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The Insider guide to drawdown

Approaches to drawdown are many and varied, reflecting a wealth of possible strategies and a range of client needs. On top of this fundamental complexity, advisers can add:

  • greater FCA scrutiny over retirement outcomes,
  • growing pressure to deliver sustainable income over longer lifespans, and
  • difficult investing conditions for income generation and heightened volatility in markets.

All of which have made drawdown an increasingly difficult challenge.

Here, we interview five adviser firms to get their insights on how they approach drawdown. We reveal how advisers are confronting this challenge and cutting through complexity by using structured conversations combined with time-tested financial planning techniques and tools to manage client expectations, build investment resilience and animate the discussion around withdrawal levels, capacity for loss and sequencing risk.

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The questions asked

We asked five advisers the same 10 questions. Read their interviews below to see how they approach various topics in the conversations they have with their clients.

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Which questions do you use with clients when starting the conversation about retirement?


Are there any typical questions you get asked by clients, or indeed any unusual or tricky ones?

What is a realistic and safe withdrawal figure?

How do you tackle the conversation about life expectancy?

How do you assess attitude to risk and capacity for loss for clients in decumulation?

How do you describe and discuss the issue of income sustainability with clients considering drawdown?

Which investment strategy or strategies do you typically recommend for clients in drawdown?

To what extent do you talk about ESG with drawdown clients?

How often do you review clients in decumulation?

How do you stress-test the plan?

Read the interviews

Interview with Duncan Chance

Managing Director and CFP with Meriden Financial Planning.

Interview with Wayne Tandy

Partner and CFP with Tandy Financial Services.

Interview with Peter Savage

Corporate Director and CFP with Fairstone Wealth Management.

Interview with Stewart Bicknall

Investment Director and CFP with Prosperity Wealth.

Interview with Helena Wardle

Partner and CFP with Smith & Wardle Financial Planning.

The insider guide to drawdown: Key themes shared

Listen to our 30 minute presentation where we summarise some of the key themes that emerged from our adviser interviews. You will need to register with BrightTalk to access the recording. The presentation is available for CPD points.

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