Who knew living a long and happy life could be so expensive? Most people have no idea how expensive retirement can be. We tend to live longer and longer these days; thanks to advancements in modern healthcare it's possible for people to live until they're well...

Recently I've had the pleasure of meeting with a few different lots of lovely pre-retirees. They're of similar ages, yet they're entirely at different stages of preparation for their retirement journey. Sadly, some haven't even really started! I'd like you to imagine starting the longest holiday of your life with the equivalent of a blindfold in place? Or maybe trying to drive with a flat tyre. How far could you get before frustration or boredom set in? It's a stark reality...retirement today is nothing like retirement was twenty years ago when I started financial planning. It's a very different beast! Now retirement can be confusing...and extremely complex.There's no such thing as simply finishing work and then being entitled to a full aged pension like it used to be when you'd reached retirement age.

There's an old saying about truth and stories...there's his version, her version and somewhere in between there's the truth. Yet in this instance I'm going to substitute reality for truth! Have you noticed how today's media focus on negatives and fail to highlight the other side of the story? Why am I talking about stories? I'm not sure if you've even noticed the media portray financial planners and advisers in negative ways. Even laying blame squarely at our collective feet. How can we all be the same? We can't and we aren't! Being swiped by the media's negative brush hurts those of us focused on our clients’ best interests.

Have you ever noticed how important ‘things’ are to people? Often those ‘things’ are expensive and are about keeping up appearances. Whether we're talking cars, boats, handbags, jewellery or any assorted expensive ‘things’, the sad things is how much store is put into owning ‘things’ that are never likely to be assets…they’re more likely to be liabilities that cost you money rather than making you money.

Is it possible to be socially isolated while living in luxurious surroundings in the middle of a vibrant city of some 600,000 people. You bet! You might wonder how it could happen in this day and age? But it does… Becoming socially isolated can just happen! There doesn’t have to be any sinister reasons behind it, usually it happens as a result of a range of contributing factors such as:

At a recent briefing on aging in the community I was horrified to discover many of the elderly, in excess of 40% of people over 80, were potentially enduring elder abuse...and likely saying nothing about it out of fear and loyalty to the abuser.

Imagining a senior I love suffering at the hands of friends, family and loved ones... well, it makes my blood boil! Abuse of any sort is totally beyond my comprehension, even the elderly dogs get treated well at my place. Yet, apparently it's such a widely experienced phenomena that it has a commonly known terminology - elder abuse!