Imagine yourself cooking sausages rather than grilling steaks.

Visualize yourself shivering in a blanket, in the cold winter of London, with no heater to warm you.

Envisage yourself dashing with a trolley to cart some reconstituted meat and that also on sale.

And add an extra layer of fun to it – imagine yourself doing all this after retirement.

All of us want to continue with their comforts, extending well beyond their age of working and into retirement. And with the cost of living predicted to rise to 150% by 2050, many of us are underprepared for the life that follows after retirement. So, it’s time to act. Better late than never!

Stop Being an Ostrich

It’s high time that you pull out your head out of the sand and educate yourself. Distinguish your needs from your desires and then review your listed budget. Shred off those extras that lump uninvited expenses on the list. Saving those shillings now on unwanted things can definitely help you with your future, albeit, being a small step, it is an important one nevertheless.

My Pension Pot

State Pension and How to Increase it?

Start by applying for a state pension statement here and know when you will reach the state pension age.

If I reached a state pension age after 5 April 2016, how much do I get to put in my pot?

You can claim to a flat state pension rate of £155.65 per week with a national insurance contribution (NIC) period of up to 35 years.

And if it came to maturity before that?

Then you will receive a basic pension of £119.30 a week. To claim towards full state pension, you need to have NIC of 30 years.

What if I do not have enough NIC and want to improve on that?

You can seek for a professional advice here and add to that pension pot.

Upgrade Your Pension Pot through Employment Pension Schemes

After tying up your state pension, you now need to look at other ways you can add to your pension pot, basically to upgrade it.

The easiest way?

Get yourself the pension scheme that your employer has to offer. For you won’t only get to supplement to your state pension but you will also have tax free cash.

And what type of pension schemes do companies have to offer?

Your employer basically has two types of pension schemes, one which will be based on your earnings and it would be a defined benefit scheme.

And?

The other is based on the investment that you make into it and the underlying performance of those invested funds.

Both have their advantages, so you need to analyze both and take an informed decision.

Personal Pension Schemes

Your pension pot seems to be running perfectly fine but you should not end here. It’s time to transform the running pig into a flying pig. Look for some personal pension schemes that organizations have to offer and invest in them.

Invest in ISAs

ISAs are a shrewd way of having tax free savings rather than hoarding money into a savings account. There are plenty of ISAs that can be invested into like cash ISAs, stock and shares ISAs and innovative finance ISAs. Choices are plentiful and ISAs are a great way to save for future. And launching from April 2017, is the lifetime ISA through which you can propel your savings to £32000.

Other Key Investments

Buy to let mortgages, equity releases and downsizing are some of the other key strategies to make your retirement more comfortable. However, it is advisable to always consult a professional before opting for them.

Maybe we’ve spent too long, trying to figure this out with theory

You can never have a perfect plan, but what is important is that you act now!