When you’ve just entered the workforce, the last thing you’re thinking about is your pension, but retirement planning really should begin as soon as you receive your first pay cheque!

The Government provides those who qualify with a small state pension; which currently stands at £119.30 per week.

Think about it – could you live comfortably on that amount? Could you achieve your retirement dreams like travelling, or those endless rounds of golf?

Fortunately there are plenty of options for a long and comfortable retirement; without having to rely on rich relatives or winning the lottery!

You can save into a workplace or personal pension, or even through lesser known ways such as ISAs, properties or other investments.

Every options comes with its pros and cons such as charges or fees you might have to pay, how you can access your funds and how you can plan for short, medium and long term needs.

It’s worth bearing in mind that there are tax benefits of pension contributions for Limited Companies and the self employed too.

Here are five things to think about, so you can begin making some helpful retirement plans:

Outgoings

Get to grips with your current household budget and then project into the future to see what will change when you’re retired. You may no longer have a mortgage for example, but you might need to buy and run your own car, rather than using a company vehicle.

Incomings

Look at all your potential income such as investments, savings and assets. Estimate how much these can provide you with during your retirement.

Risk

While you might be prepared to take considerable financial risks now, will that change when your income changes? Consider how living off a pension might increase or decrease your attitude to risk.

Age

Do you want to retire at 65? Many people don’t and if you’re in good health, it can make financial sense to continue working to top up your income.

Get real

While the lure of a world cruise or sports car might beckon, is this best use of your money? Retirement is time for a reality check. When you consider the percentage of the population over retirement age is increasing, your money needs to go further.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by choice or uncertain you’re going to be enjoying the comfortable retirement you’ve dreamed of?

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