If you don’t start saving and plans ahead of retirement, maybe you left with just £3.50($4.50) a day to survive.
Channel 5’s new documentary series Britain’s Great Pension Crisis experimented with a couple, who lives in Norwich. They became part of the documentary with Michael Buerk.
Rachel, 47, works in customer engagement and Aaron, 43, as an aviation firefighter at Norfolk airport.
But for a week they live on their savings and were filmed to find out what their current pension savings will buy them.
“Seeing the reality was horrible,” Rachel said.
Aaron added: “It reminded me of going back to childhood when my mom had to scrape around and make meals with whatever she had in the cupboards.
“We coped but the food at the end of the day is about more than just coping.
“Like everybody else I’ve been a bit naïve about my pension because, well, I thought it was all taken care of with my private work pension and the state pension.
“I never really thought about it before.”
The couple spends around £80($103) a week on food and essentials, and it was enough to feed them and their teenage son.
They didn’t expect things so harder.
“We’ll be thin if nothing else,” gasps Rachel, looking at the amount she’s been told she will have to spend on food in retirement.
“It is a real, real shock. A real shock.”
“I can’t live like this when we’re old and retired,” she insisted.
And that’s just the start of their pension reality week.
Rachel and Aaron have big plans, after retirement, they want to go to France to enjoy the sun, wine and want to start a small business to keep them busy.
The hard reality is that many people are not saving for their old age and many more are not saving enough.
Analysis of consumer group shows, to enjoy a “comfortable” retirement, with a few luxuries such as travel, retirees expect to spend around £27,000($35,000) a year.
“Seeing the reality was horrible,” said Rachel. “The grocery envelope was the worst one because you need food and we don’t live extravagantly anyway, we don’t buy flash food, we buy our brands, we don’t shop at the posh supermarkets.
“I mean, we buy real veg and not prepacked stuff. So it was a shock because we didn’t buy anything lavish but we still couldn’t afford it.
“That’s not the retirement we want.”
Rachel and Aaron faced the reality of their finances versus their dreams.
“I and Rachel have the same opinion that the program has helped us out as a couple and as individuals,” said Aaron.
“We do need to concentrate and put more in, instead of putting the least amount in that we can. We need to look at ways to make that affordable now.”
“I feel like I am advertising and selling pensions! I am saying to people ‘please get your documents out and look at them’.
“My son has now gone and opened an Isa and he is only 17 so it has helped us and we have opened the eyes of a lot of our close friends.
“But a lot of people just don’t know what they need to do.
“No one has any idea. We had a pension company in our workplace, they gave us basic information but to get more we had to pay them.
“We don’t have enough money for our pension let alone pay for advice.
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