One of our newest clients wrote down his thoughts on the whole ‘Millennial Retirement Planning’ experience, and we just had to share it! (Thanks, J).
Not long after my 35th birthday, a thought entered my mind and got stuck there. And it terrified me.
It wasn’t the fact that every second now brings me closer to 40 than 30. Nor that someone had just pointed out my first grey hair. But it was to do with the passing of time.
The proverbial clock was ticking loudly in my head, and I suddenly realised I had no financial plan. Not for the near future. And certainly not for my “so far off” retirement.
At first, I tried to shake it off. A ‘financial plan’ is something rich people have, right? Or at least people who are a couple of years away from retirement. My parents probably had one, I thought (turns out they did). But someone like me doesn’t have a financial plan. Do they?
Ok Boomer. This one’s just for the Millennials.
I’m a Millennial. Don’t ask me exactly what it is, but I don’t shy away from the label.
I’m sure in many ways I’m what people expect when they think of one. I have a beard. I drink flat whites. I’m a freelancer. And the work I do makes my parents’ friends tilt their heads and ask, “What exactly is that?” followed by “And do people pay you to do that?”.
Yes Janet, they do. How else would I pay for all that avocado on sourdough?
Now, put aside how you feel about the M-word itself, and the image people have of it. We all know there are a lot of positives to being part of our generation. Unfortunately, I feel like there is one almost universal negative, and my post 35th birthday epiphany brought it home hard.
Our relationship with money kind of sucks.
Let’s just say it like it is. We are the poorest generation. In fact, a report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies shows we are the first generation since the 1930s to earn less in our 30s than the generation before us. Oh, and FYI the Great Depression was 1929-1939 so…
We’ve also accumulated far less wealth. And before anyone starts pointing at my brunch budget, the IFS report also says it’s not our love of food, drink and “experiences” that has caused this. Rather it is lower average earnings, rising house prices, lower home ownership, and the fallout of the 2007 financial crisis. So it’s not our fault, right?
Maybe so. But “not my fault” isn’t going to keep the heat on or put food on the table when we’re 75.
We can only save ourselves, literally.
While it’s nice to know the economic hole we’re in is not of our own making, it doesn’t mean we won’t be buried in it if we don’t dig ourselves out.
Part of my terrifying post-birthday realisation was – no matter how much I told myself it wasn’t my fault – nobody was going to save me financially but me. I needed to save. I needed to invest. I needed a retirement plan… like, now.
I asked myself, ‘What Would Boomers Do?’. After all, most of them are all set for a comfy retirement (in fact, my dad retires today). Naturally, the answer to WWBD? didn’t at all fit with the image I had of myself or our generation. I decided to go looking for a financial advisor.
And I was very surprised by what I found.
Why I chose Lomond Wealth.
A lot of the firms out there were exactly what I thought they would be. Stuffed shirts throwing around a lot of financial language. Some even managed to make me feel out of place just from visiting their websites.
Lomond Wealth were not at all what I expected. Even their slogan ‘we know the way’ made me feel a little easier. Because if you’ve not gathered by now, I was feeling pretty lost financially.
I like that they are real people too. I personally don’t like all the “cool” sounding apps that are targeting the Millennial pension problem. It feels like someone who doesn’t know me or care about me has set up a simple financial app to rake in a % while doing very little. LW are more, human.
LW are surprisingly normal.
From the very first meeting LW spoke to me as if all my concerns were the most normal thing in the world. They reassured me that, yes, many people from our generation are in a similar position. And no, it’s far from too late to start my retirement planning. If you’ve not started, now is always better than later.
What I really appreciate is how down to earth my advisor is. She talked to me about my current finances and how much (or little) I could afford to save each month, without any feeling of judgement. She also asked me about my attitude to risk for investing and painted a clear picture of how this (and a lot of other things) could affect my retirement timeline. And she did all of this without using any of the financial jargon I expected I’d have to nod along to. I understood every step.
I’ll never be a billionaire space explorer, and that’s ok.
As stupid as it seems now, before speaking with Lomond Wealth a big part of me really did feel like only rich people could approach a financial advisor for help. Jeff Bezos I am not, and never will be. Shock! But that’s ok.
Who I am, is a self-employed millennial with an up and down income and no plans to give up his Sunday brunching habits – but now with a financial plan that understands all this and some great people to help me follow it.
Most of all, it might be what I don’t have any more that’s made the biggest difference.
And that’s the stress of not having a plan in place at all.
I highly recommend the feeling.