Revealed: the secret of a happy retirement
Nic Cicutti introduces the indispensable `Independent'/Equitable Life Guide to pensions planning
Wednesday 08 January 1997
The traditional image of retired people is of grey-haired old men and women shuffling forward in a Post Office queue, clutching their pension books.
Whether it was ever that much of an accurate stereotype, such a description no longer fits the reality of retirement for millions of people. Increasingly, for most of us retirement means 30 or even 40 years in which to realise many of the dreams we set ourselves while still working.
What's more, decrepitude is no longer a precondition of retirement. Changing employment patterns mean it is increasingly possible to envision a life without work, whether voluntarily chosen or otherwise, at the age of 50 or 55. In some cases it may involve part-time work, or occasional contracts of employment.
At the same time as all these changes are taking place, bringing with them previously undreamed-of leisure opportunities, the financial means with which to enjoy your free time are under attack as never before.
The value of a basic state pension, linked to inflation and not earnings, is shrinking fast, as is the nearest equivalent to a salary-linked retirement income, Serps.
The combination of both will soon pay only about 20 per cent of average earnings at retirement. According to some calculations, this will drop to barely 10 per cent in around 30 years' time.
Moreover, the state pension only begins paying out at age 65 for men and 60 for women at present, an age at which many of us hope to have stopped work at least a decade earlier.
That is why The Independent is publishing a free step-by-step guide to pension planning. The booklet, sponsored by Equitable Life, one of the UK's leading life insurance companies, takes you through the various steps you can take to begin planning for your retirement.
It explains how much is paid by the state and how to obtain a projection of exactly how much you will receive when you retire.
The 52-page guide recommends that everyone who can should join their company's occupational pension scheme. The differences between various types of scheme and how they work are explained, along with how to top up the pension with additional contributions.
The guide explains what you can do in the event of not being eligible to join a company scheme or if the nature of your work is such that you are not likely to remain with one particular employer for long enough to enjoy the benefits.
If a personal pension is the best alternative, the guide details what to look for when choosing the right one.
Among the questions to ask a potential provider, it singles out issues such as performance, overall charges, flexibility and service. It also advises roughly how much to pay into a personal pension in order to meet a target retirement income.
Finally, the guide explains the choices which are available to you and what you can do with your pension pot when you reach retirement age.
There is enough there to keep you reading for an hour or two. Sorting out your pension may take a while longer. But once you have, there is little else to worry about except to check how your plans are shaping up every few years.
We hope you enjoy the guide. More importantly, please act on it and make retirement the best holiday you ever have.
For a free copy of `The Independent/Equitable Life Guide to pensions planning', fill out the form (left) or call 0800-137372
30 August 2014 12:00 AM
The UK has slipped to 11th in the latest European league table of savers. Rob Griffin checks out the best options
22 August 2014 10:30 PM
Caroline Flint, the shadow energy secretary, says a Labour government would create a new energy regulator
22 August 2014 10:30 PM
16 August 2014 12:00 AM
16 August 2014 12:00 AM
08 August 2014 11:30 PM
08 August 2014 11:30 PM
01 August 2014 07:30 PM
The new product marks a shift towards 'clear, straightforward and standardised' banking products, says Simon Read
01 August 2014 07:30 PM
Five Questions: Changes to car tax discs
Bargain Hunter: There's one day left to book a bargain flight with Air Asia
Two million first-time buyers are locked out
How to save money: UK is crashing down the European league table for putting money away
Mark Dampier: When even safety first is a risk, go for income and capital growth
- 1 Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 4 Saudi Arabia executes 19 in one half of August in 'disturbing surge of beheadings'
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: DevOps Engineer (Systems Administration, L...
£60000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A prestigious leading professiona...
£50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Financial Technical Consultant (C++, C#, F...
Day In a Page
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony