The clock is ticking for those of us who are heading towards our retirement, and many people are in the worrying position of knowing that their savings, state pension, and other workplace pensions simply don’t add up to enough to see them through their retirement.
If you are in that position, then what you mustn’t do is bury your head in the sand and pretend that the problem doesn’t exist and you mustn’t panic. Here are the steps you will need to take now if you don’t think that your pension will be high enough when you retire.
Check the facts
The first thing to do is to make sure that you have all your facts right and do some sums. Find out what income your pensions will provide you with based on your current contributions, check what state pensions you will eligible for and, as a worst case scenario, look into what state benefits might be available to you should your total pension income not be high enough to support you. If you need help obtaining your full benefits, or if you think that your benefits may have been calculated incorrectly, you may be able to obtain legal advice from a local advice website in your country, like sociaalverhaal.com.
Look at your assets
You shouldn’t panic and start selling off any assets that you have right now, but you should be including your assets in your calculations of your potential future income. If you own your own home, for example, inflation is on the increase again, so there may be significant value to your home by the time you retire. If there is, you could consider either downsizing your home, or you could look at the feasibility of obtaining an equity release loan against your property.
Saving money for your retirement is not impossible
You may need to downsize now in order to save enough money for your retirement, but the degree of downsizing is probably not as drastic as you might fear. Take a look at how much money you will need to live comfortably in your retirement, taking into account that, over time, you will become less active and will want to do fewer things. Of course, we would all like to go on a cruise every year when we retire, but we all have to cut our cloth accordingly. When you have worked out how much extra money you will need to save to see you through your retirement, you can then look at what you might be able to cut back on now in order to give you a high enough disposable income to save for your retirement.
What to do if illness has put you in this predicament
If you have been unable to contribute enough to your pension because of ill health, you will need to check what social security benefits may be available to you when you pass retirement age. If you are at all concerned that you may not be receiving what you are entitled to, there will be local advisory websites, such as kinderboekenfee.nl, where you will be able to find help on how to make sure that you receive all the state benefits that you are entitled to.
Act now, not later
Finding out that your pension is not going to be high enough can be a worrying and stressful thing. Whether it is because you are not going to be paid enough by your state pension, or you haven’t made enough contributions into a private pension, the most important thing to do is to start addressing the problem now. The sooner you do your sums and you seek advice, the more time you will have to make sure that have enough income to see you comfortably through your retirement.