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Renters need £185,000 extra in retirement

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Those still renting by the time they retire will need an extra £185,000 in their pension pots, according to research from Royal London.

The research comes days after the ‘family resources survey’ from the Department for Work and Pensions found that the proportion of 35 to 54-year-olds who live as private tenants has nearly doubled in 10 years since 2006/07. There had been a particular rise in 45 to 50-year-old renters often prompted by debt or divorce.

Royal London estimates the average earner needs a pension pot of around £260,000 today in order to make sure they can maintain their standard of living into retirement. Although people have fewer expenses in retirement, the insurer estimates that most will need two-thirds of their gross wages before they retire.

The pension ‘mountain’ has grown by around 75% in real terms since 2002/03. This is partly because we are living longer and partly because interest rates are much lower. This means retirees need a bigger pot to create the same level of income. However, it has dropped from its 2017 peak as annuity rates have improved.

The Royal London figures assume that people stop work at 65, use their pension pot to buy an annuity and are entitled to the full state pension to top up their savings.

However, before renters despair, there are alternative ways of looking at the problem. Research by Boring Money crunched the numbers on buying versus renting a one-bedroom flat in Fulham.

The flat would cost around £500,000 with a deposit of £80,000. That is equivalent to a mortgage of £1,781 per month. You could rent the same flat for around £1,400 per month. If you saved the £381 difference into the stock market, assuming a return of 5% per year, you would have a pot of £227,000 after 25 years.

This would give you the extra £185,000 you need, plus a little extra. However, you would need to be disciplined about saving the difference.

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