How to take control of your finances and boost wellbeing in retirement


Keeping on top of your finances and feeling in control can be challenging. As you enter retirement, you may have income coming from multiple sources, a portion of your pension still invested, or calculations on how long your money will last for. But it is an important step to take; a lack of financial control can harm your mental wellbeing.

Research from Age UK demonstrates the importance of retirees monitoring their money and understanding how secure their income is.

  • A third of those aged over 65 say they feel generally calmer and happier as a result of feeling in control about their finances
  • A further third admitted they worry less when they feel in control
  • One in six pensioners find it difficult to manage their income, rising to almost a quarter among those that are single
  • 14% are more worried about their financial situation now compared to last year

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director, said: “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.”

Six tips for increasing your financial confidence in retirement

1. Regularly review your finances

If you set out a financial plan at the point of retirement and haven’t looked at it since, it’s time to change that. Keeping up to date is key to feeling confident in your financial decisions and lifestyle. If you’re worried about how investments are performing or whether your current level of income is sustainable, understanding your current position is important.

Things change, even in retirement. From the value of your assets that deliver an income to your spending, a regular review can help you get the most out of your money and give you peace of mind. Should something have a negative impact on your finances, it gives you an opportunity to rectify or adapt to it where necessary too.

2. Assess your risk tolerance

If you still hold some of your assets or pension in investment funds, through Flexi-Access Drawdown, for example, the value can fluctuate. This can make it more challenging to understand your financial position and may leave you feeling like you have less control. For this reason, it’s important to assess your tolerance for investment risk and general attitude. While investing can be beneficial for some retirees, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy.

3. Take the time to research your options

There’s no denying that financial decisions can sometimes seem complicated. We’d always advocate an approach that lets you sit back and assess your options. Research is often key when making decisions about money; from finding competitive interest rates when searching for a home for your savings to making a decision about how to withdraw money from your pension.

Don’t be rushed into making a decision, investing some time into research and understanding your circumstances can help you find the right path.

4. Talk to someone

‘A problem shared, is a problem halved’, so the saying goes. For financial concerns, this can certainly be true. Chatting about your worries can help put them into perspective and leave you feeling more in control.

Worryingly, one in six over-65s, or two million people, say they have no-one to talk to about money concerns. If speaking to family and friends isn’t an option, there are professional organisations that can offer support and advice. Pension Wise offers free, impartial guidance on defined contribution pensions, while the Money Advice Service (MAS) can help with other areas.

5. See a financial adviser

A financial adviser can help you create a financial strategy that considers your financial situation and goals. Having the support of a professional can give you confidence in the financial plan you follow and review throughout retirement. It’s a step that can give you peace of mind, enhancing your happiness and wellbeing.

If you’re worried about your finances in retirement, either now or have concerns for the future, please get in touch with us.

6. Plan for the unexpected

If your concerns are centred on how events that are outside of your control may affect your financial security, it is possible to plan for them. This is another area, we can offer support.

Taking your current information, cashflow modelling 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. Or the consequences of supporting loved ones financially. It’s a process that can allow you to put safeguards in place where necessary and give you peace of mind.

If you’d like to discuss your financial situation, please get in touch. Our goal is to help you better understand your finances so you’re in a position to make the right decisions for you and have confidence in your choices.

Please note: A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits. The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation which are subject to change in the future.