As a millennial (just about), I feel like I have grown up a lot slower than those living in my parents’ generation. If anyone ever asks me how old I am I instinctively say 28 – I’m 31 – and I don’t feel responsible enough to have children yet, really (oops, who left me in charge of Elfie and Hux?!).
By this age my parents were well on their way up the property ladder, properly planning for their futures. I owned a house once upon a time but no longer do thanks to divorce, and though I’m saving a deposit to buy again there’s realistically not much chance I’ll be able to do this alone in the expensive area I live.
I do feel that I have a slightly different take on my finances than my parents did with theirs, and this is something I see not just in myself but in my friends, too. I’m not sure if it’s our huge student loans, the elevated cost of living, our stressful and competitive celebrity culture or our first time buyer struggles but we seem to live a little bit more in the moment when it comes to money. I think nothing of spending my hard-earned savings on a wonderful travel experience or perusing ASOS to make me feel better after a rough day at work and, in all honesty, I wish I was a little more responsible with my disposable income sometimes.
Is it wrong to be a little bit frivolous with my cash? I’m not sure: I work hard for the money I earn and I think it’s a fine line between being careless with my money and being reckless with my future, though I do worry that when I get to the retirement age of 65 – or probably by the that rolls around it’ll have moved to 75 – I have the money I need to live off.
Who knows – but it’s high time I figured out what my financial future is going to look like.
Which is where Aviva’s Shape my Future tool comes in. This handy online calculator takes into account your current financial situation – your house, your pension and your income – and looks to the future to predict how much money you’ll have to live off when you reach the age of retirement. Much like a crystal ball, but without the dodgy fortune teller.
I thought I could have a little bit of fun with this. No, I’m not going to emphasise my (worryingly large amount of) grey hairs and adopt a wrinkly face pensioner-style, but I am going to try and live for a week on the money I’d get on my pension.
At the moment the Shape my Future tool is giving me the grand total of £188 a week to live off (note to self: put more money in pension). Now, I try not to spend much frivolous cash day-to-day but I do have a rather naughty online shopping habit: late night ASOS and Amazon spending is definitely something to watch. I’m also a bit of a monkey when it comes to ordering Deliveroo when it gets to 9pm and I realise it’s either that or pasta pesto AGAIN so I’m going to have to prepare myself by buying in food well in advance.
When you retire you may think that you have a nice nest egg saved up, but that nest egg can be quickly reduced if you encounter expenses you did not plan on. Applying for a reverse mortgage is one way to increase that nest egg again because such a mortgage loan will provide you with a lump sum or monthly payments out of the worth of your home. If you are concerned about reverse mortgage pros and cons then you should know that the biggest benefit is not having another monthly bill to pay. You will be able to pay back the loan money later, or in some cases not at all.
However, the con is that your lender can recover the loan balance by having your home sold when you no longer reside in it for any reason. Therefore, your heirs cannot inherit the property unless you or they decide to pay the loan balance in full at the time of your departure or death.
I haven’t lived to a budget in quite some time so I’m looking forward to my predicted pension experiment. Come back next week to find out how I do, and in the meantime have a go on the Shape my Future tool yourself and see how much you’d have to live off!
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.