When it comes to fairytale endings, the worst outcome would be for Goldilocks to reach the end of life without any porridge to eat or enough money to live (that bedtime story would definitely give us nightmares). But the second worst ending would be dying with too much money and no clear path for dispensing the wealth (would Baby Bear’s cubs be left with nothing?). When it comes to planning a real life ending, i.e. retirement, our favourite stories are those in which our protagonist finds they’re juuuust right and are able to live out their days comfortably with a solid financial plan in place.
But before we get to the story’s ending, we need to start at the beginning…
If you’re like a great number of our clients, you work hard and put some money away toward your future, but pensions and retirement planning are a complicated business, so it’s not uncommon for you to feel a bit flummoxed by it all.
We completely understand how daunting and stressful retirement planning can be (especially now that we may end up spending more time retired than we did working!) so we make it a priority to make retirement planning as stress-free as possible. Generally speaking, our clients pay into their pension for many years, but they don’t think too much about it until they near their retirement years. After all, life is busy and it takes a great deal of patience and planning to fully grasp how pensions are doing and what they mean in terms of supporting a future without work.
The truth is that most people– and thereby most of our clients- aren’t hugely sophisticated when it comes to money. Don’t get me wrong, they’re bright people, but they often find financial products– and pensions in particular– a little mysterious and intimidating. Like Goldilocks, they squirm around trying to get comfortable in a situation that may be too big or too small for their needs and they aren’t quite sure how to make it feel just right.
The vast majority of our clients don’t have extravagant plants for their retirement. Despite what you see in pension brochures, we find that most people don’t want to buy a yacht and sail around the world, spend the rest of their days on an island, or zoom around in a brand new Ferrari.
What they do want, however, is security and peace of mind. They want to be able to live the life they want without having to worry too much about the financial side of things. They’ve put the years in and don’t want to carry the stress they had working into their retirement. Essentially, like Goldilocks, they want to be comfortable.
What can we do to make your retirement journey a little more comfortable? It’s not always easy, but we see it as our role to translate complicated financial jargon into a language that you can easily understand, so you feel knowledgable about your financial standing. We then spend a lot of time getting to know you and what makes you tick. We want to know what’s important to you and the issues that are relevant to you so we know exactly what you need to feel safe and secure and, well, comfortable.
During this process, we’ll talk about investments (all pensions will be linked to an investment) and help you understand the nature of investment risk. By educating you on what could go wrong rather than focusing only on the headline returns pension and investment companies like to use in their marketing, you’ll feel empowered about your financial situation and capable to deal with any fall-out, should it happen.
We’ll also decide what level of income is likely to be juuuuuuust right for you in retirement, and help you decide how to allocate the rest. This can take a bit of work, but it’s key to creating a clear picture of how much you’ll need without having to worry. As we often say, without a clear objective, it isn’t possible to know how far away we are!
Once we’re all on the same page about what your future may hold, we’ll prepare plans and implement them for you so your stress levels are kept to a minimum and you can spend your time doing things that are more important (and fun). We’ll also regularly review your financial standing to make sure you stay on track toward achieving your goals. Because life isn’t a fairytale and unlike Goldilocks, you don’t just get to walk into a warm home and nestle into a comfortable life. In the real world, you need to make your own fairytale ending– warm porridge and all.
To find out more about our process here at Brighton Financial, please click here.