During the past few weeks we have witnessed a catastrophe the likes of which this country, and indeed the world, has not seen since World War Two. The unpredictable nature of the coronavirus pandemic has thus far killed thousands of people before their time, crippled the world economy, seen the value of investments plummet with unprecedented speed, and cast aspersions over our ability to get our lives back to “normal” in the foreseeable future.
As an IFA of almost 40 years’ service, this is indeed a testing and trying time. Not only have I lost longstanding and close clients to the virus, but many of my clients are experiencing a sense of panic. And indeed the level of uncertainty about the immediate future is having an adverse effect on all of us.
What is evident is that none of us can forecast how long, or how severely the disruption from the virus is likely to last. The news flow from around the globe estimates that the effects could well continue to worsen in terms of infection and fatality rates, and my own GP told me that he thinks that this country is going to be in a semblance of lockdown for months ahead. This uncertainty has been reflected in the frenetic activity in the financial markets; the FTSE 100 index has been down by almost 40% since the start of the year, yet over recent days it has staged a mild recovery. Sterling has been adversely affected as well.
So what can we at Cedar House, as your advisors, do for you at this terrible time? In all honesty, there is no adequate or accurate solution, especially bearing in mind that things could get worse before they get better. However, I hope that the following suggestions will give you some food for thought about seeing your way through the next few turbulent months:
A review of your financial plan/strategy – This may be a good time to review your overall strategy. It is always good financial planning to make sure the current strategy is the most appropriate one. We do not recommend making any short term or reactionary changes unless necessary.
- More potently, is your will up to date, and do you have lasting powers of attorney? Please discuss these with us
- Have your life insurance policies been updated to ensure that they correctly include the most appropriate beneficiaries , as well as being written in the most tax efficient way?
- Do you have the right level of life insurance cover to protect your family, loved ones and business interests in the event of your death?
- If you become seriously ill over the longer term, are you and your business interests properly protected?
- Have you claimed the correct level of income tax relief on your pension contributions over the years? Many of our clients who pay income tax at a higher rate have never liaised with HMRC over this issue !
- Does your family know where your papers and records are should you die or become ill?
- Are you genuinely worried, and even scared, about how the economic effects of the coronavirus will affect your financial wellbeing in retirement and later life?
- When did you last check the terms of your mortgage and other loans, and perhaps it is now time to review these, especially as interest rates are at an all-time low and income may be suppressed for the foreseeable future?
At Cedar House, all of our staff are currently working remotely and efficiently from their homes, and we are all geared up to continue to provide our clients with a good, efficient, and professional service at this critical time. So if any of the above suggested areas are pertinent to you, please do not hesitate to contact us at the following points of contact:
- Richard Kafton, Managing Director Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org; 07973 986344
- Lloyd Kafton, Director Lloyd.email@example.com; 07764 744157
- Dean Gerschlowitz, Director firstname.lastname@example.org; 07949 782062
- Elias Elia, Director email@example.com; 07944 877823
Please keep safe and well