A focus on general wellbeing will be needed more than ever following the current situation we’re finding ourselves in with the coronavirus outbreak. At the time of writing, the Prime Minister has started to lift some restrictions, with some of us who cannot work from home now needing to return to our offices and places of work. But faced with busy commuter trains and public transport, and blurred lines on social distancing, what will be the impact of the “new normal” on society’s mental health as we grapple to live with new rules in a familiar, yet alien environment.
One of these aspects may well be financial, with approximately 7.5 million UK workers currently paid by the state through the furlough scheme. However with others, including company directors and some self employed sadly falling through the cracks of the different schemes and Government grants available, households in the UK are worried how this ensuing recession will affect their income. Whilst larger employers will now be under increasing pressure to boost their wellbeing budgets and employee benefits, where does that leave those of us who freelance, work for smaller businesses, or are simply seeking to grasp a sense of control in a world that feels somewhat out of control.
Wellbeing itself often conjures up perceptions of physical health, however according to mental health charity Mind, money and mental health are often linked. If you’re worried about money, this has a direct impact on your mental health, resulting in you lacking the motivation to manage your money effectively. Making your money work for you now, as well as planning ahead for later life, where we are generally living longer, is becoming critically important, especially with the economic upheaval that is immediately looming in front of us.
If you are coming close to retirement you may well be concerned about the effects the current economic downturn will have on your pension, (the average pension fund fell by 15% in the first quarter of 2020) and what is needed to recoup these losses in the amount of time you wish to continue, or are able, to work. You may be facing increasing household debts and need to structure a clear budget to spend more efficiently. You could be looking at depleted savings and wondering how to invest more wisely than just sticking cash into a bank account, especially to ensure there is money set aside should any more disasters or crises take place!
Even if you are emerging from this crisis feeling relatively unscathed, if you’re in the millennial age bracket, you may consider a pension way too far off to worry about, however many of us aged 40+ are now starting to wonder what we’ll be living on over and above auto enrolment, if we don’t start putting extra provision in place. This, when coupled with the daily pressures we all experience, can affect our overall productivity and motivation in all walks of life.
Sometimes all it takes is a conversation with the right person to start taking steps in the right direction. It is human nature to try and latch onto something we feel we can influence, and if it feels like your money is spiralling out of reach, now is the time to start building a relationship with a financial adviser and grasp the benefits of financial education for yourself.
It is a myth that you need thousands in the bank to talk to a financial adviser. They can help with a multitude of financial areas from your mortgage, through to saving effectively for the future; the earlier you start, even with a small amount, the more you will have as you age, enabling you to retire earlier and enjoy a fuller life.
At Birchwood we have been nurturing relationships with our clients since 1982, many working with us through the decades and now referring family members and friends. Our ethos is to help people achieve a sustainable financial future, and with the inevitable surge in mental health and wellbeing concerns nationally, we feel even more passionate about supporting people through this time.
To book a free, no obligation chat with one of our advisers please contact us Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.
Birchwood are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) and are totally independent of any financial institution. We provide a bespoke financial planning service, in addition to also having immense experience in very specialist areas such as Inheritance Tax planning and are specifically qualified to undertake pension transfer analysis and long-term care planning.