Why is a regular health check in retirement essential? | AAG Wealth Management

Why is a regular health check in retirement essential?

Posted: August 14, 2020


As your circumstances inevitably change during retirement, it’s important to review your needs and adapt new financial strategies.

A regular health check can offer peace of mind, helps to keep you on track and helps you spot any issues before they become serious. Getting one is what’s known as a no-brainer – and increasingly so in our later years.

The same applies to your finances – and never more so than in retirement. Just as your physical and mental health can become more complex in later life, so too can your financial plans.

Remaining invested in retirement, as many people now do, offers plenty of opportunities. But it also requires oversight and decision making throughout a period that could last for up to three decades or more. Here’s why…

A new set of risks

Once you move into retirement and start to take an income from your pension pot, you’re exposed to a new set of risks – such as sequencing risk and longevity risk – which tend to have impacts that only become clear when it’s too late.

Regular reviews – with a view to recognising and mitigating the effects of those risks – are therefore essential, says Danni Brotherston, Head of Advice Policy and Development at St. James’s Place Wealth Management.

“Ongoing advice is important before retirement, but arguably even more so in retirement – especially if you remain invested or you’re heavily reliant on other assets to provide an income.”

Unforeseen events

Changes in personal circumstances and/or the macroeconomic environment can have a material impact on the chances of you achieving your goals – and should trigger a review of your retirement arrangements to check you’re not adversely affected.

The coronavirus pandemic has been one such catalyst.

Resulting in significant market volatility, it has, for example, raised the spectre of whether retirees should continue to withdraw the same level of income when markets are down as they were before the outbreak.

“Markets have fallen during the crisis,” confirms Brotherston. “But a lot of people have also been spending less. So, there might be scope to take a reduced income from their portfolios to help offset some of the negative effects of volatility.”

COVID-19 has forced us to adjust our financial plans in other ways too.

In a climate of widespread redundancies, some people will have been faced with the prospect of retirement a bit earlier than expected. Others are opting to work for longer, taking a more phased approach to retirement, or even returning to work as they look to bolster their savings.

“You need to evaluate the impact all these types of events can have on your financial objectives and vulnerability – all the way through retirement,” argues Brotherston.

This includes everything from the gifting of an inheritance and divorce, to changes to your health. In fact, she adds, changed circumstances in retirement are often linked to health – and the effect a decline can have on life expectancy and expenditure.

“Your health might deteriorate over time, particularly if you develop a condition,” Brotherston explains. “This can mean that a solution that was right for you early on in retirement may not be one that’s right later on.”

Sharing the load

Most advisers undertake a formal review with their clients once a year, with additional reviews as events and circumstances demand them.

Regularly reviewing your plans will help your investments continue to reflect your risk appetite and that everything remains in line with your objectives.

“Everyone has different priorities, and an adviser who really knows you can help you to make the right decisions – by adapting your strategy to your personal needs and wants,” Brotherston says.

“There are so many moving parts that it’s essential to regularly review them.”


The value of an investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select, and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.

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