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Financial Road Map For 2024

How to devise a robust plan for wealth accumulation and protection

Understanding your financial situation is crucial to achieving both short-term and long-term objectives. With a detailed insight into your finances, you can maximise your assets and devise a robust plan for wealth accumulation and protection.

As we enter 2024, let’s explore what to consider for the new year.

Understanding your financial status

Knowing where you stand financially is important. Understanding your financial status, income, and expenditure requires asking yourself a number of questions.

What is my total income? What are my fixed expenses? What are my variable expenses? Do I have any outstanding debts? How much do I save and invest each month? Do I have an emergency fund? What are my personal and financial goals?

Assessing your investments

If you have investments, it’s essential to know their details. Where are they invested, and what is their current value? Are there ways to make these holdings more tax-efficient, such as maximising your annual investment allowance for your Individual Savings Account (ISA)?

Also, consider if your lifestyle or risk tolerance has changed since you made these investments. Knowing your risk appetite helps determine if your investments align with your goals or if changes are necessary.

Pension simplification

Pensions are a vital part of your financial fitness journey. You need to pay attention to your pension plans until retirement so you don’t miss out on potential benefits. Take the time to track down old pension plans, especially those associated with previous employers.

If these aren’t providing good value or necessary features, consider consolidating them or consulting with us to review your options. Ensuring your pension works effectively is crucial to meeting your long-term financial objectives.

Accounting for family circumstances

Consider maximising combined incomes and capital if you’re married or in a registered civil partnership. Transferring assets between you could result in tax planning benefits and increased ISA allowances. It’s equally important to consider unique financial circumstances.

For instance, if there’s an age gap, ensure long-term financial stability for the younger partner. If you’ve separated from a partner, disentangle your finances and seek professional advice from us to understand your new financial status.

Evaluating your home ownership

As a property owner, it’s crucial to understand how this impacts your financial standing. Do you own several properties? Are you grappling with a mortgage? If yes, are you aware of your existing interest rate, mortgage term, and the potential timeframe for full repayment?

Have you considered the prospect of renting out a property for additional income? Maintaining an overarching perspective on the financial consequences of your property ownership is vital to ensuring your fiscal well-being.

Securing your future

No one enjoys contemplating the unexpected, yet it’s an unavoidable aspect of life. What if circumstances prevented you from working and earning an income? Could you meet your living expenses comfortably? Regularly evaluate your protection policies, both personal and those associated with your employment. Are they current and valid?

Are you under-insured? Maybe you’ve changed jobs, and a previously accessible plan is no longer available, necessitating a replacement. It’s wise to have contingency measures in place – just in case.

Projecting your retirement income

Everyone dreams of a comfortable lifestyle post-retirement, but not all know what they can afford. You can better understand your potential income post-retirement by thoroughly examining your current assets. If you’re still in the income accumulation phase, continue saving and investing a targeted amount monthly to help achieve your ideal retirement.

If retirement is looming, you need to understand the income you’ll receive from your pension, savings, and investments. This can help you adjust your spending habits to align with your desired retirement lifestyle.

Planning your legacy

Once you have a robust financial plan to meet your future income and capital needs, you might discover surplus funds you’d like to distribute to loved ones or charities posthumously through your Will. Creating or updating your Will need not be a gloomy task.

It’s a positive personal responsibility that can reassure and support your loved ones after you’re gone. Ensure your Will accurately encapsulates your estate distribution wishes. Obtain professional advice when drafting a Will to ensure it fulfils your needs.

Gifting as a wealth strategy

If your financial circumstances permit, gifting a portion of your wealth to family and friends may be a viable strategy. You have the opportunity each year to gift a specific amount without incurring potential Inheritance Tax liability. If you’re contemplating this option, we can explain and help you understand the allowances at your disposal and how to maximise their benefit for your loved ones.

You may also want to explore charitable gifting. By spending time strategising the support you wish to provide – both now and in the future, as well as your legacy – you can ensure your generosity is as effective as possible. This amplifies the impact of your giving and may yield tax relief benefits for you and your estate.

Annual financial review

Looking towards the future often reveals opportunities for further financial optimisation. Many personal and tax allowances are renewed annually, making an annual review of your investments and finances a prudent practice.

This review could involve streamlining your pension plans, ensuring your savings are as tax-efficient as possible, or identifying new investment opportunities. With our guidance, we’ll help you navigate these areas effectively and align your decisions with your long-term financial aspirations.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE TAX OR LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH.

THE TAX TREATMENT IS DEPENDENT ON INDIVIDUAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE IN FUTURE. FOR GUIDANCE, SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE.

A PENSION IS A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT NOT NORMALLY ACCESSIBLE UNTIL AGE 55 (57 FROM APRIL 2028 UNLESS THE PLAN HAS A PROTECTED PENSION AGE).

THE VALUE OF YOUR INVESTMENTS (AND ANY INCOME FROM THEM) CAN GO DOWN AS WELL AS UP, WHICH WOULD HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE LEVEL OF PENSION BENEFITS AVAILABLE.

YOUR PENSION INCOME COULD ALSO BE AFFECTED BY THE INTEREST RATES AT THE TIME YOU TAKE YOUR BENEFITS.

Adam Reeves

Author: Adam Reeves

DipPFS Cert CII (MP&ER)
Independent Financial Planner, Wealth Manager, Director

Last updated on

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Unfortunately I had to claim on my critical illness insurance due to my wife being ill and because of the sound advice Adam gave in acquiring this insurance we ended up being financially safe through a tough time.

Steve - Kent

Adam did a review of our financial situation, confirmed that Flexible Drawdown best suited our needs as a family, and then did all the research into the best product for us. He will continue to monitor it for me. He acted extremely promptly because we had a deadline for requiring the lump sum; went out of his way arranging meetings during non-office hours, was professional yet friendly and explained a difficult subject very well.

Clare – East Sussex

Adam did a thorough review of my pension policies, clearly explained how well they had performed, how flexible they were, how the market regulation has changed, and, crucially, what the tax implications would be if I were to leave them untouched. He accurately assessed my attitude to risk and recommended an up-to-date solution that will offer me the greatest flexibility at retirement.

Greg – East Sussex

Adam was quick to assess & understand my situation, and was able to discuss & communicate in a very concise and simple way the various options available to me, taking time for me to understand and clarify where necessary. My understanding & knowledge of taxation & pensions has increased significantly allowing me to feel much happier making financial decisions for the future.

Rob – West Sussex

Adam and his team undertook in-depth research into our existing QROPS schemes and clearly set out both pros and cons of transferring the funds back to the UK. Having decided to go ahead with the transfer, Adam and his team worked extremely hard to facilitate the transfer. The QROPS pension trustees were not always the most professional or responsive organisation – however we were very grateful for the perseverance and commitment that Adam showed us as clients.

Jonathan – East Sussex

Adam offered a range of financial products , the one he suggested was affordable and proved to be a good choice.  Returns on investments have exceeded my expectations, based on Adam’s advice and guidance. Profits have enabled house improvements to take place.

David - Surrey

Adam arranged an appointment very timely, he explained his role and qualifications as an IFA giving me reassurance , we went through my retirement and investment goals. Adam discussed my options explaining in great detail, I felt relaxed during our discussions allowing me to fully understand my choices. I feel very confident in the financial advice allowing me to enjoy my retirement.

I was very happy with Adam’s recommendations and explanations of financial products which would suit my retirement goals, I feel this has helped me review and reduce my financial risk as I reach retirement, leaving me feeling confident that I can enjoy my retirement plans.

Ron – West Sussex

After initial meeting Adam put together a very detailed and thorough written plan. At our second meeting he went through the whole booklet and explained everything in layman’s terms which made it a lot easier to understand.

I am very happy with everything that was suggested and put in place especially with something as big and important as pensions. Adam and his team have taken a huge weight off my shoulders and I would highly recommend their services to anyone needing help with their financial planning and pension.  Adam couldn’t have been more helpful, and even came outside his normal area to meet me on a number of occasions.

Richard - Kent
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