Wealth and Retirement
Clearly if you want to retire when you want to, rather than having to work until you drop, then you will need the financial security and freedom to do so.
Many people assume automatically that what controls when they can retire is how much money they have earned during their life. Sure, it would be crazy to deny that earnings have an impact on when you can retire, but much more important is what you do with the money you earn over the course of your life.
Earn a million and spend a million on something other than property and you won't be retiring any time soon. Earn £20,000 a year and build up a pension over 40 years and financial security may well be yours (particularly as you probably had a final salary scheme back when you started!)
The bottom line is: if you want to control when you retire, then you need to control your money and how you use it now.
If you want to have enough money to retire, then there are two probable avenues to go down. One is to speculate on property (risky). The other is to use your tax breaks and save in a pension. Save as much as you can. If your employer contributes or matches what you put in, then make sure that you give the maximum amount that you can.
As explained in our article on compound interest, the sooner you start saving into a pension and the more you put in, the effect on the final amount you have is genuinely massive.
With your pension as the major savings vehicle you use for investment, there is nothing to stop you from using other methods too to ensure you are wealthy enough to retire. For instance the stock market historically returns well over longer periods of time, and also consider using ISAs and so on to ensure tax advantages available to you are used.