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15th April 2024
Latest news Financial planning

If the biggest cost of living squeeze in several decades is keeping you awake at night, you’re certainly not alone. With inflation having soared to double digits last year, energy costs rising even faster and wage growth failing to keep pace, Financial difficulties are one of the biggest causes of poor mental health in the UK. In fact, figures from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute show that nearly three-quarters of Brits have felt anxious in the last two weeks, with many citing money issues as the cause of their anxiety.

For those already in retirement, it can feel even more daunting. Less able to find extra sources of income, such as taking on additional hours at work, and with a simultaneous dip in the equity and bond markets causing investment portfolios to contract of late, many are facing both reduced income and higher living costs. While the government did step in to limit increases in energy bills last winter, they will still be considerably higher than normal.

Common symptoms of mental health problems, like memory loss and impulsivity, can make it even harder to keep on top of your finances without feeling overwhelmed – a vicious cycle that can exacerbate money issues further. But a problem shared is a problem halved, so if you’re struggling under the weight of financial burdens, it’s well worth seeking professional Independent financial advice.

Working with a financial adviser can offer invaluable support and reassurance when it matters most. With their expertise and guidance, you can discover the true benefits of financial advice.

How can a financial adviser help you

Making the complexity of finance simple

Understanding your finances can seem complicated and overwhelming because of the technical terms and procedures involved. However, it doesn't have to be. By working with a financial adviser and breaking the process down into manageable steps, you can create a financial plan that fits your needs. A financial adviser will explain each step of the process in detail, making it easier for you to understand. This can relieve the burden on your mental health you're experiencing, both now and in the long term.

Giving you financial confidence

Effective financial planning can significantly improve our mental health by providing us with feelings of security, protection, and control. It not only helps us to secure a successful retirement income but also empowers us to make informed decisions and feel in control of our own destiny. Unfortunately, research by the Money & Pensions services shows hat 45% of UK adults lack confidence in their ability to plan their finances. Additionally, according to a study by MetLife UK, 30% of UK adults do not have reliable sources of financial advice from family or friends, leading to feelings of worry and stress. It is therefore, important to establish a proactive relationship with a qualified financial adviser who can provide invaluable reassurance and confidence in your financial future.

Certainty for the future

Financial anxiety often stems from not knowing whether we’ll be able to make ends meet in later life. Working with a financial adviser helps you address this problem, as they can help you build a strategy that prepares you for retirement, making sure you’re ready for later life, and puts you on course to achieve your long-term goals.

One crucial aspect of retirement planning which is frequently overlooked is lifestyle. With so much thought going into when we want to retire and how much we’ll need to do so, people often neglect to give the same consideration to how they will fill their time. Though often stressful, a job is a key source of fulfilment and purpose, which underpins our mental wellbeing. Its absence can therefore leave a gap which impacts mental health if left unfilled.

“The satisfaction with retirement can drop significantly after a few years and it's because people haven’t put a plan in place about how they're going to occupy themselves. Playing golf every day might be fun for a year or two, but eventually, you may be looking for more fulfilment, and so that also feeds into our financial planning support.” Gavin Foster (independent Financial Adviser at Ascot Lloyd)

An objective viewpoint

Financial decisions often involve emotions, especially when your dreams and aspirations are at stake. This can cloud your judgment and lead you to make unwise choices. However, a financial adviser can offer an objective viewpoint and help you make informed decisions. They can provide a clear and impartial assessment of your situation, which can be reassuring when making decisions that impact your future. This approach can be valuable not only for financial decisions but for every aspect of your life, which can have a positive impact on your mental health.

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