Managing Your Finances

Money is something that many of us worry about, particularly when pressure on household budgets is mounting. As we get older, these concerns tend to mount, especially if we’re faced with a choice between spending on ourselves and leaving money to our nearest and dearest.

Fortunately, these concerns can be mitigated with the help of some astute planning. 

Planning Ahead

The earlier you start planning for retirement, the better. This is so for several reasons. First, by planning early, you’ll make yourself aware of any potential mistakes and challenges you’re at risk of stumbling into. Second, you’ll have more time in which to save money for your retirement. Third, you’ll reduce the risk of your plans being interrupted by cognitive decline, and your reliance on other people.

Learning How to Manage Your Money

Money management is like any other skill. Even if you’re not naturally disposed toward it, you can build it up through practice and training. Put together a workable budget, keep your eye on your incomings and outgoings, and learn to tell the difference between an asset and a liability. 

You might also speak to a financial advisor, especially if your affairs are very complex. The decisions you make now might have effects that compound over time. Given this, the importance of an expert opinion becomes difficult to overlook.

Maximise your money

Another reason that financial advice comes in handy is the sheer variety of financial products now available to savers. You might look into savings accounts of many different sorts, as well as ISAs and fixed-rate bonds. The product that makes the best fit for your circumstances might not be obvious – and in many cases, a combination of different products might be appropriate. 

Again, a good financial advisor might make a big difference.

Apply for the benefits you are entitled to

Older people in specific income brackets might be entitled to tax relief and various forms of welfare. 

Pension credit, for example, provides extra money to low-income people over the state pension age. It’s separate from the State Pension itself, and it’s available even to those with other forms of income. 

Council tax reduction might also be viable, and it’s usually quite easy to work out whether you’re entitled to claim it. Then there is the warm home discount, and attendance allowance, both of which are options worth exploring.

If you go through retirement without claiming all of the support you’re entitled to, then you’ll put yourself at a significant financial disadvantage. Again, it’s a good idea to explore the options ahead of time, and to stay informed of any changes in the law which might advantage you as governments come and go.