The New Year is a perfect time to take stock of where you’re at and, more importantly, resolve to do something about it.
Use the following statements to get a measure of where you’re at.
Be honest with yourself; if there’s something that you’re not happy with, make 2022 the year you do something about it.
You don’t need to have found all the answers within the year, but progress is progress, however small.
After two years of feeling a bit out of control of our own lives, it’s time to put yourself back in the driving seat.
I understand my current financial situation
If you do, great!
If not, you’re not alone. With numerous bank accounts, pensions held with old employers and other policies such as life cover that you have no reason to look at regularly, it’s straightforward to lose track of where you’re at.
Not everyone knows how much remains outstanding on their mortgage; many don’t know the interest rate either.
What can you do about it? Resolve to make a list of your assets. Request valuation statements for your pensions. Dig out the policy information for old policies.
Check your bank statements. Are you paying any policy premiums that you don’t recognise?
This is the easiest and first step. You don’t have to take any action; just get to know financial you better.
Please fill out this financial passport while you’re at it. It could come in handy in the future.
I feel financially secure
The answer to this question might be more linked to your personality than your bottom line.
If money was tight growing up, it could be hard to feel financially secure regardless of your bank balance. You can, however, take steps to feel more secure.
Engaging with a Financial Planner could be one way. It is valuable to have a professional with an objective opinion to work with and tell you it’s going to be OK (or help you get to a point where it’s OK).
Sometimes you need to hear it from someone else.
Building a decent cash reserve, maximising pension opportunities (including the state pension), and clearing debts are options you can look at yourself too.
Insuring income is another. Maybe you’re heavily reliant on one source of income, and this dependence has you on edge.
I have a plan for retirement/the next ten years
Some people, typically those nearing retirement, have their retirement planned to the nth degree.
If you’re still a long way off retirement, you might not have thought that far ahead, and that’s fair enough, but it is sensible to have a plan for the next ten years on a rolling basis.
Think back ten years ago. It feels like a month ago, right!?
The next ten will probably whizz by even quicker, and with it is lost opportunities.
What could you achieve in this time with a plan? How much could you save if you commit to a budget? How much could you save in fees or tax if you structure your finances effectively?
There are several online calculators available that may help you with your savings goals. (Savings Calculator – MoneySavingExpert – Calculate Interest)
If you feel ready to make a more detailed plan, we can help.
I feel in control of my finances
Do you control your finances or feel like a passenger in your own life journey?
Budgeting can massively help in regaining some control of your finances.
You should know what you’re spending and identify where you might be wasting money.
Using our expenditure questionnaire is one way to see where your money is going.
Another is to take your monthly bank statement and check your direct debits and standing orders.
“Do not save what is left after spending; instead, spend what is left after saving” are wise words from Warren Buffet. There’s a reason he’s one of the world’s richest men, after all!
Proactively plan, make mini, achievable financial objectives and complete them. The way to feel in control is to be in control.
If the thought of your finances leaves you feeling overwhelmed, we’re here to help.
I feel confident in my ability to reach my goals
You might have a decent grip on where you are currently and maybe where you would like to be, but do you know how to get there?
Financial Planning is all about getting you from A (where you are) to B (where you’d like to be) in the most efficient way. If you are not confident in your ability to get there yourself, engage with the help of a professional financial planner.
We can’t live your life for you, but we can give you the tools, knowledge and confidence to live your best life possible.
I know what would happen to my assets if something were to happen to me
This might not be a daily worry, especially if you’re fighting fit. But what if you were to take ill or even worse suddenly.
Do you know who your assets would pass to in the event of your death? This is especially important if you are unmarried or have beneficiaries in mind who are not blood relatives.
If you were to lose the ability to deal with your finances through serious illness, who would you want to look after them for you? And is this likely to be the same person the courts would choose!?
Contact a Manx Advocate to make a Will and Enduring Power of Attorney. Having these in place now means there is one less thing to worry about in future.