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I am at a loss as to what to do…

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Hi everyone,

Just some quick context - I’ve recently came out of a 6 year heroin addiction and, while I managed to hold down a job the entire time, I never saved anything, never invested in anything and never paid into a pension beside the standard employee/employer contribution one, never bought a home and never bought anything that holds value. Basically I’m 35 and have nothing in terms of financial security.

However I am lucky in other ways - I have no outstanding debts, I live with my parents and so pay very little in terms of board and I’m out of rehab and clean. I’ve also walked straight back into my previous job. This means I have a lot of disposable income - about £1k a month.

This is after me taking into account all outgoings and also having some to enjoy life still.

My question is where do I start? I plan on setting up a lifetime ISA for retirement but other than that how do I make the most out of my money to grow it?

Nice one!
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  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 22,819 Forumite
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    Firstly well done for sorting yourself out.
    Your workplace pension may be a better place to save for retirement than a LISA. Especially if your employer would add more, if you add more ( some do ). There are pros and cons for both. If you read the second half of this article it explains both sides.
    Lifetime ISA (LISA): how they work & best buys (moneysavingexpert.com)

    However your first priority should be to save some money in cash savings account, so you have an easily accessible pot for a rainy day. As you are living at home with no car, then this pot would not have to be that large.

    Then I think you need to give some thought about your objectives for the next few years, before deciding how best to save/invest. From age 35 to retirement is a long time. For example where do you see yourself in 10 years time ?
  • Alexland
    Alexland Posts: 9,720 Forumite
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    Congrats it must be awesome to be getting your life back on track. You are still young enough to build a solid financial position.
    As above its worth saving a cash buffer and checking you are contributing enough into your pension to get maximum employer matching.
    But is there any reason you are not using the LISA towards a property purchase? Owning your own property is likely to make retirement much more comfortable.
  • nottsphil
    nottsphil Posts: 463 Forumite
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    edited 10 June at 5:25PM
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    Firstly, kudos to you for revealing the addiction - you could have asked for the advice without even mentioning it. I'm assuming that as you managed to hold down a full-time job the whole time, you didn't need to resort to crime. In which case, I'm prepared to help.  Does (anyone) the lifetime ISA preclude any funds in a cash ISA?
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 10,772 Forumite
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    As a starter it might be an idea to fill out a statement of accounts (one of the top stickies on the debt free forum).  This will give you a base to work from to see what happens when you start spending & investing your money.  It can also focus your thoughts on what bills you might have to pay in the future.  There's also nice things like deciding how much you might put into an emergency fund, how much do you want to set aside for birthday presents or holidays.  It doesn't have to be anything to do with debt - it's about budgetting and then you can see where your investing can fit in to this.  

    Well done btw.  Wish I could get you to talk to some people I know who are struggling with a similar journey.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 22,819 Forumite
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    nottsphil said:
    Firstly, kudos to you for revealing the addiction - you could have asked for the advice without even mentioning it. I'm assuming that as you managed to hold down a full-time job the whole time, you didn't need to resort to crime. In which case, I'm prepared to help.  Does (anyone) the lifetime ISA preclude any funds in a cash ISA?
    No it does not. However the OP currently has no savings, so debatable whether they would be better in a non ISA savings account paying a better rate, as unlikely they will have an issue with tax on savings interest for a while yet.
    Also investing some in a Stocks and Shares ISA for the longer term maybe an idea as well. It depends on what their future plans might be.
  • DiamondLil
    DiamondLil Posts: 666 Forumite
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    edited 10 June at 6:16PM
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    @redistribute - just want to say congrats on beating your demon. Having come through that particular hell, everything else will be a walk in the park. I'll leave the finance suggestions to those more knowledgeable than I.
  • redistribute
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    nottsphil said:
    Firstly, kudos to you for revealing the addiction - you could have asked for the advice without even mentioning it. I'm assuming that as you managed to hold down a full-time job the whole time, you didn't need to resort to crime. In which case, I'm prepared to help.  Does (anyone) the lifetime ISA preclude any funds in a cash ISA?
    No it does not. However the OP currently has no savings, so debatable whether they would be better in a non ISA savings account paying a better rate, as unlikely they will have an issue with tax on savings interest for a while yet.
    Also investing some in a Stocks and Shares ISA for the longer term maybe an idea as well. It depends on what their future plans might be.
    Hi @Albermarle,thanks for the response.

    i indeed do have zero savings as it stands. I’ve been trying to read up as much as i can the last few days to try to understand the options available.

    Future plans are to return to uni and graduate with a radio therapist degree - if that’s what you meant by future plans?

    @Alexland
    Congrats it must be awesome to be getting your life back on track. You are still young enough to build a solid financial position.
    As above its worth saving a cash buffer and checking you are contributing enough into your pension to get maximum employer matching.
    But is there any reason you are not using the LISA towards a property purchase? Owning your own property is likely to make retirement much more comfortable.
    Thanks for responding man.

    In relation to a property LISA I’m not averse to that - being honest I thought they’d stopped the first time buyer ISA?

    I’m going to look into the kind of pension my employer has auto enrolled me with and try work that out - is it worth thinking about taking out another pension too?

    I really am not too literate in this area and it intimidates me a bit but I don’t want to let that stop me, I need to be able to make head and tail of this to some extent.

    A s&s ISA looks and sounds appealing to me atm too.

    Does this sound stupid?

    A LISA of some sort taking advantage of the 4k plus 25%; s&s ISA and then looking into current and potentially a second pension?

    Is this a realistic and sensible option with where I am at - with no savings and 1k per months to invest across the three products?
  • redistribute
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    Also I wanted to say thank you for all of the kind words - nice one
  • Martico
    Martico Posts: 1,025 Forumite
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    Kudos to you from me as well. In your shoes, I'd take a little while to read up in this forum and the links that people chuck out, come up with plans for, say, one year, five years, more years into the future, and then see how you can make that work. Remembering to enjoy some of your spare cash in the now, whether that's for travel, education, hobbies, whatever
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