A financial plan for post-lockdown
This content is for information purposes only and should not be taken as financial advice. Every effort has been made to ensure the information is correct and up-to-date at the time of writing. For personalised and regulated advice regarding your situation, please consult an independent financial adviser here at Castlegate in Grantham, Lincoln or other local offices.
It has been a long 14 months since COVID-19 first led to lockdown across the UK. Life has changed significantly in that time, and nobody exactly knows what the “new normal” will look like when, eventually, pandemic restrictions are lifted. Yet one certainty remains – the importance of financial planning, come-what-may. We all have bills to pay in the short term, and goals to work towards in the long term. Doing this brings peace and clarity about finances in the here-and-now as well as a sense of purpose and progression for the future. Below, our financial planning team at Castlegate in Grantham, Lincoln and surrounding areas offers some thoughts on how to plan your finances effectively for the coming months and years.
We hope you find value in this content. If you would like to discuss any of these matters or discuss your own financial plan with us please get in touch to arrange a no-obligation financial consultation, at our expense:
01476 855 585
Allow to dream again
One of the casualties of the pandemic has been mental health across the UK. Mental health disorders comprise almost 25% of ill health in the UK, and nearly 70% of adults have reported feeling somewhat, or very, worried about how COVID-19 is affecting them. Amongst the biggest worries include concerns about the future, feeling bored and feeling stressed/anxious. Many people have postponed dreams about their future, such as ideas of early retirement and going on a worldwide cruise with their significant other.
Whilst the world is certainly not out of the pandemic in May 2021, there are encouraging signs, finally, that vaccination programmes are starting to provide protection to populations in the UK, USA and elsewhere. Even setting aside what may happen, it is important for each of us to have a set of financial goals to work towards. Take some time to sit down and ask yourself what you want for the future in 5, 10 or 20 years. How can you craft a financial plan which helps you to get there? A financial adviser can help you work through this together.
Check your protection
Perhaps the most immediate concern of any household, particularly those with dependents or young children, is your financial stability and security. Are your finances prepared should you suddenly need to cover a large, unexpected expense (e.g. a broken boiler)? Do you have good cover in place should you find yourself unable to work due to ill health or serious injury, such as critical illness cover or income protection?
Do you have a Relevant Life Plan in place via your employer, or another type of life insurance, should you die prematurely – leaving your spouse and children with a mortgage and bills to keep paying? Have you set up a Lasting Power of Attorney in case you lose mental capacity and can no longer make independent decisions, allowing loved ones to access much-needed insurance policies and bank accounts? These are important areas to check in “ordinary times”, but even more so as the UK works through a pandemic.
Prepare your budget
With so many people working from home for so many months, budgets have changed to reflect new spending patterns and lifestyle changes. As we approach summer, it may be a good time to revisit your budget to help ensure that your household spending does not get out of control. This is especially important for those who have amassed more savings during lockdown due to lower commuting costs etc. Consider how much you want to spend on a holiday and where you might inevitably spend more due to greater freedom to move around, shop and spend. Could any of the money you have saved be put towards investing, or another long-term goal? Be wary of the temptation to simply spend it all as a reward for being kept at home for so long!
Many people put investing on hold during the last 14 months, fearing a stock market collapse and recession. Whilst many investors’ fears are understandable, it is important to recognise that, over the long term, markets and economies recover. Spending time in the market, rather than trying to “time it”, usually rewards investors with growth in their portfolio i.e. money that can be put towards a better retirement later. If you have reduced or stopped your investment contributions, then consider speaking to a financial adviser about how you can re-start a long-term strategy that moves you towards your goals throughout the various conditions that may lie ahead. A financial adviser can help you analyse the situation and make practical recommendations to get you moving back in the right direction.
Conclusion & invitation
If you are interested in discussing your own financial plan or protection strategy with us, please get in touch to arrange a no-commitment financial consultation at our expense:
01476 855 585