EML’s research highlights two key life stages where just about everything changes.

The first is reaching adulthood – education finishes, you leave home, start a job and building new relationships. The second is nearing the end of working life – the mortgage is paid, children have left home and you move to live off retirement savings.

The first is inevitable and just happens, (although these days it is taking a bit longer for some). The second needs planning. In recent weeks I’ve come across two people who have completely missed the boat.

One is nearing 100 and still refuses to touch his life savings as ‘he needs it for his old age’. While funny at a superficial level the lost opportunity for him, and those around him, is heart breaking. The scrimping and saving continues while recent history is re-written to show just how wonderful retirement has been. The only person they are kidding is themselves.

The other is not beyond hope, but currently heading in the wrong direction. In their late 60s they are boasting about how they have just secured a new job – where they will be locked in an office, processing spreadsheets rather than exploring all that life has to offer. A generous pension and significant savings are overlooked as are the warning bells rung by a recent heart attack.

Why did they bother saving for later life if they are determined not to enjoy it?!!