Almost 60% of people who consulted a financial advisor last year were looking for retirement advice, according to a report by Aegon and Next Wealth. Little wonder that 4 out of 5 advisers surveyed ask clients about “meaning, purpose and happiness” in retirement.
With my financial advisor hat on, I really welcome this research finding. This is a major shift for the financial industry, reflecting the need of those looking for a holistic overview of retirement. Previously, professional financial advice involved a narrower focus on accumulating and investing money, with no regard for client happiness or enjoyment of retirement.
With my retirement coach hat on, I am very conscious that this level of “happiness in retirement” advice and care is usually only available to those with a portfolio of assets to play with. If you are looking for stand-alone retirement planning advice, you’d be effectively shut out.
Needless to say, that’s not what I do here at Panthera LIFE! For me, helping you find out what you want from your retirement is the absolute priority. How to fund it is just part of the equation.
What retirees are concerned about
According to the research, the two top priorities for those seeking financial advice prior to retiring are:
- creating a sustainable retirement income
- passing savings on to a loved one
The report noted (not surprisingly) that those with larger pots of investment were more likely to be worried about their legacy, whereas those with less were more concerned about lifestyle.
Overall, the primary concerns for retirees in order were:
- maintaining their standard of living
- ongoing/longevity of health in retirement
- running out of money
- long-term care costs
- funding travel overseas
- replacing the social aspects of work
- the need to clear outstanding debt
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the decision to retire
According to the advisors interviewed, the pandemic caused some people to “reassess priorities and lifestyle”. The pandemic seems to have decided the question of when to retire too, with many deciding to retire early or take redundancy. (That’s certainly what I’ve seen here at Panthera LIFE.)
As one advisor reported:
“A good extra 10% to 15% of clients are moving into retirement either early, having been made redundant or losing employment because they’ve had to close their company.”
The desire for a potentially calmer pace of life increased too, with people wanting to spend less time in crowded cities and more time in rural areas.
Not all experienced income drops
The pandemic didn’t result in everyone facing loss of income. Indeed, some retirees found that they were spending less during the pandemic, and so didn’t need to draw down as much income as previously. This may have resulted in accumulated income to spend once restrictions were lifted, and a welcome boost to the economy.
Retirement is not a cliff edge
As I’ve found here at Panthera LIFE, people are realising that retirement doesn’t have to be a lemming-like leap from full-time work to 100% retirement.
As the report says:
“The very concept of retirement being a point in time when people move from full-time employment to not working at all is changing. Increasingly, whether by necessity or desire, retirement has become more of a transition period when people move from full-time to part-time employment before stopping work altogether.”
Also, the age at which you decide to retire makes a difference to the path into retirement that you take:
“Those at older ages who are employed are more likely to have part-time employment and, interestingly, many of these will be part-time self- employed.”
Smoothing the path from work to retirement
- If you’re approaching retirement, I am here to help you with that transition from 9 to 5 to a fulfilling and enjoyable retirement. There’s no right or wrong way, just the way that enables you to adjust to your new lifestyle at the pace you want. Call me to discuss your situation and lifestyle goals.
- If you’ve recently retired and it’s not quite what you expect, do call me here at Panthera LIFE. I’d love to talk to you about retirement planning to ensure that you enjoy the retirement you’ve worked so hard for. Why not join me for bespoke, 1 to 1 ‘fast-track’ retirement coaching for you and your partner. You can work through what’s important to you both, and what your individual goals are too.
The price of happiness?
I’m delighted that the report reveals how financial advisors are becoming concerned with the happiness of their clients, rather than just their income levels. Making sure clients are happy in retirement through planning and preparation is one of the driving forces behind my own retirement coaching courses and services.
As one advisor said:
“What can we do at a human level to have an impact on people’s lives, help them make better decisions and stop them making bad ones? Connect more with what they really want to do rather than do the same as everyone else; that means we can be far more effective and open and hopefully help them be even happier.”
As the report says:
“Going forward, we expect that the role of the financial adviser will extend further into “retirement coaching” and become less focused on just dealing with products and investments. Indeed, a number of firms are already centralising their advice processes with field advisers concentrating on understanding the client needs and providing more holistic retirement support.”
Just to say that Panthera LIFE does not provide financial advice. As a Certified Retirement Coach, I ensure our time together focusses on you and your life beyond work. So you can think “outside the box”, dream, imagine, and plan out how to enjoy the next phase of your life, rather than stress over a spreadsheet!
Looking for retirement advice?
I am here to help!