We all know that we should put money away for our “golden years”, but how much is enough? Do we have to forego the better things in life now to afford to live comfortably in the future?

Richard Cayne says no. “With proper planning and a little discipline, you can ensure your retirement years without giving up on enjoying your life now.”

Calculate how much you’re going to need

Of course, it’s easy to say, save as much as you can, for as long as you can, but that’s a very simplistic view. Depending on your age, it may be hard to visualise your life when, or if, you retire, much less how much it will all cost. There are, nevertheless, a few points you should consider:

  • Where will you live? Will you stay in your home country, or will you move to a more favourable clime? Do you want to join a retirement community, or do you want to live independently in your home?
  • How will you live? What kind of lifestyle will you expect for retirement? Do you plan on golfing every week? Are you going to have to travel often and/or far to visit children or grandchildren?
  • What will be your sources of income? Do you plan on working into your retirement? Are you participating in a national pension plan or company-sponsored retirement scheme? If so, what do you expect the pay-out or benefits to cover?

This is by no means an extensive list, but it is a good start. The more detailed you are, the better equipped you will be to calculate how much you should have saved up by the time you retire.

Make a plan, and revisit it regularly

“Plans change, life situations change, stuff happens,” warns Richard. “If you have a retirement savings plan, you need to check it regularly to make sure you’re on track.”

And don’t be scared to ask for help. An independent financial consultant can help you through these questions, offering solutions to avoid having to squirrel away all your funds and missing out on your life now.