Like many things that require a long-term outlook and commitment, many of us tend to put off retirement planning until it’s sometimes too late.
While the most common reasons for slow action on this front, are well documented, such as a lack of knowledge about retirement, lack of financial means, and lack of will, there are also the subtle, more unconscious parts of our beliefs and attitudes that impact how we would approach planning for retirement.
“People have different retirement goals and only 6 per cent of the population is actively working towards reaching those goals,” says Famida Singh, Liberty’s Divisional Executive for Retail Investment Proposition Management.
“This has prompted us to take a deeper look at underlying attitudes, that may serve as unconscious drivers of how an individual plan to achieve their retirement goals. Allowing us to confidently understand, coach, and encourage our clients to successfully implement their retirement planning strategy.”
THE AGELESS ADVENTURER
Will take any opportunity to explore, discover and make their money work for them. In an ideal world, this persona would be able to retire early to start exploring new avenues, travel and lead the exciting life they’ve always wanted. Most importantly, they would need to be able to leverage their finances to engage in these new activities without breaking the bank.
Carlo Gil – Financial Adviser at Liberty weighs in and says, “Adventurers are already aggressive investors and are likely the type of person who would want to retire early to truly enjoy themselves and their savings. They should have a multitude of investments – with some in the higher risk brackets – to maximise what they’ve accumulated.”
But even if they’re doing well, they need to remember to never take their eye off the ball. If they stop saving for even a short period, it could end up taking much longer to start their new adventures.
THE COMMUNAL CARETAKER
Family, friends and the community are most important to them. Retirement means that they can spend more time with all the above. “This persona is driven by a need to impact the world positively and give back to those in need,” says Famida.
They want to use their newfound free time to mentor young people, volunteer at or start a charity organisation. “The communal caretaker also needs to maintain their financial health, which is why resources are key to enriching relationships and taking care of the people closest to them.”
The caretaker is what Carlo describes as your traditional investor – namely someone looking to live comfortably in their old age, but still wants to actively participate to ensure they still fulfil their purpose. Retirement annuities can help ensure this will be the case without having to rely on others, but a living annuity could lessen the anxiety around protecting family in the case of one’s death. “But the caretaker needs to focus on their health as well, because how you can be active in your community if your body isn’t up to it?” he asks.
THE ACTUALISING ADULT
Is diligent, independent and even when they retire, they still want to be able to work by their own rules. They have saved in the past to ensure their family’s comfort is secured, but now they have the time to pursue the path they’ve always wanted to. Age is only a number to this persona, which is why they may want to invest in a new business, project or asset. However, they don’t want to risk their security on a worthless investment.
Carlo explains that the entrepreneurs and hustlers always want to improve themselves, and they’re willing to use acquired wealth for their new passions, as such an investment approach that allows them to maintain their savings, and ensure they have multiple portfolios they can draw upon is one of the best ways to protect their retirement investment, even in the case of a failed project, they’re still covered.
THE LATE STARTER
May have only been able to start their retirement annuity later in life, but they still want to ensure that they and their family are financially protected. This persona is now researching the best ways to save and invest, but there is a lot of information out there, which could cause anxiety around their future, but it’s never too late to start pushing toward their goals and dreams.
It’s tough, but one of the best ways for this persona to build up towards their future is by developing a rigid numerical goal and diligently saving, says Carlo. However, flexibility is key. When their finances are in good shape, the late starter can put a bit more into their monthly contributions for their new retirement funds, but during tough times, these can be adjusted. “Being diligent now is difficult, but it can make up for when they may have been less dedicated in their youth,” he says. Most importantly, this kind of person has to avoid falling into the trap of simply giving up. Building a retirement plan even later in life can still improve your life down the line – even if you don’t necessarily reach your final numerical goal.
THE CAUTIOUSLY CONCERNED
The cautiously concerned persona is a bit worried about the health and financial implications of getting older. Their peace of mind is a key priority, but even though they prioritise their well-being and that of their family, they still want to be able to live their best life in retirement. It’s a delicate balance of making sure they’re having an adventure even if it means having to set money aside to, for example, treat a chronic ailment.
Many people in this category, says Carlo, are already the kind of people who would have medical cover and retirement savings. If not, it’s important to engage with these investments to lessen the anxiety around getting older. However, even though the cautiously concerned are usually able to save fairly well, it’s important, he says to put aside some money for fun – or as an emergency fund in the case of a medical downturn.
“Regardless of your retirement persona or financial preparations, there is always an opportunity to speak with a Financial Adviser to put in place a plan that will ensure you reach your retirement goals,” added Famida.