Financial planning is often made more complicated than it needs to be.
Here are the top five planning tips for today.
After years of low returns on savings, shopping around for better interest rates can make a big difference to your savings.
With the rising cost of living, earning more money on your savings is more important than ever.
We still see savings accounts and Cash ISAs with large banks paying below 1% when achieving 5% on your cash savings is straightforward today.
Do not rely on your Bank or Building Society to pass on higher returns without asking.
Topping up your ISA
Trying to ensure you have as much of your money as possible in a tax-efficient environment is a must.
Don’t just think pensions are the only way!
Although you have a Personal Savings Allowance of £1000, with the recent increase in cash savings rates, it now means that breaching that allowance has become easier by default.
Therefore, utilising other tax-free allowances, such as using an ISA in cash or stocks and shares, will ensure all growth and income will be tax-free, no matter how many zillions it may grow to.
Claiming 40% Pension Tax Relief.
If you are a higher rate taxpayer, and depending on your employment status, you will get your first 20% tax relief at source.
Depending on your employment status, such as self-employed, you must apply to HMRC to claim the other 20% relief.
Even if your employed, check with your payroll department that your tax code is correct to reflect the total 40% relief you are entitled to.
Ensure you claim complete tax relief on pension contributions because not everybody does!
Check your Fixed Rate Mortgage
More than 1.4 million households in the UK face the prospect of interest rate rises when they renew their fixed-rate mortgages in 2023.
Most fixed-rate mortgages in the UK (57%) coming up for renewal in 2023 were fixed at interest rates below 2%.
Some lenders will let you pre-book a new mortgage rate six months before the expiry of your current product.
Of course, it’s still a gamble on how you see mortgage rates changing over the next year.
Start planning now and take advice-preferably from an independent company that is not tied to one lender or a panel.
Is your Will up to date?
It is estimated only 50% of UK adults have a Will.
Those without stating this is due to them ‘not getting round to it’. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon situation.
While others say they don’t think it is urgent and don’t see it as an essential part of financial planning.
Many have claimed they don’t think they have enough assets.
Check to see if the executors are still the people you want to administer your estate, who you are leaving your assets to, that your beneficiaries have stayed the same, and whether your children have legal guardians appointed.
If you haven’t made a Will yet, then now is the time to explore- and we are happy to chat with you.