There is no doubt that the global pandemic has profoundly affected all our lives and in some cases completely changed how we live now and our aspirations for the future.
None of us have a crystal ball to show what is going to happen and for many, the anxiety that ensues from such uncertainty can be overwhelming.
One of the essential services provided by Magenta is helping clients to look into the future, to model desired lifestyles, and make projections based on future income and expenditure requirements. But with some of the assumptions being thrown into doubt, perhaps by job losses, business closures, and the like, how useful are these financial and lifestyle models now?
At Magenta, we want to support all our clients in making the right financial decisions to ensure they achieve the life they want and can pursue their passions in the future. We believe that no one should make important long-term decisions based on temporary or emotional situations and yet at the moment this is what is happening to us all.
So let’s all sit back for a minute, take a deep breath, and think about what we CAN actually control and what we can do immediately to help us on our life journey to financial freedom.
Here are our 10 tips for maintaining balance and perspective, and future-proofing our lives.
- Home balance. Lockdown has highlighted many imbalances for everyone in terms of home responsibilities and now is a good time to talk about getting a better and fairer work-life, family-life and financial balance. Consider things like who is looking after the kids while also working from home; who does all the housework; who deals with financial matters; who has the biggest pension etc. And it wont hurt to get the kids to do the washing up!
- Keep up to date. Make sure you know what is happening in terms of your income and pension. If your work has been impacted, perhaps due to furlough or reduced hours, make sure you are clear on how your pay and pension contributions have changed. Find out how employer wellbeing or any state benefits might help.
- Consider what might change. Find out about how your employer’s business is changing in light of Covid-19 and consider how this might impact your career and future direction. Explore job creation opportunities and, if your job is at risk, seek support via retention and re-deployment programmes
- Understand flexible working options. Many people have had to find new flexible ways to work, reduce their hours or even stop work altogether. Make sure you’re on top of your employer policies and the support available especially if you are a parent or carer. How will this affect your earnings and future pension? If you stopped work to care, check your registration for Child Benefit and Carer’s Credit.
- Make a proper financial plan – and/or revise an existing one, especially if you are approaching retirement or seeking to drawdown pensions. Make sure you (and your partner) understand the short and long-term implications of Covid 19 by modelling various “what if” and worst case scenarios for your future life.
- Check your current position. This is a good opportunity to look at your pensions and savings, your investment strategy and valuations. Don’t rush into decisions, take time to consider the most appropriate long-term strategy for your circumstances, life stage and planned financial life journey.
- Get your affairs in good order. Make sure your financial and legal arrangements reflect your life and relationship circumstances. Check that your Will, Powers of Attorney, life insurance, pensions and life insurance beneficiaries are still appropriate and up to date.
- Upskill where possible. Treat your skills as an investment – Covid-19 is having a profound effect on many people’s work and careers, in the short and long-term. Find ways to continue developing your career, look at options for career change and/or retraining and make sure you gain and maintain relevant and digital skills for the future working world.
- Next generation. Help and support your children with their study and career decisions to maintain their confidence – life is difficult for them at the moment with many career choices unavailable altogether. Help them to “stay real,” to economise and budget properly rather than getting into debt and credit problems.
- Be grateful. Despite all the difficulties, try to stay positive and think of all the beauty in the world and what you have to be grateful for on a daily basis. This is especially good to remember if things are bad and is a proven strategy for maintaining personal wellbeing.
If you are worried about the future and how Covid may affect your hopes and dreams, do call us for a friendly chat so we can help to allay your concerns and help you design a Covidproof plan for your ongoing security, happiness and wellbeing.