Inspiration story

Less income than 
expected after retirement

They are being overtaken left and right by pensionados on expensive e-bikes. For Jos (71) and Ria (65) that’s not an option. Since they are no longer working, the household finances don't allow it. How did that come about?

‘We're not dejected, but financially things are not so good’

Ria: “There’s nothing pitiful about it because we enjoy every day. But there's no denying that we have misjudged the finances at this stage in life. We can't make it better than it is.”

Jos: “Since I stopped working, we have been living on my pension. Ria had not worked for several years. She didn't need to, because we could get by just fine on my salary. Look, and that’s where we should have done it differently. We never used to calculate how things would be in retirement. In retrospect, not such a good idea.”

‘It has become a sport to find good offers'.

‘I always heard: you won't need so much later on’

Ria: “You always thought that everything was properly arranged, through your work and so on, so I assumed that too. Besides, I always heard: you won’t need so much later on.”
Jos: “But it was in fact properly arranged at my work. I am glad that I was able to build up a supplementary pension there otherwise we would be living now on just my state pension. Your state pension will soon be added and we can make good use of that.”

Tightening the belt

Ria: “When we were both working, we used up what came in and sometimes a bit more, haha. Since we stopped working less money comes in, but the expenses are still the same. That's not right, of course. I did wonder whether I should go back to work, but we both didn't want that. Now it’s time for us. So we'll have to tighten our belts a bit.”
Jos: “We are not even living more frugally, but we are far more aware of what we spend. I always let the contracts with internet and energy suppliers just continue. Now I have examined them and concluded more favourable contacts. We have also been able to reduce the cost of groceries significantly. It has almost become a sport to find special offers.”

Saving doesn’t have to be harsh does it?

Ria: “That opportunity is only available now. When we worked, we didn't have time for that. All in all, we save €200 a month. If we had started doing that years ago, things would be more comfortable now. We manage just fine, but the lesson has been learnt. I often say to younger people in particular: make proper calculations and don't spend everything. Save something too. You will benefit from it a great deal later on.”
Jos: “That's right, and saving doesn't have to be harsh does it? We could even use it for one of those e-bikes, haha. But we don't miss them. They may overtake us, but we'll get to the finish line a lot fitter!”

Our tips: 
1. Have your financial situation properly calculated by an advisor or do this yourself: what will you have to spend later on and is it enough? If not, there are still plenty of things you can do about it.

2. Do not stop working until you know what the consequences are, in 10 years' time too.

3. Watching your spending never hurts. That's something we could have started earlier. The sooner you learn to manage your money, the less likely it is that you will come off the rails.

4. Even if you can afford it, don't buy an e-bike. You'll be a lot fitter!

More information

Questions about your state pension and supplementary pension? Without a doubt.
On the independent site mijnpensioenoverzicht you will find answers. 

Do you want to know when you can stop working?
Find out within five steps. Are you curious to know more? Check here.

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