Who knows what the future holds? We live in crazy times and forecasting how the rest of the week – let alone your life – will pan out is no easy task.
Despite this general unpredictability of life, having a semblance of a plan is a good idea, even if life doesn’t always want to follow it.
In this short guide, there are some generalisations and assumptions. We assume, for instance, that most people in their early thirties face a potential ‘triple cost whammy’ of buying a house, getting married and having kids (not necessarily in that order, indeed not necessarily at all).
We assume that for those in their forties, most of these big costs will have been borne and people have entered what we optimistically describe as the peak earnings years. This isn’t really an assumption – it’s what the Office for National Statistics earnings by age data tells us.
We’ve also chucked in a curveball: divorce. No one gets married planning for divorce, but it does happen and it’s not a bad idea to have a few “what would happen if…?” thoughts in entirely good faith, if it means you suffer less financially should the ‘d’ word end up happening to you.
Of course, not everyone’s lives pan out according to national averages.
Big life events, however infrequent, will occur and chances are you will have opportunities to both spend and save large amounts of money along the way – and avoid losses that might otherwise have occurred without a plan.
The trick is spotting the savings opportunities and taking them. And part of that is knowing what’s likely to be around the corner.
So, dive in. Get planning. Life happens – but if you are ready for it, your finances will help rather than hinder your plans.