Google provides us with the answers to almost everything.
Need to fit bathroom tiles? YouTube offers a video guide. Need to trim a lilac tree? Gardening bloggers will tell you how. Baking, dressmaking, road route planners, guides to this, information on that. It is all out there on the internet; we can be masters of anything.
When it comes to financial planning at retirement, thousands of words are dedicated to the subject on-line. The facts we all crave are widely discussed as pensions continue to make news headlines as further changes to the pension industry take place. We have never been better informed.
This is where turning to the internet for financial advice comes with risks.
The options regarding how to draw an income at retirement have become even more complicated for the average person to understand, with layers of rules and complex taxation requiring much consideration.
Many financial advisers believe that the recent change to pensions is good news for the consumer. However, for those with several pension pots, other savings or investments, or simply with wider wealth planning considerations, there is no default route or answers to drawing an income at retirement.
The simple fact is that getting good wealth planning advice at retirement has never been more important.
Those who are financially inexperienced or who do not understand the implications of the various options and choose to make decisions about their retirement income without taking advice could be making irreversible mistakes. The internet may provide information, but there are no guarantees that it is correct or even up-to-date. It can never offer every option or consideration, nor can it apply rules to individual circumstances.
Many people would not consider buying a house without employing a solicitor and a surveyor, yet many decide to take a gamble with financial advice. The decisions made regarding pension money at retirement can involve significant sums and can decide your future financial well-being. Not taking wealth management advice at retirement, and taking a gamble of going alone with information sourced from the internet could prove to be a costly mistake.
The role of a financial adviser is to understand all of the complex pension options, rules and changes and provide advice which is tailored to meet the needs of the individual. Those who take financial advice can also be comforted that the regulator (the Financial Conduct Authority) requires that your adviser has the knowledge and skills in order to provide you with suitable advice.
A good financial adviser will make their clients think seriously and realistically about their future, and about what they want to achieve financially, how they are comfortable doing it, and by when. They will also help their clients understand the bigger picture, such as taxation and changes to pension legislation, and whether they should be considering alternative choices.
Not everyone knows how the financial services industry works, nor has the time or inclination to find out. Many people find pensions and investments complicated, and paying for guidance from a qualified financial adviser is one way they can remove this complication from their life. Financial advisers guide their clients along the right path in order to facilitate achieving their plans and goals, helping to protect and nurture wealth.
If you are approaching retirement, please say hello, we’d love to help.