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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes; Don’t want to be a richer man - news article image

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes; Don’t want to be a richer man

23 Oct 2020

5 minute read

Having not been to Aylesbury for many a year, it was only recently that I saw the statue of Bowie that was unveiled to commemorate his early career and his first performance as his Ziggy Stardust alter ego at the old Friars venue that used to be in the town; and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The bronze piece is intricate, reflecting Bowie through the years and yet in a way quite unobtrusive.

Fast forward a couple of weeks to 5th October and an article in Accountancy Daily (a roller coaster ride of a read!) on the impact of the global pandemic on older workers and their retirement plans brought this song to mind.

The article pulled from a study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies of data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing Covid-19 study of 10,000 people aged 50 and over and, alongside the expected conclusions of worsened financial situations and deferred retirement plans, there was another element that triggered me. This was that 5% of the respondents were planning on retiring earlier because of the pandemic than they had previously intended.

One of the discussions that we have with clients is not when they plan on retiring but when they would like to be in a position financially that they can choose whether to continue to work, whether to continue to work full-time or whether to continue to do something for which they are paid. It’s planning towards that point at which: if things change, if life becomes more difficult, if priorities change, they can change what they’re doing without worrying about the impact.

From the study it would seem that there is a not insignificant proportion of people doing exactly that. I know that 5% doesn’t sound a lot however, 52% of those in the study were already retired and of the other 48% some will be too young to retire yet. A better idea comes from the comparison with those saying they planned to retire later and they made up 8% of the respondents. So almost as many plan on retiring earlier than previously intended as plan on retiring later.

One of the things which we are hearing from clients is that the impact of Covid-19 on the way we live our lives at the moment has led some to rethink what is important to them and others to find enjoyment in changes which have been forced upon them. Some have in the past found it difficult to let go; others have defined themselves very much by what they do; some have been unsure if they are prepared for life’s ‘rainy day’. Those drivers now aren’t the same as they were previously and it’s good to be on hand to help navigate through those changes.

It’s good to see that the split between those choosing early retirement and those feeling they need to retire later is more equal than one might have thought and it’s good to be having these conversations with clients. Now if someone would be good enough to sort out how we get out of the mess we’re in, we can all move on with our lives!

See my video on how we use cashflow forecasting to help clients with these decisions here .


Ps. If anyone is interested in issues of care, either for yourself, a parent or a friend, Tim Davison is taking part in an online presentation being organised by Oxford Aunts on the 28th of October from 18.30. You can read more information here.

Image courtesy of the Vale Life Mag

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes; Don’t want to be a richer man - news article image


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