When Should You Start Retirement Planning?

‘How do I plan for my retirement?’ is a question few people under 30 are likely to ponder with any great regularity. However, if you’re planning to retire in comfort, it can pay to start your financial planning for retirement as early as possible. So, just when should you start retirement planning? Hilltop explains how and when to start planning for retirement here.

What Is Retirement Planning?

Retirement planning is about ensuring you’ll have enough funds to live comfortably in your senior years. Even if that seems a dim and distant prospect, it pays to draw up some decisive retirement plans in your younger years; the sooner, the better. Because the earlier you start, the less you need to set aside each month, and the harder your savings will work for you in the long run, thanks to compound interest (more on this later). 

Why Is Retirement Planning Important?

Pension income planning isn’t just important; it’s potentially the most significant investment you’ll ever make in yourself. The State Pension age will increase from 66 to 67 by 2028, rising to 68 by 2046. This means late Gen X-ers, Millennials and Gen Z will need to work longer to access it. Though you can start drawing a pension at age 55, you probably wouldn’t dream of touching those funds unless you had enough saved to cover the intervening years until your State Pension kicked in. The earlier you formulate a plan to retire, the better off you’ll be.

Is It Good To Start A Retirement Plan Early?

So, is it a good idea to start a retirement plan early, and at what age should you start planning for retirement? The short answers are yes and as early as possible. A retirement plan essentially maps out your retirement income goals as well as how (and if) you can achieve them. It covers everything from assessing your income and outgoings to determining a manageable savings strategy and managing your assets according to your attitude to risk. 

Of course, the ongoing cost of living crisis, soaring rental costs, and stalling wages in the face of sky-high inflation represent just a few of the barriers currently facing young British workers. These might understandably push pensions further down the pecking order and make saving precious funds for an uncertain future increasingly less appealing. However, doing nothing raises an altogether bleaker picture for the future.  

According to Unbiased, around 25% of people nearing retirement age risk not having enough money to enjoy their ideal retirement. They’ll get by, sure, but it won’t be as comfortable – or fun – as it could have been. It’s also worth noting that any pension contributions you make that come directly from your salary won’t be taxed either.

So whatever your age, start your retirement planning now – your future self will thank you for it! Rather than a pointless, tedious exercise, retirement planning lets you maximise your ‘tax-free freedom fund’ (or pension!).      

Is It Too Late To Save For Retirement At 30? 

It’s never too late to save for retirement, whether it be 30, 40 or even 50. Although, the later you leave it, the more you’ll need to save each month to grow your nest egg. Pension savers in their 20s have a distinct advantage over older savers: time. Nothing illustrates that better than that thing called compound interest. This is essentially when your interest earns interest, compounding your returns exponentially with every year that passes. 

So, even if you start saving a modest amount each month in the early years of your career, you’re still likely to be better off than someone who saves larger sums later on in life. If you’re reading this and are in your 30s or 40s, don’t despair. You can certainly compensate for lost time with the proper guidance and measures. The key is to act swiftly to make your future as bright as possible. This is where retirement planning can be invaluable.    

What Is The Best Way To Start Planning For Retirement? 

The best way to start planning for retirement is to speak with a regulated financial adviser as soon as possible. According to research by Unbiased, a fifth of Brits (21%) say they have no private pension savings beyond the State Pension. Worryingly, though, those same figures show that the problem is even more acute in under 35s, with just under a quarter (24%) admitting to saving nothing towards their pension – even in the age of auto-enrolment. Acting now by consulting a financial adviser can help you to buck this trend and start saving effectively.

Hilltop Financial Planning: Retirement Planning Specialists

It’s never too late to start your retirement planning. Where there’s a will, there’s always a way. However, it goes without saying that the sooner you start planning and saving for retirement, the better your prospects will be – even if you’re nearing retirement. Hilltop’s specialised retirement planning experts can help you to make confident choices about your pension and retirement, so you can retire as comfortably as possible.

If you’d like more advice about retirement planning or to arrange a consultation, please contact us on 0161 413 7051. We’re open 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4pm on Fridays. Hilltop is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Our advisers have over 100 years of combined experience and knowledge of working with people like you and helping them to make the most of their finances.

Important information: Our website offers information about investing and saving, but not personal advice. If you’re not sure which services are right for you, please request advice from Hilltop’s independent financial advisers. Remember that investments can go up and down in value, so you could get back less than you put in.

Hi there!

We just need to take a few more details to understand what we can help you with and when is convenient for us to call you back. Gives you a chance to pop the kettle on ☕


What would you like our expert advice on?

Purple piggy bank with a pile of coins behind it


Pile of coins in the middle of a graph


Pension Drawdown Advice


pension transfers



Is there any advice in particular?

Bar chart graph


Pension drawdown


Pension consolidation


Pension Consolidation


Twisting gear

Not Sure


Finally, just pop your details here and we’ll be in touch