Financial Planning – Who Really Needs It?

If you think you’re too young for financial planning, or if you believe you’ve left it too late, think again. No matter what stage you have reached in life, sound financial planning is very important. Financial planning is all about lifestyle. It’s about protecting the lifestyle your currently enjoy, for yourself and your loved ones; and it’s also about planning for the lifestyle you want to enjoy in the future. However, as you progress in life, your financial priorities changes as your circumstances change. That’s why you need to review your financial plan regularly to ensure that it still suits your needs.

Young, Free and Single

At this stage you are probably more interested in having fun and enjoying life than you are in financial planning. I totally agree that it’s very important to enjoy life and have fun with your friends. However, small financial planning steps taken at this time will make a huge difference to you in the future.

Key financial areas for you include:

Saving regularly
Starting a pension
Insuring your income
Critical illness cover
Mortgage advice

Young Couple – No Children

If you are living with someone and you haven’t yet started a family, this is one of the more affluent stages in your life, when you have two incomes but only one home and no kids! It’s important, while you are in this position, that you get started with your financial planning. Later on, if you decide to have children, there may not be much spare money left over for saving. All the key areas of financial planning which apply to the ‘Young, Free and Single’ also apply to you!

Couple with Children

This is when you need to get really serious about your financial planning. You have a responsibility to protect not only your own lifestyle but also that of your loved ones.

Key priorities include:

Life insurance – vitally important!
Critical illness cover
Education fees planning
Income Protection
Retirement planning

Empty Nesters

So your children have all grown up and fled the nest? Now is the time to really concentrate on your own financial planning – especially on your retirement planning, making up any shortfalls in your pension provision. Life is not a rehearsal. It is important that you plan to be financially independent sooner rather than later so that you can choose to give up work and start doing all the things you want to do while you’re still young and fit enough to be able to enjoy them.

Key areas of concern include:

Retirement planning
Investment advice
Inheritance tax (IHT) planning
Paying off your mortgage

Retirement

As you reach retirement you have some major decisions to make regarding your pension options and it is critically important that you seek independent financial advice, even if you have never consulted a financial adviser before.

Key areas of financial planning include:

Pension income options
Investment advice
Wealth management
Estate/IHT planning
Equity release

The Elderly

As you become older and more frail you may have to make plans on how to fund long term care should you need it. Not all financial advisers are qualified to give advice in this very specialised area.

Key areas of financial planning include:

Wealth management
Investment advice
Pension advice – alternatively secured pension or annuity purchase
Estate/IHT planning
Long term care fees planning

So, you see, you are never too young or too old to start financial planning and people of any age can benefit from consulting an expert independent financial adviser.

If you are seeking financial advice you will want the best advice possible but how do you find a top financial adviser? Firstly you must find an independent financial adviser (IFA) – ideally one who is highly qualified. Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) and Chartered Financial Planners are the most highly qualified financial advisers in the UK. They have reached the pinnacle of their profession. They have not only proven the highest level of technical knowledge; they have also demonstrated an exceptional commitment to their clients by devoting their time and money to achieving the highest qualifications to enable them to give the best possible financial advice. Only about 6% of financial advisers are qualified to this high level.

You will find IFAs who are CFPs or Chartered Financial Planners at http://www.financialplannerselite.com/ the directory of the UK’s top financial advisers. Only financial advisers who give independent financial advice and who have achieved either CFP or Chartered Financial Planner status are listed here.