Thanks to timely action by the Isle of Man Government, we became the first part of the British Isles to lift lockdown this week.
We’re tentatively enjoying our newly restored freedom with a watchful eye on developments and influences elsewhere. I’m sure like me; you wish Godspeed to those elsewhere with an imminent reversal of lockdown in the UK and across the globe.
However, I think it’s worthwhile revisiting what we’ve learned during the last 14 weeks regarding how we live our lives, and adapt from here.
Technology has helped to bridge some of the gaps that Covid-19 opened between us, our loved ones, and our community.
Thanks to video chat, you’ve been able to check in on family both here, and further afield across the globe, and participate in birthday parties and graduation celebrations.
You’ve used streaming services to watch movies and listen to music.
You’ve used online news services and social media to keep up on current events and essential health care developments.
So, now that you’re a pro Zoomer and Netflix aficionado, you might be wondering, what’s next?
Here are three areas of your retirement that developing technology could improve.
1 – Monitoring and improving your health.
Fitness tracking has exploded beyond the Fitbit bracelets your kids and grandchildren are wearing.
Most smartphones have basic apps built-in that keep track of how much you’re moving during the day.
Dig a little deeper into those apps, and you’ll find ways to track your diet, notifications that will nudge you off the couch like my Apple watch does, or remind you to take medication, and even exercise routines you can follow at home.
Alexa, Apple and Google home devices with voice recognition activation are also developing at a rapid pace to be able to detect health issues.
Setting up devices should be intuitive, but a quick Google or Youtube ’how-to’ search can help if, like me, you get stuck!
To maintain social distancing during Covid-19, many GP surgeries operated a telephone service and are moving some of their services online. My GP has already made this move.
Video chat can be a safe and secure way for the island’s vulnerable to get non-emergency medical advice without having to go to the doctors.
These advances could also put more of your medical information online, where it’s easier for you to access and share with other doctors and specialists.
2 – Developing hobbies and pursuing higher learning.
So many skilled professionals used their talents and expertise to help us learn and grow during Covid-19.
Online videos and mini-classes have taught us to exercise, bake, draw, play an instrument, and learn new languages, all from the comfort of home.
If learning something new during Covid-19 has sparked an interest in continuing your education, keep going. Life-Long Learning is of massive wellbeing benefit.
Put it this way, all my guests on Island Influencers podcast have this in common. It’s likely our local University College Isle of Man will offer a wide variety of online classes, or there is always the Open University (OU).
For something a little less regimented, many online platforms will help you develop hobbies and casual interests into real talents.
Scroll past the silly stuff, and YouTube can be a fantastic educational resource.
Many content creators even structure their videos as sequential lessons designed to ramp up challenges as your skills increase.
Your local gym or yoga studio might also have branched into online classes during the pandemic.
My Personal Trainer, Juan Cheung, helped me keep my sanity by sending me his ‘workout with Chunny sessions’ on video.
If you, Dear Reader, have other ideas or resources to share, please do let me know. At the start of lockdown, we put together a Covid19 Hub on our website which we’ll leave up there as long as there’s a pandemic.
3 – Balancing your books.
Getting comfortable with accessing your financial information online can be a little scary, I know. But if you follow the same common sense you use when you banish suspicious emails to your spam folder, you’ll be able to check in on your accounts with confidence and ease.
You might also start moving more of your bill payments online.
Automating can help ensure you’re making payments on time and sticking within your budget.
Speaking of budgets, one of the most significant adjustments that retirees face is transitioning from living off a regular salary to living off a fixed income.
Retirement might be the first time in your life that you’ve had to set – and stick to – a strict monthly budget.
Apps and online services can help you get started with budgeting and make adjustments as necessary.
You can also use these apps to track progress towards some of your retirement goals.
Watching the money you’ve earmarked for a dream holiday grow is going to keep you motivated to hit that goal and excited to plan with your spouse.
Of course, there’s another vital part of your financial planning that you can access online: your financial adviser.
We’re always available for a video chat or to work through one of our retirement planning tools with you.
Schedule a call, and we can talk about how the tech skills you’ve developed during Covid-19 can add some exciting new dimensions to your retirement.
Rumour has it
A year ago today, I was delighted to receive my Public Trust Award from the Chartered Insurance Institute for building Public Trust in Financial Services in the UK.
I thought with the rumours circulating about many Isle of Man IFA firms being unable to secure renewal terms for their Professional Indemnity Insurance that it would be ironic to be among them.
Happily, I can confirm that for Thornton clients, your consumer protection remains fully in place and our insurers are happy to go on risk to cover this NMA Top 100 firm.
We have not aggressively gone after new business like some firms locally who up until February were advertising their clients had received returns or 8,9, or even 29% (gross which means before ALL charges) which today looks pretty silly, disingenuous or indeed irresponsible in today’s Covid19 crisis.
Investing is a marathon, not a sprint. At Thornton, we believe the purpose of investing is to support your life’s goals and purpose using regulated and transparent processes and products.
We have also been lucky enough to have grown our client base over the last 20 years by referrals from those clients or by an introduction from a fellow professional law firm or accountancy practice.
On Monday, the Thornton team will resume residency back at our beautiful and strategically placed office in St John’s Mill, and we remain fully open (and insured) for our clients, and of course, we’d be delighted to meet new clients too.
If you want to take us up on our offer for an SOS Investment review (Second Opinion Service), please give us a call on 660220 or email us at email@example.com.
We’re happy to meet you face to face or via Zoom encrypted video conference for a free 30-minute chat.