How I Manage My Money: ‘I live off £4.3ka month from my pension


In our How I Manage My Money series we aim to find out how people in the UK are spending, saving and investing money to meet their costs and achieve their goals.

This week we speak to David Margetts, 59, who has three children and lives in Bristol with his wife, Lucyna, and youngest son, Leo, 12. David is retired after a successful career which took him all around the world. He is now saving money for Leo’s future.

monthly budget


Private pension £4,300; Rental property £800; Sum drawn from investments £1,100

Total: £6,200


Mortgage £68.58 (interest only); School fees £1,835; Groceries £525; Electricity £150; Water £43.33; Council tax £250; Coach (loan and maintenance) £680; Insurance £32; Health £200; Gifts £125; Travel and holidays £600; Eating out and going out £350; Sports £50; Home and garden £350; Clothes £75; TV license £13.25; Books £200; Savings and investments
through Wealthify £500

Total: £6,047.16

My mother was a refugee from Holland and lived under the Nazis in Rotterdam, and my father was from a small town in Somerset in a family of eight, so there was not much money when he was younger. However, as a family we were comfortable and my parents taught me the value of money.


I went to a grammar school and got my first part-time job at a petrol station when I was 15, where I ended up earning more in tips than my salary by washing windscreens. My father told me to “tax” myself and put 20 per cent of my salary in savings and leave it, save between 30 to 50 per cent for big purchases and enjoy the rest. I have followed this advice ever since.

In 1981 I got my first full-time job as a clerk. I then joined Prudential as an insurance agent, rising to regional manager level before I was made redundant. After that I joined American Life Insurance Company in 2001, just after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US. I lived and worked all over the world before setting up my own consultancy business working across Asia.

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I decided to retire when Covid struck and global travel became impossible. I was able to buy my first home when I was 21. It cost about five times more than my £12,000 a year income. I’ve always been a big saver and as a younger man was very disciplined when it came to saving and expenses. I could have enjoyed the journey a little more. But I still have a future ahead of me to do some of the things I missed out on.

I have a Wealthify general investing account for myself and a Wealthify Junior Individual Savings Account, which I put £300 a month into for Leo. I’d like him to use the money for university expenses, and, later on, his first property. I am drawing income from my defined benefit pension and have a couple of money purchase schemes for when I reach 65 and 70.

I will also receive an income from the State Pension in time. In addition, I have a number of investments, including equities, defensive bonds and one property I rent out. I’m confident I have a wellbalanced investment and pension portfolio in place. I use income from my pension and investments to help pay for things like school fees for Leo.

I think it is really important for younger people to start saving, investing and growing a pension pot as early as possible. The benefit of doing this cannot be overstated. In terms of financial goals, my focus is on my children, my health and enjoying a little adventure in the meantime.

I believe in equal opportunity and individual responsibility, and by following these principles I have been able to support my children and teach them the value of money. They have never been spoiled, but I have always tried to invest in their future through education and property purchases.

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