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Take control of your finances in 2021 by planning now

10 Dec 2020

This year has undoubtedly been a tough one for all of us. As another year comes around, with expert planning and advice, it is possible to take charge of certain aspects of your life, like your finances.

In terms of the big picture, most economists have forecast a slow but steady recovery from 2020's shock downturn, so there are things to be hopeful about when looking forward.

Now is the right time to start thinking about your financial future and getting expert advice from a Financial Adviser is a good way to begin says Johan Minnie, Group Sales Director at Liberty.

"A Financial Adviser will ensure that you have thought of everything when it comes to your finances, that some of your more emotional decisions have been challenged and that your financial goals are clear," he says.

Financial Advisers make it their business to understand your financial needs and can address your individual situation to the best possible advantage, not to mention cost.

“Financial Advisers have the experience to help you prioritise what's important, they can find ways to help you be more efficient with money by simplifying your insurance cover, for example," he says.

For you as an individual, the first thing a Financial Adviser will tell you is that planning your finances usually involves accepting some trade-offs in your current spending habits to enable savings to be created elsewhere for your benefit in the future.

"It's important to point out that we need to embrace a long-term view of things to make this happen. Developing a plan is not enough, executing and sticking to it is the key."

Minnie says one of the most effective ways to make this happen is to think of planning as a five-step process:

  1. Get started by getting your budget done. Look at your actual spending and decide what you really need and what you don’t. Be realistic. An Adviser can take an independent, clear view of your own situation.
  2. Ask yourself how you might cope with any financial crises that might come your way.Being prepared for potential changes in your income means it will be easier for you to cope if these circumstances happen. The idea is to stress test your spending, ask yourself how would you cope if you had less money than you had planned for?
  3. Simplify things. If for example you are insured with more than one provider, it might be better to aggregate your cover and get rid of overlap by going with a single provider. This can be a dauntingly complicated process and speaking to an Adviser will help.
  4. Take advantage of things that can assist you. It's possible you may qualify for tax or small business relief in some way, don't let this opportunity slip away. If you're struggling to make fund payments, maybe look at a retirement preserver option. Again, the best advice here is to speak to the experts to help you make the right decisions.
  5. Set yourself goals. You should set yourself a new financial plan every year. Things change all the time and speaking to a Financial Adviser will help you focus on what's important for the year ahead. They will coach you with your specific goals in mind.

"Taking the first step could really be as simple as setting up a quick and convenient online meeting with your Adviser, where you can discuss appropriate steps to get you on the right track. Begin the discussion and get going," says Minnie.

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Liberty Group Limited (Reg. no 1957/002788/06) is a licensed Insurer and an Authorised Financial Services Provider (no 2409).