Are your children bleeding your savings dry?

Picture this…

You wave goodbye and close the front door, the loose handle threatening to fall away completely. On the other side, walking down the driveway, is your daughter and grandchildren. The heart-breaking sadness in your child’s eyes stung you as she left. You’re all too aware that she wishes she could change your life; for you to be able to spoil the grandchildren the way you want to, for you to have more freedom, to simply make ends meet without a struggle.

The reality is, the £20 she pressed into your palm means you can top-up the electricity meter and stay warm. But even that relief is overshadowed as you walk through to the kitchen and remember the almost empty cupboards and the bills on the countertop declaring “Final Warning” in an intimidating large red font.

Placing a teabag into a cracked mug, used so much that its pattern is all but gone, you sigh and wonder how this came to be your life.

Twenty years ago, this didn’t seem possible.

In the blink of an eye it became inevitable.

For some people, a future like this may seem unavoidable. Yet there are others who don’t realise the path they’re on, and this could be their future, too.

Why?

Because the unfortunate reality is that putting yourself second can mean poverty in the future.

How would your children feel?

You probably already know that raising a child is expensive and childcare is one of the biggest costs in the early years.

But do you also know that the cost of raising a child until the age of 21 is now more expensive than the average house and that women are losing out as a result?

This begs two questions: Why? And How?

To tackle the first question, despite society’s changes over the years to promote equality, women are still usually the primary caregivers. In fact, women still face a number of challenges for retirement.

As for the second question, the answer is simple: raising children is expensive. Childcare and babysitting alone is estimated to be more than £70,000 – enough to transform your house, or buy a Tesla S with plenty of spare change. In fact, there are a lot of weird and wonderful things £70,000 can buy.

Faced with the high and rising costs of childcare, many women are doing one of two things:

  • Reducing or stopping payments into their pension to pay for childcare
  • Giving up work to look after the children, which means they can’t afford to make pension contributions

This is parents doing what parents do best: putting their children’s needs before their own. The heart-breaking reality of this, though, is they may not realise the consequences.

Many, for example, rely on their partner for a secure retirement. If their partner doesn’t have enough money to support them both in the future, or tragedy strikes, they could face a retirement as bleak as the one at the start of this post.

There’s no surprise to the logic, of course. The here and now is a priority over the far away. And when that little bundle of joy arrives, melting your heart within moments, you probably want to do whatever you can to give them everything – regardless of what it costs you.

But you matter, too.

Just as their happiness is yours, there’s one thing children want more than anything (especially when they’ve grown up): their parents to be happy and comfortable.

After all, how would it make you feel to see your parents living on the breadline – and would you want your children to feel that way?

There’s still time to control your destiny

The good news is none of this is set in stone. Whatever your age, there are steps you can take to have a brighter future, and we’ve included a few options to get started right in this section.

The best part is, simple changes can have a huge impact and small sums can really add up quickly. Don’t believe me? Then consider this: buying a cocktail in London each month could cost you £33,000 in the long run.

That’s four years’ worth of income for someone who receives the maximum amount of the new State Pension.

It’s a 10% deposit on a house worth more than the national average.

It’s a new extension for that cocktail bar or home cinema you’ve been dreaming of.

It’s funding for the best holiday imaginable – with plenty left over.

It’s enough to clear your child’s university tuition fees.

Basically, it’s a lot of money and it would give you plenty of options. And it’s achieved by harnessing the power of small sums of money.

But it isn’t enough to just open the first account you find and add a few pounds when you remember. With savings accounts often paying less than even 1%, you won’t get much growth there.

At this stage of your life, with so much time ahead of you, pensions and ISAs are ideal for your money. Both products have generous tax breaks, giving your savings the best chance of growing quickly. If you have a workplace pension, your employer may also pay in, giving you an immediate boost.

Whether you keep your money in higher-paying cash accounts, pensions or ISAs, to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money it’s really important to review the situation regularly. That may mean moving your cash into an account that pays higher interest, or switching from your current ISA or pension to one with lower fees.

That may not sound like it’s worth it, but it makes a huge difference. In fact, just switching to a modern pension scheme could give you an extra £25,000 over 20 years.

Unsure how your pension is performing or how much it’s worth? Just hit the ‘call me back’ button on the right and ask us what our no obligation review can do for you.

Of course, not knowing how much to put away to have the lifestyle you want later can be frustrating. To help overcome this, we’ve got an easy to use tool that shows how comfortable you could be living in retirement, and what difference can be made by changing your savings rate. Click here to try it out.

When we think of the future, we usually picture it as an improvement over our current situation. It can be surprisingly simple to make sure that’s the reality.

 

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Based on a £50,000 sum at onset, growing at 6% per year before charges of 0.5% and 1.5% are applied.

The details provided in this article are for general information only and are in no way deemed to be financial advice. All of the material is correct as of the publication date, but could be out-of-date by the time you read the article. For our latest information and news, please see our articles section: https://www.portafina.co.uk/whats-new

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