Financial advice is a very personal subject and every single client of mine is treated as an individual. It is vital that I to get to know you, really understand who you are, what is important to you and what you want to achieve to ensure that I can implement a plan for you that helps create the lifestyle and peace of mind that you are looking for. Whether your aim is to create wealth, preserve existing wealth or make provisions to distribute your wealth, my financial planning process helps us to identify and agree the most appropriate strategy for you and is often the start of a long and valuable partnership.
With cash interest rates being held at all-time lows for an unprecedented length of time, many savers are turning to investment in order to protect the real value of their hard-earned money. ‘Investing’ can take many forms and there are a vast number of different types of investment available to cater all needs and objectives. Whether you wish to grow your wealth, generate an income or preserve the assets you already have, through careful assessment of your needs, goals and feelings towards ‘risk’, I can provide personal and practical advice.
Ensuring that we can maintain the lifestyle that we desire during retirement is one of the biggest financial planning concerns for many people today. We are an ‘ageing population’ and are living longer & healthier lives than ever before. Careful planning is therefore required to ensure we can enjoy our later years, retire when we are ready, stay as active as we wish to be and most importantly, feel safe in the knowledge that our pension assets will last the course. The earlier we start this process the better and I can create a realistic retirement plan, demonstrate what you could achieve in terms of retirement assets and provide advice on the best way to accumulate your retirement wealth.
One of the very few certainties in life (see ‘Tax Mitigation’ below for the other) is that we will all need to prepare, in some way, for a time that we will no longer be able to care for, or even have a need for, our own assets. Estate planning can help ensure that the right assets, get passed to the right people, at the right time, in the most tax efficient way possible.
The effects of inheritance tax can be huge with any taxable estate after allowances being charged at 40%. Inheritance tax receipts have rocketed in recent years with HMRC collecting £4.7bn in the 2015/2016 tax year. The rules around IHT can be complicated however there are large numbers of ways of mitigating the tax that can be tailored to meet the needs of you as a settlor and your intended beneficiaries.
The quote below probably rings true with most of us when we calculate the amount of tax we have or are due to pay on our income, investments or assets. I also believe however that it is generally accepted and agreed by most of us that paying tax is a responsibility rather than a punishment, and we enjoy the relative civilisation that it affords us. Tax mitigation is not about avoiding or evading tax, it is about intelligent planning and awareness of the various legitimate tax planning strategies available to us. Structuring our affairs in such a way that makes use of the various allowances and incentives available however is absolutely essential to a good financial plan and can make a huge difference to income, investment growth and estate values.
Having witnessed, on too many occasions, the devastating consequences for a family, who have lost a loved one having made no financial provision for such an event, I make no apologies for being a strong advocate of the benefits of life and income protections. The difference that it can make to the lives of those that are left behind, if it is ensured that your family’s home and basic needs are protected in the event that you are no longer able to provide for them due to serious illness, or death, is immeasurable and none of us can truly appreciate the impact until we have experienced it. Insurances exist in many forms, can be suited to any budget and circumstances, and should form a key part of any financial plan.
Home. One of the most beautiful words in the English language. Our homes represent so much more to us than an asset. They house our memories, protect our families, are our sanctuaries and are often a symbol of our life’s work.
When additional funds are needed later in life, drawing from what is invariably the most valuable thing we own often makes financial sense, however the thought of leaving and selling your home can feel upsetting and unsettling. The various forms of equity release allow you to release some of the capital built up in your home whilst being able to continue to spend your life in the place that you feel most happy and comfortable.