Life Happens: When to Review your Financial Plan
To be absolutely clear: ‘life happens’ could signify that one or all of the following have happened:
- You have decided to get married
- You are expecting a child
- You have been offered a new job or a promotion
- You have just bought a considerably bigger house
- You have temporarily resigned to further your studies
- Your profession and pay has changed for the better
- A change of government has significantly impacted your investments
- A natural disaster has altered your financial status
- You want to start up your own business
- You have lost your job or been demoted
- You are getting divorced
- You are relocating to a new country or province
- Your health status has unexpectedly deteriorated
- You have inherited funds
- You want to acquire new investments
The list continues. Any unexpected emergency could occur or already have. However, the point has been made that life brings (sometimes unpredictable) changes. It is, therefore, clear that there is no one good stage at which you should review your financial plan. To say it should be modified once a year is not practical, but it should be done at least that often. If your circumstances have altered in a manner not listed above, yet, you are unsure as to whether those changes constitute any noteworthy financial significance, don’t hesitate to simply ask your financial advisor. Basically, a good time to modify your financial strategy is when circumstances have positively or negatively affected your standard of living.
A list of the category of revisions that could be required might help to shed some light on which alterations apply to you and when amendments will be necessary.
These could require financial advice as early as when you plan your university study years (which might require a loan) and then reach wider to include getting married, planning a family, acquiring a house, cars and other required possessions. Obvious issues such as schooling, covering unpredictable medical costs, and being adequately insured, will raise their heads. Over time, you should consider that your turn will come when you have to shoulder responsibility for older relatives, too.
Your priorities change over time as do the personal factors covered above. These might no longer be realistic if life demonstrates that you have been too ambitious or optimistic. Equally, unexpected setbacks might necessitate changing them to fit a more moderate, modest lifestyle. With luck, the opposite could be true: hard work and gathered skills could find you high on the corporate ladder, with dreams of previously unanticipated scope and allure now within your reach. You owe it to yourself to extend your reach and ensure that in future you reap the fruits born from due diligence.
Your income versus expenses
You know what phase in your life you’ve reached, what debts you might have accumulated and how your income accommodates unavoidable expenditures. You also know that the possibilities for advancement are as limitless as your personal drive, skills, aspirations and ambitions for success. These factors are seldom at a fixed status quo; it goes without saying that your financial plan has to be altered accordingly.
Your assets/investment portfolio
Basically, this covers what you already have and want to acquire. New acquisitions cost, require maintenance, should be insured against both life’s travails and victories. Regarding your investment portfolio: this will need adjusting based on the changing financial conditions, such as inflation rates and the economic environment in your wider socio-political surroundings. Here it is highly advisable to check performance and suitability at regular intervals. This should happen more than once a year as these sorts of circumstances are prone to frequent and sometimes considerable fluctuations.
Just as your salary, the income tax laws in any country change all the time. Ask yourself: are you paying more than before or less? Whatever the case, you will fit into a different tax bracket and will obviously always want to reduce the tax liability. To consult your financial advisor about any beneficial plan changes in this category is essential.
It goes without saying that your financial plan will be as unique as you are as an individual – reviewing and amending it when appropriate, with an esteemed, trustworthy and informed financial advisor, is your deserved defense against any threat to what you hold near and dear.
BellRyck Financial Group offers peace of mind
The BellRyck Financial Group boasts a proud history spanning three decades. We offer short-term insurance, as well as long-term financial investment products and advisory services through our specialist network of service providers.
Our commitment to fostering lasting relationships built on trust and personal service has allowed us to create valuable partnerships with both individuals and businesses. Prescribing to the highest standards of ethics and integrity, we have developed the acumen and flexibility to successfully evolve with the changing financial needs of our clients.
Find out more by visiting www.bellryck.co.za