Q Is it time to carry out a financial review?
A Having just emerged from the Covid pandemic, with a degree of optimism, Europe was returned to a state of uncertainty and fear last year. The grim first year anniversary of President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted many of us to reflect on how global events, previously thought to have little or no bearing on our day to day lives, in fact effect the very minutiae of them, from the price of oil, to medicine shortages to emptier supermarket shelves. The global uncertainty characterising the last number of years have left many of us with concerns for our future.
In truth, the Covid pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has changed all of our lives in many ways. This can be seen in the area of our personal finances.
For example, for some the pandemic was simply an opportunity to save, as spending reduced, for others this represents a time of financial strain and uncertainty. With no end to the war in sight, people are going to continue to be impacted in many different ways.
A robust review of your entire financial circumstances is required now more than ever to ensure you optimise your financial position. Here are some of the reasons for carrying one out:
The lucky few, for some people their spending reduced and they saved more money, but this means that are currently watching a large cash balance going nowhere in their deposit account, uncertain as to what to do with it. Factoring in the impact of inflation, it might be time to recognise there has to be a better way.
Sickness and/or bereaved
Sadly, we’ve also worked with a number of people who have been quite sick, or who have been unfortunately bereaved in the last couple of years. Their lives are changed utterly, and for some it has impacted their financial status also, either with the loss of income, increased care costs and/or a changed financial future to consider.
Job loss or business closure
Some of our clients have kept their businesses alive, albeit on life support. The future can feel daunting for them as they grapple with the winding down of government support schemes in parallel with rising costs. Others have already suffered the closure of their business or have lost their jobs and now face a difficult and uncertain future. Having a structured financial discussion with a broker can help them to take stock, review their income and expenditure and plot the best route forward to stay on top of their challenging financial circumstances.
The world of work has changed
The working life of some clients has changed enormously in the last few years – the challenge now is to make sensible decisions to make the most of these changes. As working from home may remain an option either partially or fully into the future, this might impact where people live, whether they buy a house or not and changed spending patterns. There are lots of opportunities here, and a financial review will point you in the direction of making the most of these changes in your life.
Investment markets have been ‘interesting’
In 2022 alone, markets plummeted before recovering a little and this “interesting” path has continued. So, do you panic and cash out? Or try time the growth cycle and plot an approach to get your investments back on track? This process starts with a financial review meeting.
For many people, Covid and the war in Ukraine hasn’t changed their financial circumstances significantly, but the old adage goes when everything is uncertain, everything that is important becomes clear.
Recent global events have had a profound impact on our thoughts about our present and future lives. Some are re-evaluating and re-prioritising what’s important in their own lives, such as where and how they want to live, spending more time with the people they love and doing the things they want to do, potentially retiring earlier, etc. It can be difficult to identify what’s financially achievable as you make these changes and a financial review can help you do this.
with Philip Cullen of Southeast Mortgages & Financial Services
This article aims to give information, not advice. Always do your own research and/or seek out advice from a Financial Broker before acting on anything contained in this article.