Jeff Prestridge  

Looking to the new normal

Jeff Prestridge

Jeff Prestridge

Talking to friends, it appears the ongoing lockdown has forced them to take a good hard look at their lifestyles and their personal finances.

Rampant consumerism, it seems, is no longer the priority it once was.

Financial war chests are now the order of the day, with any savings made from not commuting and not going out socially at the weekend being used to bolster the size of cash Isas and deposit accounts.

Yes, these same friends cannot wait to party again and go out for meals and consume popcorn at their local cinema – but I think the financial penny dropped for them during lockdown.

Namely that their future personal finance fortress needs to be more robust; that they need to save more and spend less. This may not be good for an economy spluttering out of recession, but it is sound financial planning, which should be music to the ears of all you financial planners out there.

It also seems that greater interest in protection insurance – both critical illness and income protection cover – has been prompted by lockdown.

The other day I spoke to Roy McLoughlin, an associate director of Cavendish Ware and a founder member of the Income Protection Task Force, he said many advisers were seeing an increase in enquiries for protection insurance.

He added: “In times such as these, people inevitably start to examine their own mortality and there is an obvious link towards protection insurance cover.

“This is true of both individuals and companies where we are sensing and witnessing increased interest in issues such as succession planning and key person cover.

“It’s also fascinating to hear the chancellor using terms such as life assurance and income protection, which helps the industry.”

A little bit of financial planning cheer for you to absorb while chewing your way through your breakfast muesli. Stay safe.

Jeff Prestridge is personal finance editor of The Mail on Sunday