Most financial advice you’ll hear online will introduce complexity into your savings and investments.
For example, every new account that you are recommended will involve extending an already long list of banks, pension providers and stockbrokers.
This article is going to campaign for you to take a dim view of complexity when it comes to your personal finances in retirement. We’re going to explain why you need to simplify your investments in retirement.
Why simplifying your investments is essential
In case you need convincing, we’ll make the case by listing the benefits of keeping things simple later in life:
1. Simplicity leads to confidence, allowing you to lead a more fulfilling life
If you have so many accounts that it takes you hours to collate the information, you’re not likely to perform this task very often. In fact, you may not have a single summary of your exact net worth and how it’s spread across your assets at all.
Without a clear picture, you may sensibly feel the need to ‘reign in’ your spending out of an abundance of caution.
But what if that prudence is entirely unnecessary? You won’t know unless you have your finger on the pulse of your finances on a regular basis.
Reducing your savings and investments to a few accounts will allow you to check up on your money on a monthly basis, giving you the confidence to spend the money you have.
If you simplify your finances ahead of retiring, you may even discover that you could retire early.
2. A high number of accounts could lead to money being lost forever
Over decades and decades of opening and closing countless ISAs and accounts, this is a very real possibility.
And if you misplace the money, the executor of your estate has little chance of finding it either, meaning the money could eventually be destined for the Reclaim Fund rather than your loved ones.
The frustrating part of losing money in old accounts is that you won’t know you’ve lost it. You might suspect something is amiss, but you will receive no confirmation either way. You may then just continue your life without the hard-earned pounds you stashed away in the 1980s.
3. Life can be stressful, but finances don’t need to be
For the sake of your own quality of life, it’s worth simplifying your finances to the point where it isn’t a difficult chore to keep on top of.
Many people prefer to put money administration at the bottom of their to-do list because it frankly isn’t always enjoyable. But it can be!
Many pro-active savers get a great deal of fulfilment from checking on how hard their money is working for them. It can almost become a hobby in its own right.
As such an important part of your life jigsaw – an element that underpins your ability to go out and do most of the things you want to do – it would be ideal if you could make your finances so simple that you actually enjoy managing them. If you enjoy it – you’re likely to have more success with it.
4. Simpler finances will enable quick and effective financial decisions if your circumstances change
A financial plan that stretches into the distant future is never set in stone. Life produces change, and therefore our plans must flex to adapt to change.
If your money is held across a dizzying array of providers, with different fixed periods, and conditions for withdrawal, you may find it cumbersome to make a large withdrawal.
5. The simpler your affairs, the longer you’ll be able to live independently
Thinking ahead to later in retirement, you may reach a point where you cannot bring the same level of astute management and patience for administration to your personal finances. Will you have the mental capacity to rebalance your retirement portfolio at the age of 90? It’s doubtful.
If you continue a complicated setup too late in life, this may create a need for your children to set up Power of Attorney earlier than absolutely necessary, because you are no longer able to manage the complexity by yourself.
The simpler you make your savings & investments, the lower the hurdle will be to successfully keep control and retain your independence later in life.
We hope we’ve made the case that you need to simplify your savings and investments in retirement, in order to stay close to your finances, have the confidence to withdraw the fullest pension your wealth will allow and enjoy the entire process rather than see it as a chore.