Clare Lush, My Tunbridge Wells, on pensions

Written by Rebecca O'Connor on 11th Sep 2018

Hundreds of thousands of women choose a part-time, self-employed life to be around for their children. One of the many sacrifices they make to do so is often their own retirement savings. But with a pension pot for a “comfortable” retirement at £210,000 per couple, according to Which?, this is a compromise too far.

Good With Money, in partnership with PensionBee and some of the UK’s top Mum bloggers including Clemmie Telford, Mother of All Lists, has launched a campaign to encourage Mums who do not have a current pension of any kind, to think about their own futures too and start saving as much as they can.


Here’s what Clare Lush, founder of My Tunbridge Wells, said when Good With Money asked her a few candid questions…

And just so you know you can see how much saving a bit now can generate for you in retirement by having an experiment with this calculator

Clare Lush, founder of My Tunbridge Wells

Did you know you need a £210k retirement pot to generate a basic income in retirement?

I didn’t know this. It sounds like a lot of money and I’m worried I have left it a bit late!?

Have you got a pension?

I haven’t ever had a pension. Moving from one PR job to another after finishing University, none of the companies I worked for offered a pension scheme and although I did look into joining an independent one when I was approaching my 30’s, I was advised to wait until the Government’s automatic enrolment workplace scheme came into play. 

Unfortunately I had left employment to become self employed when the scheme launched officially  and since becoming self employed three years ago, setting up a pension has been on my ‘to do’ list but I have never taken the steps to set it up.   

If so, is it – a former workplace pension? Your own private pension? Both?

I’m guessing the only pension I will be eligible for is the government’s state pension? Assuming I will be eligible for this?

Do you worry about not having enough money when you retire?


If not, why not?

I tend not to think too far ahead and as quite an optimistic person, I hope that property investments (just our family home at the moment), inheritance (as much as I don’t want to think about that) or future business ventures (I told you I’m optimistic) will provide us with a good standard of living in retirement.  

I guess in some ways I will rely on my husband’s pension too. Also I earn a living through my blog and see this as something I could do far beyond the recommended retirement age. Obviously I don’t plan to be writing the same blog when I am 80, but hope to be able to have an ongoing income from online activity for years to come. Perhaps this is all naive and I am burying my head in the sand though. Now that I’m 36 years old, I really do need to get a pension in place.

If so, how much of a priority is it for you?

It is becoming a priority more and more now. I am about to have my third (and final) child and feel like this will be a turning point for me and will hopefully motivate me to get my finances in order, including setting up a pension once I have started working again.

If you don’t have a pension pot or a very small one, can you describe how this makes you feel?

Day to day, I try not to think about it. But when I do think about it, it makes me feel a bit anxious, disorganised, slightly ashamed and a tad bit irresponsible. I know these are strong words but when I really think about it  – why haven’t I set it up before now?

If you do not have a pension pot or a very small one, do you anticipate you will live off your husband or partner’s pension?

I will definitely be starting a pension of my own, but he has been paying into his since he was 19, so I assume it will be significantly more than mine, even if I start today. So yes, his pension will be a big part of our income when retired but I hope to contribute too.

Can you afford to save, say, £100 into a pension a month? 

Yes! I expect my income to decline for the first few months after having my baby (due at the start of December) but once it is back to normal, I could afford to save £100 into a pension per month. 

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