Now we have reached the longest day, we’re pretty much half way through the year, which may mean it’s time to consider your current financial planning, and having a financial checkup with your annual review.
Why take an annual review?
Every Sterling Welsh client has at least an annual review. It is your opportunity to examine your financial situation and measure the progress you’re making toward your goals.
You can stop and think about your family’s financial goals, such as saving for retirement, a house, or a child’s education. You can consider reducing taxes on your investments, protecting your income, or building a financial cushion. Once you are clear on your goals, you can then work on ensuring that you are investing appropriately for them.
Is your investment strategy on track?
You probably have several savings goals. Your annual financial review will revisit each of your priorities and your strategy for reaching them. If your conditions have changed, it will help you make adjustments as necessary.
At least once a year, check your target investment asset mix to ensure that it continues to meet your time frame, risk tolerance, needs, and preferences, and to perform any rebalancing that might be necessary in light of the past year’s market performance.
Take some time to look at specific investments and check whether they still fit your portfolio. It’s important to match your investments to certain time frames or specific goals.
Has Your personal situation changed?
What changes in your personal situation have occurred in the past year? Changes like a job change, divorce, having a child, buying a home, retiring, getting married, losing a spouse, etc. can alter your spending and savings needs and aims.
Your review will let you look at those changes, and the impact they have on your financial plan.
Have changes in legislation affected you?
Recent changes to pensions like the new limit on lifetime allowance will affect your financial plans. Changes to taxes such as capital gains allowances and dividends will affect your plans. You need to keep in line with these changes – your annual review will help.
Are you paying more tax than necessary?
Changes in legislation and also changes in your income situation could mean that you are paying more tax than necessary. By reviewing your financial situation on an annual basis we can identify if there are any tax efficient strategies that could help you pay less tax or boost your after-tax returns. The taxman takes a large enough slice of your wealth – don’t let him have any more than he is entitled to.
Is your estate plan still up to date?
Reviewing your estate plan is generally something we don’t want to think about too often, but it is still an essential part of financial planning. If done properly estate planning can ensure your money is inherited by the right people, and minimise their liability to Inheritance Tax.
Is your Will up-to-date? Do you have a Power of Attorney and do you need a Testamentary Trust? Even if you don’t believe you have many assets the right estate plan can save your loved one a great deal of trouble and cost.
Is your Life Insurance still adequate?
Life Insurance is an expense that can sometimes feel unnecessary – until you realise it is an investment in peace of mind, and protection for those you care about.
Do you have enough Life Insurance to cover your debts and current family situation?
What about other types of protection? Is your income protection sufficient to cover your lifestyle expenses if you were unable to work due to sickness or injury? Changes to your personal, family or work situation can all impact your insurance needs.
Is your pension in track?
Your pension pot should be growing steadily – but will it really fund the kind of retirement you want, and does it take advantage of the latest tax allowances. Should you be putting more in – or does the new lifetime allowance mean you need to find another way to save? Your financial review will give you the answer to these questions too.
If you have not had a review in the last 12 months please call us on 01792 720510 to arrange an appointment with one of our experience
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate wills, taxation and trust advice.
Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change.
The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount invested.