At What Age Should We Begin Planning for Retirement?

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

When it comes to retirement planning, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Everyone has different circumstances and goals that need to be taken into consideration when making a plan. That said, there is some general advice about when we should start planning for retirement. In this article, I’ll outline the key considerations and provide some case examples of how these can be applied in various situations.

Your Retirement Goals Will Depend on Your Circumstances

When deciding when to begin retirement planning, it’s important to consider your own individual circumstances. This will determine what your goals are and how much you need to save in order to achieve them. There are several things that you should take into account before making any decisions:

  • How long do you expect your working life to be? The longer you plan to work, the more time you have available to build your savings and investments.
  • How much money do you need in order to support yourself during retirement? This depends largely on your lifestyle – if you’re hoping for a comfortable retirement with plenty of leisure activities then you may find that a larger sum of money is required than if you simply want enough money for basic necessities.
  • What kind of investments or pension plans do you have in place? These will play an important role in determining how much money is available at retirement age.
  • Are there any other sources of income such as property or investments that could supplement your pension? These may also need to be taken into consideration when making a plan for the future.

When Should You Start Planning For Retirement?

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In general, it’s recommended that people begin thinking about their retirement strategy from around the age of 30 onwards – although this does depend on individual circumstances as outlined above. By starting early, individuals have more time available to save up sufficient funds and make informed decisions regarding their finances throughout their lifetime – helping them ensure they have enough money set aside once they reach retirement age. It also enables them to take advantage of compound interest over longer periods of time – resulting in greater returns on investment than if they had started later on in life (assuming all other factors remain equal).

Case Examples: At What Age Should We Begin Planning for Retirement?

Example 1: Young Professional With Ambitious Goals

In this example, we consider a young professional aged 25 who has ambitious goals for the future including travelling extensively during retirement and owning property abroad. As such, it would be advisable for them to begin planning from an early age by setting aside approximately 10% of their monthly income towards savings and investments each month, from the age of 25 onwards (with careful consideration given as regards taxation). They should also review their portfolio regularly so they can adjust it according to any changes in market conditions or personal circumstance, which may occur over time. Additionally, they may benefit from seeking financial advice. This, so they can gain insights into different options which could potentially increase returns on investment, without taking excessive risks with their capital.

Example 2: Older Couple With Limited Time To Save

In this example we consider an older couple who are both approaching 60 years old but who haven’t saved anything towards their pension yet, due solely down to limited funds available up until now, due to childcare costs etc.. Given their age profile and limited amount of time left until reaching state pensionable ages (in the UK) it’s likely that saving at least 10% per month (as mentioned above) won’t suffice, meaning additional strategies such as downsizing properties may be necessary. Alongside that, investing their remaining funds wisely (for example through bonds and funds). Moreover, given current economic circumstances, increased inflation means higher costs associated with living, so caution must still apply even though short term savings windows may exist, allowing them access to larger amounts quickly if needed..

Example 3: Single Person Who Is Self Employed

In this scenario we look at someone aged 40 who is self employed but hasn’t saved anything towards their pension, yet due mainly down to being busy running their business and a lack of knowledge regarding financial matters. In terms of suggestions, here again 10% per month would be ideal, however, depending upon income levels, this may not always be feasible, meaning additional measures must be implemented such as finding ways of reducing expenditure where possible while still increasing income through more efficient use of resources and outsourcing certain aspects of operations etc… Furthermore, given the self employed nature, this person might wish to seek out legal advice with regards to tax implications of pensions etc. Plus, look for ways to protect assets against inheritance tax etc thereby ensuring maximum returns possible at post-retirement stages.


Ultimately when comes retirements planning there isn’t a definitive answer; everyone needs think carefully of their own individual circumstances to develop a suitable strategy accordingly, in order to achieve their desired outcome whilst keeping risks as low as possible. However, generally speaking, starting early is advantageous, especially for those ambitious goals and providing greater opportunity to grow wealth prior to reaching state pensionable ages, hence why most experts recommend beginning the process circa 30 years old.

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