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together? Well there are a number of key areas but of course it’s your life, so we would start by reviewing where you are starting from before chatting about your plans for the future, and how I might help you to fund them. So what are the things you should be considering?

Protecting you and your family Life cover is, for most of us, an inexpensive essential. If you have a mortgage you hopefully already have some cover for that, but you may not have anything extra. Even if you don’t think it’s essential now, it may be in the future and taking some personal cover now while you’re young and healthy could be a lot less hassle than doing it later.

Of course if you already have a family then it really is a no brainer to get some extra cover, just in case.

There are also options such as Critical Illness cover to consider, this is vastly superior to a straight forward life cover contract, mainly because you don’t have to die to get the money! Of course that does make this more expensive so we often start with a small amount, perhaps just the equivalent of one years salary, but with the option of building up cover over time. If you or someone close to you becomes seriously ill you will certainly appreciate the freedom of having some extra cash about, perhaps to allow you both to take some time off work during treatment, rehab or recovery or just to have a darn good holiday once the crisis has passed.

Protecting your household income Whether you are working or not you need income, we all know that! Hopefully your employer will look after you if you’re ill, or perhaps the States, but there are personal income protection plans available just in case they don’t.

Personal debt control Got those credit cards under control? Constantly running an overdraft? Lots of little bits of debt can soon get out of control. Not only is the interest rate likely to be relatively high but you may also find that the balances keep creeping up, especially with card debts. It is highly likely that you would benefit from consolidation. In most cases this can be

quite simply achieved by replacing these debts with one new personal loan, although if you have built up a particularly high level of debt it is also worth considering increasing your mortgage, if you have one, to repay these.

Ignore your mortgage at your peril Just because you have borrowed over 25 years does not mean you can forget all about your mortgage for that whole period. We may not have many local mortgage lenders but those we have are continuously reviewing their products and if you haven’t looked at your mortgage for some time you may be paying more than you need to.

If you have a variable rate mortgage it is likely that your payments have been going down over the past couple of years. In fact, the ideal plan is to keep your payments high so that you are paying off extra capital which will certainly help once rates go back up. The better lenders also allow this if you have a fixed rate but we’d need to check the small print!

Or it may in fact be the time for you to think about a fixed rate, locking in now for a long while could take the pressure off once you see rates going back up.

Don’t be afraid to make changes Sadly, just restructuring debt is probably not enough as it is all too easy to let the debts build back up. Credit cards are the worst culprit for this, essential part of life that they have become, so once you have cleared the balance get into the habit of paying the full amount off each month.

Get into the habit of… In fact while we’re talking about forming new habits let’s think about your savings. If you haven’t been a saver in the past, it really is worth trying to train yourself to become one as even a small regular amount will build up over time and give you greater financial confidence. How much better will you feel going on holiday knowing that you will not be coming back to a big bill!

And what about later in life? Having toiled hard for so many years I can imagine you have all sorts of exciting stuff lined up for your retirement. Sadly, these things also need to be funded and although you will have paid off your mortgage by then you will still need income to cover your day to day needs before you even think about anything

extra. Happily, Jersey residents have a new tool available to help you plan for this, a Retirement Annuity Trust. This could be an ideal home for all those odd bits of pension that you have collected over the years.

Look into the future and make a plan! Finally, what future expenses can you anticipate? Do you want to move house or do you plan to extend or improve your existing home? Are you thinking of starting a family so can anticipate the household income reducing whilst you are off work or because child care fees have become payable? If your children are older they may be off to university or asking you to help with their deposit for their first home! The list really is endless!

Quite frankly, considering all the things that you’re responsible for I’m amazed you have found time to read this article, so thank you for doing so. However, reading this is just the first step so don’t leave it there, finish your coffee, give me a call and let’s see what us girls can achieve when we get our heads together!

Telephone: 515199 (Office Hours) Mobile: 07797 734470 (Out of Office Hours)

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