It’s Pension Cut-Off Day And You’ve Probably Run Out Of Money

If you are relying on the state pension to fund your retirement, then you have run out of money until the end of the year, according to a financial firm.

The state pension offers a couple £16,593 a year, while figures from the Office of National Statistics put average annual spending for a retired couple at £21,770.

The difference – £5,177 a year – should come from savings, investments and personal pensions.

The cut-off day, says retirement financial adviser Just, was October 6.

Stephen Lowe, who is group communications director at Just, the state pension adds up to a significant slice of income for most pensioner households.

Struggle to save

“It still only covers about three in every four pounds that the average couple has available to spend over the course of a year,” he said.

“Of those accessing pension benefits, seven in 10 are aged under 65 and, of those around 60% take a full cash withdrawal.

“That is fine if they have other sources of capital or income, but many people struggle to save enough into a pension.

“Taking it out of the pension years earlier than necessary could well harm its future income potential.”

Making up that £5,177 a year takes a lot of saving with banks and building societies paying such low rates.

Optimistic investor

An optimistic investor would consider a pot of about £200,000 would offer an annual income of £5,000 a year, but after Brexit, that could rise to even more depending on how the economy fares.

Even on an income of £21,770 a year, a pensioner couple would need to live on a tight budget and make same sensible financial decisions to keep on track.

That would mean a lot of time looking for the cheapest deals, such as utilities, broadband and insurance.

“If you’re not already living on a budget, it might be worth starting to make cutbacks now so that you get used to living on a set income,” says Just.

“You should think about cutting costs, looking for deals and offers for older people and deal with debt while you are still working if you can.”

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