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We are on our own, or are we?

There was once a time when thinking of planning for retirement did not take much effort. This was when final salary pensions and jobs for life were considered the norm.

Fast forward to today and we have a very different scenario.

Many final salary schemes have been closed and with those that have remained open, retirement dates have in some cases been extended and contribution levels increased.

Both the age when we can draw our State Pensions and the number of years National Insurance contributions required to qualify for a full pension are being increased.

The future for those of us working today may look remarkably different from the retirement of previous generations.

The onus of how much to save, where and with whom has passed from employers to employees. The whole subject of pensions/investments can seem daunting and just too difficult. Often, it is simply ignored.

This leads us to the inevitable conclusion that we must make more preparation for our own retirement as the ability to delegate this to a combination of final salary and State Pensions is waning.

We are on our own and need to make hard choices such as exercising thrift and deferring spending today to ensure that our future selves have money in order that we may lead dignified and independent retirements.

This is difficult as in the age of consumerism we now live in, we have what seems like a perfect storm with the need to plan for ourselves, together with ever greater ‘shiny new objects’ attracting our money.

Now more than ever, there is a need for a Financial Planner. To provide the objective third party, to provide accountability, to demonstrate the effect spending decisions now may have, to help us make good decisions with our money.

The aim should be that we are not forced to work well beyond the age we would like to stop. Or to find ourselves in retirement unable to achieve the things we wanted to do, or perhaps even being forced to return to work.

We can buy most anything now online including pensions and savings. What we can cannot buy online is the accountability/support/guidance and personal planning that advice provides.

We might feel we are on our own, but help is there if we know where to look.