School’s out for retirement planning

I commented in my last blog on an episode of Channel 4’s Dispatches programme which explored the subject of pension liberation. The topic has sparked some interest and comment from many of you, which prompted me to watch the programme again. Interestingly, something else dawned on me, second time around.
The episode opens with an interview with three people of varying ages and socio-demographic profiles. Broadly speaking, there is a young person, just starting out in their career, a 20/30 something and a 50 something. Each had different priorities in life as you would expect, and I’ll not trouble you with too much of the detail, apart from the fact that they had different amount of savings and investments – again– as you would probably expect.

Each of the individuals was asked how they saw their retirement. What were their expectations in terms of lifestyle and when did they expect to retire? The responses revealed that although the older the person, the better the awareness they had, none of the three were even close to understanding how their retirement might be funded or when it might happen.

And that’s typical. Most people just live in hope and think that one day everything will fall into place. But the reality is that if you look at your numbers now you’ll be able to spot the gaps and the shortfalls and do something about it. So with a little planning now, you could put measures into place so that you will be able to have that holiday every year, travel to see family, go ski-ing every winter, take up golf – or whatever your thing is.

We don’t need no education?

I often think it’s odd that we don’t get taught this sort of thing in school. I remember woodwork,cooking and even needlework classes – all of which I am sure were well intentioned – but have never been of great use to me since. Would it be controversial to suggest that these might have been replaced with modules on managing money, planning your future and understanding the economy?

OK, I’m biased, I hear you say – because I am an Independent Financial Advisor. And I’m sure you’ll also tell me that since I was in school things have got better and a little more practical. But let’s not get bogged down with the trivia of this: Planning your financial future is a life skill – just like driving a car. And most people do not know how to do it – which is why they turn to people like us for assistance.

We call ourselves “Lifestyle Financial Planners” and have a very nifty was of working out how much money you’ll need in retirement based on what you want to do. Using this we can work out and how to get you there and set a date for when you can expect to retire. Come and have a session with us – and let’s start making some positive plans for your future. It’s too late to change what you didn’t learn in school but it’s not too late to do something about it.