A new year and new beginnings. The end of a year can often coincide with other endings – the end of a relationship, the end of a job, or a career. Often there are huge financial implications flowing on from these events, and the prospect of dealing with these issues can be rather daunting, especially when the endings do not occur by choice. A significant drop in income which occurs suddenly is a traumatic experience, and this is even more so if a relationship has ended and assets such as the family home need to be divided. Along with an ending comes emotional turmoil, even for a planned event such as retirement. For couples who are newly separated, one of the major issues to deal with is what should happen to the family home, particularly when there are young children involved.
At a time of emotional instability, the family home is a safe haven. It is enough to deal with a relationship breakdown, let alone adding a house move into the picture. The burden for one partner of taking over the ownership can be made easier by taking in a boarder, getting financial help from family members, taking out an interest only mortgage, extending the term of the mortgage or taking a mortgage repayment holiday for a few months. For others who suffer a sudden drop in income, the danger is that spending is more than the new, lower level of income.
Big changes in your financial situation necessitate big changes to your lifestyle to avoid financial difficulty. Delaying the inevitable merely weakens your position, making it even harder to recover. Letting go of a family home, a holiday house, or small luxuries such as TV subscriptions helps to create a stable financial base from which to move forward and rebuild.
Liz Koh is an Authorised Financial Adviser. The advice given here is general and does not constitute specific advice to any person. A disclosure statement can be obtained free of charge by calling 0800 273 847. For free eBooks, go to www.moneymax.co.nz and www.moneymaxcoach.com