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Will I win the lottery? Will my son become a professional footballer? Am I going to sell my house? Will I rely on the state? These are sample comments from members of the public when they were questioned by a large insurance company on the street as to how they expect they will fund their retirement.

As I write, it is estimated that over 40% of UK adults have no provision for their retirement at all. There are many reasons for this from a lack of understanding, poor performance, falling gilt rates, mis-selling within the industry and the very fact that people are now living longer. A combination of these factors means that we are likely to get less and less from our retirement pot. Should this mean that we should do nothing at all and not save because of society’s “what’s the point” attitude? Absolutely not!

Yes, the UK population is living longer but surely I cannot be the only person in this industry that actually thinks that is a good thing!? It does, however, mean that we are all going to have to work a little bit longer before getting our state pension. I for one would like to have a very long retirement; we all work hard and whilst I can say I really enjoy my job, I also enjoy spending time with my family and pursuing my personal interests.

Whilst I would like to win the lottery, statistically I am extremely unlikely to win the jackpot. There is a greater chance my son will become a professional footballer but I still can’t count on it. I could sell my house and downsize, however, after fees are taken into account, I am unlikely to receive much more than £100,000 out of the sale - a help but not necessarily a solution. I can however save for my retirement; this can be in the form of traditional savings accounts, ISA’s and investments and/or pensions. I anticipate you are already aware of the significant tax benefits available from saving into a pension but for most clients, no one route will be correct.

Careful planning can pay dividends in the end, whenever you feel that end date should be. Ask yourself when do you want to retire? If you are relying solely on your state pension the current benefits are £107.45 per week for the basic pension. We all have choices of how we use this information, some will choose to bury their heads in the sand, others may pick up the phone and give us a call.

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