Air Group guide aims to bridge later life finance knowledge gap – Mortgage Finance Gazette

It comes as new research revealed 18% of those aged 45 and above had not undertaken any retirement planning and only 17% were confident they had considered all the funding options for their later years.

The new guide, entitled ‘Navigating your financial options in later life’ will provide more holistic retirement advice to meet this need and enable brokers to help people navigate the rapidly changing market.

It focuses on helping fill the education gap that exists in terms of preparing consumers for using all their assets in retirement and how they might secure advice on a range of later life options.

Some groups less prepared than others

The research, which took into account the views of 2,000 consumers aged 45 and above,  revealed a significant number of consumers have not carried out any financial/retirement planning yet with a number of demographics even less likely to have sought advice than national averages.

It found a  quarter of those aged 45 to 54 had not undertaken any retirement planning compared to 18% of all those questioned, while 20% of female respondents compared to 15% of males were also yet to begin planning.

Consumers in regions such as the North West (22%), East (19%) and Wales (22%) were also less likely to have engaged with their potential retirement needs.

Younger homeowners were also less confident they had considered all potential sources of income and funding for their retirement. Only 33% of those aged 45 to 54 said they were either very confident or confident, compared to 49% of those aged 61 to 65.

Housing equity

Those in the younger age groups and those who still had a mortgage on their property, were more willing to consider using the home to help fund their retirement, the survey found.

Almost half (43%) of those with a mortgage said their home was their biggest asset and 13% of those with a mortgage said they knew they would utilise it as part of their retirement.

Indeed, the guide cover the reasons consumers need retirement advice, what options are available including regular income and lump sum, how to narrow those options down, potential solutions, how to secure them, eligibility, costs and risks, and how to get good advice.

Stuart Wilson, CEO at Air Group, said: “One of the key obstacles to overcome when it comes to consumer engagement with retirement planning is around initial information and how best to sign-post people to the advice they need.

“Our recent consumer research shows there are large numbers who have yet to engage with any kind of retirement or financial planning, and this is more likely to impact those who are younger, female and living in certain parts of the country.

“However, it’s also true that homeowners of all ages are now much more likely to understand the importance of their home as an asset to be utilised as part of their overall retirement planning. The earlier advisory firms can engage with these consumers the better, and the guide we have produced is designed to outline the potential options available and to stress the need for professional advice.

“Advisers will know only too well that the first part of any consumer interaction is education and by providing potential clients with this guide they can set the foundations for further tailored discussions on what each individual may need both now, and in the future.

“As a forward-thinking organisation, committed to supporting adviser and consumer education in the later life space, we are always looking to produce tools, data, resources and services which reflect this need and can help advisers deliver better outcomes for their clients in this growing but increasingly complex product area.”