Revealed: The key to happiness in retirement is focusing on experiences

Posted on

Retirement is a milestone that’s often greeted with celebration. But what do you need to do to be happy during your later years? Research has revealed that it’s experiences, rather than material items, that are important.

A survey from Royal London found that 72% of those aged over 55 favoured experiences over material possessions. From seeing more of the world to trying a hobby you’ve always wanted to do, retirement offers an opportunity to create the life you want.

It’s not just the big-ticket experiences that those approaching retirement believe are important either. Many are looking forward to spending more time with loved ones.

When asked about their life goals, retirees are focusing on creating lasting memories. The most important goals were:

  • Spending time with family and friends (52%)
  • Relaxing (47%)
  • Maintaining health and fitness (45%)
  • Travelling (37%)
  • Spending time on hobbies (37%).

The research found that 17% of those nearing retirement are worried about a lack of experiences, and the same proportion said a lack of purpose was a concern. While worries are normal when you approach a big life event, setting out a plan now can help you realise your goals.

Gary Beyer, protection product lead at Royal London, said: “It is clear to see that those aged 55 and over value experiences more than anything else, including material possessions. Being able to lead an active, healthy lifestyle, try new things, and travel to new places, combined with spending more time with family is the key to retirement happiness.”

Many people approaching retirement are focused on experiences that will create lifelong memories. However, the research also found that finances could mean retirement doesn’t live up to expectations.

40% of over-55s say money is the biggest barrier to achieving their goals

Among over-55s that have yet to achieve their life goals, 40% said money was the biggest barrier.

The cost of living crisis is further exacerbating financial challenges for those planning their retirement. 3 in 10 over-55s said they are changing their plans as a result.

If you’re looking forward to a retirement that’s filled with experiences that will make you happy, financial planning is crucial. It can give you confidence about your long-term finances, so you can focus on what’s really important.

Calculating if you’re on track to have enough to reach your retirement goals can be broken down into two key questions:

1. What income do you need in retirement to reach your goals?

Having a target retirement income in mind is essential for understanding if you’re saving enough.

Many retirees find that their income needs fall when they stop working. You may have finished paying off your mortgage or no longer need to budget for commuting.

Research from Which? suggests a couple needs an annual income of £28,000 to live comfortably. While this figure is a useful starting point, keep in mind living expenses can vary significantly. You should review your expected outgoings to create a goal that’s tailored to you.

Remember, your income needs may change throughout retirement and could be affected by outside factors, like inflation.

2. How much are you saving for retirement?

With an annual goal in mind, you can then start looking at if you’re saving enough for retirement. How much do you already have in your pension? What contributions are you making? And are there other assets you plan to use, such as savings?

Bringing together all the information you need to understand if you’re on track can be difficult. As financial planners, we’re here to help. We can help you understand how the value of your assets may change between now and retirement, and how you can use them to create an income. If there is a gap in your savings, we’ll work with you to create a plan to get you back on track.

Contact us to review your retirement plan

Please contact us to talk about what your retirement goals are and the steps you can take to reach them.

Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

A pension is a long-term investment not normally accessible until 55 (57 from April 2028). The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances. Thresholds, percentage rates and tax legislation may change in subsequent Finance Acts.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

We aim to keep our clients up to date on interesting and relevant financial news.

You can sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter by email, even if you’re not yet a client. Sign-up using the form below.

Client testimonials

I have always found Black Swan to be caring and understanding of my quirky lifestyle. I always feel they try to get me the best returns while respecting my current needs.

Sally Muir

A client since 2011

We would be very happy to recommend the support and service we receive.

Valerie Locks

A client since 2010

I have always been completely useless regarding finance - thankfully our financial adviser is not! I've retired with far more than I ever expected and investments continue to grow safely. So - thank you!

Bernadette Jane Warner

A client since 2000

Very happy with the professional service I have received and feel a lot happier now with my finances put in order.

Martin Field

A client since 2011

Julie Cooper was recommended to me by a work colleague. She has been very helpful, professional and has explained everything well. I would definitely recommend her services to anyone else who are interested in a financial review.

Steven Rooke

A client since 2018

…Service has been first class.

Hugh Fells

A client since 2012

My face to face meetings with Rob Young and Jessica Lyons have always been very open and understandable. My questions have been answered clearly and I have left feeling that my financial matters are in good hands.

Sandra Jack

A client since 2000

[A] safe pair of hands in a complex financial world.

Gary Middlehurst

A client since 2003

A reliable company with good communication skills and good knowledge of the financial markets.

Alan Evetts

A client since 2014

Maureen Pembridge is a long-time trusted advisor to our family. The market might fluctuate but her attention to detail is consistent.

Linda Burnard

A client since 2000

I am pleased to recommend Julie as a trustworthy financial advisor. She explains financial jargon in plain language, and always listens carefully to my particular financial needs and has helped me make the best of my savings.

Carolann Samuels

A client since 2010

I have always been satisfied with the way that Black Swan has handled my account. And I have always found the staff very helpful whenever I need to call the office.

Robert Anthony Matthews

A client since 2012

An excellent personal service from a person I know and trust.

Michael Dalton

A client since 2010

I am getting a very good services from Black Swan, they have got my investments sorted out which was in a bit of a mess.

Roy Jakens

A client since 2012

A good, efficient team providing clear ideas to shape a winning strategy.

Adrian Michael Levenstein

A client since 2011

Black Swan is a company to be trusted, with friendly staff and professional advisors.

David Brian Jennings

A client since 2017

I have been with Black Swan for many years. I have never wished to change anything. They give a good straight forward service.

Martin Barrett Brooks

A client since 2010

Andy Peters has been invaluable in firstly combining several pension pots and then giving excellent investment advice. It has given us a great deal of comfort to know that our financial affairs are in such good hands.

James Guillum Scott

A client since 2014

I find my financial advisor easy to talk to and feel that she understands my lifestyle. She is always available for help when I need her and explains in words that I can understand.

Margaret Ena Glasgow

A client since 2000

Andy is a first rate Director, excellent communicator and leader.

Ross Perry

A client since

Black Swan Financial Planning and Andrew in particular, are very clever at working out how risk averse we are, and coming up with solutions that we feel comfortable with. We are happy in the knowledge that we can continue to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Andrew Peters is a very, very friendly person who is great to chat to and easy to deal with. He explains things very clearly in layman’s terms, and if we still don’t understand, he explains it until we do!

Alan & Jane Dyer

Clients since 2012

We have always found Rob [Young] to be very approachable and knowledgeable. We have every confidence in the advice given and feel comfortable with the decisions we’ve made. There are certain opportunities that we wouldn’t have known about if Rob hadn’t brought them to light, which makes the advice good value for money as far as we’re concerned.

Peter & Pauline O’Halloran

Clients since 2013

Rob [Young] is extremely knowledgeable. I knew nothing about the different types of trusts which will not only secure my income in retirement, but also leave a legacy for my children. I’m glad that I sought his advice when I did.

Sarah Wilson

A client since 2015

I am extremely happy with the service afforded to me by the company and my adviser Julie Cooper.

Geoff Coxell

A client since 2010

My wife and myself have been dealing with Black Swan for a number of years. We have met with different representatives from the company over the years and have found all very helpful in their own way. We met with James [Anderson] a few years ago and found him very helpful and knowledgeable. He keeps in contact with us on a regular basis. We find the Company information very helpful and we feel very secure with our finances.

Andrew Kirchen

A client since 2015

I have always found my adviser to be easy to contact, very professional in his approach, yet friendly and understanding. I have a sense of an experienced company behind him, really on the ball financially and with good standards.

B McBean

A client since 2011

Partner with the most reliable and experienced team of advisers

Enter your details & we'll be in touch to discuss your needs.
Alternatively, contact us directly and speak to a member of the team.

    Subscribe to our newsletter