When many people seek financial advice, they tend to focus on the ability of their planner to provide returns on their pension or other investments.

These returns are no doubt important; after all, they’re the fuel giving power to the engine that drives your financial plan.

The reason you invest in the first place is to generate income that you’ll use to support yourself now or in the future. This is especially true for your pension, which could be an invaluable source of money in your retirement.

Even so, just because investment returns matter, they are far from the most important part of the service that your financial planner offers.

Here are just five of the key services a financial planner gives you beyond the basic expectation of investment returns.

1. The plan itself

The first, and arguably most crucial, service that a financial planner provides is the financial plan itself.

It’s all well and good to target investment returns and growth on your money, but how do those investments fit into your wider goals?

A financial planner will take the time to discuss your life goals before they think about investments and products. They’ll ask you about your family, your aspirations, and your life ambitions, using this to inform and design a financial plan that works for you.

Only then will they look at the strategies that help you get there. Investments may well be a part of this, but the financial plan itself will underpin any decisions you make with your money.

2. Reviewing and refining your plan

Creating your plan and putting it in motion is a huge part of the service that a planner provides. Additionally, they’ll review and refine that plan over time to ensure that it stays on track and that you continue to progress towards your goals.

Typically, planners will invite you for regular reviews, perhaps every six months or once a year, to discuss the progress of your plan.

They might recommend changes to your current plan based on the progress you’ve made so far or make suggestions on how to improve your financial situation even further.

In fact, you may find that your goals change over time. You may have always had a certain vision for your retirement, such as wanting to go on a cruise around the world.

But, by the time you get to retirement age, you may have decided that you’d rather spend time with your grandchildren, and now you want to secure your finances to provide for their future.

Your planner will be there with you to refine your plan so that it always aligns with your current and future goals.

3. Financial coaching

The reason that financial planners offer their services at all is because finance can be complicated and sometimes even entirely confounding.

That’s why it’s ideal to work with an expert who knows exactly what’s what. Your financial planner can explain difficult and complex financial processes or keep you up to date with changes to ensure that your money is always working as hard as it needs to.

As part of this coaching service, your planner can also make suggestions as to how to make the most of products, allowances, and exemptions, so that you also play an active role in the management of your money.

4. Peace of mind

Has money, or anything related to your finances, ever made you nervous? Have you ever considered what would happen if you suddenly didn’t have enough to live on?

As part of your financial plan, your planner will make suggestions that secure your finances for you and your family to help alleviate these worries.

This might be as simple as creating a savings goal, so that there’s always money in the bank. Or it might be considering your protection options, such as life insurance or critical illness cover, so that your family are protected if the worst ever happened to you.

Even if you never have to rely on them, having this kind of cover can help give you peace of mind that you and your family will always have money to live on.

Making preparations like this with a professional can be enough to settle your mind and help you sleep at night.

5. Reassurance for the future

Above all else, working with a financial planner can give you confidence that your future finances are in the right hands.

Thinking about finances and the future can be anxiety-inducing as there’s so much to think about with so many unknowns.

That’s why just having someone in your corner with your best interests at heart can reassure you that you’ll always have help at hand if you need it.

Indeed, research by Royal London found that those who had taken financial advice felt more in control of their finances, more financially secure and stable, and more confident about the future in general than those who hadn’t worked with a planner.

Your financial planner will be there with you for the whole journey, offering support and guidance along the way.

Work with us

If you’d like to work with a financial planner that can offer all these services and more, please get in touch with us at Lightside Financial Planning.

We’ll get to know about you and your goals first before we even consider talking to you about investments and products. We’ll then use your life ambitions to design a financial plan that helps you get there.

Fancy a chat? Email info@lightsidefp.co.uk or call 0151 372 0161 to find out how we could help you.

Please note

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits.