The three stages of crisis management
An expert advice from BCA’s insurance partners, Lloyd & White
The coronavirus pandemic has taught us that we can’t predict what life will throw at us. We hope we’ll never face anything quite as devastating as a global crisis again, but the sad reality is that people suffer personal or familial crisis much more frequently. Serious health conditions, grief and job losses can all put us in unexpected financial turmoil. So how do we hope for the best but plan for the worst?
1. Budgeting & clearing debt
Keep tabs on how much you’re spending every month to work out how much you can save. Clearing debt and loans as quickly as you can is important so that’s not hanging over you while you try and save.
2. Emergency fund
A rainy-day fund should cover your monthly bills for three to six months. This could be used to cover your mortgage or rent if you lost your job or needed an emergency car repair.
3. Financial protection
Income Protection is designed to give you a regular monthly amount while you’re unable to work due to injury or illness. Life Insurance pays a lump sum to your loved ones upon your death and Critical Illness Cover pays out if you’re diagnosed with a serious medical condition (as detailed in your policy terms).
4. Savings & Investment planning
Savings accounts are suitable for money you need to access within five years whereas investments can be used more longer term as you will need time to yield a return. If you’re not sure what you need, speaking to an Independent Financial Adviser can help. We offer complimentary financial reviews with IFA’s; book a financial review here.
Whatever crisis you’re facing, it’s likely to be an emotional time. We start to prioritise those things we can’t replace – our health and our loved ones.
5. Don’t panic
Markets go up and down over time so even if the value of your investments has fallen, now isn’t the time to start moving money around unless you’ve agreed it with your IFA.
6. Focus on what you can control
What emergency fund do you have? How long do you think it will last? How steady is your income?
7. Use the time wisely
If you’re keeping track of your outgoings, now is the time to shop around if you think you can save money.
When you’re fortunate enough to live through a crisis, it’s natural to want to have some fun and enjoy life again. Holidays, a new car or home improvements? Why not go for it now?
8. Remember why you invested in the first place
There isn’t any reason you can’t review your financial plan with some new short-term goals, just don’t forget that your original goals were there for a reason.
9. Where are the opportunities?
As market cycles peak and trough, new opportunities for investors arise. Even before the outbreak of Covid19, there was increasing demand from consumers and pressure groups to change the way we live. Socially Responsible Investing has increased in popularity and offers the potential to make the world a better place, without compromising on return.
10. Review your financial plan
Talk to your IFA about reviewing your financial plans as your priorities are likely to have changed.