Plans for retirement take central stage at expert forum

Retirees gathered at Rowton Hall in Chester this week to receive independent advice from a panel of experts on existing retirement trends and the future of retirement planning. 

Guests at the free event were invited to hear from professionals on a range of retirement-related topics which included recommendations on pensions and inheritance, a discussion around retirement travel, and wellbeing tactics and advice for the over-65s.   

The event was shaped around a series of inspirational talks, after which all speakers made themselves available for one-to-one private discussions with each of the attendees.

The speakers included (father and son respectively) Warren and Tom Hadlow, financial advisors for Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management Ltd, part of the countrywide St James’s Place Group.

Speaking at the event, Tom Hadlow said: “The best way anybody can plan for retirement is to have a think about exactly where they are right now – in terms of their current circumstances and their stage of life. A decision should then be made about where exactly you want to be in future, however long that might be. Once you have clarity, you can work with an advisor like myself to put stepping stones in place and review your progress going forward, to get to that point where you really want to be.”   

Tom’s father Warren Hadlow, a director of the firm, added: “If you buy something and you don’t like it, most of the time you can change your plan. With retirement the choices you make are there for life. They are usually final decisions – which is a rare thing to happen in life. So it’s very worthwhile slowing down, taking good advice and approaching retirement planning as early as possible.

“I would also recommend involving your family. This point was made by many of the speakers at today’s conference and it’s really valid. From my point of view, if I’m meeting people in their 40s and 50s with older parents, there are some things that will be easier for me to say to their parents than they might wish to discuss between themselves – and vice-versa. So get some advice, plan early and make sure that you understand the decisions you make for retirement are affectively decisions that you make for life.”

Mandy Clare, who teaches Zumba Gold, an adapted form of Zumba for people over 50, also spoke at the forum. She said: “Thinking about health in its broader sense rather than just thinking about physical health is extremely important when it comes to retirement. Because we all know that wellbeing and the meaningful interactions we have with other people throughout our lives affect our physical health. So for peace of mind, we should keep up efforts to look at government targets for people in terms of physical activity. But we should also think creatively in terms of exactly what as individuals, we enjoy doing. Ask yourself, ‘how can I exercise in a way that is both sociable and fun?’. If you have the answer to this, you’re much more likely to stick to your guns, getting the added benefit of interacting with other people which has an overall effect on your wellbeing.” 

Seamus Wild, chartered financial planner for George Travis, placed emphasis on the importance of keeping fully informed to ensure maximum independence throughout retirement. He said: “Always seek professional advice; use literature from the charities that are out there to help such as Age UK, Dementia UK and Arthritis Research UK, and so forth. There are plenty of charities and financial advisory services out there which provide solid advice for older people in different situations.

“Awareness of the care system is essential; what it means for you as an individual in regards to both the health and social care aspect. Practical steps such as having a lasting power of attorney to help overcome any problems or legal issues that might occur are crucial. Planning for retirement is very much an awareness exercise - we all know that planning in a crisis never produces the best outcomes, so get in there early.”    

In contrast to the formal strategies proposed at the Rethinking Retirement Forum, Bob Peters, private travel consultant, was keen to emphasise a more leisurely side to retirement planning. He said: “My Modus Operani is really that if you haven’t started travelling in your retirement years, now is really the time to start. The barriers have come down, travel is much easier than it was just a couple of decades ago. There are people like myself around to facilitate the whole workings behind booking a holiday and I’m here to enthuse people to spend some of their savings; go crazy, live a little and visit all of those places you’ve dreamt about for the past 20 years. 

“The world truly is your Oyster. Whether it’s visiting family in Australia or New Zealand, or going to somewhere like South Africa.  There are many countries which 20-30 years ago simply weren’t possible to visit because they were either war torn or Soviet Block and so on; they just weren’t open to the public as they are today. South East Asia has really opened up; India is a very easy place for people to travel to. North, Central and South America - I mean all these places are really popular now.”

The ‘Rethinking Retirement’ Forum was staged on behalf of Inspired Villages at Rowton Hall in Chester. The team behind Inspired Villages is currently developing a new standard in retirement living for the over-65s at Tattenhall in Cheshire. Sales and Marketing Director James Cobb also spoke at the event about the various retirement property options that are available, delving into the details of topics ranging from extracare to assisted living, retirement property and retirement villages.

James said: “When complete, Inspired Tattenhall will offer a total of 151 apartments as well as a range of facilities, including a wellness spa and relaxation pool, gym, a shop, restaurant and shared community spaces. We’re really excited by the concept which will be a real trailblazer for the area and is set to take retirement living standards to an entirely different level.”

Inspired Tattenhall provides many types of accommodation for the over 65s and prices for a two-bed apartment in phase one range from £299,000 to £516,000.  It also offers a wide range of fantastic facilities including a brasserie, wellness centre and shop.

Picture Caption
Left to right is Tom and Warren Hadlow, Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management Ltd; Mandy Clare, Zumba Gold/Dance Katalyst; Seamus Wild, George Travis Limited; James Cobb, Inspired Villages; Bob Peters, travel counsellors; Richard Fenn, Inspired Villages.

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