3 min read
Taking care of your financial health is as important as taking care of your physical well-being. Have you heard about the mid-life MOT? It offers free on-line support to those in their 40s, 50s, and 60s to help them make more proactive plans centered around the areas of work, well-being, and finances.
A mid-life MOT will enable you to identify areas where you could make improvements and help you to take action to ensure that you are on track to meet your overall life goals and make informed decisions that will enable you to achieve the retirement lifestyle you desire.
Assessing and highlighting any gaps in your work, well-being and retirement plans
Just like a car, your work, well-being and finances need regular attention, and carrying out a mid-life MOT is an excellent way to help you stay on top of things. The mid-life MOT helps to highlight any gaps in your planning and provides guidance on what to do next. By proactively addressing any issues early on, you can avoid costly mistakes further down the line.
During your working life, unforeseen events such as redundancy, health issues or caring responsibilities could impact on your ability to work and so put your job or income at risk – something that disproportionately affects those over 50.
Getting back to work after such an event can also be challenging. As a result, it's common for some people to underestimate their financial requirements in their later years. However, planning is crucial, enhancing your resilience in these critical areas.
To begin your mid-life MOT journey, take a moment to ask yourself a few critical questions:
Work and skills: Am I able to continue in my current job, or should I start preparing and reskilling myself for the future? Will any caring or other responsibilities necessitate more flexible working arrangements? Could self-employment be a viable option?
Health: Should I take steps to maintain or improve my health with diet and exercise? Will my workplace consider certain adjustments to enable me to stay at work longer?
Money: Do I have sufficient savings to achieve my desired standard of living in retirement? What tax-efficient pension planning options do I have?
Work gives a sense of routine
Besides providing financial stability, work gives a sense of routine and social life. You can visit the Jobhelp (https://jobhelp.campaign.gov.uk/) website for the latest job vacancies and get helpful tips on job applications.
Continued learning and keeping up to date with new skills are also important as you age. The National Careers Service (https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/) offers valuable advice and guidance to help you decide on your learning, training, and work options. You can even take a free skills assessment to determine what jobs you may be best suited to - if you need further support, you can speak to an adviser online or over the phone.
Support is also available for individuals residing in Scotland and Wales.
Supplementing skills and job opportunities
Additionally, The Skills Toolkit gives you access to over 70 high-quality courses to supplement your skills and job opportunities, all of which you can complete at a time and venue that suits you best. Visit gov.uk/theskillstoolkit for more information on this useful online resource.
Work towards a healthier lifestyle
Maintaining good health is important in being able to work efficiently, but health concerns can sometimes cause individuals to quit. A suitable job can benefit your overall well-being - seeking appropriate support can help you to avoid giving up work prematurely.
To work towards a healthier lifestyle, why not browse the free tools, advice and guidance that are available on the NHS Better Health website (https://www.nhs.uk/better-health/). Even a small change can make a big difference – whether it be shedding a few pounds, becoming more active, taking care of your mental health or quitting smoking.
Free NHS health check
Additionally, you can take advantage of a free NHS health check every five years (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/) and you can determine your heart age using the online Heart Age Test (https://www.nhs.uk/health-assessment-tools/calculate-your-heart-age).
For tips and guidance on achieving good mental health, Every Mind Matters (https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/) provides expert advice. Similarly, managing your musculoskeletal health is essential for remaining active and healthy. Access the available resources and guidance to ensure you are doing things right.
Caring for others when still working
The peak age for carers is between 55 and 64. Caring for others whilst also fulfilling your work responsibilities can be challenging and may affect your employment prospects. The Access to Work scheme supports eligible individuals, including those residing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Seeking support can help you juggle work and caregiving responsibilities. Carers UK (https://www.carersuk.org/) can provide expert assistance online or over the phone if you need tailored information and advice for balancing your work and caregiving duties.
Ensuring financial stability in changing circumstances is also important to your overall wellbeing. If you need more clarification about the status of your finances, consider checking your pension pot to determine when it will be at a level that could support your retirement and continued lifestyle.
The self-employed can take advantage of a free one-to-one midlife MOT to help plan their retirement income.
Checking your State Pension online (https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-age) is advisable, as it helps determine how much you are eligible for and when you can claim it. The full new State Pension stands at around £10,600 per year, although the exact amount that you will receive may be more or less, depending on your National Insurance record.
Find out more about the Mid-Life MOT at https://www.yourpension.gov.uk/mid-life-mot/.
Do you have the confidence and the security you need to achieve financial stability and freedom?
A mid-life MOT, just like your overall financial planning, is not a one-time thing but rather is a continuous process that requires regular check-ups and tweaking to ensure that you are always on track.
Seeking advice from a certified Wealth Planner will enable you to make considered choices and help you to achieve your financial goals.
Please note: This content is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.