As the mother of a busy two year old, the thought of putting myself first, let alone saving for my own retirement is far-fetched to say the least. Between nursery school fees, extra-curricular activities, putting a roof over her head and healthy food in her body, saving for myself? Yeah right!

I remember the first time that we travelled together overseas, it was right before I was due to return to work after being on maternity leave. I was so excited to shop for my baby girl and to pick up a few things for myself to spruce up my “new mom” wardrobe. If you have a daughter, then you know just how much fun (and expensive) shopping for them can be. Between the bright colors and beautiful prints, it’s very easy to overspend. We won’t even begin to talk about the matching mommy & me outfits – I am absolutely “that” mom. After a successful day one (or so I thought) we arrived back at our hotel when I realized that the only thing I had purchased for myself was a lip gloss. Before becoming a mom, I would enjoy travelling at least twice per year just to shop for myself – my, has life changed.

72% of parents admit to putting their children’s needs before their own, but that’s what you’re supposed to do right? Many parents put things such as saving for their own retirement on the back burner, and instead focus on opening a savings account or starting a college fund for their new bundle of joy. While these are both important to ensuring that you are giving your children the best possible future, what about planning for your own? It’s easy to get absorbed in saving for your child, but if your own financial retirement needs are not made a priority, you could end up becoming a financial burden to your loved ones.

There is nothing quite like becoming a parent that will make you focus on the here and now, and cherish every single second, but now more than ever you should be planning for your own comfortable retirement. Your spend nine months preparing for the arrival of your new family member, and then once they have made their entrance into the world, it’s almost like you blink and they are off to college. One minute you are planning birthday parties and play dates and then before you know it they are planning a party to celebrate your retirement.

Your lifestyle, income and financial obligations are a few of the factors that affect your ability to save, and not just for retirement. With the perpetual rise in essentials such as basic utilities and groceries, saving may seem like an unobtainable goal, but being consistent and setting aside an amount that works within your budget, is essential in affording you a more comfortable retirement.

If you own your own home free and clear once you retire, then you are fortunate. Imagine trying to afford a rent or mortgage payment while on a much more fixed income then what you are used to. Factor in the basics such as utilities and groceries; how about affording that vacation with the rest of your family? Buying your grandchildren a birthday present or treating yourself, because after all you are living in your golden years right? Think about how hard you work for your money now, wouldn’t it be great to enjoy that money while you no longer have to work?

For myself, I have made it a priority to set aside a little each month to build up my own nest egg. At the end of each month when I sit down to pay my bills, I pay the most important one first – myself. All things considered, sometimes this is easier said than done, however with my experience working in the insurance industry and being exposed to different pension products, I know firsthand the importance of saving as much as possible for the future. While the pension plan that is available to you through your employer is a fantastic benefit, having a separate plan for retirement allows you the flexibility to access additional funds when you might just need them the most.

Danielle Pacheco is a Pension Sales Advisor at Freisenbruch-Meyer Insurance Services. If you would like any further details please contact her at dpacheco@fmgroup.bm or call 294-4660.

 

 

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