How can I plan for my family’s future?

As part of our GetAdvised campaign, we’re looking at ways professional advice can help you evaluate, develop and implement a solid plan to support your family’s future.

A family holding hands

Work, children, socialising, jobs around the house, shopping. The list of things to do seems never ending and it’s all too easy to spend our time dealing with the here and now and put off thinking about the future.

One particular area which we tend to neglect is our personal finances. For instance, when was the last time you gave serious thought to the questions below?

• I have assets and income, but how much is enough?
• When can I afford to retire?
• How much do I need to sell my business for to ensure my financial security?
• Have I got enough to consider gifting to my children?
• What effect would death or serious illness have on my life plans?
• Can I afford to buy the holiday home I’ve always wanted?

“For most people who suddenly had to stay off work because of long-term sickness, injury or a critical illness, they would have on average an 18-day deadline before their money ran out”

While only a couple of the questions above may be relevant in your circumstances, hopefully they will kickstart you into thinking about your and your family’s own finances and the questions that really matter to you. For example, research from Legal & General found that for most people who suddenly had to stay off work because of long-term sickness, injury or a critical illness, they would have on average, an 18-day deadline before their money ran out. Would this prompt you into action?

To start with you will need to get a clear picture of your household finances by sitting down and putting together a budget showing your monthly income and expenditure. Once finished, you will know where you stand each month and what you can and can’t afford, but this process will also probably throw up further questions. Obviously, once you know these questions, you will want the answers. That’s where a financial planner can help.

A good financial planner should put you back in control of your finances, set you on course to meet your financial goals and personal aspirations as well as providing you with peace of mind about your financial future. They will help you to  achieve this by taking the time to engage with you in a modern, personal and interactive discussion that will help you to visualise where you are now financially and how planning (or lack of it) will greatly affect your financial future.

This process will help you to think seriously about your long-term future and test your aspirations against your financial reality. In conjunction with your planner, you will then  agree how best to structure your asset base, tax and income position, both now and throughout the rest of your life, and receive a plan of action designed to ensure your financial position is aligned with your personal objectives.  As you get older, the strategy and methodology that you implemented at outset will be revisited as your aspirations and circumstances change.

The ultimate aim of any good financial planner is to guide you to the point where you and your family are able to enjoy life, happy in the knowledge that you have structured your tax and financial affairs in a sensible and purposeful manner.

Thinking of speaking with a financial adviser? Download the unbiased.co.uk financial adviser checklist.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

About the author

Mark Brownridge heads up financial planning firm Mazars’ research and development team. His responsibilities include incorporating the research, development and implementation of systems to ensure the effective roll out of financial planning services and products.