Retirement planning: What matters to you?


Your retirement priorities will be different to the next person’s, but that’s not to say that there aren’t similarities in the things that we’re looking for when we finish working.

Research from Scottish Widows has shown that the most-cited priorities for those planning their retirement finances are:

  • Income (41%)
  • Flexibility (40%)
  • Passing on benefits (10%)
  • Having control over investments (9%)

Finding out what’s important

Knowing what you want when you stop working comes easier to some than others. If you find yourself struggling, consider:

  • What kind of lifestyle you want to lead in retirement
  • How much money you would like to have
  • How you want to spend your time
  • The type of legacy you want to leave behind (if any)
  • What’s important to your partner

Why do you need to know?

Knowing what your priorities are will allow you to work them into your plan.

Keeping your priorities at the centre of your planning will also allow you to make stronger decisions and feel more confident in the financial choices you make.

Staying flexible to achieve your goals

Throughout life, there is the possibility that your priorities could change. This can happen for many reasons, including:

  • A change in your family’s circumstances, including births, deaths and marriages
  • Deciding that you want something that wasn’t available when first making plans
  • Economic changes
  • A major life event which changes your perspective

Therefore, it is important to make sure that you have the option to change your mind and adapt your plan, if necessary.

There are a few ways you can plan your finances to both meet your goals and enjoy the flexibility to change those goals if you wish to:

1. Making sure you have sufficient capital

The money you retire with, may need to last a long time. Some people are retired for more than 40 years!

That means that your capital needs to cover any financial emergencies you may have, as well as funding the necessary large purchases. Remember that, over 40 years, you may need multiple cars, home repairs and to pay for care.

Having spare cash on hand to support your future aims is a great way to provide a safety net for yourself in retirement.

2. Make sure your income is sustainable

You may be retired for tens of years, and the money you save during your working life will need to support you throughout that time, that means that your plan should pave the way to a sustainable income.

A good rule of thumb is to ensure that your guaranteed income sources; i.e. State Pension and any Annuities, can cover your essential costs. You can then use more flexible options, such as drawdown, to meet variable, discretionary expenditure.

3. Review your finances and priorities often

What’s important to you will change as you build your family and travel through the different stages of life. It is therefore important to review your financial plan at least once every 12 months.

Both should be reviewed in the context of the other. So, whenever you make a financial decision, be sure to consider your priorities, and vice-versa.

How can financial planning help?

Financial planning offers three advantages to your retirement planning process:

Professional insight: Financial planners have undoubtedly dealt with situations like yours and will be able to suggest solutions and strategies which you may not have considered before. Being able to talk to an expert and benefit from their prior experience means that you will be able to create a financial plan which is tried, tested and tailored to suit your needs and circumstances.

An income boost: Research from Unbiased has shown that people who have consulted a financial planner have been able to save an additional £98 per month, on average, toward retirement. This could lead to a boost in annual retirement income of up to £3,654.

Increased confidence: Consulting an adviser increases your confidence and empowers you to make better financial decisions. So, you have one less thing to worry about at night.

To find out more or book your first appointment, contact Sarah or Bev on 0115 933 8433.