Are you 45-60 years-old?
Do you work, or would you like to be working?
Are you sitting on a nice pile of savings that will see you through your golden years and give you happy holidays two or three times a year? Or are you worried that you might not have enough to retire at all?
Are you worried that you might lose your job soon, because of your age, and you won’t be able to find more work?
These are issues that people in mid-life often worry about, but the questions seem too big to think about all in one go – so they don’t do it. Instead, they drift from one year to the next, not knowing how to fund their futures.
Don’t let this be you. Give yourself a mid-life MOT.
- Mid-lifers Have a Lot to Think About
- Give Yourself a Mid-life MOT
- More Free Financial Advice
- Not Enough Money? Here’s What You Do
If you are 45-60, you won’t be surprised to know that you’re in the group of people who are the most stressed in the UK. People in this age group often support their own needs together with those of their children (particularly during lockdown) and older parents who are living longer.
Also, those aged 45-60 will be the first generation to enter retirement without a final salary pension. They’re also the first generation to deal with pension freedoms where we can access our personal and company pensions at age 55 (that’s rising to 57 in 2028).
The good thing is that we can expect to live longer than people did in earlier years. But, as we expect to live longer, we need more money to fund our retirements. We either do this by saving and investing more while we are working, or we work for longer so that we can pay for ourselves and save for longer to fund a later retirement.
So, where are you on your life’s journey? And, more pertinently, how much do you have stashed away for your future?
Here’s how you work it out.
Once a year or so, it’s a good idea to give yourself a mid-life MOT.
This shows you:
- How much money you have saved up right now
- Whether your investments are doing well (or if you should move them)
- How much you are currently earning and whether that could go up by promotion, changing jobs or even setting up your own business
- The amount you’re currently saving and how you could add to that
- What your fitness levels are like and how to improve them
- How much you are enjoying life and how to improve that!
It’s not as tough as you may expect to give yourself a mid-life MOT, either…
Use an app
All of the above you can do yourself with a spreadsheet and writing down some lists for yourself.
But there’s now an even easier, and probably more accurate, way to do it, thanks to a new app from Aviva.
This free-to-use ‘Midlife App’ is for people who are 45-60 to give themselves a quick, personalised MOT to see if they’re on the right course financially.
- Mid-life MOT test: 30 questions, with multiple choice answers that gives you a score for your consideration of your wealth, work and wellbeing.
- Mid-life MOT checklist: A 15-point checklist with suggested actions to improve your consideration of your wealth, work and wellbeing.
It’s totally free, doesn’t store your data, doesn’t try to sell you Aviva products and doesn’t give you financial advice. It just directs you to other sources of help for wealth, work and wellbeing, which is a relief!
What it does do is give you guidance in thinking about these three important elements of your life: wealth, work and wellbeing, in the following ways:
Under ‘wealth’ it helps you:
- Build your budget
- Understand your state pension
- Plan your private pension
- Review your retirement options
- Explore your free help
For ‘work’ it helps you:
- Re-imagine your age
- Re-imagine your potential
- Be your own explorer
- Strengthen your resilience
- Explore your free help
In ‘wellbeing’ it helps you:
- Fuel your fitness
- Value your sleep
- Review your diet
- Mind your mind
- Explore your free help
Try it out for free here and let us know what you thought of it in the comments below.
There are various other places you can get some specialist financial information, too. Obviously this website is full of information and help for people of all ages and we have articles on all aspects of saving, investing and getting work.
You can also get direct answers to your money questions on our discussion boards here. Put your question there and someone will answer it within 24 hours. We have journalists and specialists on hand who can help with all issues so try it out now.
Free specialist help
There are various charities and Government organisations that give free advice to people in need. Here are a few of them:
- Shelter can help with all sorts of questions to do with renting or owning a home. If there’s even a slight worry that you could be thrown out or repossessed, contact them at the start and they will be able to help.
- AgeUK can help with issues such as pension questions, benefits for older people, health and care queries and more.
- Pension Wise is a free service for people who are 50 or over and want help and advice about their personal or company pension.
- Turn2Us has a benefits calculator and grants finder if you’re in financial need as you approach retirement.
speak to a financial advisor
Yes, I know, they do charge, but most offer a free initial consultation. You could – if you were feeling naughty – make appointments with a few of them and get a few free hours of advice.
Having said that though, to get genuinely helpful advice they need to know quite a bit about your circumstances and then need to crunch some numbers. So, if you want proper advice at this stage, be prepared to put your hands in your pocket. An advisor’s average hourly rate is about £190. It’s often well worth this expense as they can help you find ways to make your money work hard for you – and they also spot where you could be losing money you don’t need to.
If you’d like to get a free session with a highly-rated advisor near you, find out how to do that here.
So if you’ve done your own, personal mid-life MOT, either on the back of an envelope or through the Aviva app, and you’ve found that there’s not going to be enough cash to give you the sort of life you would like in retirement, there are three things you can do:
- Save more into your retirement pot
- Work for longer
- Both of the above
It’s not always easy to save more if you’re on a fixed income and you have many demands on your money. Maybe you have adult children who have come back to stay with you because they can’t get a job at the moment. Maybe you have an aging parent who needs to be supported. Everyone has a different situation and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
However, once you have done your money MOT, it might be worth doing – or redoing – your personal budget to see if there really are ways that you could free up some extra money day-to-day.
Take a look at some of the articles here to find some clever budget hacks that will help you set aside more money each week to make your retirement a cool one! Also, see here how to turn £25 a month into thousands for retirement. And 15 frugal living tips to save you £5000 a year.
It’s easy to say keep working, but it’s not possible for everyone.
If you are willing and able to work, there are big physical and mental health advantages to it.
A report from the Stanford Centre for Longevity says that “compared to those who are retired, adults of the same age who work have higher levels of cognitive functioning.” And a 2016 study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health showed that working even one more year beyond retirement age was associated with a nine per cent to eleven per cent lower risk of dying during the 18-year study period, regardless of health.
However, although it’s illegal for an employer to make you retire at any age in most professions, there are ways that most of them find to ‘persuade’ you to go. You also may not feel that your current work is something you can physically continue to do.
According to Alistair McQueen, Head of Savings and Retirement at Aviva, “at the age of fifty, about eight-in-ten of us are active in the labour market – in work or seeking work. As we progress through our fifties, this participation falls like a stone, towards five-in-ten as we enter our sixties. By the time we eventually reach our state pension age most of us have already exited the labour market. Some through choice, but many without option.”
So what do you do about this later-life working issue?
do your own thing
Something we are very keen on here at MoneyMagpie is people setting up their own businesses and doing their own thing to make money.
This is very much the case for people in mid-life. There are LOADS of opportunities for people with skills, experience and the will to get out there and make money!
Take a look at the hundreds of articles we have here that will help you make and save money, whatever your age, but particularly if you are 50+.
- here is help with switching careers at any age.
- here’s a host of work-from home jobs
- here’s advice on how to set up your own B&B
Then we have literally hundreds of ideas for making money on the side or setting up your own business in our Make Money section. Spend a little time going through that for ideas.
Get support through our messageboards
All sorts of people are getting together through our messageboards and finding support and help.
If you have questions about redundancy, investing, saving, new job ideas or just want a chat, get onto our messageboards and ask some questions. We’re here to answer them and the community is also there to join in the conversation.
You are not alone!