Enjoying a comfortable retirement is everyone’s dream, but the many factors that affect this goal mean that people need to save more than ever to cover costs as we all live longer.

Retiring at 65 is a common target for most people who work hard all their life. It means twenty or more years to take things easier. It is time when family, friends and leisure pursuits are enjoyed.

Unfortunately, the government’s state pension is not something people can rely on. The age at which retirees can claim the state pension is changing. In the future, the age when people can access that income could be 70 or higher.

Therefore, personal pensions are increasingly important. To enjoy a consistent standard of living a private plan is essential. Crucially, that gives greater flexibility to pursue life goals beyond work.

Your pension should be a priority

Pension numbers are complicated. Most research makes it clear that people should make their pension savings a priority.

How much is enough? According to analysis by AJ Bell, if you want to retire at 65 and you earn an average salary (approximately £29,000 per year) you will need a pension pot of around £450,000.

This allows you to maintain your living standard and not have to make dramatic cutbacks. Holidays are still possible, home improvements viable and helping relatives is affordable.

The figure is so high because we are all living longer. The pension needs to last until we are in our 90s, potentially higher.

It’s never too late to save

Playing catch-up is hard. That’s true of many things in life, especially where money is concerned. The sooner you start saving the easier it is to stay ahead.

Ideally, young people start personal pensions as soon as they start work. Any employer contributions, such as those made through automatic enrolment, help the pension pot grow much quicker.

Here are some interesting figures, also from the AJ Bell research. If you begin a pension at 25 years of age, you will need to invest about £235 each month to achieve the £450,000 at 65.

If you start at 35, the monthly amount required rises to £428. Leave it until you are 45 means a massive £859 a month needs to be put aside.

So start as early as possible. Ideally, take independent financial advice to help you find the right pension for you.

Do that and you increase the chances of enjoying a comfortable retirement.

Please be aware the value of investments or income from them can fall as well as rise. We’re here to help you make informed decisions.

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