How different life stages and relationships affect your financial planning

30 August 2021 Magdeleen Cornelissen Financial Advisor at PSG Wealth

August is a special month. Of course, we take extra time this month to celebrate being women, but it’s the August whirlwinds that fascinate me.

Immediately, the Anton Goosen song comes to mind, where he sings about the winds of change.

Some of us get excited about the idea of change. Yet for others, as the process of change manifests in our relationships - as well as the stage of life we are in - it can bring with it a feeling of unease. And when these changes in our personal life start to affect our finances, it can often cause concern for the future.

Successful investment guru Warren Buffett rightly said, “Predicting the rain doesn’t count; building arks does.” Of course, we don’t have control over how things in our lives will change, but we do have a say in how we can handle them.

A change in relationships often has a greater impact on our finances than we realise. Those of us who have suffered the trauma of a divorce or losing a loved one can certainly attest with authority to the far-reaching impact it has on one’s finances. The outcome you have visualised for yourself suddenly looks different; possibly less attractive.

Let’s be honest: we don’t always feel up to discussing finances when we are in the middle of a life-changing experience. Yet the reality is that this is actually one of the most important aspects that require attention. Your financial adviser can support you in reviewing important elements of your financial portfolio that need to be addressed – including your retirement planning, risk cover, short-term insurance, medical aid and estate planning.

Ask your adviser to pay special attention to beneficiaries on policies and annuities. Ensure that your investment products are positioned correctly and that your contributions are adequate, to ensure that you retire with financial freedom. When last did you review your will? These are aspects that will impact your future. You have a responsibility towards yourself, as well as your loved ones, to ensure that your finances are in order.

Just like the August winds dramatically transform the appearance of the trees and remind us of the new season that’s on its way, so do we experience seasonal changes in our personal circumstances. Be wary of the notion that you only have to review your financial roadmap in extraordinary circumstances. As we grow older our perspectives change on what is important to us. Talk to your financial adviser about your goals, especially if they are not the same as a few years ago.

When your life takes a new turn, you don’t have a compass to guide you in the right direction. We do, however, have role players who can help us avoid the potholes and ensure that we eventually arrive at our planned destination. Like the blossoms that emerge in spring, change brings opportunities for renewal. Our lives each follow a unique route, with many curve balls along the way, but we all have a responsibility towards ourselves in ensuring that we reach our planned destination gracefully.

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