Things I wish I could tell my slightly younger self... continued

Nick Walter, Metfriendly

I have written a couple of articles now on things I would tell my younger self. It’s time for an update in the light of big changes in the world and for me personally.

What am I up to?

I am now working 3 days a week for Metfriendly as father time marches on. I think myself very lucky that I am doing a job that I love, for a company that I believe in. They truly have the best interests of the Police Family and their members at heart. I have been with them for six years and I am now one of the pension leads in the society. Post lockdown, we have started to deliver live pension seminars again, but we continue to deliver the online pension seminars. The online pension seminars have proved to be very popular, particularly as we can cover the whole of the UK, and so help many Police Families. I mean who doesn’t want to hear about their pension options from the comfort of their own home? I’m very proud that we have been able to support thousands of Officers as they moved into the new pension scheme from 1st April 2022. Both live and virtual seminars can be booked on our website under the events tab at

So, what would I now tell my younger self?

Plan for your financial future

As life expectancy continues to increase, we face longer and longer in retirement. At the same time, we are generally healthier and more active. I am 62 but if I compare myself now with my father at that age there is little similarity. I have two large dogs that take a lot of exercise, which keeps me fit.

I would tell my younger self to start investing in my future to prepare for life after policing. I would make sure I had a plan to make sure I have sufficient savings to provide for the lifestyle I want once retired. Monthly savings, such as the Monthly Savings ISA from Metfriendly, can really grow into a significant nest egg over time and if my younger self was able to have a Lifetime ISA I’d grab the opportunity with both hands. The chance to get over £30,000 of free money from the Government for a nice tax-free lump sum at age 60 is not an opportunity that I’d pass on. From my experience the earlier you start saving, the better. A small regular payment gets you into the habit of saving and the Metfriendly Monthly Savings ISA and the Lifetime ISA are great ways to do this.

The older you get the quicker time seems to pass

I have recently become a grandfather for the first time and I am thrilled. My son will be opening a Metfriendly junior ISA for my new grandson and I’ll be making a regular monthly contribution. Both of my sons are grown up and both are successful so I can take the opportunity to help the next generation get off to a flying start. To me, it really does make sense to think about helping the next generation and I’m pleased we are able to talk about money as a family – it makes a real difference to help make the most of what we have.

Keep on developing and learning

I would urge my younger self to work on their self-development, on their relationships and on creating memories. Take opportunities as they arise. When old people are questioned about their life, they are often much more regretful of the things they didn’t do than the things they did. Read 10 pages of a self-development book every day. Put what you learn into practice. The knowledge you gain and the changes for the better accumulates over time. This will improve your Mental and Physical Health, your relationships and your financial wellbeing.

Spend time away from your closest companion (the smartphone)

Last time I mentioned the importance of spending time away from your mobile, tablet or laptop to truly relax. I can’t stress enough how important this is. I see people today who are glued to their phones and are unable to do anything without constantly checking them. When we go out with friends and family the mobiles are all placed face down on the table. The first person to look at their phone during the meal pays for it. Simple but it works. To ensure a good night’s sleep avoid using these devices in the hour before bed and don’t take them into the bedroom!

Don’t waste your time - it really is your most precious possession.
Nick Walter,
Field Officer, Metfriendly

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and does not constitute financial advice

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