Q1: Claire, one of your specialisms is retirement planning, why do you like this area of advice?
The current pension rules can be very complex, so I find it very rewarding to be able to demystify them for clients and help them plan for and then achieve a comfortable retirement. Over the years I have helped clients who were terrified of retiring as well as those who couldn’t wait to stop work. I think it’s important to look at each client as an individual, understand what they want from their retirement and then build a retirement strategy specifically for them.
Q2: How do you like to relax out of work?
Life can be pretty hectic, so it’s great to catch up with friends whenever possible. If Bristol Rugby are playing at home we try to make most games and now they are in the Premiership, hopefully we’ll get to a few more away games. My husband Sean and I are both active and enjoy walking, luckily there are some fantastic walks within an hours drive. I’ve previously trekked in Nepal, Vietnam, Borneo, NZ and Australia but these days I’m quite happy with a day’s walk in The Mendips or Brecon Beacons if there’s a pub at the end.
Q3: If there is one thing you would advise someone to do to have a comfortable retirement, what would it be?
Start planning as soon as you can. Don’t wait until you’re about to retire to look at your finances, it’s so important to have a strategy in place, so seek professional advice and have regular reviews. That’s two things but they do go hand in hand!
Q4: Where did you go on your summer holidays?
We are going to Kefalonia in October, however we had a few short trips away earlier in the year including Stockholm, Amsterdam and Dartmoor. We now have to plan our trips quite carefully, we have two cats (Margo and Mavis), they are lovely until there is any hint that we might be going away, getting them into their cat carriers requires military precision and protective clothing.
Q5: What would you say is the most common worry for clients in retirement?
I would say the fear of running out of money, the best way to avoid this is to be realistic about how long your money will last. Most people underestimate how long they might live, so budgeting is really important, as is having access to an emergency fund. As a Certified Financial Planner I find taking a client through cash flow modeling really helps them understand what they can realistically afford to spend without compromising their financial security