ABBA’s 1976 single “Money, Money, Money” told the story of a woman who, despite working hard, struggled to keep afloat financially. As a result she was planning to find herself a rich man since “Money, money, money, must be sunny, in the rich man’s world”.
Clearly, the narrative has not aged well. And perhaps the approach was doomed from the start, since September saw the veteran popstars release two singles from their first new album in 40 years, named Voyage and due to be released in November.
Allegedly, the female singers in the band - Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad - had resisted a reunion for decades, so one has to wonder if monetary reasons had a role to play in the decision to finally get back together.
Thinking of your financial future
Whether this was the true motivation or not, returning to work in your late 60s or early 70s is, for most people, not the aim. Ideally, you will have saved and invested enough during the traditional working years to be able to live a leisurely retirement.
But increasingly, deferring financial wellbeing to the later stages of life is not desirable either. Research from Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA) shows the relative health of your finances can have a positive impact on your overall wellbeing at any stage of life.¹ If you are experiencing a period of financial insecurity, your health can suffer as a result. Likewise, during a bout of ill health, or when living with a longer-term condition (either physical or mental), it can be reassuring to know that your funds are well looked after – taking any additional burden off you and your family’s minds.
There are personal finance products which can help in this regard, such as a savings account (it’s generally recommended you have at least three months’ worth of earnings in cash at any given time) or a life insurance policy, such as income protection or critical illness cover. This security is especially important if your employer does not offer paid sick leave, or if you are self-employed and do not receive employee benefits.
Providing for unexpected events
Beyond taking care of the day-to-day financing of the house and paying the mortgage, you ideally want to provision for life events and uncertainties in the future too. This could range from having children and taking parental leave while they are in infancy to an unforeseen deterioration in mental health, which leaves you unable to work for a period.
Government and workplace policies are moving in the right direction on these areas. But if you are used to a certain standard of living, it’s safe to say any safety net provided by the state is not going to maintain you beyond the basics.
Another topic which has gained recent media coverage in relation to its potential impact on earnings is the menopause. Research from Bupa and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, conducted in 2019, found 59% of working women aged 45 to 55 experiencing the menopause reported a negative impact on them at work.²
My colleague Andrea Steel covered the topic of menopause and finances more deeply in a previous piece.
Reassurance from professional financial help
Whether it’s mental health, physical health or hormonal changes, there are many reasons you may need to take time off work. And while you hope your employers will be progressive enough to support you during these times, this will not always be the case. So it pays to be prepared in advance.
That is why having a nest egg beyond a three-month emergency fund can be reassuring. Especially since, where possible, you want to avoid having too much in cash unless you might need immediate access to it.
Once you start thinking about investing your money – be that through a self-invested personal pension, a stocks and shares ISA, or a discrete lump sum over and above either of these things – an experienced investment manager can take much of the stress out of it by aligning your portfolio to your financial objectives based on your risk appetite. They can also provide immeasurable support when life does throw up an unexpected turn.
This leaves you and your family with more energy to concentrate on your health and wellbeing, getting you back to fighting fit sooner rather than later.
The contents of this article are for information purposes only and do not constitute advice or a personal recommendation. Investors are advised to seek professional advice before entering into any investment decisions. Please also note the value of investments and the income you get from them may fall as well as rise and there is no certainty that you will get back the amount of your original investment. You should also be aware that past performance may not be a reliable guide to future performance.