Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

SPONSORED: Money Matters – Planning for the future during a global pandemic

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The beginning of 2021 has already been challenging and uncertain for most. For almost a year now we have been either locked down or severely restricted in what we are able to do and how we interact with each other.

This seemingly never ending cycle of frustration has impacted on our current plans and future ambitions. With vaccinations now being distributed for those eligible, we hope for a more positive time ahead for all, and look to revisit our objectives which had been placed on hold.

I am conscious that there will be people reading this column from a variety of financial circumstances. Those who are self employed with little or no support, those made redundant or on furlough schemes, those starting out on their career path and those trying to enjoy their retirement.

There will of course be others who have benefitted from the pandemic and have seen their income or assets increase, unfortunately most of us are not Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk.

It is likely that recent events have forced you to re-evaluate your future plans to some extent.

Effective financial planning is an evolving process that needs to be adjusted along the way to cope with external factors, it is rarely a smooth journey but here are some basic points to consider which you should be able to apply to your own path.

  • Think about what you would like to achieve and by when. This could be to save a specific sum of money or target an amount you would like to invest every month. This could be for retirement or a deposit for a house, or even paying off a loan or mortgage. Have multiple plans, but keep them flexible as your circumstances can and will change. Even if your goals don’t seem attainable at present due to financial constraints, it is still important to have something to work towards.
  • Set a budget. Analyse what your income and expenditure consists of, and identify what are core or discretionary items. What do you have spare at the end of the month or are you short every month?
  • Look at ways of making efficiencies. Can cost savings be made, regardless of how small they may seem? Can you get a better deal by shopping around? Review your insurances, memberships and subscriptions.
  • Set up different accounts for different goals. Have short, medium and long term goals.
  • Review these goals regularly. Begin to build a picture of what isn’t affordable or necessary and replace it with items that are.
  • Start now, regardless of how small the contributions might be, the longer you can save for the future, the more beneficial it will be. If you have any spare funds left at the end of the month, move them across to your individual savings account or pension fund.

Seek advice or guidance from friends and family, your financial adviser or from online sources – as an example, and discuss your concerns or your ambitions and work out what is best for you.

If you follow these simple steps as a starting point, it should provide you with a base from which to start building your future financial ambitions. If you already own investments, savings or pensions – focus on reviewing the assets you hold and see if improvements can be made and check to see that these assets still fit with your objectives and risk parameters.

The key to any successful financial plan is to review it regularly.

For a no obligation financial review, please contact myself or any of the other Independent Financial Advisers in this forum to review your existing plans or to help put new strategies in place.

Zoom, Teams, Whatsapp, Facetime or Skype meetings are available on request!

Advanced Investment & Retirement Planning Ltd is an appointed representative of 2plan wealth management Ltd. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the FCA register ( under number 507231. Company Registered in Scotland under number SC361109. Registered Address 7 Ardross Street, Inverness, 1V3 SPL.

Next month’s topic is on At Retirement & Beyond

Contact your local Independent Financial Advisers for a no obligation initial discussion – Click to visit their website:

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