Here's our weekly heads-up on the stories that may have caught your clients' attention over the weekend …
I don't have the cash to live too long
The Queen's 91st birthday and the longevity of Emma Morano - at 117, the oldest person in the world until her recent death - finds the writer of this Sunday Times article contemplating his mortality. And whether his meagre pension pot combined with likely state pension age - as calculated by a state pension age calculator - will see him through his expected lifespan - as calculated by a life expectancy calculator.
As the numbers are not too comforting, the piece is accompanied by the traditional "Pension priorities top tips for saving", with the equally traditional first tip being: "Start saving as early as you can. This bit may scare you: the experts say you should save a percentage of your income equivalent to half your age - that is, if you are 40, you should be saving at least 20% of your net income into a pension."
Absent is the equally probable: "Build a time machine. Get in it. Go back and convince your 20-year-old self to start saving."
Put just £40 a week aside for a happy retirement
Things aren't all doom and gloom when it comes to retirement, suggests this Guardian article however, as it swims against the tide of most media coverage of the subject (see above) by picking up on two reports that offer a decidedly more positive spin on saving sufficiently for later life. "With a nudge and push," it breezes, "most people should be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement."
A report by Which? has looked at what retired people really spend and how much they need to finance that, concluding, on average, retired couples spend £18,000 a year on life's essentials and £26,000 a year once extras, such as holidays, are included. A separate survey by Tilney found a similar picture, suggesting newly retired households spend £26,500 each year until they reach 75.
To reach this figure, says the article, people should first not underestimate the value of the new state pension while "the next step is to start saving now to build up enough money at retirement to bridge the gap between the state pension and the £26,750 needed". According to Which?, for a couple of 40-year-olds, the sum needed is £338 a month - or £169 a month each, or £39 a week. Tilney's figures meanwhile seem even more attainable as they assume people's spending needs fall after their late 70s.
As you might imagine, the piece comes with some pretty chunky caveats but at least it might have the effect of encouraging a few more people to think more positively about saving for retirement.
Moneysupermarket pioneer sets up new financial advice business eVestor
Duncan Cameron, one of the cofounders of moneysupermarket.com, has returned to business after a 10-year absence to launch a "disruptive" financial advice service. According to this Telegraph article, Cameron's jointly-owned eVestor service aims to cut the cost of financial advice by 80% and deliver sophisticated advice no matter the size of an investor's portfolio.
The technological mastermind behind the now-£1.8bn FTSE250 comparison website says eVestor will use complex digital "decision trees" to replicate the role of human advisers "at a fraction of the cost while providing more consistent outcomes".
One to keep an eye on perhaps
The chairman isn’t answering his email
Reforms not enough
An economic cocktail
To encourage consumers to shop around
Will report to Pat Shea