Do you often review your finances? Or are you one of those people who just hope for the best? Although managing finances may not be the most exciting activity, keeping track of your financial wellbeing can make a significant difference to your life, both in the present and in the future. Taking control of your finances will enable you to meet your financial goals and improve your overall financial health.
Worryingly more than 24.5 million people (46%) feel financially disengaged, according to new research. The study also shows that one in 20 adults – the equivalent of 2.4 million people – were previously financially engaged before changing their behaviour.
Key reasons for this change include feeling financially secure enough to be less diligent with managing their money (20%), or because other areas of their life have become busier (18%). However, almost a fifth (17%) couldn’t state a reason. But previous periods of financial uncertainty, such as recessions, were stated as the key driver for people becoming financially engaged (27%), so the current cost of living crisis could mean people keep a closer eye on their money.
Almost two-thirds of respondents (62%) said they regularly check their household budget and their spending, while 73% shop around for the best deal, or use discount codes and vouchers (64%). On average, pre-retirees (those aged 55+ who are still in work) are more financially engaged than the rest of the population (62% compared to the UK average of 54%).
But many are still inactive when it comes to their retirement planning, suggesting people might not know where to start. More than a third (34%) do not currently check their workplace pension while 28% do not currently review their personal pension.
Separate research shows one in five people still reach midlife without having engaged with their retirement at all. Taking small steps to improve your money habits can have a huge impact on your life. It can also help you feel more in control of your financial situation. Against a landscape of rising costs and record levels of inflation, it can be easy to bury your head in the sand. However, as the research shows, periods of financial difficulty can be one of the leading reasons people take charge of their finances.
While it’s positive that pre-retirees, in particular, are more financially engaged than the average person, it is concerning that they aren’t engaging in vital steps to prepare for retirement, such as checking their pension. This is the first step of the decumulation phase; however, some people could be leaving themselves at risk of not knowing their full financial picture or how to actively manage their retirement finances when they get there. The decumulation phase is an important aspect of retirement planning that many people overlook.
During this phase, we convert our assets into income streams that will fund our retirement. With advances in healthcare and an increase in life expectancy, it’s becoming more important than ever to plan for a longer retirement. Investment can play a crucial role during the decumulation phase. It’s important to continue making our money work hard even after we retire, so that we can meet our financial needs and maintain our standard of living. A well-diversified investment portfolio that balances risk and return can help us achieve our retirement goals.
To enjoy the decumulation phase with greater confidence and peace of mind, it’s important to have a realistic projection of income flows and expenses. This means creating a budget that takes into account expected income from sources such as Social Security, pensions and investment income, as well as our estimated expenses for healthcare, housing and other living expenses. Preparing for retirement can be a daunting task, but by following a few simple tips, you can make sure you’re on track to living out your golden years in comfort and security.
HERE ARE THE TOP FOUR THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREPARE FOR RETIREMENT:
1. PREPARE A BUDGET
One of the most important things you can do is to create a realistic budget that will help you track your expenses and income. This will allow you to identify any areas where you can cut back and save more money for retirement. By tracking your spending and income, you can create a plan that helps you save for a comfortable retirement.
2. CONSIDER PENSION DECUMULATION OPTIONS
As you approach retirement age, it’s essential to explore the various ways you can convert your pension savings into a retirement income. There are several options available, such as annuities, income drawdown and immediate vesting personal pensions. Seeking professional financial advice will help you understand your options better and make informed decisions about how to access your pension.
3. REVIEW ASSET ALLOCATION
As retirement approaches, it’s essential to reduce exposure to higher-risk assets such as equities. By reviewing your asset allocation, you can adjust your investments to make sure you have a welldiversified portfolio that is designed to provide steady income for your retirement years.
4. REVIEW YOUR PLAN REGULARLY
Regularly reviewing your progress is crucial to ensure you are ready for retirement and make the necessary adjustments if needed. Changes in your income, expenses or the financial climate may require you to adjust your plan. By following these four tips, you can set yourself on a path to financial security for your retirement years..
TIME TO START THINKING ABOUT YOUR RETIREMENT OPTIONS?
By planning ahead and taking the necessary steps, we can ensure that we have a comfortable retirement and enjoy the fruits of our labour. To tell us about your retirement goals and how we can help you, please contact us.
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