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  • Lucy Warwick-Ching

Can you afford to retire when you want to?

Andrea Woodhouse, a 57-year-old lawyer at Aviva, wishes someone had sat her down in her twenties and told her to put as much money into her pension as she possibly could.

When I started out in my career I didn’t stop to think about how I would fund my retirement,” says Ms Woodhouse. “I was focused on saving for a house and then on paying the mortgage. But had I started saving earlier — even just a small amount each month in my twenties — I would have a lot more choice over when to retire.”

She is one of millions of people in their forties and fifties facing difficult decisions about spending and savings as they start to think about what their retirement could look like.

“If I’d known more about the benefits of saving into a pension — the fact that most employers match employee contributions — I would have started saving into a pension earlier,” says Ms Woodhouse, who finds herself in the difficult position of having to pay for her youngest child’s rent at university but has also had to take out a loan to build an annexe on the side of her home for her elderly parents to live in.


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