Building a retirement pot can often seem like a big feat to overcome, but it is possible with careful thought. Although there are likely to be setbacks and difficulties along the way, preparing for them will ultimately be the best course of action. A top expert has taken inspiration from the Antarctic expedition of Roald Amundsen – the first man to reach the South Pole 111 years ago – to devise a new retirement planning strategy.

While it may seem like an odd point of comparison, there could be vital lessons to be learned from this key historical moment in retirement planning. spoke exclusively to Rob Gardner, Chief Investment Officer at St James’ Place Wealth Management, who outlined five steps to help Britons on their retirement journey.

Firstly, Britons should start their retirement planning by charting their course – regularly checking their pension to see if they are on the right track.

Mr Gardner said: “A good rule of thumb is to have a pot worth ten times your annual salary when you retire, which sounds like a lot but is achievable by starting early and breaking it down into simple steps.

“By your late thirties, you should aim to have a pot equal to three times your annual salary. At this time in life, you may be tempted to put off saving for retirement, especially if you have children and a mortgage.

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“But if, like Amundsen, you stay on course and have the discipline to stick to your savings plan, you’ll have a better chance of creating the retirement of your dreams.

“In your 40s, your savings goal should be six times your annual salary by the time you reach age 50. Earnings often peak during this decade, giving you the opportunity to take advantage of resources financial resources to make greater progress towards your retirement goal.”

However, along the same lines, having a clear financial plan is not enough, and Brits should always expect the unexpected.

Before embarking on a money-saving journey, it will be important for individuals to have a base layer of financial resilience to build upon throughout their lives.

While people may indeed face hurdles on the road, it’s important to be prepared for them, and Gardner suggested setting up an emergency fund separate from savings for that very purpose.

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Although it may seem like a challenge, once a person gets into the habit with a few lifestyle tweaks, it might be easier than they think.

Mr Gardner also recommended reducing in certain ways, such as revising memberships, cutting restaurant meals and suspending gym memberships to help Britons achieve their goals.

Third, those planning their retirement should always be consistent with their goals.

Mr Gardner continued: “With a plan in place and your contingency fund topped up to ensure you can weather the storms on the expedition ahead, you are ready to set out on your journey.

“For a comfortable retirement, you want to set aside 15-20% of your salary, which at first glance may seem like a challenge of the proportions of an Antarctic expedition.

“But if you think like Amundsen, you’ll be happy to know that it’s achievable with one small step – or one change in behavior – done consistently, over decades, like trading in what you’d spend on your daily coffee bought on the way to work, which can make a latte difference to your future self.

If someone contributes £100 a month to their pension, including National Insurance, that works out to £1,320 a year, £13,200 over a decade – or £20,000 if invested for the long term.

Maintaining that over an entire 40-year career could mean an ultimate retirement pot of a hefty £300,000.

Mr Gardener said a fourth action point is to learn from the experts for a safe retirement journey.

Seeking retirement advice could help Brits plan their future life extensively, when it comes to reviewing, planning and even adjusting their finances.

Financial advice is essential even after a person has reached their retirement “destination”, he said.

Indeed, Britons will also need to manage and monitor their spending rate once they leave the labor market and stop earning.

As a final action point for retirement, Mr Gardner suggests respecting the environment – as it’s something people can easily forget.

He explained: “Your pension is invested in companies around the world and the behavior of these companies has a huge impact on the well-being of our planet.

“Investing your retirement in a sustainable and responsible way has 27 times more impact on the environment than flying less, eating less red meat or cycling to work.

“So for a comfortable retirement in a world worth living in, be a good explorer and leave the path in a way that future generations would like to find it, by asking your human resources department how your fund pension funds are investing your money, and if they aren’t already, ask them to invest it responsibly.”

This so-called Amundsen Method can be perfect for those planning for retirement as it considers long-term approaches to its goals.

Mr. Gardner concluded by urging people to focus more on this factor, rather than on external issues such as their salary.

This allows individuals to think about how they will respond to challenges, which are much easier to overcome when a person is planned and prepared.


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