Planning later life – an adviser’s approach
Financial Adviser, Rosie Richard, talks about how she helps clients plan for each stage of retirement. From planning your income in the right way to using all of the appropriate allowances available.
Rosie Richard is an HL financial adviser based in the South West. Find out more about Rosie and how she and our other advisers can help you:
How do you help clients in each stage of retirement?
I always encourage my clients to hope for the best and plan for the worst, and this applies to all stages of retirement planning.
Firstly, I help clients by understanding their plans for the future. I ask questions around subjects like downsizing, how long they intend to work and how they might like to help their children or grandchildren in the future. We then look at what they have saved and invested and start to earmark a few changes if needed.
If my client is approaching retirement I would work with them to establish how much is needed to cover the basics, and build up to find out how much they would like to have to enjoy their dream retirement. Then I can help them structure their income.
Income needs usually vary throughout retirement. Most plan to spend more initially and really enjoy themselves while they're in good health. Spending tends to slow down as they enter their late 70s, then spikes again when care is needed.
Planning for care home fees isn’t an easy conversation to have but I have to remind my clients of its importance – especially as they move into retirement.
I also remind clients of all their tax free allowances, such as personal savings allowance, ISAs and dividend allowance. Inheritance tax planning generally gets discussed at this stage too.
Tax rules change and benefits depend on personal circumstances so I feel it's important to help my clients understand how the rules apply to them.
Could you benefit from an expert looking at your plan?
What are the common worries that you see from clients?
The biggest concern for many of my clients is making the wrong decision as they approach retirement. There are so many pension options available, which is fantastic, but it can make it difficult to know where to start.
Decisions made in the run up to and at retirement can have long term repercussions for future financial wellbeing. Many of my clients, even those who have traditionally managed their own financial affairs successfully, are wary of making mistakes and are keen to get a second opinion.
Running out of money is also a real worry for many clients. As part of the advice process, we can explore different options for budgeting and taking income. Many are concerned about inheritance tax, but don’t want to lose control or don’t understand the potential options available to mitigate this tax.
Learn more in our free guide to inheritance tax.
Do you meet clients who aren’t reaching their income goals in retirement?
I regularly meet retirees who aren’t achieving the level of income they need. So, after getting to grips with their targets, we'll revisit where the investments are held, confirm the level of cash needed as an emergency fund and then we build from there.
Quite often I see poorly performing Cash ISAs which could be transferred to a Stocks and Shares ISA. A prudently invested Stocks & Shares ISA can provide a higher level of tax free income. Although, first I make sure that the client is happy with the additional risk that this presents. Unlike cash, the value of investments can fall as well as rise in value so they could get back less than they invest. I check if all the pensions have been drawn and if they are still invested, I find out how these investments have performed.
A lot of the time clients just need advice once to agree and establish a strategy and then they're happy to manage this themselves from there.
Do people realise the costs of long-term care when you speak to them?
Actually, yes most do, as many clients have had experience with elderly parents. Care can cost more than £40,000 per year, so these costs need to be part of a well thought out strategy. If you haven’t considered planning for care costs, it may be beneficial to speak to an adviser who can help you get set up with the right strategy for you.
What is your biggest tip to people planning for later life?
Take an interest in your retirement planning. Don’t be a passenger.
However you want to manage your retirement strategy and investments, we can help. Whether that’s using our free tools and guides to manage your own finances or using as much or as little of our financial advice service as you need.
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The government provides a free and impartial service to help you understand your retirement options – more on Pension Wise.
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