LAST year, Brewin Dolphin completed a significant piece of research into the needs and attitudes of those considering retirement from being a partner in a legal firm.

Although this was research very much specific to that profession, there were some considerations that are pretty much universal.

• A surprising number of people had insufficient investments to fund their desired lifestyle into retirement and need to continue working beyond 58

• The most common reason for people not addressing their personal financial plan was lack of time and other personal matters taking priority

Top of the list of the questions they wanted an answer to was: can I afford to retire?

To answer this, the participants agreed to spend several hours with a wealth manager (also called a financial planner) to discuss their plans after retirement.

The financial planners set about answering the question by ascertaining a desired lifestyle after retirement and establishing the clearest picture about intended expenditure, assets and income.

Establishing likely expenditure meant budgeting for everything from holidays, cars, second homes, property deposits for children, care home fees for themselves and their parents and grandchildren school fees.

Regarding income, it included identifying accumulated savings, investments, endowments and pensions.

A cashflow illustration followed, produced by deducting expenditure from income and projecting the equation into the future with some assumptions for tax, inflation and growth.

The analysis was bespoke to each person and showed how long their money would last into retirement, including the year their money would run out.

In just under half of cases, people had not accumulated sufficient funds to meet their desired lifestyle.

Financial planners can advise on managing pension issues to ensure people receive the most tax-efficient income stream.

This includes advice on how much you can contribute, how to take an income, such as ‘flexible drawdown,’ and how the reduction in the lifetime allowance may create unwanted tax charges.

Another popular request of those nearing retirement was a review of protections such as mortgage or income protection and life benefits.

Many people are paying unnecessary premiums for cover they no longer need because their liabilities have reduced with age.

Again, lack of time appeared to be the main reason for not keeping abreast of the cost of protection.

With greater pressure than ever being placed on workers, it is no surprise that many struggle to find time to address personal financial plans.

But, there is expert advice available about how to include personal wealth management and helping to make sure that you get the retirement you deserve.