The Impact of Unexpected Life Changes


What if the worst does happen? We all try to avoid thinking about any nasty surprises that may affect us, but nothing in life is certain except death and taxes. Unexpected changes to our lifestyle can have a knock-on effect on both our own future and our family’s future too. Don’t give in to worry – instead of fearing the worst, there are many ways you can prepare and protect against such events. We explore a few different scenarios below…

Relationship breakdowns

Many people today live together for longer periods before they decide to marry – or, they may choose not to marry at all. When a couple separates, if they have children, this can have drastic consequences. Firstly, if they have not updated their Will and they pass away, there can be complications. If a person remarries and has children with a second partner, any children from the first marriage or relationship may find themselves disinherited. Never assume your money will go to all your children. If the couple had a property and then separate or divorce, should one person pass away, there can also be complications surrounding ownership. The deceased may have wanted a share of the property to go to someone else, i.e. their children or a sibling. Always update your Will and any Life Insurance, if you do separate or remarry to ensure that your chosen beneficiaries (those who will inherit or receive benefits from your Will or Life plan) are legally recognised. Remember, with a Will, there is peace of mind for you and your family.

Business losses

The UK has one of the largest numbers of owner-run businesses in Europe. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) account for 60% of all private-sector employment (YouGov). If you are a business owner or director-shareholder, it’s a good idea to start preparing for the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. If your business trades with the EU, there may be changes to customs and tariffs on the horizon, so it’s well worth having a thorough business review to see how you could be affected. Now is the time to create a sound financial buffer for your business to offset any potential economic impact.

Ill health and sickness

There are so many factors that can contribute to illness and it’s worth remembering that illness can be mental as well as physical. Unfortunately, few of us can predict whether we will suffer from a chronic condition, such as a stroke, heart attack or even dementia, and mental illness, stress or anxiety can creep up on us. When people fall ill this affects every area of their life including family relationships, their job or business, and their income. When we are used to living a certain lifestyle, it is an added pressure to cut back and live frugally when we are coming to terms with ill health. There are various forms of insurance available including critical illness cover and income protection. It is well worth investigating these options, and perhaps consider taking out a plan, so you can secure funds for your partner/spouse and children.

We also strongly recommend setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney, so if you lose mental capacity, you have a legally recognised family member who can manage your affairs on your behalf. If you have any questions relating to protection, our financial planning team are happy to advise you on suitable options.

Safeguarding your future

Ultimately, your aim should be to create a sound financial buffer to protect against any eventuality. This should be more than just a ‘rainy day fund’. Having a good mix of protection, pensions, savings, and a diverse portfolio of investments, can provide you with a more secure way to manage your money.

If you would like more information on protection, pensions and savings, please get in touch to speak to one of our team. We would be happy to carry out a financial review to help you safeguard your family’s future.