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Retirement Strategy: Leader

With the economic downturn by no means behind us and the worlds of financial services and media still suffering from the fallout, some might say it is the wrong time to launch a new publication. We couldn’t disagree more.

With the baby boomer generation moving towards retire- ment over the next five to 10 years, there is going to be a huge need for them to receive quality financial advice and a massive opportunity for IFAs willing and able to advise in this area. The at-retirement market is expected to boom over the next few years, with Watson Wyatt predicting 60 per cent growth in the next five years from £14.1bn to £23.1bn.

A number of products offering more flexible retirement options have been launched in recent times by both traditional providers and new players. Although this market has been hit hard by recent economic The at-retirement market is expected to boom, with 60% growth predicted over the next five yearsconditions, we can expect considerable future growth.

The trend towards more flexible annuity options and greater choice can offer real benefits to the consumer but it requires increased knowledge from the adviser. We are already hearing mumblings from the regulator about advisers ensuring they are equipped to deal with the evolving market while Money Marketing/You Gov research shows product knowledge is a major barrier to IFAs advising more widely on certain annuity-style products.

The aim of Retirement Strategy is both to educate and inform readers about the growing range of retirement planning options and to facilitate debate about political and regulatory thinking affecting the sector.

This month’s issue contains a rare interview with former Conservative minister and current Aifa chairman John Gummer, in which he calls for radical new thinking around retirement issues from the next Government, whatever its colour.

The current administration appears to shy away from any sensible debate around issues such as further retirement age increases, scared to death of negative headlines. Likewise, it is debateable how high up the agenda of a David Cameron government retirement issues would appear.

The Government’s recent green paper on funding elderly care has opened up the debate but much more is needed. Government policy should be encouraging greater flexibility in retirement planning.

People will be living far longer and will have a greater variety of needs through different stages of their retirement and the state will not be able to support them. The need for professional, quality financial advice has never been greater.

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