The central message emerging from EML’s research is that those who are successful at making the most of their extra years are the ones who are able to strike a balance – the balance between six aspects of life identified by focus groups as being essential – maintaining relationships, valuing possessions, keeping active, optimising health, embracing change and managing money.Managing money, in pure objective terms, is the easiest to deal with, yet it causes the most problems. Surprisingly these problems occur in equal measure between both the haves and the have nots.
Problems start with a reluctance to recognise your true financial situation and are compounded by a reluctance to be objective and practical when thinking about mortality. Central to sorting this out is to get an accurate fix on income, outgoings and assets. During the work phase of life the aim is to have more income than outgoings and the build up assets. With transition to later life this aim should be reversed with more outgoings than income so that your assets decline. From a purely financial perspective the ideal final position is to die with assets between £0.00 and £850,000. Over-shoot this and you give 40% to the Government, spend too much and you throw yourself on their mercy.
While inheritance tax was once a worry for the wealthy few rampant property values have brought many more in range of the Chancellor’s net. Over the next 30 years he is expecting to collect close to £500 billion from this voluntary tax – how much will you be contributing?
What to do about it?
Stage One – step back and take a dispassionate view on income, outgoings and assets.
Stage 2 If you are a ‘have not’ then think about post retirement paid employment, take the opportunity to do something you really enjoy. If, however, you are a ‘have’ – its time to act. You are in a privileged position so ensure you make the most of it
PS – Our ancestors success may have been measured by how much they made in lifetime but for today’s Baby Boomer, its not about how much you have, its about what you did with it.