3 questions to help you rethink retirement

Share this article:

3 questions to help you rethink retirement

Share this article:

Please fill in your details to arrange a financial review with one of our financial planning or investment experts.

How it works:

  • We will call you back to find out more about your aims and requirements
  • We will arrange a meeting with one of our team at a convenient time, either over the phone, on video, at your home or workplace, or at one of our offices
  • You will be able to ask any questions you have and find out more about managing your wealth with Saltus
  • Your review will be at our cost and there is no obligation to work with us afterwards

Who we work with:

  • Individuals with £250,000 or more in investable assets. This includes pensions, ISAs, other tax-wrappers and cash available for investment.
Please fill in your details to arrange a discussion with one of our financial planning or investment experts.
Firstname is required
A longer firstname is required
Surname is required
A longer surname is required
Please enter a valid email address
Phone number is required
A longer phone number is required
Postcode is required

We will treat your personal information with respect. By submitting this form, you understand that we will process your information in accordance with our privacy policy, and that you may receive ongoing insights from Saltus by email, phone or post.

We want you to rethink retirement, and we believe that with three simple questions, we can help you to do just that.

For most people, retirement has all the same connotations as ‘old age’. We know it will probably happen someday, but we don’t like the sound of it, and we don’t want to think about it too much. As for retirement planning, for most people that’s about as popular as a trip to the dentist.

Time for a re-brand

So, what if we ‘re-branded’ retirement as ‘Life2’? Life1 is the part when you study, work and earn. Life2 is when you enjoy the rewards of your efforts and live the life you always wanted to live. A life that’s defined by your passions and your goals, not your boss’s spreadsheet. (All credit here to retirement expert Don Ezra, who created the concept of Life2.)

Getting from Life1 to Life2 is all about setting goals – meaningful goals that will determine the life you want to lead and can then be intrinsically linked to your financial objectives. It’s also about being crystal clear on your priorities, which can be a real challenge. It’s even more difficult when very few people have any grasp as to what their life goals actually are. To help you overcome this hurdle, have a go at answering three questions. These questions are so powerful that you might want to set aside some time to consider them carefully. I honestly believe they have the potential to be life-changing!

The three questions

Are you ready? Here we go:

Watch our webinar

How much do I need?

In conversation with David Norton and Jordan Gillies

David Norton
Jordan Gillies

You win 10 million pounds in the lottery – what’s the first thing you spend it on?

This is a big, exciting question and there are probably ten million different answers. Indeed, it’s likely that you will have more than one answer to all of these questions, which will simply add depth to your plan. When I asked myself this question, the first thing that came to my mind was: I would pay off the mortgage. I really enjoyed thinking about the freedom that getting rid of that millstone would bring. However, I did also write down a new car, a makeover for the garden and giving some money to charity… exciting stuff!

Meet your financial needs and objectives…

Speak to an expert

You have 5 to 10 years left to live – how will you change your life?

Again, there are so many different answers. When I gave this some thought, I realised that I didn’t want to leave this world having seen so little of it. I would love to travel more, and far more widely. The other key answer for me was simply spending more time with my family. I spend far too much time in front of a computer and not enough with the people who are important to me.

And the final question… the one that will really get you to hone in on your top priorities.

You have 24 hours left to live – what are your regrets?

As soon as I asked myself this tough question, I knew that my biggest regret would be not having children. I would be exiting without having left any kind of legacy.

My discoveries

Putting myself through those questions was a revelation. Finally, I have some clarity about what I’m aiming for.

I want to be mortgage-free as soon as possible. I want my working life, Life1, to allow me to have enough time and money to let me spend Life2 travelling to all those countries on my wish list.  I also now realise that I want to give some serious thought to having children.

These are all life-changing goals. The three questions have allowed me to strip away the froth and come to these very important realisations.

The strategy

Once you answer these questions, you will have a handle on your true goals. The way that you save and invest can then be directed by these goals.

As you list your answers, you should be able to place them under three headings:

1. Capital expenditure (mortgage, car, garden)

2. Time (travel, family time)

3. Legacy (my kids, charity)

How much do you need to retire and more…

How much income do you need to be comfortable, how much do you need invested and how to pay less tax...

Starting with the first heading, you should now have a concept of some of your planned, significant spends. This could be useful in determining how to put your pension’s tax-free cash to use, for example. Next, understanding how your time will be filled will allow you to determine if you would like to continue working part-time, alongside understanding likely regular financial outgoings (travel, for example).

This should be fairly helpful when considering the level of regular income you may need from your investments. Once you are confident you have the finances required to support ‘Capital expenditure’ and ‘Time’, you will then be liberated to potentially gift what is left over to provide for the ‘legacy’ you would like to leave.

Paradise vs reality

I can already hear you yelling that I have my head in the clouds. These aspirations might well be what you want, but can you really afford them? Are they even realistic? If not, how do you go about prioritising them?

This is where working with a high-quality financial planner can be extremely beneficial. Now you have clear retirement goals and ambitions, a planner can use cashflow modelling to create a timescale and a detailed plan to get you to where you want to be. This should help provide visual clarity around precisely how much you will require and how sustainable your income needs are.

It may be that the conclusion is that your ‘perfect’ retirement isn’t currently achievable. If that is the case, the best planners will be able to detail precisely how you need to alter your current spending patterns to change this. Furthermore, structuring your assets in a more tax-efficient manner and, of course, choosing a suitable portfolio to help you grow your wealth more effectively will both play an important role.

Failing this, you can remove different goals from your cashflow plan to see the impact it has on your financial picture. This process will ultimately help you prioritise your objectives and turn paradise into reality.

Re-thinking retirement planning

Retirement planning continues to have negative connotations. Pension funds are not exciting, and care-home funding is not something anyone wants to consider. The media portrays dynamic businesspeople as those who ‘never want to retire,’ as if retirement is only about reading books and drinking tea. People fear retirement and the loss of identity, lack of status and structure; above all, they fear the lack of money. It’s this fear that means people tend to bury their head in the sand instead of engaging with retirement planning. The reality is that Life2 is what you make it, and a solid financial framework will provide the opportunity to live it as you see fit.

‘Financial planning’ shouldn’t be dull, it should be a creative and rewarding process. If everyone approached it in this way, they might not leave it until the very last minute and we may start to address the ever-increasing issue of underfunded pensions in the UK.  Work now, earn, save and invest wisely, and then enjoy part two of your life, fully funded.

The earlier you determine your plan, the more likely it is we can help you take action to achieve your ideal retirement, rather than having to remove goals from your cashflow plan. Engage in the right way and you might even be able to reach Life2 earlier than you expected.

Challenge yourself

So, stop waiting and ask yourself our three questions. Give them some real thought and make a careful note of your answers. They should help you to make a tangible and motivating plan for your Life2. When you’re ready to start putting that plan into place, consider getting in touch. Achieving your life goals and realising your aspirations – certainly sounds like more fun than going to that dentist.

Article sources

Editorial policy

All authors have considerable industry expertise and specific knowledge on any given topic. All pieces are reviewed by an additional qualified financial specialist to ensure objectivity and accuracy to the best of our ability. All reviewer’s qualifications are from leading industry bodies. Where possible we use primary sources to support our work. These can include white papers, government sources and data, original reports and interviews or articles from other industry experts. We also reference research from other reputable financial planning and investment management firms where appropriate.

Arrange a financial review...

Book a review

Saltus Financial Planning Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Information is correct to the best of our understanding as at the date of publication. Nothing within this content is intended as, or can be relied upon, as financial advice. Capital is at risk. You may get back less than you invested. Tax rules may change and the value of tax reliefs depends on your individual circumstances.

About Saltus?

Find out more about our award-winning wealth management services…


Financial Advisory Firm of the Year


Client Relationships Award


Financial Services, Banking and Insurance Firm of the Year


Investment Performance Cautious Portfolios


Best Medium Firm


Investment Performance: Cautious Portfolios


Investment Performance: Balanced Portfolios


Financial Planning Firm of the Year: Small to Medium Firm


assets under management


years working with clients




client retention rate


assets under management


years working with clients




client retention rate

Discover more

Financial planning

Financial planning can help you reach your goals in life, whether you want to determine when you can retire comfortably, bring organisation to your financial world or pass on your wealth effectively.

Pensions and retirement planning

Deciding when to retire is a challenging decision and can feel like a leap of faith. At Saltus, we gather information on all of your existing assets and then use our technology and expertise to show you exactly how to achieve the retirement you’re after.

Reducing your tax burden

How to structure your wealth and access income should be approached in a sophisticated way. A detailed financial plan may use pensions, ISAs, general investment accounts, offshore bonds and other tax wrappers to ensure you can draw your money in a tax-efficient manner.

Consolidating your wealth

Holding multiple investment accounts and pensions can mean they’re hard to keep track of and administer. We’ll help you overcome this by consolidating your accounts into a single plan so that you can understand your financial position with ease.

Protecting you and your assets

We protect our cars and houses without much thought yet you might be the most valuable asset in your family. Whatever your situation, we can provide advice to ensure you have the right level of insurance in place to keep your finances protected.

Passing on your wealth

Estate planning is more important than just having a Will. We’ll work closely with you to understand how estate planning, which has emotional as well as financial consequences, can impact your overall financial plan.

Significant life events

Significant life events can present great opportunities but also considerable challenges. Whether you are going through a business sale, divorce or are receiving a lump sum, we’ll help build a financial plan to meet your changing lifestyle.