Many brave resolutions are made at the beginning of the year.
Why not add improving your financial situation to your new Year Resolutions list? With support and advice, it is highly likely that you will be able to reinvigorate your savings and investments.
Here are a few ideas ….
Advice is essential
Finances can be complex, so it’s essential to get expert, independent advice.
If you have not used an adviser before, check to see if they are on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) register and what permissions they have and a history of the firm and any adviser.
Check out their website and look for testimonials.
Dealing with a regulated firm will mean you have the protection of both the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) & the Financial Ombudsman Scheme (FOS) in case things don’t go to plan.
Dealing with debt
Some debts are unavoidable, such as a mortgage. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick with your current arrangement.
We can tell you if there is a better deal available or if you might benefit from overpaying with your existing lender or even switching products.
Did you know some lenders let you switch products up to 6 months before your current product expires?
After the festive period credit card debts have often increased and make sure you have these under control or look at a full review of your liabilities and if consolidation is an option.
Review your Emergency Funds
You should aim to have three to six months’ salary on deposit in case of emergency.
We can point you in the right direction for the best interest rates and place to hold the cash.
If retired, having money on deposit in cash is still very important and getting the best interest rate will help with combating the effects of inflation.
With the recent increase in interest rates, savers can now achieve in excess of 4%, but don’t rely on your bank to tell you!
We are still seeing accounts paying 0.5%, when a simple review and switch can substantially increase this.
Refresh your investments
If you haven’t used this year’s ISA allowance, we can provide advice & guidance and help arrange.
An individual’s 2022-23 ISA allowance is £20,000, into either stocks & shares or cash or a combination.
Don’t wait until the new tax tax-year to invest, do it now if you can.
When was the last time you reviewed your attitude to risk and reward and what your expectations are for your money and what you can afford to lose, if any!
Review your retirement planning
What type of provision have you made?
Most of us don’t save enough into our pension, if we save anything at all.
This is a big mistake.
Don’t just pay in and hope for the best!
There are tax breaks to be had, and if you arrive at retirement without a decent pension pot, you could face a bleak old age.
Look at your employer’s scheme or any individual personal pensions you may have, look at the performance of the funds, do they match your attitude to risk, can you pay more, check out the charges and flexibility going forward.
Aim to review any older paid up/frozen schemes.
Make a Will
If you die without leaving a Will, you will probably bequeath your loved ones a heap of headaches.
They will have to wait for your estate to be sorted out, something that could be done swiftly and cleanly if you have left clear instructions.
Have you considered Lasting Powers of Attorney for your affairs?
How many times do you hear about children having issues accessing their parent’s assets when the parents have succumbed to an illness which reduces their capacity to deal with financial matters?
Protect yourself and your family
Do you have adequate life insurance?
Is it written in trust for your loved ones? What about income protection and critical illness cover?
Basic life assurance can help solve so many problems when a loved one dies.
It is often said that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. This is where we come in: we’re financial planners, and we’re here to help you succeed.