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Three in five people ‘feel stressed about retirement planning’

Three in five (61%) people feel stressed when they think about their retirement planning, rising to nearly three-quarters (74%) of 25 to 34-year-olds, according to research.

Seven in 10 (71%) people generally are concerned about not having enough money to do what they want when they retire and around two-thirds (65%) feel anxious about how long their pension savings will last, Aviva found.

The release of the research coincides with Stress Awareness Week (November 7 to 11).

People aged 25 to 34 were found to feel particularly stressed when compared with other age groups about how early they should start paying into their pension, whether or not they should have more than one pension pot and whether they are paying enough into their pension savings.

Alistair McQueen
Alistair McQueen says that with planning people can feel more in control of their retirement savings (Aviva/PA)

Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva, said: “With a little planning, and simple rules of thumb, you can easily feel more in control of your savings and know if you are on track for the lifestyle you want in your retirement.”

More than 2,000 people were surveyed in October.

Here are some general guidance tips from Aviva for pension planning (individual circumstances will vary and some people may want to pay for financial advice):

1. If possible, aim to save for your retirement at least 40 years before you want to retire. The later you leave it, the more you will need to save each month to reach your target.

2. Try to save at least 12.5% of your salary towards your pension every month – this may seem challenging at the moment but is something to aim for. And remember, this can include contributions from you, your employer, and the government in the form of tax relief.

3. As a general rule of thumb, people could consider aiming to build a pension pot of at least 10 times their salary by the time they retire.

4. By investing your money, in a pension or elsewhere, your money can grow through to your target retirement date.

5. The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than has been invested. But remember that pensions are long-term investments and over time you could reap greater rewards.

6. Saving for your retirement should not be a “set and forget” activity. Use your annual pension statement to check if you are on track for your retirement target.

7. Free online retirement calculators can help with retirement planning.

8. Life expectancy in retirement could be 20 years or more, so bear in mind how long your money may need to last.

9. Shop around for a retirement income. The retirement incomes on offer in return for your amassed pension pot will likely differ. Find the best deal for you as this could make a significant difference to your income throughout the rest of your life.

10. The Government-backed Pension Wise guidance service can help people consider their retirement options.

11. If you think you have lost touch with a pension, check with the Pension Tracing Service.