Lockdown Lessons:

Download: Lockdown Lessons

There are so many uncertainties around lockdown. Even the current relaxing of some measures has generated more questions than it has answers. Some angrily turn on the government while others lament the easing of rules as being ‘too soon.’ We have said it before, but the unknown always causes a certain level of anxiety. So, we thought it might be a good time to focus on what we do know from the lockdown. And that is that lockdown has given the opportunity, for people to reflect on what is important to them – provoking a time to re-evaluate priorities and to reassess future goals!

As a firm of financial advisers, our bread and butter is helping people to form, then achieve their goals. Quite often, when we first talk to clients, they know roughly what they want to achieve, but they don’t know how to make it happen. They don’t know how to break their ‘goals’ down into manageable, achievable steps – and that’s where our objectivity can help.

Lockdown Lesson 1: About you… 

So, if the recent lockdown has made you reassess your priorities, it might be worth checking that your goals are still in line with them. And, specifically when thinking about the lockdown, it may be worth asking yourself the following questions to help clarify in your own mind, whether you’re still on track or not. 

  • Has the lockdown made you want to spend more time with family and friends? 
  • Are there places you’ve decided you really want to visit when the lockdown situation is over? 
  • Have you been surprised by just how much you have spent out in the fresh air, just because someone has given you permission to exercise? 
  • Have you missed eating out? Or have you realised you had unknown culinary talents that mean you’d now prefer to cook at home? 
  • Did you find you had extra time to rekindle a passion for an old hobby? Or did you find time to up a new one?
  • Are you looking forward to things going back to ‘normal,’ or have you enjoyed the slower pace of life?

Lockdown Lesson 2: About your future…

In some ways, the lockdown may have given you an indication of what retirement might be like. Admittedly, “staying at home” has been mandatory, whereas retirement is a choice. However, there is no denying there are distinct similarities:

  • A sudden increase in free time (even those working from home will have gained back their commuting time).
  • More time spent at home than ever before.
  • The need to think creatively about how to fill the time.
  • A sudden realisation that there’s a need to replace the social buzz from work.

The chances are that filling extra time during lockdown may have revealed something about yourself and your priorities. Perhaps the shakeup in routine has been quite liberating? Or maybe you’ve realised that vast quantities of time staying at home simply isn’t for you.

Lockdown Lesson 3: About what you might want to think about next?

However you have found the lockdown, you will almost certainly have asked yourself how it will impact your situation in the future. Perhaps you’d prefer to work from home, work fewer hours, or maybe go into consultancy? If you’d always thought you were the kind who would be bored in retirement, you might have been surprised to find that the thought of early retirement is now more appealing?

When thinking about retirement, many people worry that they won’t have enough money to live off without a regular salary. Yet lockdown will likely have shown how much less you spend when you stay at home for a few weeks. You may have been surprised to find you don’t need as much financially as you thought you did. Or you may have realised that you need to budget carefully and limit your activities to live within your means. 

Whatever your long-term decisions, the lockdown has real lessons as a mini-trial run for retirement. So, do use it to think about your priorities and what goals you might need to reset for the future.

 

As always, if you need any help establishing clear goals, please do give us a call on 01243 767 469. Alternatively, you can email us from our contact page, and an adviser will be in touch!

Written by Chris Page

Chris is an experienced financial service professional who joined the business in 2013, as a result of his hard work and dedication he was made a director of the firm late 2014.