ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Looking forward: planning, protection and pensions

As we look forward – and with the benefit of hindsight – Ann-Marie Atkins, Managing Partner at Tilney Financial Planning Ltd, points out the benefit of planning in this sponsored article.

There is nothing like instability to prompt reflection. COVID has caused us to worry about the health of our loved ones and, indeed, ourselves. Furlough and job insecurity have made us consider our own income and investments. Our relationships, the cost of educating the next generation and what we ultimately want for ourselves could all have been on our lockdown agendas.

Atkins says: “We have had time to think about all these things during lockdown. It has been a time to consider our existing package and understand how it fits into life as we now know it.”

She continues: “Everyone has a different base financial plan and personal circumstances. Everyone is different, it is important to link your plan to you, your family and your objectives. think about a health check for your financial circumstances and future financial independence”.

In this webinar – part of the Time to Talk series from Tilney – Atkins explores money coming into a household versus money going out; how to cope with the unexpected; and what financial planning really looks like.

“It is all about protecting yourself,” she says. “Understanding your partner’s financial position is important. Knowing your credit rating is too. It is all part of the plan.” She continues: “It is also important to understand the nightmare scenario that can result from not having a will or the issues around not addressing power of attorney before it’s too late.”

Putting in place various protections and insurances should also be on the agenda but, stresses Atkins, it should be affordable and appropriate – there is no value in being over-insured and a huge problem if you are under-insured and the worst happens.

“We urge clients to compartmentalise the things that are worrying them and then allow us to address them. We remind them to look at things differently and then take appropriate action,” she says. “Things can change so quickly in the planning world. We are mid-way through the financial year, the budget is looming and areas of planning should be highlighted and addressed, which should also include pensions. It is really important to understand what allowances and reliefs are out there; and how you can aim to use them.”

Possibly one of the biggest challenges for us all is understanding how much we will need in retirement, whether our pension planning is adequate, and how to fix it if it is not. Talk to an expert and make sure you are on track.