Happy New Year, readers!!
We hope that all of you had a wonderful festive season and that you’ve eased into 2017 feeling positive about the year ahead. A new year is like a blank piece of paper and it’s up to us to decide what we draw on it. Will this year be more of the same, or will you take the opportunity to reach higher and try new things? Don’t worry, we aren’t going to start espousing irritating super-positive-thinking any time soon, but we do feel that everyone has more control over their destiny than they think.
To help you fill your blank piece of paper, we thought it may be useful to start this year by telling you about the three types of clients that we generally help here at Brighton Financial and share what some of their concerns tend to be when they walk through our door. As you can imagine, many of our clients have retirement on their mind, but others are simply looking for opportunities for their money to work harder– and better– for them and their future. Some of these examples may or may not resonate with you but though we’re all unique, many of the issues we confront in the financial planning industry have a common theme that may help you think about your own situation differently.
The Happily Retired:
Our retired clients are drawing an income from the investments and pensions they’ve put in place, but retirement isn’t always happily ever after. With life expectancy rising and the global economy changing, our retired clients have a number of concerns about what that means for the financial arrangements they so carefully made and for their future. Some of their chief concerns are:
- Is there going to be enough money to see me out?
- If I need a lump sum (the car may be getting on in years), will that have an impact on the income I receive?
- Markets are uncertain. How would I cope if everything fell?
- My loved ones are very important to me. How do I ensure they get what’s left without any hassle?
The Professional Counting Down the Years/Days/Hours Until Retirement:
Jumping into retirement can feel like jumping into the deep sea– suddenly you’re in a whole new world! For many clients, a good guide can be an enormous help when navigating the retirement waters. Getting clear answers to the following questions will allow them to enter retirement feeling confident about their future.
- I have several pensions and I really can’t make head nor tail of them. What do each of them mean to me and my future?
- What do my investments and pensions look like as a whole?
- Is there enough in the collective pot to see me through?
- There are so many choices! Which option is the best one for me to achieve the lifestyle I’d like after retirement?
It’s never too early to start planning for your future and we enjoy seeing clients who are years– or even decades– away from retirement who are starting to think proactively about their financial future. Planners generally come to us when they have a decent amount of money in the bank but want to find out how best to use that money. Their questions are often along the lines of:
- With low interest rates, could my money be working harder for me?
- I don’t want to take a lot of risk but I think I’d like a better return. What should I do?
- Investments aren’t something I fully understand and I’m a bit intimidated. Can you walk me through the process?
- I’m concerned that investing can be expensive and I need some help clearly understanding the costs
These issues above are real issues for a lot of people and we fully understand the fear and anguish they can cause. We never like to see worried faces coming into the office, but we love turning that worry into knowledge which, more often than not, leads to a sense of reassurance and direction.
This year, you might be concerned about some of the same issues listed above. Be considered and careful in any action you take, but remember that there is no harm in beginning to learn more about your finances and seeking out knowledgeable industry experts to help you better plan for your future. You may be surprised by how much you learn and what opportunities find their way on the page in front of you!