Imagine if I asked you the following question:
“I am going on holiday next month, should I take the car, a train, a ferry or a plane?”
What would you reply be? I am guessing it would be something along the lines of “Where are you planning to go?”
This all seems rather obvious but there is a crucial point here when it comes to retirement income as frequently I am asked by potential clients to help make their pensions/investments better with reference to the income they would like in retirement.
When I then ask how much income is needed it is rare to find an answer based on an analysis of their desired lifestyle.
There are two key points here:
- If we don’t know the “destination” (how much a dignified and independent retirement costs) then we cannot know the best method of “travel” (how to invest our capital to generate the required income). Simply looking to gain the highest return does not solve the problem.
- My experience is that many of us spend considerable time planning a holiday by comparing the resorts we might visit in terms of cost/facilities/weather etc, using Google Earth to get an idea of the layout and reading Trip Advisor reviews. Yet planning for potentially three decades of retirement is often given short shrift or not considered at all (last month’s article talked about why this is unlikely to be a good strategy today). The irony being that the consequences of a holiday not going to plan whilst unpleasant are not catastrophic whereas reaching retirement age without sufficient money could be.
I fully understand that planning a holiday is exciting whereas retirement planning can seem too difficult or just plain dull but it is too important an area to leave to chance. There are some surprisingly simple ways to get a rough estimate of whether you are on track.
With retirement income planning the best time to start planning was some time ago, the next best time is now.
This article should not be considered investment advice or an offer of any product for sale, it contains the opinions of the author but not necessarily the Firm and does not represent a recommendation of any particular, strategy or investment product. Information contained has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. Past performance is not an indicator of future results.