Your finances and wellbeing are intrinsically linked. On occasion, remaining in control of either might be a challenge. During retirement, you are likely to have various income sources, from your State Pension, Personal and Workplace pensions to investments and property. Invested funds will be subject to market volatility. Having a clear picture of how long your retirement provisions will last might be difficult. There’s a lot to keep on top of, but a lack of financial control can be detrimental to your mental health and wellbeing.
Recent research from Age UK found that a third of people aged over 65 say they feel generally calmer and happier as a result of feeling in control about their finances. However, problems were identified:
It’s clearly quite common to have financial concerns during retirement. Charity Director Caroline Abrahams explained: “Being in control of your finances, regardless of how much money you have, is clearly a key component of good mental health and can make a big difference to how we feel about life generally.”
If you do have worries, they might feel particularly challenging to address. But, there are some practical steps you can take to help:
1. Talk about it
First and foremost, discussing your financial concerns with somebody can really help put them in to perspective. A family member, a friend, anyone; a problem shared, is a problem halved. They may be able to offer practical advice, they may not, but often just airing your problems can feel like a weight off your shoulders.
Age UK also found that as many as two million retirees say they have no-one to talk to about money worries. If you are in this position, you are certainly not alone. Please remember, there are professional organisations that offer support, such as Pension Wise and the Money Advice Service.
2. Review your finances
Your circumstances and aspirations will almost certainly change over time, even during retirement. There will always be financial threats and opportunities presented throughout life. Some may be very personal to you, others may be influenced by circumstances beyond your control, such as the current political and economic uncertainty around Brexit.
Whether you’ve previously engaged a financial adviser or not, you are likely to have a financial plan in place, even if it’s informal. If you’ve not revisited that plan since retiring, now is the time. Reviewing your finances lets you check that your current level of retirement income is sustainable. If there are any issues that have been flagged, you are able to address them. Properly understanding your current financial position offers real reassurance.
3. Avoid sensationalist headlines
Some financial decisions can appear complicated. Researching your options is a great solution, but ensure you gather information from professional, impartial sources. Some headlines are designed to sell newspapers and adverting space, not truly inform you. Often bad news, terms like market ‘crash’ and ‘crisis’, simply sensationalise volatility.
If you read such headlines, don’t be rushed into making snap decisions, like withdrawing investments or cashing in a pension. Ultimately, if there is volatility, selling will only secure the loss you may have made. Try and view volatility as an opportunity; units would be cheaper to purchase, perhaps it may be time to realign your financial plan.
There is a wealth of information available in the public domain, but as professional financial planners, we are available to answer any questions you may have without bias.
4. Prepare for the unplanned
You can’t predict the future, but you can plan for all kinds of financial scenarios. If your concerns are centred around events outside of your control, we can help demonstrate potential outcomes with cashflow planning.
Using your existing circumstances, cashflow planning can show you how your finances would be affected in the short and long term should something happen. You could, for example, model how your income would change if investment values decreased, you received an unexpected windfall, or required long-term care. It’s a process that can allow you to put safeguards in place where necessary and give you additional peace of mind.
5. Seek advice
We are here to help you build a sustainable, secure financial future. We can build a robust strategy that considers your current situation, aspirations and retirement provisions. Having the support of a professional can give you confidence in your plan; it can deliver peace of mind, enhancing your happiness and wellbeing. If you have any financial concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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