Client trends September 2021: Concerns about private school fees and pension plans are at the fore

Even quite wealthy people can worry about the affordability of private school fees and sustaining a desirable lifestyle for what might be several decades in retirement. Happily, our users are getting proactive this autumn.

Parents get serious about funding private schooling

Most parents who go down the private school route would agree that it’s the best money they’ve ever spent and the COVID-19 pandemic has only strengthened their commitment.

Quite apart from the quality of teaching, facilities and social networking on offer, lockdowns have highlighted a stark difference in online provision between private institutions and much (although certainly not all) of the public sector. It is thought that while half of private primary school students were receiving live remote lessons almost immediately as lockdowns kicked in, less than 10% of state pupils enjoyed the same. Parents are rightly very concerned about the prospect of possible future disruption to their children’s education and, as a result, private schools have been booming.

As we’ve been discussing with visitors to our site, there are many options for securing funding for private school (and university) fees through your children’s entire education – and lots of ways to make this more tax-efficient too

However, the costs involved are a significant outlay for even the affluent: average term fees for boarders are almost £13,000i and fees are also highly sensitive to inflation, which many are predicting will hit 4% or more in the short term. We are therefore having many more conversations with users who want to put in place long-term investment plans which will ensure meeting fees is never a worry.

Luckily, wealth managers deal with this concern all the time. As we’ve been discussing with visitors to our site, there are many options for securing funding for private school (and university) fees through your children’s entire education – and lots of ways to make this more tax-efficient too.

Private schooling is certainly a big financial commitment, but it needn’t be too much of a burden with the right plan in place.

Women aren’t taking the pension gap lying down

News that the women are going to be on average £27,000ii worse off in retirement compared to men due to the pandemic seems to have really struck a nerve. We are delighted to have reached the milestone of 20-25% of our site visitors being female and even more so that more and more of our conversations with women are focused on pensions – an issue it’s all too easy to be in denial about.

The gender wealth gap is well documented, meaning the tendency for women for women to be hit hard financially by career breaks for maternity and caring responsibilities, not to mention persistent wage inequality. The privations of the pandemic have however hit women disproportionately hard, with the result that the average women is set to retire on £184,000 less than the average man.

The gender wealth gap is well documented, meaning the tendency for women for women to be hit hard financially by career breaks for maternity and caring responsibilities, not to mention persistent wage inequality.

Women are rightly worried, even if they are high earners. But, as we’ve been telling anxious users, there is a lot that they can do to remedy the situation. Getting started with an investment portfolio is clearly the first step given derisory interest rates and rising inflation. For those who already have an investment portfolio, it may be that they need to take on additional (carefully considered) investment risk in order to catch up.

Whatever the state of your pension planning, it is never too late (or too early) to get proactive. We can arrange free consultations with a selection of well-suited wealth managers who will ensure you do not have to take the pension gap lying down.

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Top Tip

The summer may be over, but wealth management enquiries are really heating up as economic realities like inflation start to bite. Pensions and private school fees are just a few of the very real concerns our users are citing as they realise they urgently need professional advice. Don’t struggle on alone. Consulting one of the wealth managers on our panel could be one of the wisest moves you ever make. It’s fast and free to see your best matches, so don’t delay!

Lee Goggin - Co-Founder

Lee Goggin

Co-Founder

Decumulation warning hits a nerve

The piece we recently published on the perils of inadequate planning for the retirement decumulation phase was clearly another welcome prompt. This topic is coming up in conversations around pension planning in a way we’ve never seen before.

As the article explained, saving and investing for retirement is like climbing a mountain: the journey up may be a hard slog, but it is the journey down where most slips occur. This is because retirees have to balance so many competing considerations, readjusting their portfolios so that they get the income they need for as long as they are likely to live, and at an appropriate level of risk.

New research shows that only 1 in 5 Britons are confident that they have sufficient equity to survive in retirementiii, let alone sustain a desirable lifestyle. That is tragic when people should be looking forward to golden years of fun and relaxation, not financial worry.

New research shows that only 1 in 5 Britons are confident that they have sufficient equity to survive in retirement, let alone sustain a desirable lifestyle. That is tragic when people should be looking forward to golden years of fun and relaxation, not financial worry

There is no doubt that retirement planning is one of the trickiest elements of managing wealth effectively. None of us know how long we will live and while the thought of running out of money doesn’t bear thinking about, nor should we stint ourselves either.

For all these reasons, those at or approaching retirement have always made up a large proportion of our users. Join those who are taking action to get true peace of mind by completing our questionnaire and seeing what the leading wealth managers on our panel can add to your strategy. Alternatively, get in touch with our friendly team to discuss your concerns.

Take professional advice on the things that really matter

Funding the best-quality education for our children and a desirable lifestyle for the entirety of one’s retirement as obviously hugely important concerns, so we are always very pleased to be able to connect users to the professional advice they need.

What is often disappointing, however, is what a difference could have been made if that advice had been sought sooner. Wealth managers can certainly do a lot in the way of ameliorative action, but invariably could have set things up so much better if they had been enlisted sooner.

Pension investment strategy is a case in point, but there are so see so many cases where people have been getting lacklustre returns, paying too high fees or even not investing strategically at all – sometimes for many years

Pension investment strategy is a case in point, but there are so see so many cases where people have been getting lacklustre returns, paying too high fees or even not investing strategically at all – sometimes for many years. The power of compounding means that lost time will have cost many people dearly indeed. There everything to gain, and certainly nothing to lose, in allowing us to set up some free, no-obligation discussions with a shortlist of firms perfectly matched to you.

Try reading a few of our case studies to see what the wealth managers on our panel have achieved for people just like you. Better still, let them explain their track records themselves!

i Independent Schools Council
ii More2life/ and the Centre for Economics and Business Research
iii Saffron Building Society

Important information

The investment strategy and financial planning explanations of this piece are for informational purposes only, may represent only one view, and are not intended in any way as financial or investment advice. Any comment on specific securities should not be interpreted as investment research or advice, solicitation or recommendations to buy or sell a particular security.

We always advise consultation with a professional before making any investment and financial planning decisions.

Always remember that investing involves risk and the value of investments may fall as well as rise. Past performance should not be seen as a guarantee of future returns.

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