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Lifestyle financial planning is an increasingly popular way for people to balance their current financial requirements against preparing for a comfortable and happy retirement.

One of the major benefits of Lifestyle Financial Planning is its flexibility. This methodology uses a highly tailored approach that builds a financial plan around an individual’s circumstances and aspirations. But there are still some golden rules that should always be considered when preparing for the future.

Here are our top rules to help lead you to the perfect retirement plan:

1.    Start planning as early as you can

It is easy to put retirement planning off to another day (or year!). The first Golden Rule is it is never too early to start planning for your retirement. By starting early, you allow plenty of time for pension investment plans to mature and place less stress on your current finances as you suddenly realise that time is short, and so is your pension pot!

Ideally, you want to start thinking about your retirement as soon as you enter the job market.

2.    Know how you plan to spend your retirement

Lifestyle Financial Planning is all about planning for your lifestyle goals. Knowing your goals is a critical part of preparing for your pension.

If you have a large bucket list of places to visit and experiences you want to enjoy, then your plan will look radically different from someone who has no goals other than to potter in the garden and catch up on the reading list of a lifetime.

It is useful to make a list of what your retirement goals are. This will help you plan your retirement accordingly.

3.    Understand your current and future spending

Following on from knowing how you plan to spend your retirement is gaining an understanding of where all your cash goes.

Start by monitoring your current spending. This should be done over a reasonable time period, consider a year as a good yardstick. Over this period, monitor everything that you spend, including one-off purchases (life is full of “one-off” purchases). Once you understand where all your money goes, this information can be used to set your retirement income target.

Many people make the mistake that they will spend substantially less when they retire. The truth is, more often than not, it’s the opposite. More free time means more day trips, holidays, and entertainment, and also heating and other household bills often increase as you spend more time at home.

4.    Seek Professional Guidance

If this all sounds rather complicated, then don’t worry. Plenty of people are in the same boat when it comes to navigating the treacherous waters of retirement planning.

This is where a financial advisor is invaluable. They understand the elements that all need to come together to achieve the dream retirement. A professional Financial planner knows that one person’s needs, circumstances, and goals are going to be radically different from the next person.

A lifestyle financial planner will tailor a complete retirement that takes into account your current needs and desires and balances this against your retirement goals.

5.    Review your plans regularly

As the current situation shows, we live in a volatile world where events can rapidly change. Factors like inflation, recessions, and market volatility can all have dramatic effects on our retirement plans.

A good financial plan will be versatile enough to cope with the ups and downs of the economy, but only if it is reviewed regularly to check if it is still on target. This review process helps to keep the plan on the right road. It allows for adjustments to be made that will keep your retirement goals safe by adjusting the plan to suit the financial climate of the day.


If thoughts of retirement plans keep you awake at night, then hopefully, these rules will help ease the worries. A few simple guidelines and a little understanding of your current position and your future goals are all you need to get started down the road to a long and happy retirement.

At Financial Architects, we can help you achieve the perfect retirement. We have years of experience in providing lifestyle financial plans that are tailored to each individual. Why not contact us today and start preparing for the golden years of retirement.

Financial Architects Ltd t/a Financial Architects is Regulated by the Central Bank Of Ireland.