Newstalk
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17.45 7 Oct 2015


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“Time is the only luxury, it’s the only thing that you can’t get back” - so said rapper and self-styled visionary Kanye West when lecturing at Oxford University earlier in this year.

While Mr West can be a divisive character, he has a point here - time is a luxury which is often taken for granted.

Most people spend their 20s and 30s grafting, thinking about getting the right job, the right house, the right car, the right partner - not their pension payments.

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These are the things that dominate their day-to-day existence, it can be hard to think much further ahead than your next mortgage payment, or city break - but there can be big pay-offs when you do.

The working population think people should start planning for their retirement at age 36, but retired people say it should be at age 30.

Today’s young(ish) 9-to-5ers imagine themselves living relaxed, leisurely lives in their post-working years, but many are not taking the basic first steps to make that future a reality.

The state pension is currently just €230 per week, and if you are in your 30s now, it will only be payable to you from the age of 68.

When people are asked why they haven't started a pension - one of the reasons that they often give is that the idea of starting a pension is intimidating, and that it seems overly-complicated.

The upsides of starting your pension in your 20s or 30s are pretty uncomplicated, the sooner you start saving, the more time that you have to build up a fund that will keep you comfortable when you reach retirement age.

Think of it as lending to your 'future self' at a discounted rate. There’s always something else to spend your money on today - but what a lot of people don't realise are the tax benefits which starting a pension offers.

For example, if you are an average worker in your 30s and in the lower income tax band - for every €100 of your monthly pay that you put into a pension, you get €20 back in income tax relief - meaning that you only pay €80 to save €100. Some workers can get this relief on 15% of their monthly income.

And if you are paying the higher tax rate, then for every €100 paid into your pension most people will get €40 back in tax relief - meaning that the €100 that you save for 'future you' only costs €60 today out of your pay cheque.

Getting started doesn’t have to be a scary process - you are only a few clicks, or taps away from Irish Life’s easy-to-use pension calculator. We have found this to be a goodfirst step in mapping-out a pension plan.

Once you’ve got a feel for the numbers, you can sit down with a financial advisor or broker and decide what type of plan will work best for you.

When you stop putting it off you'll realise how easy it is to get up and running.

Your 'future self' will thank you sometime.

Check out the Irish Life easy-to-use pension calculator here.

 


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