Think ahead to protect your financial position – and your loved ones.
Planning ahead for the unexpected is ultimately driven by our need to protect the ones we love.
In her role as Morgan Stanley’s Head of Financial Planning, Lisa Houlford’s career revolves around numbers and calculations – but the focus of her work is people – and how to best protect them, and their loved ones, from the unexpected.
“There have been situations in my own family where people have received bad news about their health. I have been the one to take someone aside and ask them all those practical questions – do they have an estate plan in place? Do they have appropriate insurance? My mind immediately goes into that territory,” Lisa said.
“When it’s a situation like that, which touches my own family directly, it makes me even more aware that the work I do ultimately revolves around people and ensuring they have peace of mind because they have put plans in place.”
Lisa has learned that women with no prior experience managing finances are often hesitant to make contact with a financial planner. Once they take that initial step to access advice, however, their newfound financial confidence can spill over into other areas of their life…with empowering results.
Lisa cites the experiences of an older woman whose husband unexpectedly passed away. As a widow with no experience in managing the family finances, she found herself overwhelmed by the task ahead.
“The financial advice the woman received guided and educated her regarding her financial situation. As a result she became empowered and decided that it was now ‘her time to live.’ She started to travel the world and take part in new experiences,” Lisa said.
“She also became quite involved with her own financial affairs – taking an interest in investment choices and how the market was operating. That financial empowerment filtered through to every level of her life.”
Lisa recommends that people have important conversations about financial issues now, so they can focus on what’s important later on.
“It’s not something that people want to discuss – but it is important to talk about the financial implications of events such as unexpected death or illness. It provides peace of mind, so that if something does happen, everything falls into place and is taken care of, leaving you free to direct your energy toward your loved ones during a difficult time,” she said.
Planning for the later years in life often also incorporates the legacy that people aspire to leave behind for their loved ones.
“I’ve found that it is often their concern for others, rather than self-interest, that motivates many women to seek financial advice. Even in retirement they still feel that they are in a caregiver role, in some capacity. They are compelled by a desire to make sure that their family will be ok. This can include a strong wish to leave behind a legacy that benefits their children and/or grandchildren.”
Take the first step and seek advice.
Review your estate plan as your circumstances change – or at least every few years.
Review your personal insurance policies annually.
If you change insurers, do not cancel your current insurance until your new cover is in place. Otherwise you may find yourself uncovered for certain conditions or facing additional premiums.
For more information on planning for your financial future, please contact your Morgan Stanley Financial Planner.