Since January I’ve been attempting to live a slightly more balanced and grown up sort of life.
I’ve exercised more consistently (thanks to the quite brilliant Jon and Melissa and their Fit ‘n’ Trim programme) and am generally trying to make better food, drink and lifestyle decisions. Obviously it doesn’t always go to plan; I love a gin in a tin as much as the next person and a bar of Dairy Milk is all I really need to make me happy but, generally speaking, family Leary are trying to eat and live well.
The problem with this is that other grown up topics are now forcing their way into my consciousness. Namely; wills and pensions…Frankly both topics fill me with dread but they desperately need to be faced and the sooner the better.
Mr L and I often talk about our retirement plans. The conversations never centre around eating value beans and wearing gloves indoors. We talk about travel, treating ourselves and enjoying the free time but, none of that will come cheap and it certainly won’t come about by magic.
Cue the lovely people at Mumsnet pinging over an email asking bloggers to review a new website called Retire Savvy, from Skipton Building Society.
1) They are actually downloading my thoughts
2) I am not the one having a pension panic attack
I am hoping it is option 2…
Basically, Skipton said;
“We believe retirement is one of the biggest social issues of today – in terms of improving people’s awareness of retirement planning and also helping them to ensure they’ve got sufficient savings to enjoy their retirements.
Increasing life expectancy means retirement is no longer a relatively brief period – for many people retirement can last as long as their working lives and many are choosing to do it differently, with set retirement dates becoming less and less common.
Mums are among the hardest hit groups, as we know they often need to contend with all of the above and to also make room for career breaks or reduced hours to make time to be mums. Retirement’s no longer a subject for ‘oldies’, it’s something everyone should be considering, and the earlier the better.”
Oh good lord, it is option 1; they are in my head…(sorry about the mess and all the Daniel Craig clutter!)
The site is full of excellent advice but frankly, there could only be one starting point for me;
The 5 points here have already helped enormously, I have been able to see just how pitiful my state pension could be and when I will be eligible to claim it; £69.57 per week as of September 2048. Handily though, I also now know how I can top it up.
The site also provided a brilliant reminder about a local government pension plan I paid into for a few years and information on how to find out where it is, how to access it and so on. Every little helps!
For me, the most important area of the site by far is, unsurprisingly, Retirement Planning for Families. All of my worries and concerns are voiced here and it is so reassuring to know that it isn’t just me who’s left things late…
It took me a little while to discover this section so perhaps going forward I’d suggest it could be prominent on the home page, perhaps with its own tab as opposed to being a sub-section of another.
I don’t quite feel that the term ‘Approaching Retirement’ applies to me so perhaps ‘Planning for Retirement or Retirement Planning in your 30’s/40’s etc might be more clear?
Having said that, all the information I need is there on the site; there are loads of useful articles and guides. The jargon buster is a brilliant tool and the forums are really interesting and reassuring; I’m pleased to see that others want to see free childcare provision increased so they can pay the difference into their pension pots- our thoughts precisely.
As the site develops and gains followers I am sure that the threads and discussion forums will expand and help with any questions I have going forwards but the stories and posts from the many retirees on the forums is a brilliant illustration that age now really is just a number and retirement or getting your bus pass can genuinely be a passport to new found freedom- HOORAY!
The most important thing that Retire Savvy does though is to get pension planning into people’s consciousness.
Pensions will never, ever be sexy and Skipton to their credit, aren’t trying to pretend otherwise but, as with so many things, planning ahead enables spontaneity and, whether that is with a crazy full change bag for a day at the zoo or a properly planned pension, so you really can sail off into the sunset, planning is honestly starting to appeal, and I never thought I’d say that!
Have you got your pension properly planned? I’d love to know if you’re paying in or making other plans…
PS: I was asked to review retiresavvy.skipton.co.uk by Skipton and the Mumsnet Bloggers Network. All views are my own. I was entered into a prize draw to win vouchers as a token of thanks for blogging.
You can check out what other bloggers thought about Retiresavvy here: http://www.mumsnet.com/bloggers/retiresavvy-portal-what-our-bloggers-thought-”
PPS: Want to take part in a cutting edge social media campaign? Sign up to support retiresavvy on Thunderclap (best described as an online flash mob) and fight for the retirement you deserve!
For more information visit https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/24810-retirement-revolution?locale=en