15th September 2023 - Sean Banks

Financial planning, like space exploration, needs careful management after success

Space exploration is pushing new boundaries and more than six decades after Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, historic launches and exciting milestones continue to capture public imagination. Yet, like financial planning, the period after reaching a goal requires just as much attention as those that garner coverage. 

On 23 August 2023, India celebrated its third lunar exploration mission as Chandrayaan-3’s Vikram Lander successfully reached the south pole of the moon. It’s the first time the feat has ever been accomplished, and just weeks before a Russian attempt failed. 

While messages of congratulations have rightly flooded in, there’s still plenty of work to do.

Space agencies have previously detected frozen water in the south pole craters, but it’s never been verified. Now, there’s an opportunity to learn more about the origins of our own oceans and past lunar volcanoes. If water is present, it could even be used as a source of oxygen, fuel and water in future missions. 

The rover, named Pragyaan, is expected to last for 14 days and will remain on the moon. Returning rovers, equipment, and astronauts safely to Earth is just as challenging as reaching the destination. 

The period after reaching a milestone can be just as challenging  

Successfully launching a spacecraft is one thing, but bringing it safely back to Earth is another challenge.

Spacecraft re-entry is difficult for numerous reasons, including the effects of gravity and drag. Scientists must consider how the spacecraft can leave orbit, descend through the atmosphere safely, and then land. So, while exciting launches grab attention, just as much work goes into preparing for the period after the milestone event. 

Similarly, while you may celebrate reaching a financial goal, the decisions you make afterwards could be just as important.

When you’re working towards something, you’ll often have a clear plan to achieve it. For financial goals, it could be moving to a new home, selling your business or reaching financial independence.

With a plan that outlines the steps you need to take it can be easier to focus on your goal and feel confident.  

Once you reach your goal, a plan is still important, but you may need a very different strategy and approach.

Take retirement as an example. You may have saved diligently during your career to retire with dignity and independence, able to enjoy the next chapter of your life. While you have the assets to live the life you want, without a plan, you may not fulfil your ambitions.

Financial planning helps retirees tackle two key challenges.

1. Ensuring assets last the rest of your life

Building up assets to secure your retirement can be challenging. So too can effectively using those assets once you stop working.

As you’ll be responsible for generating a retirement income, as well as deciding how to utilise your assets, your financial planner will help you consider how to manage withdrawals to ensure you don’t spend too much too soon.

You will also need to weigh up other areas that could affect your chances of success, such as investment returns, inflation, and tax liability.

To overcome these new challenges, you will need a very different strategy to the one that was appropriate before you retired. Your financial planner will help you manage this switch so the years after your retirement date benefit from a plan that still suits your needs.

2. Changing your mindset

It’s not just your financial strategy that might need to change when you retire, but your attitude to money too.

After decades of putting money to one side, it can be difficult to start depleting the assets you’ve built up. You might even be afraid to spend your money – what would happen if you faced a financial shock? Or could you run out during your lifetime?

These concerns in retirement are normal, but they could mean you miss out on experiences you’ve been looking forward to, despite working hard to secure them. Your financial planner will help you understand your finances and the long-term effects of your decisions, to ease some of the anxiety you may feel when you retire.

Creating a plan that goes beyond immediate goals 

Your aspirations are an incredibly important part of a financial plan, but so is the period that comes after achieving these goals.

Working with your financial planner, you can create a plan that goes beyond these milestones to build long-term security.

While space travel might not be our area of expertise, we are here to help you achieve the most important things in your life, whether you want to retire early, provide security for your family, or launch a business.

Creating this plan is one giant leap for your long-term success.

Risk warning

Please note:

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits.

The tax implications of pension withdrawals will be based on your individual circumstances, tax legislation and regulation, which are subject to change in the future.

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