This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure for more information.
A common misconception is that all long-term travellers and digital nomads do is make and spend money. In fact, there are many of us who are doing both those things and more – we’re saving money, and for good reason. Today, I’m going to talk about one of the most important reasons to be saving your money, whether you’re on the road long-term or just hustling from home: retirement.
A huge thank you to PensionBee for sponsoring this post and helping me convey the importance of thinking about saving for your retirement now rather than regret it 50 years down the line!
The UK became one of the first countries in the world to require employers to enrol employees into a workplace pension automatically in 2012. However, what this neglects is the millions of young people diving into the world of entrepreneurism and self-employment, hustling for themselves without an employer to handle their taxes, benefits and more.
Inevitably, this means that the large majority of us seizing our own lives are also left at a loss when it comes to planning for retirement – or worse yet, completely oblivious to the importance of pension planning at all.
Why Have a Pension?
If you’re living the high life as a digital nomad or working remotely from the comfort of your own home, you may be wondering why you really need to prioritise saving for retirement. After all, if you’re already living the dream, why do you need to put money aside to continue doing so?
Here are a few reasons:
The fact is, circumstances change. What you love doing now will probably not be what you love doing 10 years from now, let alone 30 or 40 years along the line. Failing to plan puts yourself in an uncomfortable position years from now if you want a change of career, location or lifestyles, and don’t have the funds to do so.
Putting money into a pension pot now means that you always have options, no matter what you decide to do later in life.
Travel without the Work
The digital nomad lifestyle is great, but let’s face it, the work is the worst bit. Who wants to be shut inside a hot, busy cafe when you could be surfing at the beach, really? If you put money aside for your pension now, you could be looking at an early retirement that leaves you with the money to be able to sustainably travel without having to work at the same time.
Preparing for Old Age
When you’re 25, it’s hard to see yourself at age 70 and unable to do some of the things you can do now. I want to believe that I can climb, scuba dive, surf and everything else for decades, but we can never predict the future – we can only prepare for it.
Of course, all self-employed entrepreneurs have the dream of making millions a few years from now and never having to worry about their pension pot, but let’s veer on the side of caution for once. Putting money aside for the days where you can’t work as hard and fast as you’d like (or when you don’t want to!) is a sensible idea, that’s clear as day.
For many of us, we know that starting to save for retirement early is a good idea. The real problem is knowing exactly how much to actually put aside each month. Is £50 enough? 10% of your income?
Well, let me introduce you to PensionBee’s Pension Calculator which is about to make everything a lot clearer.
The Pension Calculator allows you to enter how much you want to receive annually when you retire, your current age and desired retirement age, and current monthly pension contributions. It will then tell you the projected amount you will receive each year after retirement with your current rate of contributions – allowing you to see whether you need to up your pension contributions, or if you’re right on target.
In the above picture, I can see what if I contribute just £250 to my pension every month with no employer contribution (the downside of being self-employed!), I’m on track to receive £21,496 per year if I retire at age 65.
I honestly found this tool so enlightening. Just seeing those figures gave me a kick I didn’t know I needed – and I’m willing to bet it’ll do the same for a lot of you, too.
Head on over to the Pension Calculator to see how your current pension contributions matchup (and if you’re not paying anything yet, see what you need to start contributing now instead!).
More About PensionBee
PensionBee offer services that I think are really invaluable to people like myself who have switched several jobs already in just a few years.
When you’re self-employed, you are responsible for setting up your pension, making your own contributions – everything. But when you’re employed, your employer automatically enrols you with a pension company, you start receiving confusing looking letters that you probably don’t open, and then you leave. So what happens to that pension? Well, if you don’t find it, it just ends up sitting there, lost.
PensionBee combines all your old pensions into one new online plan, so if like me, you were automatically enrolled in multiple new pension schemes while you job-hopped trying to find your feet, you can combine all those old pension pots into one single plan.
You can find out more about PensionBee here, and see if their plans are suitable for you!
Saving for Retirement
So you know how much you need to start saving, ideally. When I used the Pension Calculator, I was quite honestly horrified.
I wasn’t saving anything specifically for retirement – I just save when and where I can for a ‘rainy day’. So finding out that I should ideally be putting away a minimum of £200 a month now was a shock, to say the least.
Sometimes, we just don’t have the wiggle room in our current budgets to start putting away that extra amount. We have to adjust our spending and even consider upping our income. A few ways you could try to increase your retirement savings now could include:
Start Side Hustling
Do you have a side hustle that brings you in a little extra income on the side? If so, great! Now’s the time to put in a few more hours each week and see if you can up that income anymore – and put any extra straight into those savings.
If you don’t have a side hustle yet, I’ve got you covered my friend. Check out these posts to get started:
Whether you’re a digital nomad living in the remotest of places, or you’re enjoying remote life from the comfort of your own home, there are always costs that can be cut:
– Try working from home (or your apartment) rather than spending money on coffee and cake while working in cafes
– If you are on the other side of the world, make sure you’re not paying for any traditional living costs (bills, phones, cars, gym memberships etc) that you’re not even using! It’s worth checking in case you’ve forgotten any charges.
Travel on a Budget
Digital nomads differ from backpackers in that our trips don’t necessarily have a time limit, and we’re not forced to live on the cheap (we’re working for the privilege of living wherever we want after all!)
However, thinking like a budget traveller really pays off when you need to save a little money. Check out these posts for my top tips on travelling on a budget – without sacrificing fun on your travels…
Your turn! Have you thought about saving for retirement yet? What tricks have you used to free up some more savings in your budget? Let me know in the comments below!
This post has been written in collaboration with PensionBee who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. With pensions, your capital is at risk. The value of your pension with PensionBee can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you started with. This article is sponsored by PensionBee, but all opinions are my own.