Based on anecdotal evidence most of our clients have been toughing it out for the last 24 months in particular. No sector seems to have been saved the savagery of the global financial crisis. Despite this I get a sense that having made the necessary cuts in overheads (including laying people off) many sectors are starting to pay their own way if not edge a little bit into profit. From our perspective, we as financial planners, will only get a good sense of how business is recovering by the return (if any) and the scale of those making pension contributions. These were among the first costs cut and most of our clients need to get back on the wagon, so to speak, especially considering the effect on pension values caused by the falls in stock market and property valuations.

What has worried me, in particular, is seeing many cut back on their life assurance protection premiums. “You never know the day or the hour…” and all that. So our message is that everyone makes sure that their policies don’t lapse. If they have lapsed, get them back on track or if too many months have gone by to pay backdated premiums, then apply for new cover. Do whatever is needed to protect your family.

Speaking of families, spare a thought for the families of those unfortunates who, weighed down by the financial pressures they themselves were under, have left this world earlier than they could have. Hardly a week goes by before I hear of some desperate circumstances of a family who not only find themselves financially stressed but now also emotionally stressed. If you know of such a family do reach out to them even if it is only emotional support. If you know of someone who is possibly too proud to look for help but you think they might be financially stretched reach out to them as well, if only to possibly avert another tragic event.