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Retirement is one of the biggest shifts you’ll ever make; it’s far bigger than transitioning from school to work or getting married or having children. What you do in retirement is what you will do for the rest of your life. 

Most people approaching retirement age these days have been brought up with a  “live within your means and save money” mentality. This means that when they enter into retirement after a life of saving, it can take time to overcome this inherent need to save and actually start spending some of that hard-earned cash in order to live comfortably.

At Applewood Independent Ltd, we go beyond financial planning. We discuss your retirement plans in terms of lifestyle for three reasons:

  1. We want you to see that you have options.
  2. We want you to enjoy your retirement.
  3. We will support you to make decisions based on financial planning.


The typical retirement age is between 50 and 70 years old. It’s a generation that has been taught to view “finance” as a dirty word, having learnt that every penny counts. Many within this age group have lived through the austerity of postwar rationing and high interest rates of 15–17% (an interest rate like this would cripple most couples in a starter home now).

Experiences like this make people cautious. They are typically from a cash-saving and financially stable generation, but this is also why retirement can feel confronting (read our previous blog: How Planning Helps Your Money Work Hard [And Retirement Feel Less Daunting]).

To support you to move beyond financial concerns, we encourage you to enter into conversations around how you might enjoy your retirement (so that we can then support you in making it financially possible).


Everyone has bills to pay, but hobbies and interests are there to be enjoyed; and when you enter retirement, there is all the more time to really focus on what you like doing. For example, some people play golf, buy trainers and run a marathon, or go horse riding, but for these activities to be enjoyed, you need to be able to finance them. Once we know if you are planning holidays in the sun or want to buy an Italian supercar, we can help you meet your objectives (and not just the tangible bills).

A great adviser has to be numbers and performance driven, but they are also emotionally driven and need to know what motivates you as a client. 

Financial planning

It’s a giant leap into retirement if you have been saving between £500 and £1,000 every month for 40 years. It’s difficult to believe that your assets can take care of you, that they can pay you half or three quarters of what you were earning, or in some cases bring you a higher income than when you were working.

Whether you have £100k or £5M in your investments, retirement requires a major shift in mindset; but when your financial adviser can back it up with numbers, it becomes more believable.

It’s a challenge to rely on assets you have been carefully building up for decades, but with the right adviser, you can relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

When to start thinking about retirement

At Applewood Independent Ltd, we suggest you start analysing your investments and savings one to three years before retirement; any earlier than that puts you at the mercy of how your funds perform. There is no guarantee that you will make X within that time frame.

At this point we can gauge if there is enough in your portfolio to cover your retirement lifestyle plans. Most people we work with have enough to provide for their retirement, whether they have saved diligently and now have either £100k or millions of pounds in investments.

Retirement planning can be emotional. My peers (at age 35) are part of a generation that will borrow to buy a car, or pay monthly for the latest iPhone; it’s a generation that wants to have it all now and pay for it later, which is completely the opposite to you if you’re approaching retirement age. 

However, the chances are a good adviser will have supported clients with their retirement plans for several years, and at Applewood Independent Ltd we are emotionally invested in your needs.

We want what’s best for you, and sometimes that means accepting an income from your investments, spending time with your family and reaping the rewards of all the sacrifices you’ve made over the years.

We’re here to help in every way that we can.

Even if you’re not considering retirement for another ten years, it can be beneficial to speak to a financial adviser: the earlier you start to utilise your money well, the greater the potential of compound interest. In simplistic terms, if you invested £500k now and wanted to retire next year, you’d have significantly less than the person who invested £100k 35 years ago.

I hope this has been useful, and if you have anything else to add, I’d love to hear from you. To find out more, feel free to get in touch by emailing me at for more information.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not constitute financial advice. Applewood Independent Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. For financial advice designed for you and your specific circumstances, please contact the author using the contact details provided in this article or, alternatively, contact the Applewood Independent Ltd office on 01270 626555.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up, and you may not get back the full amount invested.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance.