Do you wonder what the future holds for you? Are you one of those people who firmly lives in the present and doesn’t really even think about it, or are you a planner, with your whole life’s course already plotted? Maybe you’re like me: a bit inbetweeny – vaguely aware that the choices you make now will affect you in later life, but happy to leave it to some hazy future time to actually sort anything out. Recently, Aviva challenged me to have a bit more of a proper think about my future, especially how we’ll manage financially. They have an online tool called ‘Shape my Future’ (more of this later) which can give you a rough estimate of how much you’ll have to live on when you’re older. It’s been an eye opener, I can tell you.
Mr E and I have our standard walking around the field on a Saturday morning with the dog’ conversation, which usually involves quite a lot of idle dreaming about how we’ll spend our retirement, where we’ll travel to, whether we’ll have grandchildren (not yet, please, fellas) and all that sort of stuff.
Our current dream is to sell our house, and move somewhere like the South of France, where we’ll have chickens, and sit out on our sunny terrace in the morning (which, in my mind, is very similar to this one I visited in Tuscany last year), nibbling croissants and sipping our café au laits. We’ll walk the dog on the beach (presumably a different dog, seeing as this is the future, and our current dog isn’t immortal), go out for dinner, entertain our families and basically live the chilled, seaside, sundrenched life of our dreams.
All very hazy and sunny and lovely, I’m sure you’ll agree, but just this little light hearted exercise has started to make me feel a bit uneasy. Neither of us have pensions, you see? We’re both self employed, so no workplace pensions for us, and we’re not exactly wonderful at saving either. Our home is our castle, and we’ve always kind of relied upon the fact that one of these days we’ll sell it to fund our future. We’re counting on property prices continuing to rise, but I’m wondering if we shouldn’t be doing more for our future and investing in a pension too.
Next week: we try out the Shape my Future tool, and try a week living on our estimated income. Should be fun!
The Aviva Shape my Future tool uses simple inputs to give a basic idea of retirement income. Details of assumptions are available at Aviva.co.uk
For more info, check out the hashtags: #SaveSmarter #ShapeMyFuture and follow Aviva on Twitter: @AvivaUK and Facebook.