwatson.co.uk