More ‘flexible’ careers will only increase the need for effective financial planning

Date Published: 15/09/2021 13:26

Future Life Wealth Management's director of operations Keeley Woodcock firmly believes that changing working patterns will ultimately mean that there's an even greater need for the most proactive financial planners...

In the good old days, life was somewhat simpler.

You left school, college or university, found employment and barring moving away or your employer going bust you stayed with that employer until you retired.

These days – and perhaps even more so in the wake of the pandemic - the good old days have significantly changed.

Employees want flexibility.

They want the ability to work from home; they want an employer that understands and has empathy for their work/life balance; and one that shares their ethical values.

It seems that job security and the prospect of staying with an employer for thirty or more years, are low on the list of what employees want.

It is a well-documented fact that millennials – those people who came of age around the turn of the century – will make up approximately 75% of the global workforce by the middle of this decade.

They want to work for employers that want to adopt innovative thinking, develop their skills and make a contribution to society.

But to my mind the key question we need to ask at this point in time is: “Do they want a career?”

According to a study by Aviva, 47% of employees are now less career-focused following the pandemic, with two in five people claiming “they could never switch off” from work.

The same survey found that 24% of women believe that the pandemic has had a negative impact on their work/life balance as they tried to juggle work, a home, a family and a relationship – compared to just 16% of men.

Inevitably the impact of technology means that it will become harder to separate work and home life, especially if you work at home and the “office” is only a “roll out of bed” away.

A few years ago, France introduced a “right to disconnect” – a law stipulating that companies with more than 50 employees establish hours when staff should not send or answer emails in a bid to prevent burnout and set a clear barrier between work and home life.

This is quite a good idea when you think about it…

And I strongly suspect that France won’t be the last country to take such action.

Most of us have a desire for flexibility via home working and career breaks although understandably it does pose some potential financial planning drawbacks.

People will still need mortgages – which are clearly more difficult to obtain without a consistent employment history.

People will still need to plan for their retirement which, again, proves more difficult with career breaks and frequent changes of employment.

Throw in savings and investments and it becomes clear that while the workforce of the future may want flexibility and everything that goes with it, what those same workers will most emphatically need is consistent, long-term financial planning from experienced advisers.

At Future Life Wealth Management, our main focus is to keep in constant touch with our clients and review their financial planning, needs, requirements and objectives on a regular and consistent basis.

But the proof – as they say - is in the pudding.

As attitudes to work change, I resolutely believe that our tried and trusted approach to clients’ financial planning will become more important than ever.

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