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The Financial Planning Journey

What can Financial Planning do for you?

Financial planning isn’t just reserved for the especially wealthy. Whether we’re aware of it or not, all of us are on a financial planning journey and nearly all of us will want to make the most of our money where we can. Keeping a watchful eye on our financial resilience (our ability to recover quickly from an unexpected financial shock) is an exercise
we should all be doing on a regular basis, rather than something we only think about in times of stress. Whether it’s a change in our circumstances, for example on marriage or divorce or on starting a family, starting to save for or to take retirement or investing to provide for our children’s education, financial planning can help everyone across all stages of their lives.

It’s hard to plan objectively for ourselves as our financial decisions are often driven by emotion. We might worry that we’re not making the right choices for our family or feel nervous about making choices we’re not confident about. You can search for products online, but how do you know which ones will provide the best solution for you?

A good financial adviser will get to know you, your circumstances and what you’d like to achieve in terms of your financial goals. Over time, they’ll be there for you as a trusted partner whose expertise and objectivity you can rely on.

What does a Financial Adviser do?

This guide will explain our process in general terms and tell
you what financial planning can achieve. The turmoil brought
about by the Covid-19 outbreak brings into sharp focus the
importance of having a rainy-day fund. There’s also a great
deal of uncertainty regarding how we should act as regards
to our pensions and investments. Since the outbreak, stock
markets have fallen quite dramatically and are, at present,
volatile. You might be thinking about withdrawing funds from
your pensions or investments to prevent further losses, but
is this the right thing to do for your financial future? If your
current financial circumstances allow, should you be thinking
about increasing your contributions to help make up for those
losses instead? It’s at times like these, that the need for expert financial planning is even more crucial.

A financial adviser can help you with a broad range of issues
that you might encounter on your financial planning journey,
some of which are shown in the figure to the right:

While everyone’s journey is different, there are a number of key moments in a person’s life when the need for financial planning is more acute. For example, on becoming a parent, on taking out a mortgage or on reaching the age at which you want to retire. Each person’s circumstances and attitudes are unique. Whatever your reasons for needing financial advice, it is very important for your adviser to have a thorough understanding of the aims, dreams and issues affecting you and your family.

It is generally best to look at your financial affairs across the board, not just around your initial objective. Your personal circumstances now and in the short and longer term may well be affected by these decisions. For example, saving to buy a property could have an effect on your broader financial position, potentially affecting your income and expenditure, and the size of your deposit could impact on your ability to borrow.

The purchase of the property, once the property market is up and running again, could also restrict your disposable income available in the future to meet other objectives, such as supporting your child at university. Or, if money can be found to pay their living costs in the short to medium term, there may be a longer-term impact in other areas. Maybe you will reduce pension investment in the short term, which means you have to invest heavily later to keep your retirement plans on track.


The truth is, it can be hard to deal with one issue in isolation, because most areas of financial planning are interconnected. Focused or relatively limited advice, say on a pension or inheritance tax (IHT) liability, is possible, but a thorough financial review can help you chart your path to your goals.

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