However, the money we saved when we remortgaged helped towards protecting our future.
May the fourth. A great day for Star Wars fans but also the date we moved into our house. Two years ago, and I still remember the excitement of getting the call to say I could pick up the keys. I had a blinding headache from the stress of “what ifs” that never came to anything. And I completely underestimated how much stuff we had.
I remember opening the door, walking around and taking in the new sights and smells of what I was soon to call home. I was overwhelmed by all the work needed to put my stamp on it. It’s amazing how you manage to brush past how much actually needs done until you’re in and realise every ceiling is wood chip and the wiring resembles a London tube map.
One year on and with a huge deal of hard work, determination and a lot of “yes dear’s” from my boyfriend, we were pretty much there. The feeling of accomplishment was incredible. We stripped walls, plastered, sanded, painted and most importantly - added the soft furnishings. Because you can never have too many cushions. That sense of pride and achievement is something that still hasn’t gone away. And my financial adviser recently tested how true this was.
We were lucky in the fact we had a great adviser for processing our mortgage and it all went really smoothly. At the time they asked about protection and we declined because we both have death in service with work. And yes, I know how naive that is. Especially working in financial services. But with a large monthly payment about to squash any social life we had, I couldn’t bear parting with any more money.
A few months ago, I got a phone call from my adviser’s firm. It was time to discuss remortgaging as the two year fixed term was coming to an end. We got chatting about the different possibilities and what our new payment would be. The fantastic news was, by moving to a different lender, our payments would go down about £50.
By moving to a different lender, our payments would go down about £50.
Just when I was getting used to the thought of having an extra couple of bottles of wine in my shopping each month, the adviser then asked me about protection. I confessed I meant to look at this but never had a chance. How many times have you heard that?
He reiterated all the things I already knew. Life cover was important, so I didn’t leave my other half with a huge mortgage to pay off. The statistics and probability of being diagnosed with a critical illness. The short time my savings would last if I was unable to work. Thoughts of “it won’t be me, it’s an extra expense and my work benefits will cover it” came to mind. Working in financial services for ten years can make you immune to statistics and figures become less scary. But don’t underestimate the impact these have on clients who haven’t been immersed in the world of protection.
A turning point
My adviser then reminded me how hard we had worked to get our house in the first place. And all the effort we had put into it since. For the last two years I had been paying £50 more and I was able to cope, so surely it would make sense to carry on paying this amount but I would have the added benefit of protecting the home and life I had grown so attached to.
Affordability was no longer an issue.
My thoughts started to change. Affordability was no longer an issue. The “what ifs” I experienced two years ago had now progressed. What if I couldn’t keep paying my mortgage? What if I had to give my home up? What if my partner had to leave the home he worked so hard on because he couldn’t afford it on his own?
This was the real turning point. By the end of our conversation I had taken life or critical illness cover and income protection. Yes okay, I won’t see those extra bottles of Malbec. But it’s a much bigger relief knowing we’ve protected our future.
As I sit writing this in my living room, staring out at the view I’ve become so used to, I know it was the right thing to do. And your customers will see this too. You just need to help them visualise what’s at stake. Royal London has lots of tools and content to help you paint this picture. And with the current situation, people need reassurance and support now more than ever. Help your clients take back control of their future and finances. Speak to your usual contact to find out how we can help.