Monthly Archives: August 2019

Why silence isn’t necessarily bliss

Over six million adults refuse to discuss their Will with loved ones

Making a Will is very important if you care what happens to your money and your belongings after you die, and most of us do. But have you tried to talk with your parents about their Will? If that conversation isn’t happening, you’re not alone

And it’s not only parents who are uncomfortable. Adult children may also be nervous about raising the topic of their parents’ finances for fear they appear greedy or nosy. Understandably, talking about dying can be seen as ‘taboo’ and it is not always easy to bring it up. However, discussing your Will with beneficiaries means they are better prepared when the time comes.

However, worryingly, almost six and half million adults refuse to discuss their Will with loved ones according to a recent research[1]. A quarter (26%) of people with a Will say they will not discuss it as they do not want to think about dying and one in four (27%) do not want to upset beneficiaries by discussing the contents of their Will[2].

It is also hugely important for family members to be aware of vital decisions in your Will, such as who will look after your children. By overcoming ‘death anxiety,’ the natural fear of talking about death and the emotions associated with it, these important conversations can ensure your beneficiaries are aware of your wishes and understand them.

Nearly half (45%) of UK parents, the research identified, with adult children believe their Will is ‘no one’s business’ but their own or a partner’s. But sharing the contents of a Will makes the financial and practical consequences of death easier for those left behind. Losing someone can have a huge impact on finances for months or even years to come, so it is crucial for families to be prepared.

‘When I’m gone’ conversation with your partner or family

  • Avoid talking to someone when they’re busy. Look for opportunities to broach the subject, such as when you’re discussing the future or perhaps following the death of someone close to you
  • Consider beginning the conversation with a question such as, ‘Have you ever wondered what would happen…?’; ‘Do you think we should talk about…?
  • Think about how you would manage financially should the worst happen. What impact would losing a partner or family member have on your household income and your expenses? Be aware that your financial situation may change in the future
  • Make sure you know where all important documents such as Wills, bank details, insurance policies, etc. are kept, so that you have all the information you might need
  • Prepare in advance – would you know how to manage the day-to-day finances? If not, consider how you could start to learn about them now so this doesn’t come as a shock

In the event of an illness, loss of capacity or death, are your plans in place?

Many of us will eventually reach a point in our lives when we require specialist assistance to ensure that our family will be able to cope better and manage their affairs in the event of an illness, loss of capacity or death.  If you would like to review your particular situation, why not give us a call?

Source data:

[1] Royal London – six million figure is based on ONS adult population stats of 52.8million. Our research shows 47% of UK adults have a Will – 26% of this figure equates to 6,458,535.05

[2] Opinium on behalf of Royal London surveyed 2,006 adults between 26 and 29 October 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Are You Spending Your Time Doing What Everybody Else Does in Retirement?

Many soon-to-be retirees struggle to imagine their week without work in it. All those blank calendar days are exciting, but they can also be overwhelming.

But once you actually retire, you might find that your daily routine isn’t quite as different as you expected, and that there isn’t quite as much blank space as you’d anticipated. With some reflection and a little intentional thinking, you can fill in the rest of your agenda with activities and experiences that will bring meaning and happiness to your retirement.

Breaking down the day.

Let’s start by looking at some findings from the USA. Pew Research analysis of some data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to American Time Use surveys completed by people at retirement age, the biggest chunk of a retiree’s day is spent …

You guessed it, sleeping! Retirees sleep, on average, 8 ½ hours every day. Depending on your old work routine, that might be something of a luxury to look forward to!

Here’s how the rest of a typical retiree’s day breaks down:

  • Leisure: 7 Hours
  • Chores and errands: 3 hours
  • Work: 2 hours
  • Grooming and health care: 1 hour
  • Eating: 1 hour
  • Unpaid volunteering and care-giving: 1 hour

Hopefully in retirement you’re going to reward yourself with some big-ticket experiences, like travelling. But as you can see, a good portion of your daily schedule is going to be spent doing things you already do: sleeping, showering, eating, grocery shopping, checking in on your friends and relatives, and maybe working a few hours part time.

7 Hours of What?

It’s that 7 hours of leisure time that some retirees really struggle with.

According to Pew’s research, most people over 60 spend 4 ½ hours of their leisure time in front of their TV, computer, or cell phone. And while there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a good movie or the latest pictures of your grand kids on Facebook, that much time on the couch just isn’t healthy. “Couch potato syndrome” is a symptom of a retirement that isn’t keeping you physically, emotionally, or mentally active.

Even more troubling is that when you’re stuck to a screen, you’re usually alone. And according to that same Pew study, married retirees spend over 7 waking hours alone as a couple (excluding personal activities such as grooming). Single retirees spend 10 waking hours solo.

Alone time isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But people are social animals. We need other people to support us and keep us stimulated. If you’re too content to stay in bed or on the settee you might be socially isolated, which can have negative effects on your health and sense of well-being.

Your Ideal Week in Retirement.

What you do during those 50 or so weekly leisure hours when you’re not on holiday or completing everyday tasks will largely determine how you feel about your retirement.

So ask yourself, “What does my ideal week in retirement look like?”

To answer this question, start by thinking about the things you love doing and the people you love doing them with.

If your adult children and grandchildren live nearby, you might want to pencil in a weekly dinner.

Have you always wanted to perfect your backhand or get your handicap down? Find a coach and schedule some regular lessons.

Do you have some unfulfilled artistic dreams, like writing a book or painting? Don’t just wait for the mood to strike you. Turn that unused bedroom into your personal studio and set a schedule.

What’s something you love to do that your spouse isn’t interested in? Schedule some alone time … just not 7 hours of it.

You might also think about the other retirees you know, and ask yourself, “What differences have I noticed between those who seem to be enjoying their retirement, and those who don’t seem to be having any fun?” What are some activities they do that you might enjoy? Some potential pitfalls you might want to avoid?

If you’re still having trouble, make an appointment to sit down with us. We can work together through The Ideal Week in Retirement tool we designed to help retirees create a new weekly schedule. It’s a fun exercise that will definitely get you excited about living the best retirement possible with the money you have.

Sources:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-people-do-in-retirement-hour-by-hour-11562338744?mod=hp_jr_pos1

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/07/03/on-average-older-adults-spend-over-half-their-waking-hours-alone/