Earlier this year news broke about the numbers of us who know nothing about our finances. Apparently, of those who live with partners, 33% of women and 19% of men have no idea how the family finances work and wouldn’t know where to begin if, for some reason, they had to suddenly pick up the reins.
I remember that when my father died many years ago now, my mother was in just such a position. Luckily for her, her son-in-law is an accountant, and was able to guide her through the complexities of the situation. Not everyone has that luxury, and at an emotionally difficult time, the last thing we need is to find that we don’t know where the next penny is coming from … even when it’s definitely somewhere, but we just have no idea where.
This can be one of those issues that we would rather not face because it makes us think about the less happy times in life, but it can cause real worries if we aren’t prepared, so on balance, it seems like a good idea to grit our teeth and get familiar with the details of our financial world.
Now, for someone like me, married to a financial professional and not being of a naturally mathematical persuasion (that’s my way of putting it anyway, and no-one in the family has seen fit to argue with me) it can be easy to ignore the family finances, expecting them to take care of themselves. Or rather, expecting that they will magically be taken care of elsewhere by the Finance Fairy.
Over the years, we have had clients who have sadly lost partners, and who we have helped through the financial maze which has faced them. As everyone is different, we have tailor-made our help to suit each client, and on occasion, this has included such crucial tasks as changing lightbulbs and fixing a microwave. Who knew?
Thinking about these issues recently, and having been called to help a client has been making us think. We are a family firm and family is at the centre of what we do; so we thought it might be useful to offer a free 30 minute consultation to anyone who is afraid of their family finances but feels the need to understand them at some level. Our idea is to begin to give people a strategy for facing their fears, and to assist them to begin to understand how their financial world works.
Currently we can only offer a limited number of these meetings because autumn is now upon us and the workload becomes heavier towards the end of the year. So they will be offered on a first come, first served basis, and appointments will be available until November 20th.
If these concerns affect you, call soon to make a confidential appointment with us and we will do our best to guide you on your first steps to financial know-how. As in all things, my advice is: don’t leave things to the last minute! Our contact details are printed below, and we promise to stick to our Plain English policy so you will leave us understanding what we’ve been talking about.
I wish you a stress free Autumn …