There is never a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to financial advice. If there was - my job would be much easier! The truth is that there is a myriad of life events which can affect individuals’ finances in unexpected ways.
At Ryley Wealth Management, our clients’ marital status, occupations, ages and priorities all vary hugely. Whatever their situation, it’s our job to work with each person and make sure their finances are safe (and growing!) regardless of what life throws at them.
For women, being financially independent is being talked about a lot, within workplaces and in the press. Irrespective of age - if things change with an individual’s circumstances, being self-sufficient can alleviate some stress and allow clients to deal with whatever is happening in their lives.
What’s your relationship status?
One such example is divorce or separation. This can be a traumatic and at times unexpected event which can uproot families and throw doubt onto our clients’ future plans. Going from being a marital team financially ‘run’ by one or the other can make things tricky, especially during divorce proceedings when assets are being split.
This kind of life event can be complicated, confusing and emotionally fraught. So in any case and before any decisions are made, my advice would be for the individual to seek a really good, experienced family lawyer, who can represent them sensitively and has their best interests at heart.
For those who have lost a spouse, being widowed can of course have a significant financial effect on an individual - whether the loss was unexpected or managed over a long period of time. Trauma like bereavement adds a layer of vulnerability for our clients, and it’s our responsibility to make sure we are helping them as little or as much as they need.
This also applies during periods of critical illness. For the patient and their family, this can be an incredibly worrying time, influencing whether people are able to work, require paid-for care or their abilities to contribute to the household pot. In this case, we do everything we can to be a trusted support during this period.
“When our clients are struggling with their health and focusing on their recovery, they do not need to be worrying about their finances. Under these difficult circumstances, I see my role as financial planner to alleviate the worry of day-to-day money management as much as possible for my clients.”
Exciting life events
On a more positive side, the number of female entrepreneurs is growing. Setting up a business is exciting and daunting, so it’s important that we are involved in their financial journey from the very start. This can include how to extract profits in the most tax-efficient way, retirement planning and putting the right protection in place to insure against the unexpected.
Everyone who has been a parent, or grandparent, can agree that children are expensive! It is quite possibly one of the biggest life changes and is regularly cited as being a real catalyst for our clients’ priorities changing. All of a sudden, it’s not just about a couple or single person to think about - so our clients often talk to us about how this will affect their financial planning. This might include savings accounts for their young ones to access when they’re older, or indeed how to protect and build their own wealth as they mature as parents through estate planning to mitigate inheritance tax.
The ‘sandwich generation’
A phenomenon increasingly affecting our clients is called the ‘sandwich generation’. Not to be confused with those who love a bread-based lunch, this applies to people who are in the unique position of caring for their children and parents at the same time. Typically in their 40s, 50s and even 60s, this is down to the country’s ageing population, and can create great strain for those who are trying to manage their (often senior level) careers, their teenage or grown up kids, and their elderly parents.
For these people, the emphasis on care is heightened and we’ve worked alongside a number of clients who have had to give up work for a time to look after their family. Practically, an ageing population also delays any inheritance and can affect property ownership too. Beyond anything else - it’s an exhausting occupation that we try our best to support.
What to do if life happens
Fundamentally, most of these life events - whether positive or negative - come out of nowhere and can knock us for six both mentally and physically. How these events affect finances is often not what people think of first (and quite rightly) but it’s still an important element of planning ahead and mitigating the worst.
“Working with a financial planner means your investments, pensions and protection are regularly reviewed to ensure they are in line with your current circumstances and help to keep them on track to provide you with the outcomes you and your family needs. But even so, for existing clients, my advice would be to keep us in the loop if anything changes as quickly as possible – don’t wait until your next financial review to tell us. The earlier we know, the sooner we can put the necessary steps in place to help you.”
At Ryley Wealth Management, our priority is always our clients’ wellbeing and, working together to manage, protect and grow wealth throughout their lifetime and for generations to come, we can help them deal with whatever life throws their way.
If you think we could help you with any of the above matters, or something else, then do get in touch with me on 07773 037 901 or email@example.com.
The value of an investment with St. James's Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds you select and the value can therefore go down as well as up. You may get back less than you invested.
The levels and bases of taxation, and reliefs from taxation, can change at any time. The value of any tax relief depends on individual circumstances.