Where you are going?

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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Warm Regards

Neil

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.

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Testimonials
VF - Devon
Lee is easy to talk to and very confident and knowledgeable which makes you feel at ease.  He explains things in a way which is not condescending, but is precise and easy to understand. I was slightly nervous about re-mortgaging my property in order to raise capital for my daughter but after an unhurried, relaxed meeting with Lee I felt much happier about the whole process. I would have no hesitation in recommending Lee to anyone seeking financial advice and will be returning to him myself for some investment help in the future. What could they have done better?  Nothing, he's already brilliant! Maybe some chocolate biscuits on the desk.
VF - Somerset
I first sought financial advice from Lee about 15 years ago, advice which I stupidly ignored at the time. Lesson learned.. Over the years I have benefitted greatly from Lee's knowledge and experience, along with his skill of ensuring that whether it is in relation to mortgages, insurance, pensions or savings, I consider all the options open to me.  Lee is professional, approachable, hugely experienced and ensures that he he keeps up to date on market developments and fully informed about what products / services are available.
VF - Somerset
I inherited a substantial sum of money and needed some advice as to how to make the most of it.  Simon was very friendly and down to earth, simplifying the monetary jargon so that I could understand exactly what was going on and therefore make an informed decision. Simon was a wonderful advisor, who answered all of my questions (no matter how silly) and made me feel in control of my finances again. He is always available to answer any queries and I would highly recommend him to anyone.
VF - Somerset
Simon is extremely knowledgeable in all areas of financial planning and is always happy to explain things further if his clients are unsure. He is professional in every aspect, from his face-to-face contact to completion of paperwork and I cannot recommend him highly enough. I would have every confidence in placing any of my financial business with him. Simon takes the time to get to know clients and then provides suitable advice. I am very happy to have Simon guiding me through the world of financial issues and would happily recommend him.
Avril, Devon
I am a pensioner and when I first saw Neil I was extremely worried about how to keep my savings safe but also have a good return from my investments.  Neil was very kind and explained everything in detail to me for the best way to go forward with my money. I have now been with him for three years and my portfolio has grown and I feel confident with all the advice he has given and the investments that he has done for me, I know that if I have any worries I can contact him and he will always get back to me immediately, I now feel confident with my investments and all the advice that Neil has given me and I am enjoying my retirement. I am extremely satisfied with everything Neil has done.
Donna Noll
Simon, is so easy to talk with and he ensures you understand completely his suggestions to help you create more wealth! I bought my buy to let property without stress and i can honestly say that was down to Simon's advice, help, support and knowledge. I could not recommend Simon highly enough.
Nick Girone- Maddocks, Gibbins Richards Estate Agents, Wellington
Many thanks to David Blair and all at Blackdown Financial for their inventive and pro-active assistance in a recent tricky transaction. With David Blair the ball is kept FIRMLY in the air, Thank you!
Euan and Jane Barker, Wellington
We have been clients of Blackdown Financial for over 20 years.  During that time we have found them always approachable and willing to take the time to understand our situation, viewpoint on risk and what we were looking to do for short, medium and long term financial planning.  They have then advised us on appropriate decisions and investments.  This advice always appears well considered and accurate, and we have generally followed it on that basis, almost always with good results (so far!). The feedback and ideas presented by Blackdown always have some relevance to our situation.  If we are uncomfortable with some or feel them too risky they have never pushed them hard at us so decisions on which direction/proposals to follow always feel well suited to us. At times some of the advice given by Blackdown is clearly not going to benefit them in the short-medium term which has led us to build a better level of trust in them.   We hope to continue using Blackdown over the next 10-15 years as we continue to plan towards retirement.
Leigh, Taunton
My wife and I were 1st time buyers. David and his colleagues removed a lot of stress and provided much needed experience to the process. He was able to provide insight and advice for all areas of house buying, and we often used him as a sounding board. David was always honest with regards to his fees/commission and also not afraid to dissuade us from ideas that he didn't believe were the best option - although we never felt pressurised or subject to a hard sell. David was able to find mortgage deals that we were not, with better rates, and explain the pros and cons of each option. He was always careful to make sure we understood what he was telling us, without using blinding us with numbers and technical language. David also ensured that we were able to afford the options in the long term, exploring potential changes to income and circumstances that would affect us. When we had submitted the paperwork for the mortgage and subsequent life insurance/income protection, David and his team were invaluable for chasing the other parties, solving issues (of which there were quite a few!) and generally took a large portion of stress away from us. I would thoroughly recommend using David and his company.
Chris, Taunton
David was first recommended to me by a well-respected local estate agent.  From the outset I was treated as a valued client by David and his excellent support team.  As an active property investor I have found David's professionalism and strong relationships with lenders invaluable during the four years that I have been a client of his.  Every mortgage application that we have submitted has been successful during this period. David is always friendly, approachable and above all, flexible, and has always dealt promptly with my frequent requests for market updates and information.  I am always happy to recommend him.  I not only value good service and successful business outcomes, I rely on them for my living.  Because of this I have no problem being critical of and leaving companies that do not deliver, however friendly they may be. In four years I have had no reason to complain about any aspect of David or his team's work on my behalf beyond the occasional absence of a cup of coffee at a consultation!  I have not benchmarked the cost of the financial advice that I receive against other local firms and Blackdown Financial have recently increased their fees. Others may be cheaper, I have not found better.