Many aspects of modern life are subject to review and maintenance to good effect – our cars (and motorbikes!) are serviced, our home heating systems are serviced, it seems to be a worthwhile exercise to review utility providers and home and motor insurance providers, some people have periodic health checks and there are more.
Very little in the field of financial planning is of a “fit it and forget it” nature so a periodic review, that will usually take about an hour, is likely to bring the following benefits:
- Ensure your family (or any financial dependants) are adequately provided for. You insure your house and its contents but you should also consider its occupants.
- Check that your mortgage (or any other borrowing) is a competitive and suitable deal and that it is fully covered so that your home would be safe should the worst happen. It is estimated that 40% of UK mortgage borrowers do not have adequate mortgage protection in place.
- Tune up your savings so that your money is working as hard for you as you did for it. Make use of your annual ISA allowance.
- Check your investments for tax efficiency, risk and returns. This will usually involve using something called a risk profiling tool that helps in identifying and understanding your attitude to risk. Make use of your Capital Gains Tax Annual Exemption.
- Review your provision for income in retirement – usually through a pension plan but there are other potentially suitable ways to save for retirement. Check old pension arrangements from previous employers and update them where appropriate.
- Mitigate Inheritance Tax, whether through the careful use of Trusts or by using a straightforward life assurance policy to cover the potential tax burden.
Not all these aspects of financial planning will apply to everyone all at once and there are others such as income protection and private medical insurance, but many of us will touch on most of these areas at some time in our lives.
Who should you look to for such a review?
Finally, who should you look to for such a review? My best advice is to go to an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA), ideally one who has access to the whole of the market. This type and breadth of financial advice is not available from any other source. Ask around amongst family, friends and contacts for a recommendation. You may have to pay a fee but Kerseys Wealth Management Ltd offers the initial consultation at our own expense and we see our role as helping people with all aspects of their financial planning.
And by the way: most of our business comes by way of personal referral…
Independent Financial Advisor, Kerseys Wealth Management