We are emerging. With the vaccine rollout around the world giving us back more of our freedoms, we are making bigger steps towards ‘normal’ than we have done in a long time. But the way we went into the pandemic is not the way we will come out. Time to take stock of what is important – for our health, wealth and happiness.

No plan survives the battlefield

You may have the most perfect financial plan – for 16 months ago. That was then and this is now.

Maybe you suffered deep financial cuts, to wages, portfolio, or both, in the temporary closure of industries like aviation, travel and tourism. Perhaps you have been able to work from home and save more than ever before because leisure has been curtailed. Or maybe time not working has given you a new insight into the retired life you want to pursue, or avoid.

Time to dust off your financial plan and adapt it to the new reality. Don’t have one? There’s never been a better time to make one.

What are my true goals?

You may love your job but is it still as important to you to spend 15 hours a day doing it now that we’ve been confronted with a life threatening, and in millions of cases fatal, pandemic? If the answer is ‘no’ it’s time to find your ‘yes’.

Yes to spending more time by the pool with the grandkids? Yes to doing that Masters degree you always longed for? Yes to opening a yoga studio, or moving to a beachfront property, or handing down some wealth now so you can see in real time the leg up it gives your loved ones?

Time is the one thing we can’t get back. Make every moment count, from today.

Build your post-pandemic retirement plan

Financial plans don’t have to be 50 pages long. Start with a few simple questions on the back of an envelope:

1. Think about how you really want to spend your time. What do you see yourself doing in 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now. Where will you live? Who are the people who you want around you? Then work backwards from there.

2. Once you know what you’re aiming for in your real life, your financial life becomes easier. Review your accounts, debt, and investments, how have these fared in the pandemic? A good financial adviser can help with this.

3. So now you know where you want to get to and where you are currently, it’s time to start creating the line in between those two points.

If you’re coming at things from the back foot, there are 4 main ways to change our money situation:

●  Spend less

●  Save more

●  Increase our chances of higher investment returns by taking a bit more risk

●  Lower our expectations

You may need a combination of all of the above. Or you may feel things are on track, but you want to turbo charge your route to your goals.

Either way, the clarity comes when you can agree with yourself on the answers to these questions:

●  How much more do I need in my pension pot to achieve my dreams?

●  Am I happy to scale them back just a little to achieve them 5 years sooner?

●  What costs can I cut today to achieve peace of mind a year from now?

●  How comfortable am I taking a bit more risk over the next 5 to 10 years if it potentially increases my chances of retiring ahead of schedule?

●  Do I want to make financial gifts to loved ones now or later, and how does that factor into my own ambitions?

4. You can come to conclusions about some of the above yourself. But it’s often really helpful to talk things through with a professional adviser who can see the whole landscape of your savings and investments laid out like a map on your journey to your goals. Then, when you’re ready, they could help you get there.

If you need to rethink your retirement plan contact Brite Advisors today and we’ll help you get on the right road.

Mark Donnelly