Artistic: Don't depart your monetary future to probability
Are you just as careful with your own finances as you are with a client's budget or your agency's cash flow? If you view the financial side of your day job as a necessary evil, you may lack the motivation to think beyond the next few months or years on personal matters – let alone the next few decades.
“Usually, 'creatives' don't start their careers to get rich,” says Silas Amos, a designer and design strategist with more than three decades of industry experience. “This is all very good for young idealists, but as the years go by and personal and family obligations increase, the 'real world' has to be taken into account. We used to be called "Commercial Artists". The commercial part shouldn't be an afterthought. "
“The past year has taught us that life is unpredictable,” said Gary Morris, principal at Morris Powell Financial Management and a member of the Design Business Association's expert panel. "We can't control everything, but we can take steps to be as prepared as possible when challenges arise."
Think about what position you want to take when you stop working. Ask: "Where do I want to be at the end of my career?"
Morris Powell specializes in financial advisory for the creative industry and has seen for himself how reluctant some creatives can be when it comes to planning long-term personal finances.
According to Morris, taking a few minutes to think about your longer-term priorities – and what you want to protect – is a useful place to start. “In a world where so much feels out of your control, taking decisive action and being in control of your finances is hugely empowering,” he says. "It will give you the foundation for building a solid financial plan and a much better night's sleep."
START AT THE FINISH LINE
Only when you have a clear picture of your goal can you start planning. “Think about what position you want to take when you quit,” advises Morris. "Ask: 'Where do I want to be at the end of my career?' Then think about what retirement looks like for you, how much it will cost and whether these goals are in line."
One of Morris Powell's clients is Paul Taylor, Chief Creative Officer at BrandOpus. "Force yourself to sit down and plan how the next 10-15 years could look for you financially, both in terms of need and want," advises Taylor. “Then commit yourself to a plan that will enable you to achieve those goals. Yes, the plan will change and evolve over time, but at least you have drawn a line in the sand. "
A busy work life, especially if you have a young family, can take up all of your time and leave little room for future planning
Taylor has a 10-year plan that he reviews annually. "Trying to plan so far in advance may seem like a wasted exercise – it is so difficult to predict what might happen when – but it forces you to think about what kind of financial milestones there might be in the future," he says. "Calming is created by anticipating the surprises and challenges that lie ahead."
WATCH THIS HERE AND NOW
Once your end point is clear, it is time to focus on the present. "Take a honest look at your finances and write down as much as you can what your income is, what you are spending and what you are saving for the future," advises Morris. "Seeing the reality of your current position in black and white may be a painful exercise for some, but it is the only way to take control and make effective plans."
Maura Fernandes is a production manager at Luttrell Productions and another Morris Powell client. Fernandes "sporadically" takes stock of financial matters, often driven by important deadlines such as the end of the tax year. “It's a bit of a hassle, but also a necessity,” she says.
Check out all the ways you can save, invest, or protect your finances. Maybe you're already doing more than you think
For Fernandes, an external soundboard has proven to be essential. “A busy work life, especially if you have a young family, can take up all of your time and leave little room for future planning,” she adds. "With the right guidance, creating a plan is less time-consuming than you might think."
PLAN YOUR NEXT STEPS CAREFULLY
“Next, consider what steps you are taking now to achieve your goal,” continues Morris. “It is a legal requirement that all employers offer a company pension, so the vast majority of people are doing at least something. Check out all the ways you can save, invest, or protect your finances. Maybe you're already doing more than you think. "
The sooner you start, the more long-term impact you can get with small changes. “Start early and listen a little and often. You have to enjoy life so it's a balance, ”says Michael Murdoch, CEO and Founder of The House London.
With so much uncertainty and the introduction of IR35, significant wage cuts are the new norm. I try to be as efficient as possible with what I have
Aside from his retirement, Murdoch tries to plan his personal finances up to five years in advance. “Of course, if you create enough value for your customers, you can ask for more and thus save more,” he smiles.
BE AWARE OF ALL RISKS
Finally, take the time to consider the greatest risks you face. "What is the primary financial threat to your family and your current standard of living?" Asks Morris. "Once you know that, consider what steps you have taken to mitigate this risk."
Freelance graphic designer Hugo Lees-Jones spends a few hours a month checking that he is managing his personal finances as well as possible. "With so much uncertainty and the introduction of IR35, significant wage cuts are the new norm," he says. "I try to be as efficient as possible with what I have."
These simple steps will help you take control of the things that you can change and hopefully reduce your worries about the things you can't
Lees-Jones has planned the next 5-10 years in reasonable detail, but the current uncertainty has put longer-term savings plans on hold for the time being. “So many people live from day to day,” he says. "Plan ahead of time, even if you only save a little."
CONCENTRATE WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
With the ongoing global uncertainty, it's easy to worry about the future. "These simple steps will help you take control of the things you can change and hopefully reduce your worries about the things you can't," says Morris. “Being proactive, having a plan, and making positive changes can promote mental health and build resilience.
“Once you've sketched out your financial future, it should be much clearer whether you need to save more, have more protection, plan better for your retirement, or get your estate in order for your loved ones,” he adds.
"Where are you going next? If you have a project in your professional life that you don't have the skills to complete internally, hire outside resources, ”says Morris. "The same principle applies here: Find an expert whom you can trust and use his knowledge and experience to find the most suitable savings, insurance or old-age provision for you."
For Taylor, having an objective advisor has proven "absolutely important". When he first sought advice almost 25 years ago, he hadn't even considered retiring. “That was the kick start I needed,” he recalls. "It has become an important long-term relationship that is now a trusting friendship and a constant source of reassurance for my plans."
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