This post has the ability to divide opinion and cause much debate, however I’ll risk the wrath, as when I saw Aviva’s press release suggesting that UK job hunters place holiday allowance and flexible working hours higher on their agenda than pension contributions for their retirement, it was a double palm face moment.
For the record, I don’t have any children, or look after a sick relative or partner and therefore flexible working hours are not high priority for me.
I understand, for some, flexible working hours is the only way into employment, and I applaud anyone who looks for anyway to find a job instead of sitting on their A-hole everyday watching Jeremy Kyle thinking the world owes them a living.
Yet, I can’t help feeling slightly perplexed when holiday allowance is considered more important than pension contributions.
People are living longer, the state pension pot is getting smaller, and your main concern is a few extra days holiday?
Give me a break!
Younger workers care more about the here and now
46% of those surveyed see holiday allowance as the most attractive perk of a new job, 36% place flexible working hours as their number one perk, whilst size of employer pension contribution ranks third in the list with a shocking 24% saying it was their main priority when switching jobs.
Twenty-four bloody percent!
That figure drops to a measly 15% for under 35s – and here in my humble opinion lies the problem.
Kids aren’t stupid, if we explain to them properly about the importance of safeguarding their future in retirement, they will start to listen – especially if it means preventing a life of destitution in old age.
What you should be doing about retirement
The biggest problem we have is we’re not saving early enough.
You can count me in with that too, until I got a grip of my finances and got my affairs in order it wasn’t something I was saving towards.
I was naively going about my business without much thought for the future.
I was foolish to start so late, don’t make the same mistakes as me.
Your plan of action should include:
- Make a budget and work out how you go about freeing up 10% of your wages to set aside for retirement. If that seems too high too soon, save half of it and work your way up to it. 10% is all fine and well, but in my honest opinion you should aim to save 20% of your wages towards retirement eventually
- If there is a company scheme at work, join it! Your employer has to contribute a minimum of 1% and that is set to rise to 3% eventually. This is free money that you are throwing away by not being a part of the company pension scheme
- Start as early as possible. If you are over 25 you’re already playing catch up
- Don’t put it off. Life expectancy and the cost of living is on the rise every year, if you think life is expensive now, you’re in for a shock if you aim to rely on a state pension
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