Personal Pension  

Getting clients' mid-life priorities right

This article is part of
Guide to helping mid-lifers plan for retirement

"Once a base plan has been established, then this can be measured and updated year on year – the result hopefully being more of a soft landing than the cliff edge scenario of having no plan at all.”

Using tools like these, which are increasingly technologically advanced, can help mid-lifers take a holistic view of their financial future, including incomes and outgoings they may have overlooked.

Paul McNamara, chief executive of Evalue, suggests: “Advisers can also help mid-lifers see the tax benefits of planning for retirement. When you get to a certain age, you’re likely to be earning more money.

"Advisers play a key role in helping people not only understand the complexity of their pension, but also the taxation benefits of contributing into a pension.”

Re-energising mid-lifers

This tax issue is, for many, an even more daunting prospect than saving more – or anything at all – for retirement, but the increasing availability of tools for advisers should help ease the fear of tackling them.

Mr Witcombe points out: “It is crucial at this age that you start maximising all the tax allowances on offer. For example, if you have elderly parents, ensure there is a sufficient plan in place regarding your potential future inheritance, especially in cases where you are contributing to their care.”

Using these tools may help to gently reset clients’ priorities by combining data with personalised video and audio to help engagement and understanding of pension savings, rather than administering a short, sharp shock, says Mr McNamara.

Advisers have a key part to play in re-energising this group to plan, according to Mr Carty. 

“The easiest thing for most people to do when thinking about their retirement – or putting it another way – ‘getting old’ – is just to simply ignore it and deal with planning for the next holiday in Cornwall or the Caribbean,” he adds.

“However, retirement is likely to be the longest holiday of your life – and it will be more Butlins (nothing wrong with Hi-de-Hi) than Barbados if you don’t plan for it.”

Elizabeth Pfeuti is a freelance financial journalist