One of the first questions asked in a financial planning consultation with existing or new clients is around health. Has your health changed over the past 12 months? Or will your health influence the financial plan we are providing? Now, financial planners are not health experts; however, it is important that these questions are explored and is not just treated as a tick box exercise. In my opinion there is no wealth without health, so we must ensure that the financial plans provide a springboard to better health for our clients.
Create a Plan
One of the ways that we can help our client’s individual mental health is through creating a financial plan. Stressful situations will arise in our lives; however, one way to alleviate stress is to create a plan of action. This could be what we do in the event of the death of a loved one, deteriorating health, or changes in financial circumstances. Once we are clear on what we need to do and the steps we need to take, we tend to see a path in front of us, rather than a load of tasks above our heads, weighing us down. At Wingate, part of the core element of our service is to provide a financial plan that is reviewed on an ongoing basis, that provides peace of mind and will ultimately reduce stress and improve mental health. Spotting problems is the first step to finding a solution and often the first stage is to find out whether your current circumstances are helping you reach your goals. If they are not, we amend the plan to ensure you stay on the right track.
Implement a Phased Retirement Strategy
What is phased retirement? It is taking a staged approach to retirement by relinquishing employment responsibilities over an extended period, if moving to part time work is an option open to you. If this is not something you had considered before, we can look to create a financial plan for you that implements a phased retirement strategy to confirm whether this is a viable option for you and your circumstances. Phased retirement can often be the bridge between where you are and where you want to go without the trauma of stopping everything all at once. Having an immediate retirement may work for some; however, phasing into retirement can help in many ways. The first is not stopping all your income at once, which will take pressure off your retirement savings, as you will have employment income to supplement you as you wind down. The second is not relinquishing all your responsibilities at once. Whilst you may feel like you will enjoy having your time back, you may miss some of the purpose that work provided if you gave it all up. Thirdly, it allows you to adjust from 40 years of employment into another phase of life and gives you time to figure out a new routine that you will have in retirement, which could be introducing additional physical activities in your day-to-day life, or volunteering if additional income is not a priority.
Do I have enough?
Thinking you might have enough money for your retirement can still leave an element of doubt. Knowing you have a robust financial plan that is reviewed on an ongoing basis, should reduce stress on any future financial decisions, as you will be making them from an informed position. These decisions can range from the quality of holiday you choose to have, the level of generosity that you have with your loved ones, or even the quality and speed of healthcare that you can afford. Certainty in these situations increases confidence, reduces stress, and therefore improves your overall health.
It is important to understand that financial planning is more than annualised investment returns, it is about being in an informed position with your finances and having a financial plan in place to help you live your best lifestyle and improve the lifestyle of those around you. If you would like to understand how financial planning can help you, please get in touch with a dedicated financial adviser at Wingate.