Money only has any meaningful value, when it’s used to help you achieve your goals. When you’re thinking of how to allocate your disposable income, here are five outcomes you may wish to keep in mind.
The value of pensions and investments can fall as well as rise, you may get back less than you invested.
Looking after yourself and your loved ones
It may lack glamour, but having the right insurance in place can make a huge difference in difficult times. When thinking about insurance, it’s often a good idea to start by thinking of yourself. What would happen if you A) lost your job, B) became ill and required care or C) died? You need to determine what sort of funds you would need to be able to keep going comfortably in order to be able to determine whether or not any existing protection is sufficient. Then broaden the net to the people you love, your pets and your possessions. Finally, think about your daily life and consider whether there are any ways you could feasibly cause accidental damage to someone else or even just be blamed for it and if so whether insurance could mitigate this. For example, third-party insurance is mandatory for drivers, but cyclists could also benefit from it since they will have someone on their side if they are blamed for an accident. Likewise third-party insurance for pets, particularly dogs, can also come in useful.
Preparing for your later years
As long as you live, you’re only going to get older. When you’re in your twenties, your later years are literally a lifetime away, but starting your preparations early can really give them a head start. The older you get, the closer your later years get and the more important it is to be ready for them.
Planning for your own death
In simple terms, as soon as you have either A) assets or B) people who depend on you in any way at all, then you should really be thinking about what will happen to them in the event of your death. This applies even if you’re a young adult. Sadly young people can and do die and those with assets and/or personal responsibilities need to be prepared for that possibility.
Saving and investing for your future plans
The main difference between saving and investing is that saving emphasizes preservation of capital, whereas investing emphasizes growth. For most people, both form an essential part of achieving their plans and life goals.
Organizing a place to live
For many people this phrase will translate as “buying a house” but there are other options, such as building your own home or living on board a boat. You may even enjoy the flexibility of renting and having the use of a home without the responsibility of maintaining it. Whatever your preferences, you do need somewhere to live and hence this fact should be incorporated into your financial plans.
Your plans are your own but help is available
These days there seems to be a whole barrage of adverts from companies which claim that they can either offer you the cheapest deal themselves, or get the cheapest deal for you. The problem here is that the deal with the cheapest headline price may actually be inappropriate for your situation and you may only find this out when you have already spent a lot of money on it and need to make use of it only to discover that it falls short of your expectations. Getting professional advice can help to avoid this pitfall and to ensure that you get the deal which delivers the best value to you and the people you love. They will also work to get this deal for you at the best available price. Ideally, you should have a “financial health-check” with an adviser on a regular basis and certainly in preparation for any major life change, such as a house purchase or the arrival of a new baby.