Is it true that individual financial planning is easier than planning for couples or families? It can be, but as with many things, it depends on your individual circumstances, including whether you have chosen to be single or not.
There may be fewer factors to consider when planning your future as a single person which can allow you more flexibility with fewer complications. But if becoming single has happened to you unexpectedly, things can get complicated.
As advisers, part of our work involves advising people who have become single unexpectedly. If you’ve ever experienced that, you will know what a difficult time that can be. The sense of loss after the death of your husband, wife or partner can be overwhelming and thinking about anything else, including individual financial planning, when you’ve previously always done things as a couple, can seem a huge task.
If your partner previously dealt with all the household finances, it can mean that you have a steep learning curve ahead of you, particularly if you have a variety of financial commitments, such as mortgage payments, investments, a pension and so on. But it’s worth keeping in mind if you’re in this situation, that you’re not on your own when it comes to your individual financial planning. All good financial advisers will be there to support you with organising your finances and making sure you are secure.
You might have become single following a divorce. Again, it can be an overwhelming time with many things to sort out, both emotionally as well as financially. But it can also be an opportunity for you to reorganise and reassess your finances. Your independent financial adviser is exactly the right person to help you to restructure your individual financial planning to either increase your income, make retirement provision, or make some investments.
However you have arrived at being single, whether through choice or circumstances, being solely responsible for your finances can be really rewarding. When there is only you to consider, it can make your financial choices more straightforward. Being financially single brings with it a great deal of independence.
As you only have yourself to depend on, it’s worth considering your finances more carefully. If you haven’t done so already, think ahead with your individual financial planning and prepare for unexpected events, such as losing your job or being too ill to work. There’s nothing like having the peace of mind of knowing that you’re covered for possibilities, however unlikely. For anyone, single or not, planning for your financial future is essential.
As Donna Hansen wrote about recently, budgeting is one of the key factors in any financial plan and is the first step towards financial success and independence. If you already have your budgeting in place, great, you’re right on track; if you haven’t, why not make that the first step of your individual financial planning? Any good independent financial adviser will be happy to help you take that first step.
What else can you consider as part of your individual financial planning? You may not have thought about it before, but health insurance could also be an option. Although we don’t like to think about it, the reality is that anyone can become ill or have an accident, regardless of their age or current health condition. If you are the only source of income for your household and you miss work or lose your job due to an illness or accident, you run the risk of accumulating a lot of debt. Forward planning and preparation, however, can avoid this.
What about planning for even further ahead as well? However far you are from retirement, it’s never too soon to start a pension fund. The earlier you can start building up a pension pot, the better chance you have of accumulating a big enough pension pot for a truly carefree retirement. As an individual there are various ways of building up your capital – from Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) to an individual investment portfolio.
For a free, no obligation initial chat about your individual finances, call Lynne Williams on 0845 230 9876 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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