Preserving your retirement from the risk of mental decline

Many of us can now look forward to a longer retirement, due to increased life expectancy, however this unfortunately comes at a cost. The prevalence of age-related cognitive decline is on the rise, which could leave us vulnerable to costly financial errors.

There are nearly 885,000 people living with dementia in the UK1, with estimates suggesting that between 5% and 20% of over-65s suffer from mild cognitive impairment (MCI). This is a condition in which someone has minor problems with cognition, such as thought process and memory.

Planning for every eventuality

An essential element of preparing for your retirement should involve planning for the possibility of cognitive decline. Despite many people still having the capacity to make decisions and live independently, MCI has been linked in studies to poorer financial capacity and a greater susceptibility to scams.

It’s all about timing

In a recent survey2, over 80% of investors felt the ideal time to transfer financial control would be ‘sometime after they had begun to experience some cognitive decline but before they became completely incapable.’ Respondents thought there was a higher than one-in-three chance of a mistimed transfer, partly attributable to a reluctance to relinquish control, which highlights the need to plan sooner rather than later, so that any future transfer takes place on your terms.

Make time to talk

Preparing for the possibility of cognitive decline requires careful planning, not only having legal documents in place but also starting conversations with your family and those you trust about your finances and objectives, in advance of its possible onset. This fosters transparency and, with everything out in the open, close connections are more likely to notice if you begin making decisions about your money that don’t align with your objectives.

We can assist you with planning and in starting these conversations well in advance, enabling you to better plan for the future, giving you a greater sense of control and ownership of your plans.

1Alzheimers Society, 2019

2Vanguard, 2021

The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested. A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down. Your eventual income may depend on the size of the fund at retirement, future interest rates and tax legislation.