The coronavirus crisis has disrupted many aspects of life. Work, family and of course, finances have all been affected in ways unexpected a month or two ago.
Despite the challenges of the lockdown and the panic on the stock markets, your long-term financial goals are probably still the same. Buying a house, helping your children getting a start in life, building your wealth and retiring in the style you want will still be among your priorities.
Reaching those goals is simpler if you have a financial roadmap, which will include every step you need to take to reach your objectives, the products you need and the funds you need to commit.
At Continuum, we provide an individual financial roadmap for every client we work with.
But events of the last few weeks may well have derailed your financial plans. We look at ways to get them back on track.
Look at your budget
Even if you can work at home without too much disruption and can expect your usual salary to come in, there could be some extra costs to consider. Online shopping has become very simple, and ordering essential supplies and food is easy – and possibly too easy. You might think you’re spending less because you’re not going out for meals and entertainment right now. But you may be spending more than you realise.
Delivery services make it easy to buy practically anything online, from food to garden equipment. Are you or your family ordering without considering the costs? What about the costs of services, like gym membership, that you cannot use?
See what options you have for recurring charges or fees you’ve already paid.
Look at your emergency fund
Your stay-at-home budget should be less than what you’re used to spending in a typical month. With no travel costs, restaurant or bar bills, theatre tickets or other expenses, costs could be well down. The best use for the spare cash is to build up your emergency savings account. Even when interest rates are low, we recommend that you have enough money set aside to cover six months of your usual living expenses. That reserve could be critical as this crisis unfolds, especially if there’s a sudden emergency such as a vital home repair.
Once the crisis is over, a healthy emergency fund is well worth having, and you can use it as part of your longer term financial planning.
Look at the future
With your immediate needs sorted, it’s time to look at those financial plans. Getting them back on track may mean using some of the extra cash you are building up in your emergency fund – but you will probably need to take some more steps to get all your financial plans moving in the right direction again.
Your Continuum adviser will be able to help you look at the measures involved. These could include:
Looking at your investment portfolio. The volatility of the markets in the wake of the virus could have been costly – but selling up would simply crystallise losses. You need to have the right tactics and plan in place to help your portfolio recover as quickly as possible.
Making an objective appraisal of your pension plans. The current conditions could also have had an impact on your pension pot. A review is essential if you can look forward to the kind of retirement you want.
Comparing your mortgage to the best available. With the positive news of the housing market reopening there could be opportunities your housing plans can now get back on track with the help of our experts.
In the current climate, getting professional help with your finances is more important than ever. At Continuum, we can give you individual support from an adviser who will work to help you plan your finances – and help you put your plans into action.
To find out more, simply call us.
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.
The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested.
Accessing pension benefits is not suitable for everyone. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement.
Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage
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