Watch Your Pockets

by | Oct 6, 2014

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Richard Harvey says that advisers are being charged so that somebody else can be paid to do their job


 

 We all remember incidents from our infant years, such as when Grandma got pickled on brandy and Babycham, or the day you trapped your head in the  park railings.

In my case, it was at a kids’ party, when a chap who could lay claim to being the world’s clumsiest magician fumbled his attempt to pick my pocket and dropped my marbles all over the floor. (If he tried that today, he’d probably be arrested under Operation Yewtree). Anyway, cue a chorus of derision from the assembled sprogs.

 

Hunt The £50 Note

My IFA mate Martin is now accusing the government of equivalent ineptitude in its endeavours to filch money from the financial services industry to part-pay for the new ‘free’ pensions advice schemes that are being set up to ensure newly-liberated pensioners don’t blow all their savings in one go after next April.

“The way I see it”, he says “the government is intending to offer unqualified advice to pensioners – which means that IFAs like me, who have spent 30 years learning all the pitfalls and glitches, are paying someone else to pinch our work”.


 

 

Jumping Jacks And Jills

But it may be that the predicted stampede for government advice is likely to be more of a zimmer-assisted limp, if the latest data on the over-50s is to be believed.

According to the splendid Ros Altmann, the government’s recently-appointed Minister for Wrinklies (I’m not sure that’s her exact title, but she’s been given the job of looking after the interests of older citizens), more of us are working longer, living more healthily and starting new careers, so we don’t necessarily need to access our life savings straight away.

In an article in The Times, illustrated by a picture of a youthful-looking couple strolling along the beach (why is it always the beach?), Ms Altmann says that so-called ‘Superboomers’ are rewriting the rules of retirement.

She quotes a report from The Future Laboratory consultancy stating that pensioners have “fitter bodies, more active minds, higher levels of self-entrepreneurship….and are increasingly the face of fashion, design and beauty”.

Fitter bodies? You better believe it – a Nuffield Health study states that 66 is the peak age for gym bunnies, who work out 20 times more per year than teenagers.

So fear not, Martin. We ‘Superboomers’ are more likely than ever before to stay invested – indeed, to keep saving – which holds out the prospect of an extended relationship between IFAs and their ageing, but fighting fit, clients.

Providing, of course, we don’t keel over on the exercise bike at the gym.

 

 

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