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Are your retirement savings enough?



retirement savingsRetirement savings are becoming ever more important for parents, but it seems many of us are not investing enough to make up for dramatic fluctuations in returns.

Falls in investment returns, longer life expectancy and the low level of annuity rates mean that many "under savers" are not stowing away enough to claim a pension at the desired target level set by the Pensions Commission in 2004.

Targets

The commission's suggested target levels for pensions went from 80% of pre-retirement income for people on lower wages, to 50% for people on wages of £50,500 or more.

A survey shows that 50% of people earning more than £50,500 are likely to retire with a pension lower than their target of £25,250 each year.

For those on £12,000 or lower, the target rate is a pension of £9,600 pension - less than £185 per week - but because of state pensions and benefits only 11% will miss this target income.

"This is not just a problem for those on lower wages - those on high incomes are just as much at risk of having a lower standard of living in retirement if they do not take this seriously," said Minister for Pensions, Steve Webb.

The survey did not look at non-wage based wealth - from property ownership, for example - or the fact that many are likely to carry on working for longer because of the ageing population and the pension shortfall.

Nevertheless, it still shows that people are underestimating how much they should be putting into their retirement savings.

Awareness rising

People who have already retired, though, are having the time of their lives, according to another survey for NEST. Whereas, on the other hand, people still in work are becoming more aware that they should be investing in their future retirement.

According to recent information from unbiased.co.uk, in the last few months the demand for retirement planning has increased.

Around 33% of people looking for independent financial advice are asking to speak about pensions.

Chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, Karen Barrett, said: "With the state pension no longer being a sufficient form of income on its own, we need to do more to maximise our finances and ensure we do not outlive our money."

There are plenty of ways to pay into a pension plan, and you can even set up your own retirement savings account to pay in as little as £20 a month to £300 a month.

There are many advantages to doing so compared to a normal savings account, and the funds are not accessible until you are 55 years old.






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