New Year Financial Planning Tips
NEW YEAR FINANCIAL PLANNING TIPS
With the decorations firmly back in their boxes and Christmas trees (finally!) collected from driveways, many people are starting diets and joining gyms in order to try and shed the weight they’ve put on over Christmas. The New Year is also a great time to make some financial resolutions that’ll help you reach your money goals, here are our top 6 tips that we think are much easier to achieve than going to the gym or dieting!
Set your life goals
Figure out what you want from life and make your money work towards that, rather than vice versa. Your priorities will probably change over time, so setting short, medium and long term goals will help keep you focused and on the right path.
Utilise your tax-free allowances
Ensure you and your partner are using all available allowances; personal, savings and dividends. The current ISA allowance is £20,000 in 2017/18, and this can be in a cash ISA, a stocks & shares ISA or a mixture of both. The annual allowance is a limit on the amount that can be contributed to your pension each year, while still receiving tax relief – this is currently capped at £40,000. Also be aware that the dividend allowance is going down from £5k to £2k from April 2018.
Sort out your life cover
No-one likes to think about the possibility of being very ill or dying, so life cover can be easily ignored. It should however be a major priority, especially if you have children and have liabilities such as mortgages/loans. At the moment the cost of protection is falling so you can get cover at a surprisingly reasonable price.
Sort out pensions from previous employment
It’s not always easy to keep track of a pension, especially if you’ve been in more than one scheme or have changed employer throughout your career. However, it’s important that you do locate all your previous pensions - the DWP have launched a new online Pension Tracing Service at www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details which should help.
Sort out the mortgage
A mortgage is the biggest expense for lots of people and many are paying a higher rate than they need to. There may be a cost to move your mortgage but these are often outweighed by the savings made.
Make a Will
Make sure that you have an up to date Will. The consequences of dying intestate can be severe, causing problems for your surviving family and friends. Making a Will is relatively inexpensive (depending on how complex your affairs are!) and it’s important that you keep it up to date as your circumstances change.
It’s important that you stay on top of your own financial situation, however if you’re looking at complex financial products it often pays to get advice. Recent research has found that those who receive financial advice are on average £40,000 better off than those who don’t, so if you have any doubts or questions please contact your Aspira adviser or call the office on 0800 048 0150.
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