Retirement Planning: Are you avoiding the conversation?

27 September 2023
Knowledge Hub, Head of Financial Services

By Dom Richmond, Head of Financial Services at Cullimore Dutton

I spend a lot of my time advising couples on their retirement planning.

Sometimes, couples arrive for their first meeting having given the subject plenty of thought and agree as to how they would like their later years to pan out.

It doesn’t follow that they have the means to fulfil their retirement dreams, but at least they have a joint plan.

But more often than you would think, couples have spent years avoiding the subject of retirement and what emerges at their first session with me or one of my colleagues can come as a surprise to one or both partners.

In fact, it is often the case that couples have invested more time in choosing their pet dog than how they would like to live between the ages of 65 and 90.

This can be as simple as one partner telling me that they would like to spend a few months of the year living abroad, only for the other partner to reveal that they would never countenance this because they would miss their social life at home.

The difference between getting your financial planning right for retirement or failing to plan can be stark.

People often make assumptions that they will be able to enjoy a certain lifestyle upon retirement, but that can be fraught with danger.

Clients will come to us for the first time at different ages, but commonly they will be in their 50s.

We will always spend time at the first meeting trying to understand what their retirement aspirations are and how they will be able to achieve these, whether that is from savings, pensions, property or other assets.

Our team has a range of tools that enable us to model what a couple’s retirement will look like based on the various elements outlined above. These are the same for most clients.

Sometimes, we will start the conversation about the ‘R-word’ at the first meeting and then ask our clients to do a little bit of homework before returning for the next meeting. Occasionally, if it is a clear a couple are not on the same page regarding the kind of retirement they want, we will have separate discussions and then bring the couple back again to try and find common ground.

Our job is to help our clients put in place the right financial plan for them, one that is aspirational but achievable and that will enable them, at the right point, to enjoy the retirement that they want.

Every client’s retirement plan is different due to their means and also how they want to spend their later years. Some clients want to be able to enjoy multiple holidays abroad, while others prefer to be more UK based but have the financial freedom to be able to travel across the country seeing their children and grandchildren.

If you would like a free initial consultation with a member of the Financial Services team simply click on the “Speak to Our Experts” button on this page, call us on 01244 729 073 or email

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

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