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Holiday Planning v Retirement Planning

How Much Time Do You Spend Planning Your Summer Holiday Each Year?

You’ll research flights, accommodation, car parking at the airport, travel insurance, someone to look after your dog…. You’ll buy a guidebook (or look on Instagram) for tips on how maximise your time when you’re there.

Planning just one holiday could easily amount to more than 10 hours of your time.

Ok, there could be a last-minute border control strike or volcanic eruption in Iceland that causes delays but the better you plan and get organised, the more relaxed you’ll feel in the run-up to your holiday. You’ll maximise your time when you’re there and hopefully create a lifetime of happy memories.

Now consider how long you spend each year planning your retirement.

Hopefully this will be a fun-filled, multi-decade holiday, not just a week of relaxation in the August sun.

Is there a mismatch here? For most people we’re sure there is.


Pensions are perceived as boring, with reams of literature telling you about all the things that could go wrong.

Speaking with your mortgage lender can be mind-numbing experience – being left on hold for 20 minutes and then being subjected to heavily scripted responses.

Picking a fund to invest in can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack.

It really is no wonder that some people are turned off by personal finance and that difficult financial decisions are put off for another day.

Holiday brochures are simply more appealing than investment ones.

But retirement won’t be much of a holiday without the right funds in place and the state pension alone is very unlikely to give anyone the retirement they dreamt of.


Successful retirement planning is a process rather than a one-off exercise.

This will give you peace of mind if you are “on track” and help create direction to your finances if you are not.

The process could be summarised in 5 stages:

Stage 1 - Document what you would like retirement to look like for you and your family.

Stage 2 - Look at your assets, liabilities, income and expenditure as well as other aspects like health, family and how much investment risk you can stomach.

Stage 3 - Work out how far away you are from achieving these goals and generate a plan of actions you can take this year to improve or protect your position.

Stage 4 - Get the actions done. There’s no time like the present to get started.

Stage 5 - The world changes. You change. Review your plan at least annually.


Just as some people pay gym memberships or employ personal trainers, others are happy going jogging or to the local swimming pool to keep fit.

It’s your choice.

You might be able and willing to create and maintain your own financial plan. Or you may prefer to pay for the expertise of a financial planner to motivate you into the right action.

Whichever you choose, your journey towards a successful retirement is likely to be much easier and efficient if you take some time planning the route.

And once you’ve got your plan established, it needn’t take you more time each year than what you spend planning your summer holiday.

To let us help you plan for a successful retirement, please give us a call on 020 3488 9505.

The value of your investments can go down as well as up, so you could get back less

than you invested.

Tax and Estate planning is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


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