Professionals who previously left planning for the future on the ‘to do’ list have been using lockdown as a reason to change their attitudes, according to financial experts Active Chartered Financial Planners.
Many people took the opportunity to review their finances while working from home, including those running their own businesses or working in professional services, many of whom had been thinking about seeking advice for years, but had failed to do so.
Research from Scottish finance firm Aegon suggests that the recent pandemic and lockdown has forced around 18 per cent of people to rethink their retirement plans. In addition, many younger professionals who had not considered a retirement plan or how best to manage their savings have prioritised their future financial plans, in order to maximise security in uncertain times.
Independent financial adviser Emma Cherrington works with a number of professionals and business owners who may not have had time to manage their current and future finances but who are now looking to create new positive habits.
She welcomes this new wave of interest in financial advice, saying: “Lots of our clients have been working non-stop for years and have built sizeable cash savings, but just haven’t had the time to think about making that money work for them.
“Organising those savings for them can help build their future income and shape the rest of their lives with more certainty and confidence.
“Many have convinced themselves that they aren’t the ‘right type’ of person to have a financial adviser or haven’t thought about the benefits of using one, but this cash could make years of difference in terms of retirement age, whilst balancing their risks more appropriately.”
However, NHS staff in particular are requiring more support from external agencies when looking to review their finances, due to additional workload. Emma said: “Financial awareness is improving amongst NHS staff, particularly those working in senior roles, but their working commitments have multiplied during the pandemic, leaving them short of time for financial review.
“Many of these people are approaching retirement and know they will be receiving a large tax-free cash amount from their NHS pension, but have no idea how to use it. Careful use of that pension will help make that money go further.
“Lockdown has changed attitudes across the board and I’m certain the further restrictions will make more professionals consider their futures and how a financial adviser can help get them in shape.”