If ever there was a time to take stock and review your life, the decade we are now in has to be it. No matter how much planning we may have done, we could never have predicted a global pandemic and the terrible tragedy in Ukraine. And that’s just two events – there are so many others.
Many of my clients have used time at home to re-evaluate what they want out of life, and make changes, or plans to improve their quality of life.
That’s always a good thing – you know my mantra:
Live your best life now, not tomorrow; for tomorrow may not come.
But what about when life throws you a curve ball? Something you just hadn’t seen coming?
Sadly, more than one client and friend has lost a very closed loved one completely unexpectedly over the last couple of years. And for some of those people it has sent them into a complete tailspin.
Losing a loved one is naturally very traumatic. It is widely recognised as one of the most stressful events we have to face.
Often that can be coupled with a significant effect on personal finances.
It could mean a complete change in the way you live your life. If you earned significantly less than your partner, you need to determine whether you need to change your lifestyle, or change your job to earn more money. That can be a huge challenge, and quite a difficult hurdle to climb.
Equally, if you find yourself with considerably more money than you had before, there may well be a need to re-evaluate how you live. It could be the opportunity for you to slow down and not work so hard, or so much.
But I would also caution you not to spend too quickly, without planning for the future. I have seen more than one client get carried away, and suddenly realise they have created debt or spent a significant amount of their inheritance.
Almost as traumatic as losing a loved one is divorce. Again, not something you would have necessarily planned for, but it would have a huge impact on you. If you were no longer married what would happen? How could you look after yourself and your family? Where would you live? How could you afford your lifestyle?
I have seen many clients struggle with empty nest syndrome. They have spent so much of their lives supporting their children and working hard to give them the best start in life, that they are completely thrown when that need is no longer there. They have forgotten to make time for themselves and suddenly they are no longer needed. It can often be a catalyst for divorce too.
Whilst I always want to encourage clients to think positively about the future, and work on making dreams a reality, I also want them to be realistic. Being able to consider some of the harsher realities and potentially plan for those when they are not in the heat of the moment, means making prudent decisions.
This is about protecting yourself and your family.
Ensuring Wills and Powers of Attorney are up to date. You have Trusts in place. Property has your name as an owner, not just a partner.
But it is also about ensuring you survive in the best way you can. You know the saying: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade…
If you would like some support with planning for the future, or updating your LifePlan, please contact me on 01344 875 310.