I believe wealth doesn’t have to mean being mega-rich, most of us have families in some shape or form, and a lot of us need to do things to make sure we’re geared up for retirement.
Health and wealth are the twin pillars of a happy life.
That’s why I’m on a personal mission to encourage people to take charge of their finances because it’s so important.
As well as my work as a financial planner specialising in working with LGBTQ+ people, I founded the Trans Support Hub, which is a social enterprise which runs clothes swaps and has an app which helps people to choose a private gender clinic in the UK.
Whether you want to plot a route to financial freedom, discuss your mortgage, pensions, or life insurance, fund your transition, or you need support with debt management, my door is always open.
Hit the icons under my profile picture, and let’s connect for a free, exploratory chat, to see how we can help you achieve financial freedom.
Have you ever looked closely at a bank note at the line under Bank of England?
In olden days we’d have swapped things; if I grow potatoes and you grow turnips, we can trade them.
But swapping isn’t always practical, so money was used instead, it’s a promise to pay the sum of the amount written on it.
However, that amount isn’t set, it’s just what we all think it’s worth.
That’s right, money is something we put on the value of items, services, and even people.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?
Here’s just a couple of excuses (or reasons, you choose the terminology) that people have told me about why their finances aren’t in order.
I don’t have time
🛑Really? Is that honestly true? You couldn’t get a childminder one day, book a day off work or skip the gym.
👊I don’t have time really means ‘I’ve chosen not to prioritise it’.
I can’t afford insurance.
👊The natural order of things doesn’t care about whether you or your kids need to pay the bills. You’ll fall off a ladder or get hit by a bus whether you’ve got insurance or not.
I just want to relax after a hard day at work.
🛑👊Don’t we all, but see the last point.
The English government is made up of awful human beings so I’m angry.
🛑👊Same. But see two points ago.
I don’t know anything about it.
🛑👊If only you knew somebody on LinkedIn right here, right now who could help. 😜
It doesn’t affect me now if I do nothing about my pensions that might be as useful as a chocolate fireguard.
🛑Time doesn’t care.
👊You’ll hit old age whether you’re prepared or not.
This might seem unsympathetic, rude, judgmental and uncaring
In fact, this couldn’t be more opposite.
I’ll say words that you might not enjoy, because it benefits you.
If I could do these things for people myself I would, but I can’t.
My job is working with people to get them set up and sorted out 🗂️🤝
“my friend did…”
I too have been tempted to Google my symptoms because I hate having to wait on the phone to see my GP…
But it’s not worth getting it wrong.
A doctor spends years studying and training. I haven’t (and nor has Google).
🗣️ your financial planning is just the same 🗣️
I’m not bragging when I tell you that I’ve done over 800 hours of studying for exams alone.
I’ve also got a Business and Economics degree and 12 years experience of working in Financial Services.
I’m not saying you can never be capable of doing a good job, but there is a reason it’s a highly regulated industry. There are very real risks when financial planning isn’t done properly, and investment risk, institutional risk, and credit risk can result in people losing their money.
There’s also the risk you’ll spend a lot of your time on it just to get it right.
Time is a valuable asset in this modern world.
Don’t waste on your time trying to get pensions and investments right, instead spend it building your career, increasing your salary, and offset that against outsourcing risk to highly-skilled professionals.
There’s a reason high-performing individuals outsource responsibilities.
If you’re trying to be more sensible with money it might be hard for other people to accept your new habits.
👉🏻”Want a takeaway tonight babe?“
👉🏻 “No thanks babe, let’s save the money. There’s food in the fridge.“
👉🏻 “Who even are you?!“
Even if you slip up, dust yourself off.
👉🏻 You can return some items that you shouldn’t have bought.
👉🏻 One slip is better than living your life spending like there’s no tomorrow.
👉🏻 You can do it.
Captain America is fighting for pensions, Ironman is fighting for ISAs.
How do you decide who wins?
👉🏻 When do you need to access it?
👉🏻 You have allowances each year, have you got enough allowance left?
👉🏻 How much will you take out at once?
👉🏻 What other income will you have when you need to access it?
Pensions can get more tax relief, but you need to be at least 55 when you access them (it’s going up to 57 in 2028).
You can pay into both if you need to. If you run out of pension allowance, don’t forget to look up ‘carry forward’ rules.
ISA income is tax-free, whereas it isn’t with a pension.
Lifetime ISAs get a government bonus on contributions and a tax-free income.
This morning I asked my kids if they wanted four chocolate coins now, or, if they waited until after school they could have either eight or none.
We’d flip a coin to decide how many they would get.
Now let’s apply that to investing for retirement…
What if I asked you if you wanted four chocolate coins now, or you could put it in your pension and government would give you an extra chocolate coin. Kerching!
Taking a risk that meant you could lose all your coins is daunting to say the least, especially if you’re reliant on these coins to fund your retirement (or a sugar rush for the grandkids!).
Managing how much risk you take can have a huge impact on how much you have to live on retirement.
It’s important to get it right.
“I earn a decent wage but I’ve never got any money, and always feel skint. I’m really savvy, but I’ve no idea where it goes”👱♀️
“OK Linda. Let’s have a look at what’s going on” 👨🏻🦱
💳 Food = £250
💳 Cinema = £15
💳 Takeaways = £30
💳 Date night- meal and drinks £100
👨🏻🦱 If that’s true you should have loads left
You spend your money on whatever you want. If you want it for something else like more savings, more holidays or a bigger pension then you need to make changes.
Here’s how Linda…
Let’s start by looking at your last 3 months’ bank statements.
The reality is that you’ve probably spent your money differently than you thought. Go back through your last 3 months of bank statements for every account, and credit cards too. Categorise each payment.
WARNING – it will feel icky, but you need to know what you’re doing to be able to change it!”
Try having one for bills and one for spending.
Before I did this I’d forget bills that went out mid-month or have no idea what I’d spent.
If you want to budget per week, you can set up a standing order that pays into your spending account.
That way you can decide what you’re going to spend in advance. There’s less temptation to live like a king for a few days then to be poor until the next time you get paid. It’s even easier to save when you plan your savings too 🌱📈
You can have more than one with the same bank or with different banks.
What do you think of using multiple savings pots?
It can be easy to set up a few savings account with your bank.
Most banks let you label the account too.
On the other hand, it can be overwhelming to decide what to spend it on first. If all you know is that you need savings, don’t overthink it.
Make a start, you can always decide what to spend it on later.
I often compare health and wealth (here we go again)…
You’re not a failure if you don’t have abs.
You’re not a failure if you don’t have a yacht.
Being healthy and wealthy can be realistic.
It’s healthy to have achievable expectations of yourself.
If you want to save, focus on the difference between your income and outgoings.
Then decide what you want to do with the difference.
There’s more than one way to plan your budget.
Not everyone finds it easy to do maths.
Have you tried using building blocks?
You can make your own system.
It can make it easier to have something that you can see and feel. You could use different size blocks for different values and different colours for different types of expenses.
Why is there no picture on my own post today?
It’s because I’d like you to build your own.
Most people assume that benefits will be enough.
They’re having a giraffe!
A two-minute Google search will tell you whether state benefits are enough to live on.
Having a large amount of readily accessible savings isn’t always practical, but insurances like Income Protection or Critical Illness Cover can help.
Life Insurance, why I think people are put off from getting cover…
There are different types of life insurance. It varies depending on what you need the policy to do.
For example it could pay lump sums, regular amounts, having a set end date or lasting all of your life, or until you stop paying the premium).
And don’t get me started on the decisions about the cover, you might worry about paying too much but wonder if the cover is enough. You need to choose how long the policy will last, if it runs out and you still need it, you’ll be older and potentially have medical conditions so a new policy could be expensive (if you can get it).
Family and relationships come in all shapes and sizes. If your family isn’t simple, thinking about who to leave the benefit to could be complex.
Trust forms are important to make sure the benefit goes to the right place, quickly, and tax efficiently. If they’re not done, and done right, the impact can be huge.
My job is to make the complex simple.
You don’t need background knowledge, or to have made any decisions. We can work out who needs what, and how.
Oh and I help you fill in that pesky trust form, too.
Unfortunately, there are so many factors that can contribute to why a person in the LGBTQ+ community might be financially disadvantaged, including paying for private healthcare to transition or discrimination at work.
All these things can have a major impact on the finances of a person in the LGBTQ+
community and leave them having to compromise on the things that they need and want.
With my help I can make sure that despite all the financial issues we face you can still live the life you want.
As part of the community you can feel comfortable with me knowing that you are in a judgement free environment with someone who respects your identity and choices.
True Self Wealth Ltd is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority).
The NHS waiting lists are so long, trans people and their support networks often pay for private healthcare in some way.
There is no set journey for anyone, changes anyone wants to make will be unique to them. They might need to pay for hormones, surgeries, a change of wardrobe and replacing toiletries, which are just a few examples.
You might pay for some or all of the treatment. To pay for them you might be accessing pensions, investments, remortgaging and all of that can have a knock on effect to other areas of your financial life. Don’t forget to think about the wider impact on your finances.
I’ve just added up what I’ve spent on my transition so far.
There are times I’ve been close to taking my own life because I wasn’t comfortable in my skin. It’s not a choice.
I’ve seen very few stats about how much it costs to transition. There are a few reasons why we don’t have accurate figures.
Everyone’s transition will look different, the postcode lottery of NHS clinics and waiting times means there’s no consistency. There’s no set process, our bodies are exactly that, ours. We can all do whatever we need to to feel comfortable in our own skin.
I changed my name in January 2021. It was a free deed poll but I paid for a new driving license (around £20), I had to go to three banks and changed my other accounts online. One bank was awful, it took a lot of time to move banks as a result.
I’ve been with GenderGP since June 2021. I pay a monthly subscription of £30.
I’ve paid for psychological assessments to start testosterone and to book surgery, which was around £300.
For my previous prescriptions, I paid £50 per month. I’m now on an injection which is every 3 months and is £120.
I’ve paid for top surgery, which is booked for next Friday! The price of surgery ranges from £7,000-12,500.
Things like blood tests and refular check ups with medical professionals have cost hundreds more.
I can’t possibly begin to add up all of the hidden costs. Especially time. I’m running a new business, a parent and do a lot of community projects, which means I’m short on time as it is.
Here are some examples:
This isn’t a ‘poor me‘ post.
This is ‘a let’s have some change‘ post.
And a thank you for everyone who does work to make change like Eva Echo, Bobbi Pickard and Katie Neeves FRSA who I’d recommend following. 💗 💙
#transawarenessweek means it’s a time to get things done. I ask you to sign the petitions you see people share. Shout out when things aren’t done right. Educate yourself and your workplace to use the right names, pronouns, and titles and have options if they need to ask about gender.
Thank you for reading.
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