Countless bedtime storybooks convince little girls that living the life of a princess is something they can enjoy in the fullness of time. Sadly, when it comes to fending for themselves as an adult in the real world, the dreams have all but disappeared.
But even if the dream does one day come true, it is not always a case of happily ever after. Take the case of one-time real princess, Sarah Ferguson, who discovered this the hard way. With a battered bank balance, she has recently had to focus her attention on the pressing matter of thinking of a way to boost her income.
Not all of us have the option of offering cash for access to Prince Andrew but the point is that once you have enjoyed a certain lifestyle it is difficult to accept a shift in living standards. And that is something that cuts across all walks of life.
When you have become accustomed to an annual holiday in the sun, a new car every few years and dining out regularly, this becomes familiar and something you would rather not give up. The thought of downsizing your standard of living is something most of us would go to some lengths to avoid.
Over the years, royal family gaffes have frequently hit the headlines but the thing about this latest situation and the subsequent PR rearguard action is that the Duchess of York seems to have the sympathy of many.
With the current economic situation, people need protection more than ever before
Maybe it’s a backlash to entrapment reporting or maybe it is because many people across Britain are feeling financial pain at this time and are willing to be slightly more forgiving.
The credit crunch and recession has already forced many to take a long hard look at the family budget and decide what their real financial priorities are. This has, in a lot of cases, made people realise that protection insurance is something they cannot overlook and has prompted them to get advice.
And if advisers can capitalise on scenarios like this to convince their clients of the need for protection, then that is something to be welcomed.
With the current economic situation, you could argue that people need protection more than ever before. We never know what the future holds health-wise, so there is generally always a need to have the right insurance in place.
It’s all well and good to strive for a comfortable standard of living but the message we need to get across to consumers is one of priorities – and many people, for one reason or another, seem to have lost sight of what is really important to them.
Of course, everyone has different outlooks and we need to understand their desires and what motivates them before we can help. But all this points towards the need for consumers to seek advice when it comes to cover, to help them understand their priorities, the options they have and to value protection correctly.
There is a real opportunity for clients to be prompted into reviewing their current needs and think about how their circumstances might have changed since they last saw their adviser.
Everyone’s needs change over time as they go through different life stages but they may not be aware they are overdue a financial review or they may just need a reminder that it is time to make an appointment to discuss things to spur them into action.
Roger Edwards is proposition director at Bright Grey