If you’re a parent, you need to invest in your future. While most of your focus is understandably on your children, it’s important not to forget about your own needs. What’s more, many mothers and fathers miss out on valuable pension contributions if they choose to stay at home for longer periods. It’s never too late to start, and there’s a wide range of personal pension products that can help you to feel more prepared for the future.
Do I Already Have a Pension?
If you’ve had a job and made national insurance contributions, you will have at least a partial state pension. You can check how much you’ve contributed online, but even a full state pension is unlikely to offer you a comfortable lifestyle throughout your retirement years.
Depending on where you’ve worked, your employer may have made contributions to a company pension scheme for you. It’s important you find out how much is in there so that you know where you stand before making more investments. If you’re struggling to track down your pensions, you can consult an expert to round up any cash you might have in schemes you didn’t know about. This happens to lots of people who’ve changed employers a few times, so you’re definitely not alone.
Advice for Stay-At-Home Parents
If you are or have been a stay-at-home parent, your pension might be a lot smaller than you expect. While you are still entitled to National Insurance (NI) credits when you’re registered for child benefits with a little one under 12 years old, you’ll be missing out on workplace contributions. You have the option of topping up your pension when you go back to work or asking your partner to make contributions if you have one.
Pensions for Children
When you feel like you’re on track for saving for your pension and have some money left over, it might be a good idea to set some of it aside for your child’s pension. While it seems like early days, it’ll make their working life that extra bit easier and offer them more security when they do reach retirement age. The cash you set aside could make up for any gaps in their work history or boost their savings should they ever be stay-at-home parents themselves.
Consider a Side Income
As a stay-at-home parent, you may decide to do a bit of work on the side to top up your pension. This gets easier when your children are older and go to school, as you can use the hours you have to do some freelancing. Your extra cash could come from something as simple as selling crafts or even old bits and pieces you have lying around the house.
Remember the Bigger Picture
Saving for a pension can be off-putting simply because you can’t see where the money goes. Retirement seems so far in the future, but when it does finally arrive, you don’t want to be left feeling caught out. Think about the quality of life you’d like later on and use it to fuel your motivation to put money aside.