Four of the best ways to boost your retirement pot and two to avoid

PLANNING for your retirement can be a tricky business, and it can seem pretty overwhelming too.
There are certain ways you can boost your savings pot that might work better than others.


Planning for your retirement can be overwhelming

With prices continuing to soar, many households might be tempted to put off saving for the future just to afford essentials.
But opting not to prepare could be a costly mistake when you decide to call it quits in the working world.
Simple methods and taking advantage of handy savings accounts can help you boost your retirement income.
Helen Morrissey, head of retirement analysis at Hargreaves Lansdown, has revealed her top tips for boosting your nest egg, and those that might not work as well.

1. Get the most from your state pension
The state pension forms the backbone of your retirement income so it makes sense to get the most you can from it, Helen told The Sun.
Brits currently get their state pensions when they reach 67 years old and how much you get is determined by your National Insurance (NI) record.
A minimum of 10 years is needed to qualify and 35 years’ worth of NI credits is needed for a full state pension – which at the moment is worth £203.85 a week or £10,608 a year.
But some people might not get the full amount if, for various reasons, they’re missing contributions.

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Helen explained: “Many people have gaps in their record due to time spent out of the workforce carrying out caring responsibilities or because they were unemployed.”
You can get yourself a state pension forecast to show where the gaps are on the government website.
If you were eligible for certain benefits such as Child Benefit or Universal Credit during these gaps, then you may be able to backdate a claim for these benefits and get a National Insurance credit and so plug these gaps for free.
For the full list of reasons you may have holes in your record, see our handy round-up.

You can also pay for voluntary NICs to plug the gaps and in turn get you more cash over your retirement.
Plus, for a limited time, you can backfill holes from 2006 to 2016 but the deadline to do this is on July 31.
After that, you’ll only be able to top up for the previous six years.
However, it’s important you check with DWP before handing over any money as they can confirm whether doing so will actually boost your state pension.
2. Start early
When it comes to pensions, getting in early is key to giving yourself a better chance at a bigger pot.

Helen said: “Pensions are a long-term game and the earlier you can start the better.
“Starting early gives your pension contributions more time to grow and prevents you from having to find space in your budget to make much bigger contributions later.”
One of the most beneficial things you can do is have a look at your workplace pension contributions.
Under auto-enrolment, anyone over age 22 who earns more than £ …