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5 Ways to Protect Your Future

It’s vital now more than ever that we start to consider how we can protect our financial future. As we mention in the ‘Time to Invest’ campaign, when it comes to planning your financial future, there’s no time like the present.

We surveyed 1,200 people in the UK during 2018 to find out how many are planning for their futures. Incredibly, nearly 41% of the respondents had no investments whatsoever. During a time when pensions are declining in value, the question is: are you doing enough to protect your future?

As tough as it sounds, your future is in your hands. So, what are the easiest ways to begin securing your future?

  1. SPEAK TO A FINANCIAL ADVISOR

It might be an obvious starting point but speaking to the experts at the start is the best time. Talking to a professional can be a good way of understanding your finances and hopefully means you mitigate issues down the line. Whether you’re looking to get started with a plan or you’ve identified an asset you want to invest in, always ask an expert.

  1. START YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN

One of the best ways to get started is simply considering your financial plan. Look at where you are now and where you want to be in 20 years. By having clear, achievable goals in place, you can quickly identify what you have and what you need. Questions you might ask yourself include: Is there a certain amount you want to leave to your children? Is there an age you’d want to retire? These are the kind of goals that can help you in the long-term.

Laura Thursfield, a financial advisor with Mazars and guest on 4 Stories, 1 Goal believes a flexible financial plan is vital: “See where it fits in terms of what you have now, see where it fits in where you want to be in terms of longer-term goals and to make sure that it marries up. You don’t want to put all of your eggs into one basket and you want to make sure that your financial plan is flexible enough to meet the changing demands on your time.”

  1. CONSIDER SAVING A ‘POT’

Seasoned investors will tell you the importance of having a ‘rainy day fund’, particularly if you start investing. You never know when an event may occur that sets your finances back, whether it’s fixing a faulty boiler or having to pay out to repair your car. This is even more important for investors, where a financial setback could be a void period that can potentially ruin a portfolio, especially if they occur over several properties.

Having an emergency fund to mitigate these setbacks is essential for keeping your finances on track. One easy way of building a pot is to consider paying into an ISA, which is one of the most popular types of ‘investment’. However, ISAs can struggle to provide long-term passive income – which is quickly becoming very important for sustaining a more substantial lifestyle through retirement.

  1. CONSIDER AN INVESTMENT STRATEGY

Even if you’re just considering investing, determining the strategy you’d use can be a great way of figuring out the asset you should invest in. For example, if you’re looking to capitalise on a single, fairly risk-averse investment that can be scaled into a portfolio, a property is a great way to start. Figuring out an investment strategy should be the first step you take to protect your financial future and can help you decide on where to invest, how long you should invest for and the goals you want to reach.

  1. DECIDE ON AN INVESTMENT ASSET

It’s no surprise that in the 2018 Time to Invest survey, the top reasons for investing were ‘Making Money’ and ‘Securing the Future’. Investing in an asset is a great way of building passive income for later life and securing your financial future. In the survey, the top assets people wanted to invest in were property and land, demonstrating the need for a tangible and arguably less volatile investment.

Whether you’re investing in stocks and shares, your first home or even a second property for the Buy-to-Let market, a good investment can provide the financial security you’re looking for through passive income. Combined with a pension or ISA, you can set yourself up for a comfortable retirement, build a nest-egg for the family or even pass on a substantial sum to your children.

So where does this leave you?  Everyone starts somewhere and generally speaking, the best place is with your goals. Figure out what you want to achieve and the rest will fall into place as you work through the process. Once you have a clear plan, consider the partners that can help. Speak to the experts and the people that have taken a similar journey to you – their advice will be invaluable.

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