As a nation, we’re living longer and enjoying better health and healthcare compared to previous generations. While the great news is 60 is the new 50 (and in fact, could even be the new 40!), our poor pockets are definitely feeling the strain of funding lengthier periods of retirement.
While some of us have a nice pension pot to see them through the years to come, many don’t. And even those who do will need a financial safety net. But, almost a quarter of over 60s have no savings at all and over half don’t regularly save, leaving them on shaky ground if a financial shock were to hit them, like replacing a boiler or costly car repairs.
Why saving is such a low priority in later life is open for debate. Perhaps when we stop earning we’re more likely to draw down our savings, rather than add to them. Or maybe our focus shifts to those around us, rather than thinking about our own needs.
Wherever you stand on this point, the reality is it’s impossible to know what the years ahead will bring, with all sorts of factors such as health worries clouding the issue further. That’s why it’s worthwhile being prepared and saving what you can, when you can.
Unexpected costs are unavoidable and holidays come at a price. Even if you already have savings to fall back on, if you don’t keep the coffers topped up, they may very well dry up. And without any savings, one expensive emergency could leave you having to ask loved ones for help, or worse still, fall into debt.
There’s no age limit on saving, just like there’s no age limit on fun. Don’t bury your head in the sand. Here are three simple ways to get saving back on the to-do list:
1. Have another look at your finances
It’s not easy tucking money away, especially if you’re on a limited income. To help find money to save, take a good look at your expenses. There’s no need to give up on all of life’s little luxuries but some small adjustments here and there could free up some cash for the pot.
2. Think twice before parting with your money
We all want to help our nearest and dearest in any way we can. Providing love and support in liberal doses is what life’s all about. But it’s easy to forget your own needs and lose sight of your financial realities. Before giving money away, take a minute to consider what you can comfortably afford without leaving your finances vulnerable. After all, your family wants you to be able to enjoy life and wouldn’t want you overstretching yourself for them.
3. Make saving a habit
If you can make a habit of saving regularly, do. As a minimum, try to keep an emergency fund. An easy access account or cash ISA will make sure the money can be got at quickly if needed.
Once an emergency fund is in place, you might also consider longer-term savings options such as a Stocks & Shares ISA or a fixed term savings account. To learn more about new Stocks & Shares ISAs, download SunLife’s useful free guide to New ISAs.
Remember, it’s never too late to start saving. Even if you start today with a small amount, you’ll be surprised how much you could accumulate in a few short years. Life is for living and it’s yours for the taking. Saving a little regularly can go a long way and make a big difference to your financial security.
AXA Wealth Services Ltd distributes financial products and services and trades as SunLife. AXA Wealth Services Ltd is a company limited by shares and the registered office is at 5 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1AD (registered in England, no. 02238458). AXA Wealth Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 465753).
1. SunLife 2013 research – all stats quoted.
2. SunLife Financial Shocks press release – introduction positioning.
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