We live fairly frugally tbh but we do enjoy travelling, this year with covid we actually stayed in Ireland for the now famous "staycation". @peemac , out of curiosity, did you have sort of a budget for "kids college" before realizing you didn't need one? Where do you spend this money now? (I know it's a bit intrusive but I'm quite curious about someone with a similar situation)
Never had a "college fund" and had recession issues in business. Only since a tracker redress 3 years ago have things really moved well on all fronts.
But my plan for retirement is to be a compere/ MC primarily for charity events. So that is taking some learning (toastmasters) and will be another 4-5 years before I can call myself professional. Would have liked to have done this 10 years ago as the little I've done has been really enjoyable.
Got involved in couple of other areas just to have interests well away from work and now looking at getting into hiking / walking more seriously.
Some interests are solely for myself, some are for both of us.
Hence, investment for your future is not always about finance.
As for spending - bought an escape pad without mortgage that is also rented from easter to September and should earn 10% net return.
It's very clear that you and your spouse should only contribute to a pension when you get 40% tax relief. The reason for this is as follows: As your career progresses, you will move into a higher tax bracket and you can contribute your money to your pension then and get 40% relief on it. There is no point in getting 20% relief when you can get 40% relief.
There is a concept in retirement planning called cost of delay.
It is relatively simple to prove that a younger person making modest savings into a pension will have a larger pension fund at retirement than an older person who saves more and obtains higher tax relief simply because of the impact of compound interest.
pension planning is a function of
how much you save
When you start saving
Your tax rates pre and post retirement
How much risk you take
Less the costs you pay
Should I pay off my mortgage first or put the money into my pension? There is a lot to be said in terms of emotional peace of mind from clearing debts and in particular expensive consumer debts like credit cards and car loans.