Although it might be tempting to think that investing is just about getting the best possible return on one pot of money, goal-based investing, structuring your investment around your specific financial aims, has become a widely-used way of helping people plan their financial futures.

Thinking things through

One of the most significant benefits to a goal-based approach is that it encourages us to think about what we want our money to achieve in a tangible way, across a range of time horizons. No two investors have the same financial aims, and meeting different goals means using a variety of investment strategies.

This approach starts with the investor defining their objectives such as saving for school fees, a child’s wedding, a deposit on a home, a comfortable retirement. These goals then become the building blocks of an investment plan. The information gathered is used to define the right level of savings and the most appropriate mix of funds to meet the investor’s goals and will also take account of all available annual allowances and employ taxation saving strategies too.

For instance, a retired couple might typically want an income stream now to boost their pension, but also want to invest some of their capital to fund the likelihood of care costs later in life. In this instance, a portfolio can be tailored to meet each specific goal.
A younger investor may want to structure their investments to cover school fees from nursery to graduation for their children, whilst at the same time building up a substantial pension pot for retirement.

Gauging your attitude to risk

Being clear about your goals will make it easier for us to tailor your risk profile to different investments. Each goal may have its own risk tolerance and time horizon. Naturally, over time your goals may change as your life and circumstances change, and your attitude to risk may alter too, that’s why we always recommend regular reviews.

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.

The mortgage landscape has changed in a number of fundamental ways over the last few years. Diverse factors such as the increase in house prices, students leaving university with larger debts, the trend towards couples buying their first homes and starting their families later in life, the ability to access pensions from age 55, are all having an impact on homeowners’ borrowing requirements and repayment patterns.

For the majority of us, our mortgage represents the biggest single financial commitment we are likely to make. Repaying it has a major impact on how we manage our finances. Over the last few years, more mortgages have been granted for terms in excess of the standard 25 years, not least because stretching the monthly repayments over a longer period can make them more affordable (although this does mean that the borrower will be paying interest for longer).

With house ownership proving a challenge for many young buyers, the average age at which they take on their first mortgage is more likely to be in their 30s. This means that many more borrowers will find themselves repaying mortgage debt well into their retirement years.

The amount of mortgage debt held by over-65s is set to double to about £40bn by 2030, according to a May 2017 study supported by the Building Societies Association.


If you are in the situation where your mortgage is likely to run on into your retirement, keep it under review. There may come a point where you may want to consider shortening the mortgage term if your finances mean that you can afford higher repayments. Alternatively, you might want to consider making overpayments to reduce the amount of mortgage outstanding. Getting good advice will help ensure that you manage your finances effectively, especially later in life.

As a mortgage is secured against your home or property, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up mortgage repayments.