Like me, you will have had your local Key’s candidates’ manifestos land on your doormat in the run-up to this House of Keys election during the next few weeks of ‘campaigning’, albeit it will hardly be on a US GOP scale.
It’s impossible to predict with 100% accuracy what a new Chief Minister and a new Comin will do. That feeling of uncertainty can send out ripples through our local economy and community until we get a clearer picture of the plan for the next five years.
As important as elections are, and you voting in them, we believe that a solid financial plan gives you the tools to keep improving your Return on Life no matter what’s happening with our nation’s politics.
Instead of fretting about what may or may not happen starting in September, try to focus on these three areas of your life that will help you control the significant changes in your life.
1 – You can’t control the economy, but you can control your career.
Elections sometimes spark short-term volatility in the local economy, and that can impact the property market. But the global economy is more significant than any single politician anywhere, especially while Covid-19 continues to change everyday life and many of our businesses.
As companies adapt to the pandemic landscape, job opportunities are becoming less centralised and more diverse.
You might be able to take your dream job on the other side of the world without leaving the home your family loves.
Or, indeed, the dream of the family returning to these shores as they see a place they can now work from now a reality, impossible before Covid.
See Paul Craine’s research referenced on BBC News here and listen when I talked to him recently on Island Influencers.
There are some stark demographic messages for new MHKs, in addition to those on climate change mitigation.
And you might spot an emerging market in the middle of all this displacement where you can open your own company, like Veg & Vitality.
2 – You can’t control taxes, but you can control your saving and spending.
Hopeful Keys candidates talk a lot about their tax and spending plans on the campaign trail.
The need for Treasury’s cooperation to put that plan into action usually isn’t discussed quite as much, or the practicalities beyond their control.
Whether your preferred candidate wins or loses, there’s no guarantee that your taxes are going up or down.
But you can anticipate when your children or grandchildren will be going to college or university, and if you’ll need to replace the family car soon, perhaps for an EV (electric vehicle).
Or if you want to move to a beachfront apartment when you retire, or if the garden becomes too much.
The rate that you pay tax will play a role in handling these transitions. But your saving and spending levels have a more significant impact on your financial plan than any other factor.
If you’ve never kept a monthly budget before, make 2021 the year that you start.
Sit down with your spouse or significant other if you have one, and weed out all those recurring subscriptions and memberships you’re not using.
Make a weekly meal plan, so you’re not eating out so often.
The couple of hundred pounds or more you save every month could grow into comfortable padding for your nest egg over time.
3 – You can’t control who will be the chief minister, but you can take control of your financial plan.
Post Covid and before the climate crisis, you could be forgiven for thinking this is the most important local election of our lifetimes. It could be decades before we have enough perspective to judge.
But as far as your financial planning goes, here’s another way to think about our elected officials.
A 67-year-old baby boomer eyeing retirement might have taken her first part-time job when we didn’t even have a Chief Minister, although Norman Crowe was chair of our Exco. But in the UK, Harold Wilson was Prime Minister.
As of 2021, that person has lived and worked through 10 different Prime Ministers, both Labour and Conservative, and 11 different Isle of Man leaders.
It’s very doubtful that you’re going to love every single CM, PM, President or Dictator who serves during your career.
Yes, certain things that each global leader does might move the needle on your retirement funds in the short term. But it’s people who stick to their plans and continue to save and invest regardless of what’s happening in the outside world who build long-term wealth.
No matter how you feel about our local election, you can take action today to keep your financial plan on track.
Get in touch, and we’ll schedule an appointment to start planning for 2021 and beyond.