“Discover what you need to demystify retirement” says the website. That’s part of the problem with pensions: There’s so much to think about, that it really can be difficult to wrap your head around.
The other problem, of course, is that pensions are very boring by their very nature, and are so far off that many people choose not to do anything about their pension now, preferring to do it at “a later date” – a date which far too often comes too later to be able to do anything constructive.
You can tell I have experience of dealing with pensions, can’t you?
So to see that Skipton have their Retire Savvy site up and running, and that it offers lots of information, is a blessing.
Easy to navigate, clearly laid out and using a vocabulary that doesn’t require a degree in advanced Latin to understand, Skipton can be proud of what they have here.
You start by declaring how prepared you feel for retirement – unprepared, half-prepared or fully prepared. Skipton then metaphorically takes you by the hand and leads you through what you need to do.
You start by choosing one of three options that reflect how you feel about being ready for retirement and then you can read various articles written by or about people who are in that position.
There is also a wealth of advice available throughout the website, all accessible via drop down menus.
Straight away my eye was drawn to a couple of areas. Surprisingly hidden under the “Approaching retirement” header, I headed straight for the “Pensions explained” section, and then to the “Retirement planning for families” section.
I say it was surprising to find it titled as Approaching Retirement as I’m in my late 30s (and the sudden realisation has hit me that, aged 37, I now consider myself in my late 30s rather than my mid 30s) and I certainly wouldn’t immediately consider myself as approaching retirement which, with the best will in the world, is thirty years away.
Don’t be fooled though. It’s never too early to be thinking about your pension, and if you are hoping to rely on the state pension then you may want to take a closer look at how much that will bring you in when you finish work. A quick clue: It’s not much.
So why should you look at the site? For starters, although it’s set up and run by Skipton Building Society, it’s done on a non-profit basis. Despite much clicking around, I didn’t see anything that tried to draw me towards a Skipton pension (in fact, I don’t even know if they provide pensions, though I’d assume so), but I should point out that I have ad-blocking software installed, which may account for it.
There’s also a forum which seems fairly active and quite informative, as well as often-updated articles from a variety of sources, all of which bring their own view, opinion and ideas about retirement planning.
Talking of the articles, the vast majority seem to be written in plain English, and appealed to me simply by not droning on forever. I have the attention span of a gnat, and the ability to be able to open an article, have a quick read and move on appeals hugely to me.
They are written by industry experts and journalists, through to everyday people. It also gives financial hits and tips to help you on the road to retirement.
You can sign up to join the retiresavvy community, which only takes 15 seconds according to the website, and when I signed up a few weeks ago it certainly didn’t ask for oodles of information as some sites do.
If nothing else, the retiresavvy website is clear and concise. It offers information for those that want to read up on such things. Realistically, I would imagine using it primarily at the times I am looking at my pension and looking to see what’s best for me, meaning it would be an occasional view every few months.
I was asked to review retiresavvy.skipton.co.uk by Skipton and the Mumsnet Bloggers Network. All views are my own. I was entered into a prize draw to win vouchers as a token of thanks for blogging. View other blogs on this topic here: http://www.mumsnet.com/bloggers/retiresavvy-portal-what-our-bloggers-thought-