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Old age – it’s a high growth market

Old age – it’s a high growth market

Reaching the grand old age of 100 is a milestone, the sign of a life well lived.

But more and more of us are living to our centenary year, so much so that the Government has taken on extra staff to cope with the burgeoning number of centenarians.

Much to my surprise, there’s a team deep within Whitehall devoted to ensuring those who reach their 100th year receive a card from the Queen.

They’ve had to employ extra staff because of the rapid rise in the number of 100-year-olds which has jumped by over 70% in a decade.

More than 14,000 people aged 100 and over are living in the UK and the numbers of people making it to a ripe old age is only forecast to keep growing with advances in medicine and improved quality of life.

The Department of Work and Pensions ‘centenarian team’ has swelled from just one employee to seven, to cope with the growth.

A real eye opener, and a story with a moral in the tale.

Longer life means better financial planning is a must to make sure your pension and investments go further for longer.

That’s where professional financial advice comes in.

Statistics show that people who take professional advice are on average £40,000 better off than those who don’t.

It’s still the case that the vast majority of people who take out investments and pensions don’t seek financial guidance – and only a minority of the population has seen a financial advisor.

The challenge for those in our industry is to reach out to people and get them through the door.

If you want to enjoy a good quality of life in your latter years – and as the evidence shows – there are likely to be more of those latter years for more and more people – then professional financial advice is essential.

This brings us back to a favourite but crucial subject matter.

Trust.

Professional, industry-regulated advisors are all about building relationships with their clients.

That’s predominantly through face-to-face advice. Sitting down with clients, learning more about their aspirations and needs and advising accordingly.

Building trust can only be done based on understanding and knowledge over the long term.

There are certainly cheaper and quicker options available online.

Search on Google and it’s easy to find firms offering cut price promises.

But I use the following example with clients to illustrate the point.

It’s a bit like saying ‘I’m driving down to Devon with the family for a holiday, but the car needs new brakes.

‘I’ve seen the You Tube video, it tells me how to do it myself but I’ve got my wife, kids and dog in the car. The brakes are only £17 from Halfords, but if I go to the dealers to be fitted they’re £120.

‘So which one will be the best option? £17 and I’ve seen the You Tube video or £120 fitted by the professionals?

‘In whose hands are you going to place the welfare of your family?’

Similarly, in whose hands are you going to place the welfare of your hard-earned pension which has taken decades of hard work to accumulate?