The Benefits of Financial Advice for Pension Planning

With the wealth of information available to us in the 21st century, it can be difficult to work through all the noise in order to identify the right questions that will help build a private pension best suited to your needs. However, without financial advice and an appropriate investment plan, money for retirement may run out when you need it most and leave you unable to achieve the lifestyle you desire. Working with the right financial adviser who understands how your investments, pension funds, savings, tax and income may affect your retirement can help maximise your chances of having enough money to enjoy the retirement you envisage.

We recommend you ask the following questions when evaluating whether to work with a pension adviser and the factors to consider when selecting one.

What is Your Investment Time Horizon?

Retirement can be a wonderful time of life. It gives you the opportunity to reflect on all you have achieved, and you can spend quality time with your partner, spouse or other loved ones. You can travel, renew or take up hobbies—relax. But all this time doing what you want will need funding.

Too often clients underestimate their investment time horizon (we define this as how long they will need their money to last), which is a critical part of determining how to best fund retirement expenses. Financial advisers should be able to provide advice to help you appropriately identify your investment time horizon. Advisers who underestimate their clients’ investment time horizon risk a funding shortfall for their clients.

People in developed countries are living longer than ever before and you could easily live longer than your parents or beyond the average projected life expectancy for somebody of your generation—they are just averages after all. Also, your investments may need to support goals beyond your own retirement. Often your spouse’s or dependents’ life expectancies should help inform your investment time horizon.

How Do I Set Goals?

Do you want to increase the value of your investment portfolio in retirement? Are you planning to spend everything in your lifetime? These are all retirement goals you might be considering and the advice from your pension adviser should help you plan accordingly. The advice you receive should help you set your goals appropriately to your circumstances and increase your chances of having enough money when you need it.

In our experience, most people who seek retirement financial advice have goals falling into one or more of the following categories:

  • Avoid running out of money: The thought of running out of money in retirement can be a great source of anxiety. However, that fear can lead to dangerously conservative planning advice that may focus too heavily on low-volatility investments that may not yield enough to get an investor to their goals. This strategy may not adequately account for the impact of inflation, longer investment time horizons and additional expenses.
  • Maintain or improve lifestyle: Are your state pension and workplace pension incomes going to be enough to finance the lifestyle you want? Year on year inflation can impact your savings and reduce your purchasing power.
  • Increase wealth: Your goal may be to grow your wealth over the long term—typically for a legacy, whether that is for children, grandchildren or another beneficiary.
  • Spend everything:This can be a risky financial planning goal as there is no way to know the extent of your investment time horizon—you may risk spending all your funds early and living on restricted pension income only.

By working with a pension adviser, you can think through your long-term goals and create realistic financial plans and savings strategies to achieve them.

How Do I Coordinate My Investment Accounts With State and Personal Pensions?

Your pension adviser should be able to coordinate and optimise your state and private pension schemes together with your investment accounts and other sources of income to help you achieve the optimal level of cash flow and growth for your situation over the long term. Understanding the age at which you will be able to receive payments, what you can expect to receive in income over time and how this might fluctuate, can be complex and confusing.

Effective financial advice should be able to help you understand the effect of lump-sum withdrawals, what your options are in relation to the level of contributions, tax obligations, deferred payments and other pertinent financial issues.

Am I Confident in My Retirement Planning Advice?

Investing for retirement is unlikely to be a worry-free undertaking, especially during times of market volatility and instability in the economy. However, it is how we respond to uncertainties, whether economic, political or personal, that defines our success as investors.

Having an adviser—whether it’s an independent financial adviser (IFA), pension adviser or general financial adviser—who understands the whole market can help keep you disciplined and able to stick to your plan in both good and bad times. The right adviser and the right financial advice may be the best chance for you to reach your long-term financial goals.

Contact Fisher Investments UK today

Fisher Investments Europe Limited, trading as Fisher Investments UK, is authorised and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA Number 191609) and is registered in England (Company Number 3850593). Fisher Investments Europe Limited Headquarters: Level 18, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AX.

Fisher Investments Europe Limited’s parent company, Fisher Asset Management, LLC, trading under the name Fisher Investments, is established in the USA and regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Investment management services are provided by Fisher Investments.

Fisher Investments’ objective, as a wealth management firm, is to help you reach your goals and keep you educated and informed so you can understand the importance of your strategy and remain disciplined to it.

Fisher Investments provides an Investment Counsellor to every client. These professional advisers are dedicated points of contact who exist to help you have the best chance of achieving your goals and prevent you from making investing errors on the way to your retirement.

Fisher Investments UK can review your pension fund savings and offer investing advice tailored to your personal needs. We can help you ask the right questions to create a comprehensive private pension modelled around your personal retirement goals. For more information, and to arrange an initial meeting with one of our financial advisers, get in touch with us today.

Investing in financial markets involves the risk of loss and there is no guarantee that all or any capital invested will be repaid. Past performance neither guarantees nor reliably indicates future performance. The value of investments and the income from them will fluctuate with world financial markets and international currency exchange rates.