Financial planning tips for the new tax year - spring clean your finances
April: the first full month of spring, and a great time for new beginnings. With January’s resolutions now a distant memory, this is an ideal time to spring clean your finances, make use of new tax allowances and start the new financial year on the right foot.
Whether you are building wealth for the future, preserving wealth for yourself or your beneficiaries, or enjoying spending the fruits of your labour, our financial planning tips can greatly improve your chances of meeting your goals.
Life-stage financial planning tips
Protection planning tips
Are you and your family protected in the case of illness or death? If you currently rely on your spouse to stay at home and look after your children, what would you do without their help? You might have to reduce your working hours. If so, an insurance policy could provide the extra money to cover your ongoing expenditure.
Have you moved to a more expensive home without increasing your life cover? How would your mortgage be paid off if anything happened to you? Where would your family live?
If you have an old policy that includes critical illness cover, does it have an up-to-date conditions list? Old policies can cover as few as 12 illnesses, but more modern policies can cover more than 60. It’s also important to make sure your list of beneficiaries is up to date.
Investment planning tips
Are you investing enough to meet your goals? Do you know when you can afford to retire? If you are already retired, are you depleting your capital or taking income generated from your investments? How would changes in investment performance affect your ability to meet day-to-day expenditure?
Regular reviews will ensure that your investments are in keeping with your attitude to risk and your future objectives.
The new financial year brings new tax allowances. Rather than rushing to use your ￡20,000 ISA allowance at the end of the tax year, use it now, and any growth or dividends in the coming tax year will be free of taxes. If you don’t have the cash available immediately, talk to your investment manager about moving some of your investment holdings into your ISA.
Keep a close eye on your cash ISAs. They often offer a higher promotional rate in the first year, which then falls to a lower standard rate with minimal returns.
Check what rates you’re currently getting. If they’re poor, move your money. It may be worth converting your cash ISA into a stocks and shares ISA to make the most of the tax advantages that ISAs attract.
Do you know where all your pensions are? It’s easy to amass a collection of pension pots, with different companies, and let them stagnate in funds which may no longer be suitable.
Are the beneficiary nominations up to date? You may wish grandchildren to benefit from receiving pension funds in an inheritance tax friendly way. Older policies may not have all the options available to newer policies, so even if you think that you don’t ‘need’ your pension pot, check it is fit for purpose.
If you have excess income, could you make higher contributions and benefit from tax efficiencies? Making company contributions could make the most of allowances for the self-employed and save on corporation tax. Gather your pension statements together and ask a financial adviser to review their suitability, charges and investments.
Retirement planning tips
Planning ahead is the best way to ensure you’ll enjoy the retirement you want. To maximise flexibility and tax efficiency, your retirement income should come from other sources as well as a pension. Cash flow planning can help you visualise the impact of the financial decisions you make now on your future goals and objectives. Saving more now could turn your dreams of an earlier retirement into reality.
When you are deciding on a retirement date, consider retiring at the end of a tax year – then you can take advantage of the following tax year with nil PAYE income to reorganise your finances. Surrendering an investment which may otherwise suffer tax at a higher rate may be more agreeable at a lower rate.
You can read more about retirement planning here.
Estate planning tips
Do you have an up-to-date Will? Have you completed Powers of Attorney covering your health and welfare, or your financial circumstances? Is all of your financial information in one location, to make things easier for those dealing with your affairs in the event of your death? Powers of Attorney aren’t just for old people, or those fearing dementia. What if you have an accident and need someone to look after your affairs?
If your estate will be liable to inheritance tax, can you afford to make lifetime gifts now and potentially reduce the tax liability later? If you have excess income, can you afford to purchase a whole of life policy, which will pay out on your death and could be used to cover some, or all, of an inheritance tax bill? These policies can help your family to keep assets like the family home, instead of selling them to meet tax burdens.
Make the most of an opportunity to sort out your finances with our financial planning tips and start the new tax year with a spring in your step!
Investment involves risk. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.
The information contained herein is based on materials and sources that we believe to be reliable, however, Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management makes no representation or warranty, either expressed or implied, in relation to the accuracy, completeness or reliability of the information contained herein. All opinions and estimates included in this document are subject to change without notice and Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management is under no obligation to update the information contained herein.
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IMPORTANT: Investment involves risk. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.