I’ve written before about The March of the MumBoss – how fantastic I think it is that droves of mums are bravely choosing to shun the world of traditional employment that for so many of us lacks the flexibility we need to to make work work. I’ve also warned that it’s certainly not the glamorous lifestyle that many of us are guilty of making it out to be on social media and amongst many other downsides to self employment, one of the biggest is kissing goodbye to a nice pension where you can relax safe in the knowledge that both you and your employer are syphoning off enough of your monthly pay check to make sure you won’t want for too much in your older age.
It’s a really important topic and one I’m really grateful that my parents have never let me forget about. Much like making a will, it’s one of those tasks that you can put off and off pretending that you’re too young for it to be a priority.
In fact as mums one of our top excuses is that we can’t afford to save money each month as the quality of life of our children will suffer as a result. But what if you can’t afford to retire later on in life – might that mean that you can’t help your children out by looking after your grandchildren so that they can work? What if you can’t afford to pay off your mortgage when you retire? Might that mean that you can’t offer your children the odd bit of financial help or leave anything behind for them? What if you can’t afford to be cared for in your true ‘old’ age? Might that mean you have to ask your children to look after you? As an adult now would you rather be faced with those potential scenarios or would you rather have gone without the odd special treat, weekend away or branded pair of trainers when you were growing up?
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not preaching at you here ladies. I’m guilty of not prioritising my pension myself. Having worked for the NHS (one of the most generous employers out there when it comes to pensions) for ten years I did build up the beginning of a reasonably decent pension pot so I gave myself a small break from making contributions when I first started the business – but two years in, this blog is giving me a kick up the bum as much as the next MumBoss.
Lisa and Becky, the clever girls behind the ethical financial advice and information platform Good With Money recently directed me to some research from Which stating that the total pension pot required for a comfortable retirement is now around £210,000. The research also really helpfully shows how much you need to save depending on what age you start your pension so it’s definitely worth a look. Just to give you an idea; if you start saving in your twenties you can expect to pay £131 a month, but if you wait until your forties expect that figure to be £338 a month! That’s a big difference.
So what’s my plan of action? My business is a limited company so I became eligible to auto enrol all of my employees (of which I am included) in January. I set myself up a basic national pension but this research has shown me that I really need to up my game.
I’m starting out by taking a good look at the Pension Bee website and calculator to determine how much I need to be setting aside. I then need to make some decisions on how best to save for that pension. I’ll also be keeping a very close eye on the ‘This Mum Saves’ social campaign this blog is part of (other Mum bloggers will be publishing their thoughts on the topic too and you can take a look at them all on this link.
If, like me, you don’t have a robust enough plan in place for how you will retire don’t delay getting things sorted – the numbers I’ve mentioned above prove that the earlier saving for your pension becomes as automated as brushing your teeth or watching Bake Off the better – not just for you, for your family too.
This post was created in collaboration with Good With Money and PensionBee.
PensionBee is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. With pensions, your capital is at risk. The value of your pension with PensionBee can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you started with.