How to help your family on to the property ladder

Can money make you happy?

While money isn’t everything, it does help solve or alleviate many of the problems that come our way in life.

We know that how we spend money affects our happiness. And that we need to keep a sensible balance between how much we spend and how much we save.

When you’ve retired, your money will play a major role in funding the lifestyle you want. Your nest egg has the potential to turn your goals and dreams into reality.

Money – or at least some aspects of it – can be a sticky subject to talk about.

Yet what you do with your finances when you’re retired is an important decision. It is a topic to discuss with members of your family – especially if want them to benefit too.

Helping your family

Downsizing from a large family home to a smaller property such as a park home has 2 advantages:

  1. It frees up cash which you can use to help fund an active and happy retirement lifestyle
  2. You can give children or grandchildren a step on to the property ladder by helping with a deposit or boosting their savings.

Some single first-time buyers need to save for decades before they have enough money for a deposit – especially in cities like London where property prices are high (and constantly rising).

But before you decide how much to give and when, you need to take stock of your own financial situation.

You need to be absolutely certain about how much money will be coming in – and for how long – and how much your retirement lifestyle will cost.

At this point, you’ll need to talk to a trusted and highly skilled financial adviser before you put your new life plans into action.

Having the lifestyle you want

Before deciding whether to use equity or to downsize as a way to help your family, you will have a number of questions in your mind.

First, you may be seeking a new financial adviser and giving some thought to the person you ask to support you in managing your pensions and investments.

We put our faith in the financial advisers we choose and they must be people we trust.

He or she must be someone with whom you feel comfortable when discussing your personal and financial affairs.

It is easy to check a financial adviser’s credentials and there are some checks you can make of your own. Notice the kind of advice you receive at your first meeting. Here are some things to look out for.

  • Are you immediately offered some hints and tips about making the most of your money? Is this advice something which will help you personally while the adviser derives no benefit?
  • Does your adviser clearly explain the bigger picture? Does he or she talk about the money markets and the overall figure to watch so you can quickly observe what’s happening in the economy in relation to your own investments?
  • Does he help you with financial planning or suggest better ways to manage your finances in the short and long term?
  • Does your adviser take detailed notes about you, your family situation, your lifestyle and your aspirations, demonstrating an understanding of your personal circumstances? Would he or she be the right person to call upon for advice about new decisions if your situation changes?
  • Are you happy about how your estate will be managed when you are no longer able to? Can you freely discuss this with your financial adviser?
  • Does she refer you to other financial specialists (estate planners, tax advisers, etc) who can provide essential help beyond her area of expertise?
  • Does she have the backing of a specialist team who audits the advice she gives you?
  • Are you 100% certain your financial adviser is acting in your own best interests, first and foremost, at all times? What aspects of his or her service confirm this in your mind?

At the first meeting with your financial adviser, he or she may offer some useful tips you may not have previously considered.

Practical advice such as checking that your final salary pension scheme provider has the most up-to-date version of your ‘expression of wish’ form is a simple but important task when reviewing your pension.

He may ask whether you are making the most of your tax-free savings opportunities so that you can build up funds to grow your investment portfolio.

You’ll be reviewing your critical illness and life assurance policies. Are they up to date and will they provide for you and your beneficiaries in the long term?

Pensions and investments must last a long time and the right financial adviser is the best person to help you achieve the highest growth on your finances.

Taking an in-depth review of your finances with a good financial adviser will help you decide:

  • When to help your family
  • How much help to give them
  • How to avoid risking your own financial situation.

Are you planning to downsize from your family home into a smaller (yet still luxurious) property?

Come and talk to us.

Luxury retirement at Lakeshore

Visit the luxury Arbor Living homes at Lakeshore, Burton Waters, Lincoln. Book a viewing by phone or complete the form and we’ll call you back.