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Financial advice set for new business boom

Financial advice could be set for a flood of business in the coming years as a YouGov poll reveals that one in five consumers who have not sought financial advice in the past intend to do so to ensure they have a sufficient income for retirement.

According to the research, conducted by YouGov for a study published by Axa Wealth, 40 per cent of UK adults are not confident managing their finances to ensure they have sufficient income in retirement.

While 16 per cent of the more than 2,000 respondents said they had sought advice in the past and plan to do so again, encouragingly for the sector a further 19 per cent said they would intend to to do so in the future.

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Nick Elphick, managing director of specialist products for Axa Wealth, said: “One of the key drivers behind the Retail Distribution Review was to establish financial advice as a profession akin to solicitors or doctors and as a credible financial support network.

“With increasing longevity and a background of low interest and annuity rates financial planning to help secure sufficient retirement income has never been so crucial.

“Initiatives such as auto-enrolment will hopefully encourage more people to consider their financial future and where their income will come from when they stop working.

“ Financial advice can not only help to maximise investment decisions, but proper use of tax efficient savings vehicles can help to boost their overall income.”

Karen Barrett, chief executive of IFA search tool Unbiased.co.uk, said: “Seeking financial advice for your individual circumstances is an important step in taking control and preparing your personal finances, not just for the here and now, but also for the longer-term.

“We often hear from advisers who first started working with a client in the early stages of their ‘finance journey’, arranging their first mortgage or investment, who then supported and advised this client for years and decades on other areas such as retirement planning or protection needs.

“Getting more people engaged in the financial advice process is key to tackling some of the nation’s biggest finance problems such as the retirement, savings or protection gap.

“The important thing for consumers to remember is that they don’t have to be an expert when it comes to financial matters. Just as they would ask a solicitor for legal help, they should seek help from a financial adviser for finance matters.”