Be more me, myself and I, when it comes to your future plans

We all have big plans for the future, yet just how many of us actually set money aside to focus on those plans?

Pension advice specialists, Portafina, recently delved into the future plans of Brits aged over 45* to find out when they actually start to concentrate on themselves and their aspirations, rather than prioritising family and friends.

Surprisingly, the research** revealed that having spent years focusing on their family’s needs and aspirations, it is only at the age of 62, on average, when the nation starts to enjoy its monthly income and concentrate on their own future (34%).

Considering the findings, Portafina can reveal that the top five aspirations of those aged 45 and above are:

  1. Travelling (47%)

  2. Spending more time with family (37%)

  3. Spending more time on an existing hobby (24%)

  4. Spending more time going out with friends (24%)

  5. Retiring (22%)

The question is, are they saving enough money to accomplish them? More than a third (37%) don’t think they are currently saving/have saved enough, whilst those aged 55-59 (36%) don’t think they are saving enough despite wanting to retire in the next 10-15 years.

But what is holding them back from increasing their savings pot and fulfilling their plans?

Portafina’s research reveals the nation’s top three saving barriers are:

  1. Income vs outgoing (34%)

  2. Unexpected costs (32%)

  3. Supporting family members (20%)

Moreover, respondents also commented that ill health, lack of help and not having a clear understanding of how much money they should be putting aside were also cited as saving barriers.

With retirement on the horizon, over a third (36%) of future retirees said they are concerned they won’t be able to pay bills with their monthly pension payments. Furthermore, those who are already retired explained that their biggest financial concern ahead of retirement was not having enough money to sustain their lifestyle (31%) – let alone fulfil their dreams for the future.

Commenting on the psychology of planning and preparing for the future, Geraldine Joaquim, psychotherapist at Mind Your Business says:

“Just thinking about the future is the start of moving you towards the goal. Whether you’re interested in travelling or building a lifestyle business, maybe taking up a new hobby or finally finding your groove after years of full time work and children, putting your plans on paper is an important aspect of making them come to fruition.

“Without planning, all those big ideas are just that: ideas that drift around our minds for a while but they will eventually disappear if not captured and pushed forward in some way. The very act of writing them out makes them more concrete and helps you visualise the steps you might need to take you there, it’s a kind of mind-mapping which gets your subconscious thinking about what the next logical step should be to make your plans a reality.

“And it doesn’t mean whatever you put down is exactly what will happen, it might be consolidating what you don’t want as well as what you do want. It helps to gives you a check list of what is possible, what is out of the question and what could happen with a little work.”

Geraldine Joaquim

Jamie Smith-Thompson, Managing Director of Portafina, also commented:

“A quick Google search throws up lots of how-to lists when it comes to planning for a better financial future. But you’ve got to question how useful these lists really are if, as a nation, we are not being a bit more selfish about our money until we reach our early 60s! Don’t get me wrong, practical checklists can be a great help when it comes to financial planning. But sometimes a change of attitude is just as important.

“Like most of us, I’ll do anything to help my family and friends. And yet, I think it’s really important to get the balance right. There’s nothing wrong with sometimes saying no to others if it means you can put more aside for your future. Why shouldn’t you get to do more of the things you want to do as you get older?

“Being a bit more selfish simply means putting your financial future first now and again. You deserve it!”

Jamie Smith-Thompson

*The research only focuses on those aged 45+ as this seems a relevant time for the nation to start focusing on themselves again, after years of financial commitments and supporting others such as family and friends.
**Survey of 2,000 respondents carried out 21.05.18 by Onepoll. 

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The details provided in this article are for general information only and are in no way deemed to be financial advice. All of the material is correct as of the publication date, but could be out-of-date by the time you read the article.