Your middle years will probably turn out to be the busiest, most eventful and most fulfilling of your life. Your earnings will be reaching their peak, and the chances are that looking after your growing family means that the important things like day-to-day living costs, family holidays and school fees will all be taking a sizeable bite out of your disposable income. You may also be going through what’s been dubbed the ‘sandwich years’, when you can be stuck between supporting your kids, and taking care of your ageing parents.
Retirement could be anything from five to 15 years away at this point. However, there has never been a more important time to make sure you are on top of your money. It’s inevitably a balancing act – making the most of what today has to offer, but keeping a close eye on planning for tomorrow. As long as your important financial goals are being met, you can certainly afford to enjoy life.
You’ll need to have a retirement plan in place, even if it seems light years away. It will come around quicker than you think, so keep an eye on your pension. It’s critical to know how much it’s likely to be worth, so that you can make plans to save more if you need to.
If you haven’t already done so, it makes sense to get a forecast from the government of how much you will receive in state pension, and a statement showing the amount of pension you will receive from employment schemes you’ve contributed to, or private pensions you’ve built up.
This is also the time to seriously save and focus on your investments. Ensuring you review your portfolio regularly will mean that your investment strategy is in line with your goals, and takes account of your attitude to risk, which may change over the years.
There’s a lot to think about, and taking financial advice at this stage of your life can make the difference between just about managing in your later years, or enjoying a financially-secure retirement.