With the world still trying to find ways to deal with the Covid crisis and still no vaccine in sight, it might seem premature to start looking at your long-term financial plans.
Many of us are still searching for ways to cope with the short-term challenges caused by the lockdown and the downturn. Reduced income and opportunities can be causing immediate problems, but long term, our pensions, savings and investment plans may all be disrupted.
At Continuum we have been looking at the effects of the crisis, and in this article look at how it may have affected your long term planning.
Have your financial plans been derailed?
You may have had to take a mortgage holiday, put pension contributions on hold, and even dig into your investments. If you have, it may now be essential to take a fresh look at your plans.
There are two possibilities to consider.
The first is to make up the shortfall in your commitments. Your mortgage lender will require extra payments to cover any mortgage holiday, and it may make sense to put more into your pension. The tax advantages of pension contributions make it vital to take full advantage of the opportunity, although you need to remember, there is a contribution ceiling of £40,000 each year – or the amount you earn, whichever is the lower.
You might want to look at your investments too – if a recovery is coming, investing could help you take advantage of it.
The second possibility is to look again at your plans. Is it still possible to get back on target, or will you need to put your financial goals back a year or two while you make up the losses caused by Covid?
Have your plans changed?
Of course, while many of us are more than ready to get back to our career, running our business or following our profession – others have discovered that they enjoy life without the office, the commute and the pressures of work.
The Coronavirus has given some of us a reminder that there is a world outside the office, and that that there is much more to life than work – if you have the financial arrangements you need.
If you are under 55, the minimum age to access your pension – and soon to be increased to 57 – you probably cannot give up work altogether. Your home may not be paid off, your children may be an ongoing expense, and you may not have enough invested or in your pension pot to become a person of leisure.
But it might be possible to change how you work. The lockdown has demonstrated the potential of working from home, and thanks to the internet many of us have actually become more productive working at home. Many employers are seriously looking at making WFH part of their standard operations for at least part of the week.
If you are cutting down commuting, you might want to consider relocating to the country.
Earlier retirement, a career or lifestyle change or a house move could all make a big change to your financial circumstances now and your goals for the future.
Getting some new financial answers
Whether it is a matter of getting your finances back on track or taking a new route entirely, the important thing is to get expert help.
At Continuum we can work with you to understand your financial goals, and work out exactly what you need to do to reach them. Whether it is the most cost-effective way or making up for lost contributions or new ways to reach your new financial destination, we are ready to help.
To find out how easy it can be start planning the life you want to live now and in the future please call us on 0345 643 0770.
The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable investment strategy, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.
Your Home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested.
Accessing pension benefits early may impact on levels of retirement income and your entitlement to certain means tested benefits. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement
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