As we near the end of the tax year – and prepare for a new one – now could be the perfect time to look over your finances and check that you’re doing everything you need to achieve your goals.
An annual review can also be a helpful way of finding out how well prepared you are for the future – whatever it might hold.

1. Do you have a plan?

It’s one thing having a goal, but if you really want to increase your chances of achieving it, you need a plan. This is where expert advice can really help.

With a solid understanding of what you want your money to do, we’ll help you put a plan in place and structure your savings and investments with the aim of achieving your goal.

Peter Field, Proposition Marketing Manager at St. James’s Place, says: “An important part of this process is making sure you’re saving and investing in the most tax-effective way for you – for example, making the most of your £20,000 ISA allowance and perhaps topping up your pension to maximise tax relief on your contributions. You may also have capital gains to think about.”

He adds: “Lots of these allowances work on an annual basis, so it really is a case of use it or lose it.”

We can tell you if there are any opportunities to plan your finances more effectively before the current tax year ends on 5 April. For goals such as retirement planning, we can also carry out cash-flow modelling and help you work out just how much income you’ll need for the retirement you want.

2. Are you prepared for the unexpected?

Life has a habit of being unpredictable. Redundancy, illness and divorce can all take you by surprise and have the potential to send the best-laid plans awry. There are, however, several positive steps you can take to increase your financial resilience.

No financial plan, for example, is complete without a rainy-day fund of three to six months’ expenses in an instant-access savings account.

In addition to life cover, you may want to consider critical illness insurance or income protection that pays out if illness or injury prevents you from working.

“It’s important to think about the impact it would have on your family and the struggles you’d face if you or your partner couldn’t work,” says Peter. “Protection can often help you get through some of the most difficult times.”

It’s not just your own circumstances that can change. Volatile stock markets and economic upheaval, for example, can also make you worry about money. But again, your adviser can help you get through it – either by making changes to your portfolio or helping you hold your nerve through turbulent times.

3. Are you in control of your day-to-day spending?

Last year was an expensive one, and inflation at the start of 2023 was still at one of its highest levels in 40 years.1 That means we’re all spending a lot more than we used to on everyday essentials.

Whether you want to maintain the momentum with your saving and investing or you’re worried about managing on a stretched retirement income, we can offer expert advice.

“The confidential relationship you’ve built up with your adviser will help you work together to come up with a plan to keep you on track,” says Peter.

4. What steps have you taken for later-life planning?

Nobody relishes thinking about death or the challenges that come with ageing, but having a strategy to see you through those years can give you and your family priceless peace of mind.

“Sometimes it takes a prompt from your financial adviser to have these important conversations with loved ones and start planning,” says Peter. From getting your Will written to thinking about how you might pay care-home fees and mitigating a potential Inheritance Tax bill, we can help.

If you want help to stay on track with your financial goals, get in touch.

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