These strange times have turned most of our lives upside down. Amidst the uncertainty, you may have found some time to reflect and think about what you want life to look like in the next chapter. As with all plans, it begins at the start by reviewing your situation. Below are some practical steps you can take to get planning.
Talk goals. A goal is simply something you want to achieve that is realistically within your reach. Saying your goal out loud is the first step to helping it become a reality. This could be as simple as a chat around the kitchen table with your nearest and dearest. Likewise, if you are in a partnership, discussing what your individual goals are, and agreeing shared goals, is a real step forward.
Take stock of what you have. What do you own? Why do you own it? And how long do you intend to own it for? It is worth taking the time to fully understand your money situation. Take a look at how you are positioned, and if this positioning will ultimately help you succeed in achieving your goals. Now is the time to ensure you understand terms like asset allocation, diversification and risk tolerance, and what they mean for you personally. It’s also important to review your income and expenses. Discussing things like salaries and debt can be difficult but necessary when you are effectively the CEO(s) of your household.
Think about the ‘what ifs?’ What if something happened you? Or your partner? Or both?! And in each case, how would the household finances suffer? Who would manage your financial affairs? Would there be an additional cost of childcare? Is there adequate mortgage protection, income protection and life cover? Is critical illness cover something worth exploring? The answers to these questions are difficult to work out but engaging with a planner can help you understand the effect of these ‘what if’ scenarios, and the types of protection policies available to protect you and your family if bad luck strikes.
Consider your legacy and what you’ll ultimately leave behind. Death is a sure thing for everyone. As are taxes. Having a valid will in place is central to your assets being distributed in the way you would like. An appointment with a solicitor may have to wait (although I’m sure most are working virtually), but having conversations with your family on the big things and small things needn’t wait. You can discuss issues such as guardianship for young children, to what you want to happen with your social media accounts.
Thinking of the above points may feel a little uncomfortable – planning is deeply personal and emotional, regardless of where you are on life’s journey. But comfort lies beyond the discomfort. An adviser can help you make sense of it all and provide an objective viewpoint at every step. We’re here to help you get started.
*There are risks associated with putting a financial plan in place. There is no guarantee that by having a financial plan in place, you will meet your objectives.