Find out how much your retirement income is likely to be
Firstly, you should work out your potential retirement income. Perhaps you'll be using the State Pension, or a Workplace or Personal Pension. Either way, there are several steps you can take to find out what these are potentially worth, from requesting State Pension statements to tracing lost pensions.
Check your State Pension age.
The State Pension Age Calculator will tell you when your State Pension is payable.
Find out how much your State Pension is worth.Get an estimate of your State Pension at the GOV.UK site.
Boost your National Insurance (NI) contributions.
If you have an NI contribution record of less than 35 years, you won't receive a full State Pension. Find out how to add to your contributions.
Find out if you qualify for Pension Credit.
If you're on a low income, the Pension Credit Calculator can tell you if you're eligible for this measure.
Consider delaying the State Pension.
If you choose to defer your State Pension, it could be higher when you start to take it. Find out more.
Check the value of your Workplace and Personal Pensions.
Each year you should receive a statement. This will help you calculate how much income you might receive in retirement.
Find lost pensions.
It's very likely that you've had several pensions throughout your working life. There are various ways you can find lost and forgotten pensions. See more on lost pensions.
Think about bringing your pension pots together.
Sometimes you can get a better deal by putting all your pensions into one pot. Get advice and check if there are any charges, or if you lose any guaranteed benefits from the pension, before you consider this.
Decide what to do with your pension pot(s).
From cashing out your pension to getting a guaranteed income for life, there are more options for using your pension pot than ever before. You can also choose to leave some or all of your pension pots invested. You may benefit from expert advice and guidance. Find out more.
Shop around for the best deal.
You don't have to accept the income offered by the company you've saved with. If you want to buy a retirement product, make sure you shop around as other providers may have more appropriate products for you or be able to pay higher amounts of income.
Savings and investments.
People can use other savings and investments they may have to help during retirement. You might have money put aside in ISAs, for example.
Find out if you can use your property for retirement income.
If you own your property, you may see it as a type of future pension. In this instance, you may be able to release some of the equity to help boost your income. Options include selling your home and downsizing, or using equity release or a retirement interest-only mortgage, both of which are loans secured against your home. We suggest you talk it through with your family first, and then get some professional advice. But there will be some costs involved.
Make sure you understand the benefits available to you.
There are a wealth of benefits available to pensioners. Winter fuel allowance, free bus travel and prescriptions are just a few. Don't miss out.
Not ready to stop working yet?
More than 1 in 10 people over 65 are still working. There are many advantages to continued employment, whether full- or part-time, including topping up your income, keeping active and being able to work flexibly around your lifestyle.
Create a budget and see where your regular income goes.
You may no longer have commuter expenses to worry about, work lunch to buy or a uniform to pay for. These costs add up, so you will be saving money – but you are likely to have much less disposable income now that you're retired.
You can use MoneyHelper budget planner for more guidance.
Will you have any new expenses?
Will you be playing more golf, travelling frequently or taking up new hobbies that may be costly? Perhaps your energy bills will increase thanks to longer periods at home.
Consider what expenses are optional...... such as eating out, socialising or holidays. If you need to cut your expenditure, these are the areas you can usually target to make changes.
Don't forget occasional expenses.There are costs that don't occur each year: for example, buying a new car or replacing the computer, television or washing machine. From time to time unexpected bills may arise like household repairs.
Retirement Living Standards toolFind out how much you might need in retirement with our Retirement Living Standards tool.
Retirement planning tools
Use our helpful tools to find out what your potential income might be, or to see how much equity you might be able to release from your home.
Making decisions about how to finance your retirement is important so it’s worth making use of the guidance and advice services available. Other providers may have more appropriate products or be able to offer a higher level of retirement income.
Pension Wise from MoneyHelper
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