Katie and I had a meeting with a major investment firm (name starting with P and ending in “Bee”) about their service.  We were shocked. The person we spoke to told us how their customers are auto-enrolled.

He said: “There’s a default setting for people that don’t choose a plan for themselves”


When you’re older will you have enough money to turn on the heating?

​”How many people do choose a fund when they register?” I asked.

“Most people never choose so just get put in the default” he replied laughing. His attitude really struck me. He didn’t seem to care about the customers that get stuck with the default option.

The biggest provider of government pensions in the UK is NEST (National Employment Savings Trust).  They have 8.5 million customers and make up 25% of the workforce in the UK.  How many of them just accept the default option?

99%! These people don’t know what their money is invested in and are putting themselves at risk of not having enough of a pension to look after them in their retirement.

Are you one of them? Have you blindly accepted the default?

Are you an investor?

If you answered “no” to this you are wrong.  I am not going to mince my words here. Government in the UK and around the world are forcing people to be investors.

Pension auto-enrolment started in the UK in October 2012.  Since then you have to actively opt out of having a pension if you didn’t want to be part of the scheme.

If you haven’t opted out of looking after yourself financially in the future then you have a pension which is invested in something.  What do most people do?  They accept the default and hope for the best.  This head in the sand ostrich technique leads to financial suicide for most people with 1 in 5 pensioners living in poverty according to Age UK.

Are you an investor?  Yes.   Do you know what you are invested in?  Have you learnt about investing?  Have you taken charge of your pension, your investments and your future?

You are an investor whether you like it or not

​You are ALREADY an investor whether you like it or not. If you have an auto-enrolment pension through your employer then you are an investor.  If you have opted out of the pension then Katie and I will be coming round to your house for a cup of tea and a stern conversation about your future!

​Do you know where the money that disappears from your payslip is going?  When you got into the work pension scheme did you make an active choice about your investments?  Did you just accept the default?

Do you read the annual statements you get about your pension or do they go in the “deal with later” pile that never gets looked at?

No-one else is going to figure this out for you. We are all responsible for our own retirement, our own financial future. Defined benefit/final salary pensions have all but disappeared. Even if you are lucky enough to have one, have you worked out if it is enough to live off in retirement?

Will you be able to turn the heating on?

If you do the same as everyone else, you will get the same results as everyone else.  If you want different results you need to do something different.

According to one study, the average Brit has only £42,651 in their pension pot at retirement.  This is not enough to live on!  Most Brits won’t have a comfortable retirement and a lot of us are heading towards poverty.

Do you want to live in poverty in retirement?  Do you want to be able to turn on the heating?

You have to do something different to everyone else out there!  If you want the same results as everyone else then just keep doing the same as everyone around you.

​if you want different results do something different.

Take control

You are an investor (if you opted out of your company pension we need to change that or set you up a private one if you are self-employed!) and you need to take control!

No more head in the sand accepting the default investment.  Learn what you are already invested in, what the fees are and where your money is.

Learn about investing, learn how to invest and how to get the best returns.  It is time for you to take control of your pensions, investments and money.

We were shocked at the figures for pensions in the UK. We aren’t saving enough and the vast majority of people seem to have their heads in the sand about their future.

They are heading down the river of life in a boat towards retirement.  They aren’t making plans for retirement.  They accept the default in a false belief that it will look after them.  No one is going to look after you, you have to look after yourself.

Imagine getting to retirement with just £42,651 in your pension pot and a state pension.  You would have £11,334 a year to live on.

Is that enough?  Could you live on less than £1,000 a month?

That is the future you might be heading towards if you don’t take control of your finances.

You are an investor whether you like it or not. Get used to the idea that you are and then get excited that you can learn how to generate enough for a comfortable retirement.

Take control.

If you want to learn more then visit our investing page or come along to Rebel Finance School and watch the investment week.

If you are reading this in July 2023 then you are in luck! The investment weeks of Rebel Finance School start on Monday 17th July and are available to watch on YouTube catchup.  You can watch here:

You can do this!

I don’t care how old you are, how close to retirement you are or what state your finances are currently in. You can do something about it!

It’s never too late to take control of your finances and have the retirement you deserve.

Join the Donegan mailing list

Leave A Comment

Related Articles

  • Blog, Mindset, overcome fear, take action

    By Published On: June 21, 2024

    What are you arguing for? Every year Katie and I run the Rebel Finance School, which is our way of giving back. We give away a 10-week course all about financial freedom and thousands of people attend from all walks of life, 40 different countries and all backgrounds. I spend the first few weeks [...]

  • Blog, change to page, overcome fear, take action

    By Published On: July 27, 2023

    "Cash is king!" People proclaim this all the time!  If you have cash you can do anything, but what is the true cost of cash? This week, we met someone that came on the course in 2022 and has left her money in cash since. I thought cash was king? Should I change my mind? [...]

  • Blog, change to page, financial independence

    By Published On: April 23, 2023

    When you start to learn about finance, it is a bit like learning a new language.  People talk to you about asset allocation, index funds, stocks and shares, equities and more. Even after looking up these terms multiple times it still didn't stick in my head.  It wasn't until I found books and teachers that [...]