Financial Wellbeing

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More than 24.5 million people are financially disengaged.

Do you often review your finances? Or are you one of those people who just hope for the best? Although managing finances may not be the most exciting activity, keeping track of your financial wellbeing can make a significant difference to your life, both in the present and in the future. Taking control of your finances and considering financial advice will enable you to meet your financial goals and improve your overall financial health.

Worryingly more than 24.5 million people (46%) feel financially disengaged, according to new research[1]. The study also shows that one in 20 adults – the equivalent of 2.4 million people – were previously financially engaged before changing their behaviour[2].

Financial uncertainty

Key reasons for this change include feeling financially secure enough to be less diligent with managing their money (20%), or because other areas of their life have become busier (18%). However, almost a fifth (17%) couldn’t state a reason.

But previous periods of financial uncertainty, such as recessions, were stated as the key driver for people becoming financially engaged (27%), so the current cost of living crisis could mean people keep a closer eye on their money.

Retirement planning

Almost two-thirds of respondents (62%) said they regularly check their household budget and their spending, while 73% shop around for the best deal, or use discount codes and vouchers (64%). On average, pre-retirees (those aged 55+ who are still in work) are more financially engaged than the rest of the population (62% compared to the UK average of 54%).

But many are still inactive when it comes to their retirement planning, suggesting people might not know where to start. More than a third (34%) do not currently check their workplace pension while 28% do not currently review their personal pension.

Money habits

Separate research shows one in five people still reach midlife without having engaged with their retirement at all[1]. Taking small steps to improve your money habits can have a huge impact on your life. It can also help you feel more in control of your financial situation.

Against a landscape of rising costs and record levels of inflation, it can be easy to bury your head in the sand. However, as the research shows, periods of financial difficulty can be one of the leading reasons people take charge of their finances and seeking professional financial advice can help you to create a robust financial plan.

Preparing for retirement

While it’s positive that pre-retirees, in particular, are more financially engaged than the average person, it is concerning that they aren’t engaging in vital steps to prepare for retirement, such as checking their pension.

This is the first step of the decumulation phase; however, some people could be leaving themselves at risk of not knowing their full financial picture or how to actively manage their retirement finances when they get there. The decumulation phase is an important aspect of retirement planning that many people overlook.

Income streams

During this phase, we convert our assets into income streams that will fund our retirement. With advances in healthcare and an increase in life expectancy, it’s becoming more important than ever to plan for a longer retirement. Investment can play a crucial role during the decumulation phase.

It’s important to continue making our money work hard even after we retire, so that we can meet our financial needs and maintain our standard of living. A well-diversified investment portfolio that balances risk and return can help us achieve our retirement goals.

Retire ready

To enjoy the decumulation phase with greater confidence and peace of mind, it’s important to have a realistic projection of income flows and expenses. This means creating a budget that takes into account expected income from sources such as Social Security, pensions and investment income, as well as our estimated expenses for healthcare, housing and other living expenses.

Preparing for retirement can be a daunting task, but by following a few simple tips, you can make sure you’re on track to living out your golden years in comfort and security.

Are you planning for retirement?

By planning ahead and taking the necessary steps, we can ensure that we have a comfortable retirement. Read our tips on “preparing for retirement”.

Important Information: The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invested. The tax treatment is dependent on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in future. A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend on the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.

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Source data: [1] Research was carried out online by Opinium Research amongst 4,000 UK adults aged 18+ between 14″20 October 2022. 1,856 participants indicated that they were financially disengaged in the survey. 1856/4000=46%, which equates to 24,541,000 UK adults.

[2] 181 participants indicated that they were financially disengaged in the survey. 181/4000=5%, which equates to 2,390,000 UK adults.

[3] Opinium survey of 4,009 UK adults aged between 40 and 60 years old in the UK was conducted between 28 December–6 January 2021.

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