If we knew the answer to this question, then planning for our retirement would be much more straightforward.
Pictured here, Jonathan the giant tortoise has recently celebrated his 183rd birthday.
Virtually blind from cataracts and with no sense of smell, Jonathan is St Helena’s oldest resident. He is believed to be one of the world’s oldest living land animals, with some experts claiming that he could even reach a staggering age of 250.
In human terms, the idea of living this long is impossible to imagine. However, people are living longer today than at any other time and, with continued advancements in medical science and better social and economic environments, this trend of increasing life expectancy is predicted to continue across the globe.
For example, people living in any one of the top 10 countries listed in the CIA world fact book have a good chance of living beyond 80 years of age as shown in the following table.
Rank Country Average life expectancy (years)
1 Monaco 89.52
2 Japan 84.74
3 Singapore 84.68
4 Macau 84.51
5 San Marino 83.24
6 Iceland 82.97
7 Hong Kong 82.86
8 Andorra 82.72
9 Switzerland 82.50
10 Guernsey 82.47
As at 26 October 2015
In fact, out of the 224 countries listed in the world fact book, you have to get to Saudi Arabia, ranked 108, before the average life expectancy falls below a respectable 75 years.
So, unlike Jonathan who spends his days relaxing in the grounds of his St Helena residence, we’re probably not going to live to see 183 and beyond, but there is a good chance that many of us will live well into old age, raising the question of how will we fund our retirement.
Retirement – that hazy destination way off in the future
For many off us the “R” word is an alien concept – it’s something that happens to other people, it’s years away, we’ll worry about when it gets closer, but whether you like it or not, one day you’re going to have to accept that having to stop work or “retire” is a reality.
For many it can’t come soon enough, for others (or workaholics as we sometimes refer to them) it’s not so much of a priority, but making sure we have enough money to live on in our twilight years shouldn’t be underestimated. As mentioned earlier, there’s a good chance that many of us will live well into old age so if your attitude to life is live for today and don’t worry about tomorrow, you’re either going to be working well into your old age or, retirement is going to be a sobering experience.
No one would disagree that it’s easy to get distracted as a young adult, with buying your first house, getting married, building a career or business or starting a family. All these things take priority over planning for your retirement, which when you are in your twenties and thirties seems a long way off. But, as the saying goes, with age comes wisdom and time does fly, so, for many of us, by the time we enter our forties, we start to realise that actually we really do need to do something about saving for our retirement.
If you think about retirement in UK terms, you save into a pension over a period of your working life via National Insurance contributions. That could be from the age of 16 and go all the way up to age 65 or more – a period of 49 years!
Retirement may be decades away for many people, but the reality is that the sooner you start saving for your retirement (even a modest amount), the better the chance you will have of building that nest egg that funds a very pleasant retirement.
Some questions to consider
Q: Have you decided on when you will retire?
If you want to retire young, then getting a plan in place early is key. Remember every passing payday is a delay that could disrupt your dream of an early retirement.
Q: How much money are you going to need when you retire?
This is a tricky one to answer as everyone is different. A basic rule of thumb could be around 60% of your final salary to maintain your current lifestyle.
For example, if you retired today aged 65 on a salary of $75,000, you might need about $45,000 each year. If you live for 20 years and ignore inflation, that’s a total of $900,000.
Q: Have you started saving towards your retirement yet – if not why not?
The longer you leave it, the more you may need to save.
Q: If you have started saving, when was the last time you reviewed your investments?
Your chosen investment strategy five years ago may not necessarily be appropriate today. You should review your investments on a regular basis.
Q: Are you saving enough to meet your retirement goals?
If not, then RL360°’s contractual regular savings plan Quantum could be the perfect solution to help you save towards your retirement.
Why not speak to your financial adviser about how Quantum may be able to help, and start planning for a comfortable retirement today.
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