Retirement planning doesn’t have to be complicated. Work out exactly how much your dream retirement is going to cost with this simple retirement calculator. 

All the hard work has been done for you using up-to-date industry figures and average retirement spending along with our own research to provide you with simple calculations to help you budget for the kind of retirement you want.

How to use our retirement calculator

To start, select ‘Basic retirement costs’ and then simply tick the box for each of the items you want to add to your retirement budget. We’ve included some items with sliders, so you can increase or decrease your spending in those areas to suit your needs.

Singles Retirement Calculator

The retirement and lifestyle costs in this calculator are based on a single person using current UK figures. Visit our couples retirement cost calculator for adjusted costs for a couple.

Download our Definitive Guide to Comfortable Retirement today for more information about how much you’ll need to retire.

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Comfortable Retirement Guide link

Working out how much your retirement will cost – our assumptions

This calculator is designed to be used a general guide, it can be a useful tool for retirement planning but it’s not designed to replace professional, tailored advice.  We used part research, part average figures to work out these costs details of which can be found here:

Basic Retirement Costs

We’ve used the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Minimum Income Standard to set our basic retirement costs. This figure is for a single pensioner and was updated in 2018. Basic retirement costs cover the minimum amount that is needed to have an acceptable living standard. The figure is set by focus groups that represent the general public within defined demographic brackets.

The figures allow £7345.78 per year for Housing and household goods – this includes council tax and utilities as well as rent or mortgage interest payments. If you have paid off your mortgage you may find that this figure is too high – remember these figures are based on averages and this calculator is designed as a guide.


Home maintenance & redecoration

The basic retirement costs allow for bills and rental payments, but research carried out by showed that the average person in the UK spends £1081 a year on tradesmen with a further £505 on decorating and £203 on DIY. It can be a significant cost for single people and couples (see our couple retirement calculator).

Own a dog

We’re known as a nation of dog lovers. Our four-legged friends have been known to improve your mental health, get you out and about, and may even hold the key to a restful night’s sleep! But all that unconditional love and companionship is not without its cost. The cost of food, treats, vet bills and pet insurance can easily mount up. with pet charity PDSA estimating that the cost of having a dog can average up to £2750 per year over its lifetime.


Gardening can help reduce anxiety, depression and help keep you trim, and has also been shown to improve life satisfaction, quality of life, and foster a sense of community. According to a 2016 survey by Policy Expert, Brits spend an average of £345 per year on plants and ornaments.

TV Package (Sky/Virgin/BT)

It’s definitely worth shopping around for deals on TV packages as they can be fairly pricey. If you already have Amazon Prime for their delivery service you get access to their on-demand TV and film service as part of your package. We’ve budgeted for a mid-range Sky or Virgin package at £40 a month.

Recreation and Leisure

Spending on recreation shouldn’t be overlooked, especially in retirement. Often retiring can move you away from a workplace environment with a built-in social support network, therefore enjoying activities that foster new connections in retirement is incredibly important. The activities you choose in retirement can impact your happiness and several are even proven to improve your health and mental well-being

Research for the Office of National Statistics in 2017 revealed that households in the 65-to-74-year-old age group spent nearly a fifth of their total spending on recreation and culture.

Gym Membership

Staying active in retirement is incredibly important for your general health and longevity. Twice weekly strength training is recommended by the NHS to reduce frailty and improve mobility in old age. In the UK, a gym membership will set you back, on average £500 a year.

Yoga twice a week

Yoga has numerous benefits for health and wellbeing and is a great activity for people of all ages. The cost of yoga classes across the UK vary wildly, we’ve used an average of £10 per class and assumed 2 classes a week for 48 weeks of the year to allow for holidays.

Golf Club Membership

According to Sports Marketing Surveysthe average cost of golf membership in the UK is now £901, which is the figure we’ve used. However, if you start entering competitions then costs can climb. Figures from Santander whose App tracks users spending, golfers spend an average of £22 a month on golf clothing, £47 a month on golf club membership, £29 a month on golf equipment and £23 a month on competition fees. When you add in other costs like travel and accommodation if playing further afield, the total cost of playing golf comes out at £214 a month.

Tennis Club Membership

We’ve allowed £250 a year for local tennis club membership. If you wish to add tennis on to your health club membership it is likely you’ll pay a similar supplement on top of your standard rate.

Cycling (club membership, kit & maintenance)

The popularity of recreational cycling peaked after Britain’s success in the 2012 Olympics and it doesn’t appear to be waning. Julian Porter, an avid cycling fan who started cycling in his 50s and now runs JP Cycling advises that his annual club fees are £20 and maintenance for an average mileage would be around £60. (If you’re doing 100+ miles a week maybe double that with tyres).

Expect a good bike to set you back around £400 and he also cautions against being drawn into paying more than that “You only need a better bike if you ride LOTS Over £1000 you pay for weight so not really relevant for non-competitive cycling”.  A full set of leisure cycling kit comes in at under £100 including a lightweight shower jacket. A decent helmet about £30. British Cycling membership starts at £20 and includes liability insurance which is a bargain.

All-in, we’ve allowed £300 a year assuming you spend £100 on kit and helmets every year and replace your bike every 4 years.

Theatre trip once a month

According to The Stage, the average ticket price in the West End is now £76.27, allowing £30 for dinner beforehand and £20 for a taxi or train we’ve calculated a monthly trip to the theatre will set you back around £1520 a year.

Dinner with Friends every fortnight

We’ve budgeted an average of £60 per meal once a fortnight to enjoy dinner out with friends.

Shopping Trips (4 per year)

The average Brit spends £1042 on new clothes each year. We’ve split this across 4 shopping trips and allowed £30 per trip for lunch, coffee and parking/bus

Weekly coffee & cake with friends

We’ve allowed £5 a week for coffee and a cake.

Weekly Sunday Pub Lunch

A Sunday roast enjoyed by a roaring pub fire after a brisk walk is one of the great British traditions, we’ve estimated it’ll set you back about £30 a week including your favourite tipple.

Transport and Holidays

Travel is one of the top ambitions people have for their retirement so it’s not surprising it’s an area where people spend the lion’s share of their money. Research by consumer group Which? showed that on average retirees enjoying a comfortable retirement are spending £4491 a year on European travel & holidays and those enjoying a luxury retirement are spending an additional £7376 on long-haul travel.

A new car every 5 years

We’ve borrowed these workings from Fidelity who have estimated that A new petrol car costing £15,000 will set you back £3,300 a year in running costs (based on a person doing 10,000 miles) taking into account road tax, insurance, breakdown cover, replacement costs including tyres, servicing costs, petrol and parking costs. Assuming yearly depreciation is £2,200 a year on the car, the resale value of the car after 5 years is £4,200 and if you want to replace it every five years you’ll have to save £2,200 a year towards it. Total costs for running the car and saving for a new one every year is £3,300 + £2,200 = £5,500.

Gifts and donations


It’s estimated that the average grandparent spends £167 on their grandchildren alone at Christmas. With the average person in the UK spending £923 on Christmas in total including gifts, decorations, food and drink, it’s an area that’s worth including in your retirement budget if you don’t want to be caught short.

Gifts for family

Many of our clients want to help children or grandchildren get on the property ladder, or assist with university fees.

Information provided by Prudential shows that almost a third of those looking to retire in 2018 were spending on average £4300 per year supporting up to three family members ranging from children, grandchildren and in some cases, even parents.

The Full State Pension

We’ve included the option to deduct the full state pension amount from your retirement budget, so you can see how much extra you’ll need to save for retirement (click here for an early retirement calculator).

Please note, not everyone will be eligible for the full state pension. To qualify for the full state pension, you’ll need 35 qualifying years of national insurance contributions. To get anything at all you need a minimum of 10 years NI contributions and the amount you’ll receive will be pro-rated. Use the free government website to get an accurate state pension forecast 

Retirement Planning Next Steps

Now that you know roughly how much you’ll need to enjoy your retirement, it’s time to build a plan

  1. Check your current State Pension estimate
  2. Request an up-to-date statement for your current pension/s
  3. Set a goal retirement date
  4. Talk to a financial adviser to help you put together a solid retirement plan

Need help getting your retirement plans on track? Arrange your free introductory call with an Independent Financial Adviser today. Call us now to schedule 02380 981161


Sometimes it’s just nice to talk to a human. Especially when that person is a fully Qualified Pension Specialist and Independent Financial Advisor. We offer a free, no obligation, 20-minute call with one of our specialists. Pick our brains, get your questions answered and find out how to get started or arrange an introductory meeting to get the ball rolling. Call us on 02380 981161 or contact us below.

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People who receive financial advice are on average £40,000 better off than their unadvised peers

Research by International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK), 2017

9 in 10 people were satisfied with financial advice received, with the clear majority deciding to go with their adviser’s recommendation.

ILC-UK, 2017