How much do I need for retirement in the UK?

by InvestEngine

Retirement is a milestone that many of us look forward to, but planning for it requires careful consideration. One of the key questions that arises is: “How much do I need for retirement in the UK?” Let’s delve into this topic further.

Average Savings

Studies indicate that the average retirement savings in the UK vary widely. On average, individuals have saved around £50,000 to £150,000 by the time they retire. However, it’s crucial to recognize that this amount may not be sufficient for a comfortable retirement, particularly if you wish to maintain or even elevate your current lifestyle.

Length of Retirement

With life expectancy increasing, it’s crucial to plan for a retirement that could potentially span several decades. The average length of retirement in the UK has been steadily increasing, with many individuals now enjoying 20 to 30 years of post-work life. This underscores the importance of having a robust financial plan in place.

Different amounts for different lifestyles

The amount needed for retirement can vary greatly depending on your desired lifestyle. Let’s explore some scenarios:

1. Basic necessities

If you’re aiming for a minimalist lifestyle, focusing primarily on essential needs such as housing, food, and healthcare, a more modest retirement fund may suffice. In this scenario, careful budgeting and prudent financial management can play a significant role in ensuring a comfortable retirement.

2. Comfortable living

For those who want to maintain a similar standard of living to what they had during their working years, a more substantial savings cushion is recommended. This could include funds for travel, hobbies, occasional dining out, and other discretionary expenses. It’s important to factor in potential inflation and rising costs of living.

3. Luxury and travel

If you have dreams of extensive travel, expensive hobbies, or other luxury pursuits, a higher retirement fund is imperative to sustain this lifestyle. This category requires meticulous financial planning, potentially involving investment strategies that offer higher returns.

What is a comfortable retirement income for couples?

Understanding what constitutes a comfortable retirement income for couples is crucial. According to Joslin Rhodes, a financial planning service, a comfortable retirement income for a couple in the UK ranges from £26,000 to £39,000 per year. This allows for a reasonably comfortable lifestyle with some discretionary spending. However, it’s essential to note that your circumstances could be different, and individual preferences vary.

Average household savings in the UK

According to NimbleFins, the average household savings in the UK amount to £8,388. This figure highlights the importance of diligent savings habits to secure a more comfortable retirement.

Factors to Consider

In addition to lifestyle considerations, several other factors can significantly influence your retirement savings needs:

  • Inflation: Consider how inflation might erode the purchasing power of your savings over time. It’s crucial to invest in assets that can potentially outpace inflation.
  • Healthcare costs: As you age, healthcare expenses may increase. Factoring in potential medical costs is crucial, and considering long-term care insurance may be wise.
  • Pension: Include any expected pension payments or government support in your retirement income calculations. This forms a crucial component of your overall retirement income.
  • Investment returns: Depending on your investment strategy, the returns on your savings can significantly impact your retirement fund. Diversification and a long-term investment perspective are key considerations.

Planning for a secure retirement

Getting a good pension might be challenging, which is why it’s prudent to start investing early for a well-prepared retirement. Now is as good a time as any to explore the benefits of investing in an InvestEngine ISA or self-invested personal pension (SIPP)! InvestEngine ISA and InvestEngine SIPPs offer tax-efficient investment opportunities, providing you with the tools to build a secure financial future.


Preparing for retirement involves careful financial management and protective measures. Our step-by-step guide provides invaluable insights on how to ready yourself for this significant life transition. Discover essential tips and strategies in our article: “Step-by-Step Guide to Nearing Retirement in the UK”.

Important information

Capital at risk. The value of your portfolio with InvestEngine can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest. ETF costs also apply.

This communication is provided for general information only and should not be construed as advice. If in doubt you may wish to consult a professional adviser for guidance.

Tax treatment depends on personal circumstances and is subject to change, and past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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