Life Stages

By Andy Hearne 7th October 2016

This article was originally published on Quadrant Group’s website. Quadrant Group was acquired by Progeny in March 2017.

Throughout our lives, there are these precious moments. Moments that come and go, but change our lives forever. No-one can prepare you for becoming a parent and believe it or not, becoming a parent is the easy part. It’s being a parent that is the challenge.

I’d love to say that I’m vaguely aware there is now a little person living under our roof. However, the reality is quite different. With the sleepless nights and endless nappy changes, it’s hard to ignore that this little person is completely and entirely dependent on us and is guiding our every decision.

My wife and I find that it can be easy to focus our time and energy on the immediate tasks at hand. Unsurprisingly, the downside is that the weeks and months are flying by and it can be easy for us to miss those precious moments.

When you go through a significant change in life, it’s important to take a step back and reflect on your overall plans and revisit your finances. One of the hardest parts of being a Financial Adviser is asking our clients the questions that we don’t like to ask ourselves. Those ‘what-if’ questions:

  • What would happen if either of us were unfit to work or unable care for our child?
  • What would happen if either or both of us were to die prematurely?

We all think, it’ll never happen to us, but I’m sure we can all recall a story of one of these unforeseen events happening to someone we know.

This area of Financial Planning is affectionately known as Protection Planning. We first explore with our clients what would happen in these unforeseen events based on their current circumstances and then consider what our clients would want to happen.

Once established and agreed upon, we can then research and recommend suitable solutions that may include any combination of the following:

  • Wills
  • Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Life Assurance
  • Family Income Benefit
  • Critical Illness cover
  • Income Protection
  • Private Medical Insurance

As an example, we may go through the following thought processes and discussions:

Unforeseen event Issue/concern/shortfall Solution
Long-term sickness/disability preventing employment Lack of income to pay bills and expenses Income Protection
Death of a parent Mortgage/childcare Life Assurance / Family income benefit
Death of both parents Guardians Wills to nominate suitable Guardians

We also utilise Lifetime Cashflow Planning tools to help our clients identify and evaluate financial risks and consider methods of contingency planning. For more information, see our recent article: Seeing the Bigger Picture through Lifetime Cashflow Planning.

On a more positive note, there are more enticing conversations like saving for a child’s future, so we also help clients to consider the pros and cons of Junior ISAs, National Savings, Trusts and also pensions.

Finances are one thing, but it would also be a good opportunity to think about how to get a better work-life balance, mindful that life’s not a rehearsal and you only get one shot at being a parent.

In our profession, we describe the birth of a child as a life stage. This means that it represents a fundamental change in a client’s circumstances and priorities that warrant a review meeting. In addition to becoming a parent, other life stages include:

  • Births/Deaths
  • University/Education funding
  • Employment/Redundancy
  • House purchase/sale
  • Business Start-ups, Mergers, Acquisitions and Sales
  • Marriage/Divorce
  • Retirement
  • Inheritance
  • Illness, injury or diminishing health
  • Long-term care

If you’re going through a life stage and would like to speak with one of our Financial Planners and ask some questions, please get in touch.

This article does not constitute financial advice. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial or investment decision. Before making any decision, we recommend you consult your financial planner to take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested. This document may include forward-looking statements that are based upon our current opinions, expectations and projections.

This article is distributed for educational purposes and should not be considered investment advice or an offer of any security for sale. This article contains the opinions of the author but not necessarily the Firm and does not represent a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed.

Past performance is not indicative of future results and the value of investments can fall as well as rise. No representation is made that the stated results will be replicated.