‘… only a few years outside the workforce can have a dramatic effect on a person’s chances of building up a pension. Contributions in the early years of someone’s working life are crucial in generating a satisfactory sum to live on in retirement.’
This recent quote from UK newspaper, The Guardian, explains so succinctly a major reason why young people beginning their careers should contribute to a pension from the start.
Why is it important to start saving for retirement early?
Let’s look at exactly why using the figures from the article and an imaginary twenty something.
Jessica is a 21 year old marketing graduate who has landed her first job earning £24,750 a year, a typical income for someone in this age group. Starting with her first pay packet Jessica contributes 5% of her salary to the government’s basic pension scheme and her employer also contributes 3%. These are the minimum auto-enrolment contributions. Fast forward to 2067 when Jessica will turn 68 and finally reach UK state pension age (the rising state pension age is yet another hardship today’s young people are having to swallow). Jessica’s pension pot will be around £184,000.
But let’s say Jessica decides to save up for a deposit on a house before she starts paying into her pension and only contributes from the age of 25. According to The Guardian’s figures, this means that her pension pot falls to £157,000, a reduction of a massive 15% even though she is only contributing for 9% less time.
The reason for this is compound interest.
Compound interest is your greatest ally in saving a decent nest egg for retirement and the reason why building that nest egg becomes harder and harder the older you get.
If you are at the beginning of your career you may not yet be earning the big bucks of your more-established colleagues but you do have one advantage over your older co-workers: time. If you are lucky enough to be young, make the most of that advantage and start saving towards your retirement now.
What to do if you are an expat in Asia and you think your pension is insufficient
You may have been out of the job market due to unemployment, having a baby or illness and have some catching up to do to get your pension on track. Don’t panic. Whatever the reason for a shortfall in savings, a good first step is to make an appointment with a professional financial planner who can take a look at your situation, crunch some numbers and work out a financial roadmap going forward.
It could be that the savings that you do have could be better invested to give you a better return. At Infinity, we have access to an extensive range of pension wrappers from some of the world’s leading providers, and a wealth of experience in advising expatriates like you. We can help you find the retirement solution that best suits your need as well as looking at your financial situation and helping you create a savings plan based on your circumstances to maximise your chances of a comfortable retirement.
What to do if you are an expat in Asia and don’t have a pension
The simple answer is to start one – NOW!
Whatever your reason for not having started a retirement plan yet, when it comes to pension savings, it is always better late than never. As an expat in Asia you may not be eligible for any kind of state pension, and even if you are, it won’t be generous, which means the responsibility for saving for a comfortable retirement is placed squarely on your own shoulders.
It is imperative that you plan for your retirement, whatever your age. And the older you are, the more pressing the issue is. You will need a clear plan to make up for lost time and expert advice.
Our advisers can make the task a lot easier. They will carry out a detailed analysis of your existing circumstances including your financial responsibilities, your attitude to risk and that all-important target retirement date and create a flexible plan that can adapt as your life changes.
If you’ve been kidding yourself that your pension can wait, now is the time to take your head out of the sand and act.
If you are an expat in Asia worried about your pension planning, contact us today.