Delays to Retirement Expected

By Nick Adamthwaite

“Up to 1.5 Million to delay Retirement due to Covid-19”

As we begin to see a very feint light at the end of the tunnel, there can be no denying that we’re going to have to wait a very long time until we see a return to a situation that somewhat resembles ‘normality’.

Social restrictions are being eased, the extra-vulnerable are leaving their homes for the first time in months, and we’re seeing a gradual flow on people trickling back into their full-time roles... be it in the office, at home, or a mixture of the two.

Given that it’s been over six months since the first Covid-19 case was reported by China to the W.H.O, the flow of research into the possible knock-on effects of the virus are also beginning to trickle in, with one particular study from L&G catching our attention.

Legal & General announced this month that they believe the impact of the virus will mean that as many as 1.5 million UK workers over aged 50 (15%) will be forced to delay their retirement by an average of three years, with one in ten respondents anticipating a delay of five years or more.

We can break down these stats a little further, as I’ve done below;

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anybody though if we think about what’s been happening over the past few months.

Household budgets have been slashed as people were ordered to stay home from work in a bid to try and curtail the grip of the virus. All the while, those same budgets are seeing added strain at the other end of the spectrum, what with the vast majority of schoolchildren also being ordered to stay at home, too. Not to mention the added stress and strain that the pandemic has put on those that are trying to live a happy, healthy, balanced lifestyle...

Despite some commendable policy-making (more specifically, the fiscal policy-making that introduced the Job Retention Scheme, CBILS and Bounceback Loan Schemes) carried out by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and his team just over a month into the job, there was no getting round the fact that things were and still are going to be tough for a significant portion of UK households for the foreseeable future.

So, as budgets are being squeezed left, right and centre (or, “households, private businesses and public offices”, if you’re that way inclined), it‘s only natural for those in charge to prioritise the more-pressing needs first.

For example, ensuring you have enough to continue buying food to feed your family, or paying wages to your employees so they can feed their families. It’s understandably these needs that have taken priority over the not-so-pressing ones, such as saving for your retirement.

As I say though, this is completely natural.

So, if you’re reading this and beating yourself up about having to press pause on paying regular monthly pension contributions; whether it be from a personal point of view, or as a business owner in respect of your employees; then please stop.

Stop beating yourself up.

We’ve all spent the past few months just trying to adapt and survive as best we can, and you’re no different. Nobody is going to criticise anything you’re doing really as long as it is done with good intentions and sticks within the government guidelines.

At risk of speaking too soon, especially given the scenes we’re seeing at the moment across the Atlantic, I would think it’s fair to say that as we enter the month of June, there is a clear light at the end of this coronavirus-shaped tunnel.

Some primary schoolchildren are returning back to class, some pubs are serving pints through the window, and some of those furloughed employees are returning back to work.

The cogs are starting to turn again, and we’re gradually, very gradually, starting to see a little more motion in the ocean.

The budget increases are being signed-off, and the paydays are beginning to roll in again. Things aren’t simply reverting to what was previously known as “the norm”, though.

Far from it.

Budgets and spending plans seem to be going into certain things like providing employees with the ability to be able to work from home, and we’re seeing a big shift in focus by HR Departments towards engaging with employees regarding their health and wellbeing.

For me, this is an important shift, but one that shouldn’t be carried out if it’s done at the expense of either your future self, aka your health, or your future lifestyle, aka your financial plan / retirement plan / “your wealth”.

While there is such a major focus on health at the moment, I am conscious that the wealth side of things might be taking a hit... and this is a view shared with many advisers I’ve spoken to (via Zoom, obviously) over the past couple of weeks.

In no way am I suggesting that wealth-building and -creation should be playing anything other than second-fiddle to the priority that is public health. Nor has that been the viewpoint of any of my peers that I’ve discussed it with.

But in the context of the UK economy and it’s impending recovery, given that as Financial Planners / Advisers we’re bound by law to ensure we provide trustworthy financial advice to the people of the UK, it is understandable for us to see a problem that is developing and want to address it, despite the fact that a strong argument could be made for the case of ‘there being more important things to worry about’.

Not for us though. This is our problem.

While you’re losing sleep over the trials and tribulations of your new norm, struggling to not only be able to afford to feed the kids, but to have to entertain them, too.. all the while trying to fit in your full time job, which you now have to do from the table in the kitchen rather than you’re calm, quiet, solely-work-focused office... while all that’s going on, the last thing you want to do is have to sit down after a long day or week or month and work out where you’re now heading in the future.

These are all questions that a lot of people have been asking themselves over the past few weeks, so you shouldn’t feel alone or stupid or careless for having these worries or concerns.

It’s like anything in life; you can either sit and dwell on things, hoping and waiting for someone or something else to come and make a change that works in your favour, or you can be the catalyst for change yourself.

As I said before, the questions and problems on peoples’ minds right now regarding financial futures and retirement plans are our questions and problems. Let us help you solve them.

This goes out not only as a direct message to any individuals reading this, but to business owners, too.

We’ve got a plethora of Retirement Specialists up and down the country who are primed and ready to take some of that unwanted stress off your plate by helping you solve these sorts of problems.

From Managing Directors of multi-million pound companies, right through to those individuals starting out on their journey to financial freedom, we’ve got the right Adviser for you.

Email your name and phone number to Steve Davies at steve.davies@prosperitywealth.com to find out more about booking a no-obligation Discovery meeting.

Alternatively, visit www.prosperitywealth.com, head to the Our Team page, choose the adviser you like the look of the most, and get in touch with them directly.

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