- 65% agree on need for financial planning more so than prior to Covid outbreak
- More than half are not confident about their existing financial arrangements
- Central Bank data shows we are saving as a nation; but could we be doing more?
New national research commissioned by Bank of Ireland reveals that 65% of those surveyed are now placing more emphasis on planning for their financial futures than prior to the Covid-19 outbreak. However with only 47% of those surveyed stating that they are confident their current pension plan will provide them with a comfortable retirement, savers nationwide are being encouraged to invest more in their future financial wellbeing.
While the majority of people recognized that having a pension plan in place is important, and with ongoing lockdown restrictions granting them more time than usual to think about the future, there are still a number of clear impediments preventing this from happening. The obvious ones relate to financial insecurity and affordability, while there is no doubt that paying for our immediate needs is still the number one priority for many.
Recent Central Bank data revealed that Irish deposit rates soared during the summer months (+€4.5bn in April & May 2020, compared to the same period in 2019) as spending opportunities reduced due to lockdown restrictions. Despite the persistent low interest rate environment mounting evidence suggests that Irish people are still increasingly more likely to save over the next 12 months. So while survey respondents were most concerned about the here and now, the data clearly shows that a growing share of the general population continues to save more.
People are thinking about the future with family, travel and freedom in mind, but yet Bank of Ireland research reveals that the majority (over 60%) has not taken advice on how to plan for retirement. We know that pensions can sometimes be seen as complicated; putting people off planning for the future, but this survey clearly shows that respondents want advisors to make it as simple as possible for them and want professional help to make their retirement lifestyle achievable.
Bank of Ireland’s Financial Wellbeing campaign is rolling out nationwide in the coming weeks seeking to address this by asking people to follow three simple guidelines to improve their financial outcomes;
- Know what you have – review existing savings and any existing pension policies
- Know what you want – consider what kind of lifestyle you’d like into the future
- Know how to get there – talk to an expert to access advice tailored to your needs
Bernard Walsh, Head of Pensions & Investments, for Bank of Ireland said: “Nobody could have foreseen at the beginning of 2020 the challenges that Covid-19 would bring, so it was important for Bank of Ireland to carry out this research. We wanted to get clear insights into how people are feeling about their current financial planning, and to understand the obstacles they believe they face in providing for the future. From there, we can equip them with expert advice and show how a little can go a long way in terms of providing financial stability.
The people we spoke to in this survey told us that lockdown gave them more time to think and may also have offered a glimpse for some people of what retirement might look like. And our research also shows that nearly 6 in 10 people have never sought professional financial help when it comes to pensions. But we know that conversations like these can offer vital insights in knowing how to take the right steps towards ensuring you have the means to live the kind of life you want when your working days come to an end.
Putting off these decisions today can have consequences into the future but availing of the right expertise can spark you into taking a journey that will lead to a better outcome for yourself and your family. Our clear message is to take time to invest in you.”