Martin Bamford of Informed Choice commented last week that “planners need a new approach for active, older clients”. This was following a visit to Elmbridge Village, a retirement village in Cranleigh. He was impressed by the facilities on offer and the amount of activity that these older residents could choose from. He feels that as financial planners, it is important that we help our clients realise the full range of options on offer, especially when it comes to retirement living.
I do not think Mr Bamford realises that I have recently published a book on the same subject, ‘Boomers: Redefining Retirement’, but it addresses this issue, that the traditional landscape and perception of retirement is changing.
This, I believe, is very much down to the boomer generation who influenced society in so many aspects of life. Now that they are retiring, they still want as much out of life as possible. If they focus on their health, ensure they have sufficient monies for their lifestyle, they can manage a 100-year-old life.
This is where financial planners come into their own. Modelling various scenarios and making clients aware of any shortfalls they might encounter makes them important figures in the life of future and current retirees.
However, having wealth is only one part of the equation; without good health, the money is more likely to be spent on care fees and medical costs. Not thinking seriously about how you want to lead the next part of your life is another shortcoming. It is a cliché, I know, but we are only on this earth once, so we may as well enjoy as much of it as we can.
Planting the seed for thinking about what is important is where planners really do help. Some clients may have ideas, but have not articulated them or written them down. Having goals gives you a destination to look forward to and plan for. Living in a retirement home may not be everyone’s choice, but unless we ask the question, how will we know?
Marlene Outrim is managing director of Uniq Family Wealth