That was the question I was left with after being the member of a Money Panel at last week’s #StroudNet Business Forum meeting.
There were some great questions, even better answers, good feedback and yet I came away with a very sad conclusion that the pensions industry as a whole has such a bad reputation that many people will have serious financial problems in retirement because they are so reluctant to engage with an adviser.
And yet this is after more than 25 years of expensive financial services regulation aimed at consumer protection and encouraging people to “shop around”. The politicians have not helped by constantly tinkering with pensions legislation, tax reliefs, etc.
I was at the Personal Financial Services Festival last week where two ex-Pensions Ministers were the featured speakers. They were explaining that the Department of Work and Pensions have very little powers and it is the Treasury which make all the pension tax decisions often with little or no consultation. No wonder that so many people have little confidence in the system and are looking elsewhere for answers.
That is all very sad because tax approved pension plans are cheaper, have more investment choice, far greater flexibility than ever before, remain very tax efficient, and are more likely to provide a good level of passive income in retirement than any other strategy.
The only answers I could give the attendees were to carry out some research, ask their friends for recommendations and then interview two or three advisers before making a decision. It is simply not good enough to select an adviser because he seems nice and appears to be trustworthy.
“He is a nice man/woman” is not a good enough recommendation.
Ask your friends how they measure results, how well they understand the processes being used to manage their money, and to explain the charging structure in pounds and pence. If you don’t get good enough answers try again or perhaps check out some of the online services such as Hargreaves Lansdown.
How can I help? I have put together a short list of questions you should ask any potential adviser. If you would like a copy just text me on 07770 575122 or email me.
Many of my clients, myself included, don’t use an adviser. Instead we absolutely love using the online services. These services are not right for everyone but if you would like to know more, feel more in control of your money, don’t want to leave it to someone else, and are open to coaching, just text me on 07770 575122 and let’s have a friendly, no cost, no obligation 20 minute phone discussion and see if we can find out whether it’s right for you.
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