Now the Budget of 2008 has been announced, despite very strong pre-budget rumours there was only a minor change in relation to higher earners.
The way things are at present with the turmoil in the World Markets, Banks etc., who could be blamed for thinking the sky is falling in, BUT, do not get distracted by the current mania, as serious as it is at present, there are certainties, things will recover and you will retire someday.
Frances O’Hanlon of FOH Mortgages & Investments Ltd advises, “Saving for your retirement is still important, if not more important than ever before and still a very attractive proposition due to the tax breaks.”
She continues, “I know people are afraid and some do not know where to invest but bare this in mind; if you want to play it safe you can do so with a 100% guarantee, and if you are more partial to risk for a potentially higher return, there is some fantastic value available. Remember, pensions are for your eventual retirement so you invest to suit the length of time left to your retirement and your attitude to risk.”
Frances emphasises that accumulating a retirement fund is crucial unless you think you will work forever. “A state pension of €223 per week is unlikely to be sufficient to your needs and it is unknown how much it will be worth when you do eventually retire. One must also bear in mind that the state pension only pays at age 65/66.”
Her advice is not to lose sight of your plans. “Yes, we are going through tough times. Yes, people are more mindful of what they are paying out, but do not discount how your spending power will be affected when you do eventually retire, if you haven’t saved. If you want to know how important a pension is, ask somebody who is retired.”
If you have accumulated a retirement fund already Frances suggests reviewing it. “Don’t stick your head in the sand because you think it has disintegrated in the current turmoil. Make sure you know what situation you are in and how your pension is working for you. – Seek independent advice.”