Facing up to your finances
Friday, October 14, 2016
When it comes to your finances, particularly end-of-life financial matters, it can be hard to face the music. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help you make a start…
Do you try to put your finances out of your mind or avoid talking about money with family and friends? Do you squirrel all those bills away in a folder on the top shelf, never to be opened? Have you made any financial preparations for the future?
Our recent survey of Foresters Friendly Society members found that 75% of respondents don’t have a funeral plan, and 26% don’t think they need life insurance. Wherever you are in life, having peace of mind for your, and your family’s future can be a huge weight off your shoulders. Here’s how to start facing up to your finances, while keeping a smile on your face…
1. Take stock
First, sit down and work out what you’ve got. Take a look at bank accounts and savings plans, investments and insurance plans, simply work out what you have. Take a note of your finances and how well they are performing as well as any insurance cover you’ve got. Then start to document your income and outgoings. Once you know your available monthly budget you can better prepare for the future.
2. Seek help
If you’ve uncovered some big problems or you simply don’t know where to start, it might be worth getting help. Whether you want to ask a friend or family member, hire a professional adviser or speak to an expert for free with a service such as the Money Advice Service, it can be worth seeking some help if you feel you’ve got more questions than answers, or if you need specialist advice on things such as debt, investments and wills.
3. Break it down
Once you’ve worked out what you’ve got, and dealt with any big issues, it’s time to start working out what you’re going to do. Planning for the future is a tricky task to take on, so breaking it down in to smaller, more manageable, items can help. You could start by ensuring you have life cover in place to guarantee your mortgage, before moving on to bigger tasks.
4. Check all the boxes
When planning your finances for the future, it can be difficult to know what you need to include. As well as your pension, long-term savings plans and investments, you should also consider your will and life insurance. Getting it all out of the way early on will give you and your family peace of mind, and you can always make adjustments later down the line if your situation changes.
5. Tell your family
When you have everything sorted, let those close to you know. Our survey found that only 15% of Foresters Friendly Society Members regularly talk about financial matters with their family. It’s important to make sure the right people know about your plans for the future when it comes to your finances.
The content of this article is for information purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. We do not offer financial advice. If you're unsure as to the suitability of a product you should seek advice from a Financial Adviser. You may have to pay for this advice.
The Foresters Magazine survey was carried out from May – August 2016 among 1126 Foresters members.