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Retirement still the biggest reason for seeking advice

Retirement is the reason most people seek financial advice, but it's the advice you take in earlier years that will affect you most.


by Michelle McGagh on Aug 20, 2012 at 14:10

Retirement still the biggest reason for seeking advice

Retirement is the main driver for people seeking independent financial advice, but there are fears that individuals are leaving financial planning too late.

Figures from, a website that helps consumers find independent financial advisers (IFAs), show 32% of all enquiries related to retirement advice.

Advice on investment and savings is the second most popular search, with 23% of people looking for IFAs to advise on this area; 14% need help with mortgages; 12% need help with individual savings accounts and open-ended investment companies; 12% with stakeholder pensions; 7% tax planning; 8% group pensions; 4% personal protection; 4% investment trusts; and 3% equity release.

Benefits of advice

Karen Barrett, chief executive of, said getting advice on retirement planning can have a positive effect on your old age. Of those who have been advised, 39% have a private pension, compared with 21% of people who do not take advice.

‘Living a comfortable life post-retirement is something that we all look forward to. Yet many of us now need to think about putting away enough of our income to ensure this and to prepare for longer life expectancy,’ she said.

‘In order to preserve our current standard of living, we need to make sure we have the right pension plans in place. And to make better, more informed decisions for your own future, it’s vital you seek advice.’

Don't leave it too late

However, AXA Wealth head of retirement planning Andy Zanelli warned that people were leaving financial planning too late, and not saving enough to fund the additional years that they want to spend in retirement.

‘It is very well known that we are living longer and as a result will be spending more time in retirement, a period that many wish to the longest holiday of their life,’ he said.

‘However, many of us are not saving enough to fund the additional years… As a result we are faced with the prospect of working longer or not having sufficient income to fund our twilight years.

‘An individual’s financial health in their later years will be shaped by what they have done in the early years, their long-term attitude towards saving, and a clearly defined financial plan… The pension time bomb is ticking and consumers need to be aware of the importance of long-term financial planning.’

5 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Aug 20, 2012 at 17:31

"Andy Zanelli warned that people were... not saving enough to fund the additional years that they want to spend in retirement."

The problem I have is I know how many years I want to spend in retirement (30... and still be playing football!), but I don't know how many years I will spend in retirement. If some IFA has the magic answer, I will pay for his advice!

As one who is considering Drawdown from my SIPP right now, it's a bit late to worry about saving for my future. It's unlikely to get much better, even if I stay invested and continue to contribute for a few more years.

What I need to know is, do I take the lot in maximum Drawdown + my tax-free lump sum now, or stay invested and hope I use it all up before my kids are hit with 55% tax on what's left. With the years I have left to invest, the best fund managers in the world aren't going to make up for the loss of 55%!

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David Rowse

Aug 20, 2012 at 21:05


Remember that if you take out an annuity your kids will get nothing when you die. You could take out an annuity on day one, die on day two and your kids inherit nothing on day three. The insurance company involved and your IFA would in that case be delighted, but I doubt if your kids would appreciate the 'joke'.

But then I guess that politicians reason that all older people suffer from dementia and thereby forget everything, so who is going to 'care'?

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Aug 21, 2012 at 09:04

@ Louis

I doubt there are many IFA's who would delight at the loss of a client a day after taking out an annuity and I'm struggling to understand why you might think that is the case. I cannot think of any advantage or gain for the IFA.

Annuities are a "pooled" investment so those who die early subsidise those who live longer than average. A good IFA will go through the various ways of protecting your annuity income against premature death so that the option recommended is the "best shape" based on the individuals circumstances. It is a compromise because I have yet to find a reliable way of predicting when someone will die.

We are constantly being reminded that we are not putting enough aside for our retirement but a pension is not the only option. There are other ways of saving that do not expose you to the sort of problems you and Louis highlight but that doesn't mean a pension is bad for everyone.

In my experience, most people want the guaranteed income in retirement afforded by an annuity.

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Rose G

Aug 21, 2012 at 09:29

Most people who have saved into a pension have found that they have been ripped off!

Most people on ordinary incomes have definitely been ripped off as they are no better off after having saved their income while those who have not paid a penny into a pension, & especially those who have not worked or contributed into the system, are offered a state pension or income support!

After being ripped off, who in their right minds would encourage the next generation to save for a pension?

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Aug 21, 2012 at 11:02

I cannot see that anyone has answered my question which, admittedly, was a little tongue in cheek.

I will not buy an annuity (for the reasons given above).

I plan to take my 25% tax-free lump sum now.

I am considering taking the maximum amount I can take as Drawdown from my SIPP (to avoid leaving a large amount which will be taxed at 55% when I shake off this mortal coil).

I will continue working and investing in a pension (for the tax relief) and my business will contribute (to save tax and increase my divi). This may be a secondary pension.

I will enjoy nice holidays for as long as I can!

There may be a reasonable amount left when I pop off, or there may not... not my problem. I've decided to be selfish for as long as I can enjoy it, and my kids say go for it!

...and if I do run out of cash, I'll sell a house and live comfortably(and hopefully, healthily) off the cash.

I guess I'm one of the selfish baby boomers everyone (younger) is talking about, who are squandering our children's future!

I have invested in my children so they can invest in their future, and their children's future. In true Olympic fashion, I've run the first 400 and put them in the lead, and handed over the baton!

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