Are mortgages delaying retirement?

For most 25-35 year olds, getting on the property ladder is at the forefront of their financial focus.

Which makes sense... Owning a property comes with many advantages;

- The ability to store equity in the property
- The potential to profit from continued growth in the housing market
- Having a place to call your own

However, rising housing prices, while nice for those who already own a property, have only made it more of a stretch for first-time buyers to get their foot on the ladder!

In the last few years, there have been measures introduced to help first-time buyers, such as the Help to Buy and Lifetime ISA’s.

In a more recent move, some lenders have started offering maximum mortgage terms of up to 40 years (up from 35 years) and increasing the maximum mortgage age to 70 (up from 65).

So what does this mean?
A longer mortgage term generally results in lower monthly repayments, even though you’ll pay interest over a longer period. Some people may prefer this as it frees up disposable income however, it's worth considering how this might affect your intended retirement age!

For anyone planning to retire at age 65, this would mean taking out a 40-year mortgage at age 25, and for many, owning a property by age 25 is fairly unrealistic. Therefore anyone aged 25+ may need to consider pushing back their intended retirement age to ensure their mortgage is paid off before they stop working.

However, it's not all doom and gloom as lenders will now consider mortgages that run into retirement. This does mean meeting eligibility criteria, such as providing proof of retirement income. This may be difficult for anyone in their late 20’s and early 30’s to determine but could be provided at the point of remortgaging in the future.

Is renting such a bad thing?
If we look at other parts of Europe such as France and Germany, the share of rental property far outweighs home ownership. In Berlin, for example, the rental property share is 90%. Although this means you’ll continue paying rent into retirement, it takes away to pressure of trying to save an enormous deposit. It also means people aren’t fixed to an area, they can travel or move elsewhere at a months notice, without worrying about the time and cost involved with selling a property and most importantly it shouldn’t affect your retirement age as there are no borrowing age/time restrictions and the rent can be built into your retirement planning.

 

Disclaimer :- Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage

3 Steps to delivering an engaging group presentation!

3 Steps to delivering an engaging group presentation!
 

In our first blog on group presentations, we talked about the benefits of holding them, and today we look at the steps you can take to ensure you run an engaging session!

Regardless of the product, service or topic of discussion, there are some key considerations presenters should consider to maximise engagement.

It’s worth remembering that although you might like to think otherwise, the audience may not always be attending a presentation for the sheer thrill of hearing about the topics set out in the agenda. It may be a company requirement/recommendation, to collect CPD credits, or just for some time away from work.

This only emphasises the importance of ensuring a positive experience.

1. Put yourself and the audience at ease

Regardless of how many times you’ve spoken in front of people, it would be false to claim you don’t still get a bit nervous beforehand. A good way to settle the nerves is to have a chat to people as the room begins to fill up. Try to avoid anything related to the presentation and focus on asking them questions…
“How’s your day going?”… “How long have you worked for the company?” …“Where’s good to go for lunch around here?”… “You must be either extremely bored or just very keen to get some time away from work to come and listen to me talk for an hour!”

Not only does this settle your nerves but it prompts immediate engagement from the audience outside the pressure of the presentation, but most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to showcase your personality. It's a fact that if people like you, they will be more likely to pay attention to what you’re saying.

2. The fun doesn’t end here

Just because you’ve had some good conversations and maybe even got a few laughs before the start of the presentation, you could still lose the interest of the audience if you slip into ‘robot mode’ once you start talking business. By this I mean, a monotone voice, scripted bullet point delivery, lack of movement etc.

- Try to keep an enthusiasm in your voice or the audience will become as disinterested as you sound

- Be familiar and confident with your content, long pauses and ‘errms’ can give the impression you don’t know your stuff

- Use relatable examples, once you’ve made a point, think of a way to put this into a real-life scenario

- The most vital part of maintaining the focus of an audience is to ask them questions, make a point and ask for their opinion, or check their existing knowledge by asking a question on the upcoming topic.

3. Drawing to a close

The end of the presentation is your last point of contact with the audience. Hopefully, they’ve enjoyed the content and shown engagement throughout. What’s important now is to provide them with the tools to contact you;

- Make sure your last slide contains the company name and logo, your name, a contact number and an email address. Whilst some people may note this down it's not 100% effective.

- A more direct way of providing the audience with your details is to leave business cards or flyers at the end of each row, or on the seats before the presentation.

- Draw their attention to the above, it’s important to finish with a closing statement highlighting your contact information and to get in touch if they’ve benefitted from the presentation

Group presentations, what’s the point?

Group presentations, what’s the point?
 

In the first of our two-part blog on group presentations, we delve into the benefits of group presentations! Be sure to keep an eye out for the next one later this week!

Group presentations are used across many different industries to widely varying audiences, but they all share a common goal - to effectively deliver information. They provide a great opportunity to reach large audiences via an interactive platform.

This makes group presentations an ideal way to communicate with your staff.
 

Communicating Benefits

Although staff receive paperwork about their benefits when they join the company, how many actually read it and could tell you exactly what benefits package they have? You might offer the best employee benefits in the world, but what’s the point if your staff don’t know about them?

Why not send an email?

Staff often get hundreds of emails a day, you don’t want information on employee benefits to be just another email lost in the pile. Even for those that do pick up the email and read it, the chance that they will be inspired enough to do anything about it is fairly low.

Bringing it to life

Presentations are the perfect way to bring dull or meaningless blocks of text to life, not only through the use of on-screen graphics and illustrations but by the presenter providing real life, relatable examples.

One such example might be;

Workplace Pension - What is it?… How does it work?… How much will it cost?… How does it compare to other savings vehicles?… How does your future look?

In this instance, the relatable example may use a case study showing two people and the expected income in retirement that could be achieved by someone who makes pension contributions vs someone who doesn’t.

OR

What a monthly contribution of say £50 might provide as income in retirement alongside your employer's contribution.

Ongoing engagement

By the end of the presentation staff will;

- Leave with a better understanding of what is available and what each benefit means for them.

- Know who to speak to and where to access their benefits

- Continue discussions with their peers and are more likely to implement changes and increase overall engagement.

- Once staff have familiarised themselves with their benefits and where to find them, they will be more likely to place a higher value on them.

 

53% of schemes first contact members about their options within a year of retirement!

Pensions Age - 53% of schemes first contact members about their options within a year of retirement!

In the news! Our pension freedoms research has been featured by Pensions Age!

So here is a little snippet... You can read the full article HERE.

Over half, 53 per cent, of pension schemes leave it to the point of retirement, or within a year, before first contacting members about their retirement options, new research has found.

Despite leaving it late, a survey by Lemonade Reward, of 60 companies with 3.6 million members, found that 90 per cent of schemes do provide support for members, but few rely on in-house tools.

Commenting on the research, Lemonade Reward managing partner David Pugh said: “Organisations clearly want the best outcomes for members, but are struggling with the tools they’re using and their communication timing. Our research shows it’s important not to rely on a single information source for the answers and the sooner you open dialogue with members, the better they understand the options.”

Download the research HERE !

Does retirement really mean no more work?

Does retirement really mean no more work? 

The most common question we come across from employees when it comes to their pension is, what age will I be able to retire? Which makes sense, it’s the whole reason we put money away each month!

Well, according to research completed by the Post Office, 1 in 5 people are forced back into work following their retirement! This is a scenario, I’m sure, that most of us would ideally like to avoid.

This is most likely down to a lack of sufficient planning. For retiring members, it can be complicated trying to figure out not only a life without work but exactly how much they are going to need to get by!

We found from our research that 83% of members are in the dark when it comes to when they will be able to afford to retire, which would go some way in explaining why 1 in 5 are having to return to work after retirement, because of poor planning and uninformed members!

A few things put in place will go a long way ensuring your members are fully informed and aren’t left in a situation where they are forced back into work.

Access to a portal and tools - Providing employees with 24/7 access to an online retirement income modeller is a game changer when it comes to retirement planning and financial education!

Access to advisers - Having a chat with an adviser will go a long way in clearing points up and discussing the numbers further!

Early communication - Communication 5 or more years before retirement means members are 2.5 times more likely to understand when they can afford to retire!

Everyone's circumstances are different, and retirement can throw up some costs that were never expected, but early planning and the correct support can ensure employees are as prepared as possible for a happy retirement!


By David Pugh - Managing Partner

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