How to be up to 39% better off in retirement

8th November 2017

The Author: Paul Evans
Paul is both a client adviser and responsible for setting the strategy and vision for United Advisers.

Recent research commissioned by UK firm Dunston Thomas* found that clients of financial advisers are likely to experience a far improved financial future following retirement than those who try to go it alone. The survey concluded that those who work with a financial adviser could expect to be a whopping 39% better off in retirement!

The research estimated average gross annual post-retirement household income for those taking advice to be £33,557.45 compared to only £20,373.40 for those who make decisions alone.

Despite these somewhat persuasive figures, the research also shows that almost half of those surveyed, a shocking 47%, haven’t done anything, and don’t plan to do anything, to find out more about pensions before retiring.

Advice helps create positive saving habits

Adrian Boulding, director of retirement strategy at Dunston Thomas, expounded the virtues of using the services of a financial adviser in forming positive habits, behaviours, and processes when it comes to accumulating wealth for retirement.

He said, “While it is inevitable those who go to an adviser for assistance have more savings to manage in the first place, it is worth noting financial advisers instil the financial  disciplines of saving, planning and reviewing progress, which helps build long-term savings.”

Professional advice versus general guidance

The research also highlights that individuals often take action according to a popular misconception that general financial guidance is the same as professional advice, with 36% of those surveyed being unable to tell the difference between the two, and only 17% professing to completely comprehend the difference.

Only 20% of those surveyed had pursued or planned to pursue, financial advice from an appropriately regulated body or individual. While 17% had either searched for, or would look for guidance from services like the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service, or Penny Wise.

25% of those surveyed merely relied on the direction given on the financial pages of national newspapers.

The participants mentioned several reasons for using a financial adviser, including the security of having a professional opinion (16%), not wanting to make critical financial decisions on their own (6%), and obtaining expert advice about inheritance tax issues (12%).

Awareness of your pension performance encourages you to take control

In our experience, the key benefits of using a finance professional when planning for your pension before retirement, and managing your portfolio during retirement, is all about relating the lifestyle you want after retirement to the actions you take to get there and what you intend to do once you retire.

Your adviser works with you to devise and maintain a bespoke financial plan using your income, outgoings, savings and holdings and based around your current lifestyle, the evolution of your lifestyle over time, and your desired lifestyle post-retirement.

To do this, a financial planner applies expertise in a variety of specialist processes and tools to assess all variables operating in your financial landscape; a competence that many who try to ‘go it alone’ struggle to acquire.

Many individuals find keeping track of where they are with their financial plans and determining whether or not they are ‘on track’ challenging to say the least.  Your financial adviser makes sure you’re on course and conducts regular forward-planning meetings with you to make sure you remain on track as your life evolves, and your plan moves forward. If you would like to know what you should look for in a financial planner you can read our top tips here.

We cannot overstate the tangible benefits of, and peace of mind created by, having a professionally prepared financial plan that accurately documents your financial circumstances, recognises your goals and motivations, models a clear financial strategy, and coherently maps your financial journey.

Book a meeting now

If you’re one of the 47% that has never approached a financial adviser or, even if you have but would like an independent review of where you are, please don’t hesitate to book a meeting with us to discuss your future.


* The research surveyed 1,002 members of the UK’s ‘baby-boomer’ generation aged 54 to 71 years old.