While some lockdown restrictions are still in place, things are slowly returning to “normal”. Since Covid-19 measures were first introduced in March 2020, you may have missed some things you usually enjoy or been forced to cancel plans. Chris Gray, Independent Financial Adviser at Pembroke Financial Services, asks: how do you want to spend 2022?
Chris said: “When the Covid-19 virus was first reported, only a few people would have predicted the impact it would have on day-to-day life. Since 23 March 2020, when the UK went into its first lockdown, masks have become commonplace, businesses have been forced to close, and millions of workers furloughed. On a personal level, it may have meant you’ve not been able to see family, cancelled holiday plans, and self-isolation.
“So, with the end of restrictions in sight, what do you want to do next year?”
As the pandemic has altered lifestyles so much and provided time to think, your plans and goals may have changed.
Perhaps you’re hoping to travel more after being locked down or want to plan some days out with family and friends to catch up. Alternatively, you may have come to appreciate your home more and want to invest in doing up the garden or indulge in new hobbies you’ve discovered in the last year. Setting out a plan now can help you build the post-Covid-19 lifestyle that you want.
A recent Royal London survey asked over-55s what they want to do once lockdown is over. The most popular responses show they’re keen to experience lifelong ambitions, from seeing the Northern Lights to buying a home abroad. Whether these responses match what you want to do or not, setting out a plan is important.
5 steps to set out your post-lockdown plan
1. Spend some time reflecting on your lockdown experience
Chris commented: “While lockdown has presented many challenges, you may not want life to quite return to how it was before. Reflecting on your experiences can help you set out new lifestyle goals that suit you. What or who did you miss during lockdown? Were there parts of the lockdown experiences that you enjoyed? If during lockdown you’ve found new things you enjoy, like taking walks around your local area, you may want to make this part of your routine or even plan hikes further afield.”
2. Set out what is important to you
Your plans should reflect your values. Thinking about what is most important to you can help provide purpose and joy in your life. Setting out a few key priorities can provide some direction when you’re creating a plan and help balance different values.
3. Write down measurable goals
Chris said: “While you might have a plan in your head, writing it down can make it more concrete and help you start taking steps towards building the lifestyle you want. Be a specific as you can and write down measurable goals where applicable. Rather than writing ‘travel more’, add the places you want to visit and the experiences you want while there. It can help you when planning trips and provide some satisfaction when you get to tick a goal off your list.”
4. Give your goals a timeframe
Where possible, set out a timeframe too. It’s easy to put some tasks off until another day but a timeframe can give you some motivation to get things done. However, keep in mind that some lockdown restrictions are still in place and things could change. So, check refund policies before you book things like flights abroad or theatre shows.
5. Remember to review your plan
Don’t just write down your plan and follow it. Over time your goals may change, and your plan should reflect this. As you find new passions or your priorities shift, changing your lifestyle to include these can help you get the most out of life. Likewise, there may be parts of your plan you want to remove in the future.
Do you have enough to reach your post-lockdown goals?
Chris concluded: “If some of your goals mean spending more than your usual budget, it’s important to check you have enough to reach these goals. Perhaps you’re planning to take a once in a lifetime holiday or want to financially support loved ones. Understanding how your decisions will affect your finances now and in the future can help you make the right choices for you.”
If your plans have changed, please get in touch to talk about the impact it could have on your finances.
Please note: This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.