- Tuesday 06 August 2019
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Recently, Mark and Sarah were referred into to us with a ‘high level need’ (see our first post for an explanation of need levels). They had a relatively large sum of money in cash earning little or no interest and were looking for some options to get a better return.
As part of our holistic approach we asked about other areas of their finances. They were almost embarrassed to admit to us that neither had a clue where their pensions were or what they were worth. Through our planning programme we discovered that they were paying almost €5,000 per annum in excessive, unnecessary charges, which we were able to save by simply shifting them to a lower cost provider (with the exact same investment strategy and risk!), while their original request to improve the returns in their savings generated a fraction of the same financial benefit.
CLEANING OUT YOUR FINANCIAL CLOSET
One of the most enjoyable aspects of this business is saving or making people money on things they didn’t know about or hadn’t considered, and it happens all the time. Sometimes it’s the ability to reduce the rate on a mortgage or loan, while other times we can save costs by cancelling or amending insurance policies that people had forgotten about.
None of this would be possible without ‘cleaning out the closet’ of your personal finances – an exercise that can fill people with dread but almost always results in a positive outcome. It’s a key part of any financial planning process and can, unfortunately, be one of the biggest barriers to a successful engagement that we see.
At Curran Futures we’re done our best to make the process of gathering up your financial information as easy as possible. Heck, we’ll even do the heavy lifting for you! By signing a form called a ‘Letter of Authority’, we can contact various financial providers on your behalf and get the information we need to give the best possible advice.
But, of course, the real barrier is not the physical effort of getting various pieces of documentation together. Instead it is our own beliefs and behaviours that create the inertia of never taking that first step, in case we don’t like what we’ll find.
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT WE FIND, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT YOU TOOK THE DECISION TO FIX IT
We understand. In fact, it is a core part of our service that we guide you through this part of the process in a way that ensures you are comfortable throughout. What we tell clients all the time is that it doesn’t matter what we find – how much money you might have spent unnecessarily on products you didn’t need or highlighting investment returns you should have earned but didn’t due to various inefficiencies. The most important thing is that you took the decision to fix it at all, and that is where one of the main benefits of a financial plan will be made clear to you.
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
So, get the metaphorical duster out and hire that financial maid to make sure your personal circumstances are set up in the most efficient manner possible for you. After that, it’s all about looking to the future, which is what we’ll talk about in the next post...