For anyone enjoying their retirement years and living a less complicated life, it can be easy to assume that you no longer require professional financial advice. Some people may believe that since they have reached their 60s and ‘retired’, the hard work is over. But there are probably another three or four decades ahead, and if we were to split life into two halves, this second half is likely to be more complex and challenging than our careers. From age 60-plus, the world will throw a host of challenges our way. This is not the time to be without expert professional financial advice. This is the period of life when financial planning is most valuable and rewarding.
Between the ages of 20 to 60 is typically the period of working life for most people. You work and strive, building a career, buying a house, raising a family, perhaps paying for education and enjoying a certain standard of living. This entails managing debt, balancing income and expenditure, putting money away into a pension, saving for a rainy day and topping up ISAs annually. It is hard. It can be a tough climb. You need to be well equipped. All of a sudden, the striving is over. Enough money, or so you hope, has been invested to leave the workplace behind, and your mortgage is repaid. The pension pot is bulging, your children have graduated and the new car on the driveway is finance-free for the first time. Your sights are set on a holiday home, and everything looks good. You may well have had professional financial help during this 40-year growth phase, but most of those years may be behind you. You need to look ahead.
But it’s the second half of life, from the 60-plus stage, that is more aligned to spending. Having achieved so much in life, the overriding emotion can now be the fear of loss. The conundrum being: ‘How can we live our ideal life, safe in the knowledge that we will always have enough?’ Safety and fear of loss are key concerns. Have we got enough income to meet our obligations? Will we run out of money? Can we afford to support our favourite charity? What happens if one of us needs long-term care? Should we help our children now, or later? Is our capital keeping up with inflation? Can we keep on having fun? As people age, illness can strike out of the blue and blow plans off course overnight. What then? A new and unexpected challenge, and no life experiences to fall back on. There are choices and tough emotional decisions to be made – this is when professional financial advice and support are essential.
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