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Retirement is like coming down a mountain and it needs a careful approach - Huw Jones of Proposito

By Huw Jones, managing director of Proposito Financial Planning 

We spend much of our working lives looking towards retirement as a goal. But actually, retirement is not the destination, it's only part of the journey - and the harder part can be managing our finances after we've stopped working.

Using the analogy of mountaineering, think of working life as reaching the summit, your day of retirement is at the top and, thereafter, you are coming back down the mountain - and this can be more dangerous than the ascent.

Retirement planning is akin to mountaineering in many ways. Accumulating your savings is the ascent and spending them is the descent. Financial planners, like the team here at Proposito, are like mountain guides - financial Sherpas if you like, applying robust and empirical evidence to retirement income planning. We believe that everyone benefits from having a retirement Sherpa (a financial planner). To take the analogy a little further, the better qualified and experienced the Sherpa, the safer you will be on the descent!

So why is the descent difficult to navigate?

During your working life, you've been building your pension pot. You have money coming in and you can always add to the pot, or work for longer, or decide to take a little more risk.

Post retirement, you need a different approach. Avenues for increasing your pension pot are limited. So you need to adopt strategies that allow you to spend money but not to run out along the way. Equally, you need to learn not to be afraid to spend money.

Navigating back down that mountain is all about balancing what you have and what you want to spend money on until you reach the destination. And the end of your life is, in fact, the destination.

If you'd like to talk about financial planning, and particularly about financial advice if you are approaching retirement, email or call our Cirencester office on 01285 708444.

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