Easy ways to save for retirement in the UK

As most people in the UK will likely live longer than their parents, that also means they have many more years of retirement ahead of them. Wonderful if you have savings and can afford a comfortable retirement, but not so great if you can't.

That's why it's important to save for retirement, even if it's just a few pounds a month. If you haven't started yet, or aren't saving as much as you should, here are a few tips to help.

How to Get Started Saving For Retirement

Cut out some non-essentials - While we all love a latte at Costa Coffee or buying a bar of chocolate from the newsagents on the way home from work, when you're buying them every day the money you spend adds up. Cut your purchases of small non-essentials in half every month, and you could be surprised with the £100 a month you suddenly have available to save for retirement.

Downsize your home - If your mortgage is paid off and you are living in a house that's too big for the number of people living in it, downsize and buy something smaller. Invest the money left over, between the sale price of your old home and what you paid for the new one, in a good pension plan.

Invest in property overseas - As property prices in the UK remain stable they're falling in Spain, Portugal and Greece. Now is the time to invest in an apartment or house in many of these economically-depressed countries as, by the time you retire, property prices will likely have gone back up and you can either sell or have a lovely place on the continent to retire to.

Get a loan to pay off credit card debt - If, like 50 percent of the UK, you have credit card debt, apply for a bank loan to pay it off. Even paying interest on a bank loan, your monthly payments will be lower and you'll pay less interest over the loan term than you would to your credit card company. With the money you save on credit card payments every month -- yep, invest in a pension plan.

Don't live beyond your means - A large percentage of people in the UK live beyond their means. They live in houses they can't afford, drive expensive cars they don't need, buy wardrobes full of new clothes and garages full of toys, all the while saving no money for retirement. Stop!

Start thinking about things you need to live and not things you want. You don't need a three-bedroom house for a family of three. You can wear an outfit more than the two or three times and, no, you really don't need a BMW or a Mercedes so you can impress Fred next door.

Sell all the things you don't need and only buy the things you do. Add a couple of small luxury items a month, so you don't feel too deprived and, with the hundreds of pounds a month you are now saving. plus the money you've made from all the stuff you've sold, increase your retirement account.

After all, when you retire, wouldn't you rather be sipping a sangria on a nice sunny beach in Majorca than stuck in a house in rainy Sheffield you still haven't paid off and can't afford?

Saving a few pounds a month is a great start

If you haven't started to save for retirement, start now. Even a few pounds a month over the next 20-30 years can add up to hundreds of thousands by the time you retire.

Stop making excuses as to why you can't save for retirement and just do it. It's not as hard as it sounds.

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