How you can afford your bucket list adventures

Whether it’s a trip to see the Northern Lights or a chance to swim with dolphins in the Bahamas, your ‘bucket list’ items are sure to cost money.

And although you can afford some extra special treats while you're earning, you'll also need to set aside cash for later in life when you'll have the time to realise the rest of those bucket list ambitions.

The good news is that there are ways to plan and save for a worry-free future – and a few special treats.

Here are the kind of adventures our Facebook fans have in their sights: 
  • Tracey Anderson: “Since childhood I have always longed to travel on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, on arrival in Venice to ride on a gondola with the man of my dreams! I'm now 53 and have ridden on a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs with the man of my dreams my wonderful hubby of 20 years Steve. My mode of travel was a cruise liner instead of the Orient Express, so I consider myself very lucky!” 
  • Scott Roberts: “I would like to ride a Harley Davidson along Route 66 starting in Chicago and going all the way to the end in California. Only trouble is I don't have my bike licence.”
  • Lisa Williams: “The Northern Lights is top on my bucket list. A girl can dream and maybe one day it will become reality.”
  • Glyn Williams: “A trip with my wife to Rio to see the carnival floats and to soak up the atmosphere on the honeymoon we never were able to have 30 years ago."
  • Denise Southworth: “To learn to play the piano. I bought one about ten years ago but it has never been played yet and is gathering dust in my spare room.”
  • Alison Nuorto: “To see polar bears in their natural habitat. There's a bus in Manitoba, Canada, where you can get as close as possible to polar bears without becoming their dinner. That would be a dream come true.”
  • Heather Reading: “Visiting Costa Rica is top of my bucket list along with scuba diving in the Maldives and riding the chute down from the great wall of China!”
It's clear that some aspirations won't cost the earth but some could bring a bill for thousands of pounds. So once you have decided on your own target, you can form a plan to achieve it through careful saving and investment.

Retired Roger Bacon, 69, from Newthorpe, Notts, took advice on what money to put where, to get the trips of a lifetime he and his wife had always promised themselves.

He said: “In 2009 we went to the Canadian Rockies, which was a big spend. We did holidays like that every few years – we went to Australia too.

“We’d put money into special savings plans for five to 10 years specifically for that purpose.

“I made an appointment at the Eastwood branch and the staff explained all sorts of savings accounts.”

So how can you make it easier to afford those life-long ambitions?

If you can set aside a little money and see where it will work best for you, then the world can be your oyster, whatever your age.

Savings expert at The Nottingham, Jenna McKenzie-Day, said there were specific accounts and rates to benefit longer term savers.

“The longer you can fix your savings term for, the better the interest rate,” she said.

“You can save a set amount each month and get a rate that rewards regular savers. Since you get a lump sum on maturity of your regular savings account, you can then put it into another account, such as a bond, and start building again in a new regular saver.

“With a bond you put a lump sum in and the longer you can tie it up for the better.”

An independent financial adviser can help make your money work harder for you. They will:
  • Assess your personal circumstances;
  • Look carefully at your goals;
  • Work out your attitude to investment risk;
  • Research a range of products across the entire market place;
  • Match the most appropriate product (or products) to help you achieve your goals.
Steve Hudson, a financial adviser with our partner Wren Sterling, added: “The ethos behind ‘holistic’ financial planning is to cover all bases – including saving for specific goals. If a particular goal is a holiday in five or ten years’ time then it might be appropriate to invest in something other than an interest bearing savings account.

“Due to ongoing low interest rates it is unlikely that returns on cash savings accounts will keep up with the ever increasing costs of goods and services. In five or ten years it is likely that holidays will be significantly more expensive and if a client’s return does not keep up with inflation over that period then the spending power of their money will effectively reduce, potentially leaving them with a shortfall.”

So what’s on YOUR bucket list?

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