I was born in NI. I moved to England 8.5 years ago for uni, studied a masters. My full time job pays 26% more and my consultancy role pasy 100% more than if i returned.I live in Yorkshire now another cheap region of the UK, but my job pays the same as a London wage (well more because of a relcoation bonus)
I am in the accumulation phase, INTJ. My wife is finishing her PhD and my 15 month old is kind of cheap to live with and we bought a new house about 3 months before I discovered this website . despite this I save 47% minimum of my income. MY childcare and consultancy wage income/costs blur this so it can be 77% some months.
I save into my company pension. iii.co.uk S+S ISA, I have some products with scottissh friendly (avoid massive mistake realied when mathematically no point of wihdrawing investment but did get £150 upfront x 2 for saving £15 a month) and I pay into my wifes pension (need to change to a SIPP)
I intend to return to Ireland one day esp. a border county for arbitrage reasons, e.g. if you live in (Londonon)Derry or Newry you can buy fuel in the South and profit. Plus woring and earning across borders can pay. Plus with residency rules having two passports can pay.
I never find I have clear results from a retirement calculator but in five years min I could return and retire but since my savings are partially in pensions that we cant reach til 55 I'd be better off going part time. Plus with my wife, part of us would want her to be a full time house-mum, part me fulltime housedad and part bit of each.
My advice to anyone on low pay would be look for ways to increase it. eg. a pub shift on a friday or Saturday night, working at a petrol station or a tesco on a weekend shift. If you can increase your hours to a full time job + 8-16 hours you ill be sorted.
ALSO my number ONE tim to amy UK based person is http://WWW.MONEYSAAVINGEXPERT.COM. Martin Lewis runs a good site. Full of info you just need to be a good filter.
I got a free bottle of wine today at work so if this doesn't make sense or their are typos that is why.
Anyway number one tip is http://www.moneysavingexpert.com and 2 is http://www.quidco.com for the UKers.