Couples typically need £26,000 and single people need £19,000 a year for a comfortable retirement, new research reveals. This amount would cover essential bills plus regular short haul holidays, leisure activities, alcohol and charity giving. 

A couple would have to save private pensions worth £154,700 between them to hit their retirement target, while an individual would need to build a pot worth £192,290, according to the study by consumer group Which? That is based on people investing their pension at 65 and drawing it down over 20 years, with investment growth of 3%, inflation at 1% and charges of 0.75%.

A single person needs to save much more into private pensions to account for only having one state pension, and only benefiting from one tax-free personal allowance. The amount of savings required is also much higher if you want your income to be guaranteed until you die, by buying an annuity rather than relying on stock market returns, which can be very volatile.

A couple would need combined savings of £265,420 to buy an annuity at 65, not including inflation and paying 50% to the surviving partner, to help them generate the target sum. An individual would require a pot worth £305,710 to buy an annuity that helped them reach their target income. People need to save even more for a luxurious retirement, defined by Which? as including long haul holidays to farther flung destinations, health club membership, expensive meals out and a new car every five years. Couples need £41,000 a year to achieve this kind of lifestyle, while single people need £31,000.

About the Author: Glen Callow

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