Four reasons to consider a financial review

Posted on: 22-07-2016

We take a look at some of the key ways you could improve your financial situation.

There are times when it can really pay off to pause, reflect on the health of your personal finances, and consider making changes
that could improve your wealth.

Things in both your own life, and the wider world, can change in the blink of an eye. Without realising, your money might suddenly stop performing in the way you would like, or regulation changes could open up opportunities to take your finances to another level.

Here are fours reasons why it might be time to reflect, and to consider arranging to meet a financial adviser.

1. If you’ve not reviewed your finances for several years

Our priorities change over time, but we don’t always consider the impact this might have on our finances.

When it comes to your savings and investments, you need to regularly check how they are performing. Savings rates have fallen significantly over recent years, which might mean you need to keep less in these accounts and invest instead for longterm goals.

With global market conditions changing very quickly, you need to make sure your investments aren’t adversely affected. Otherwise they might be under-performing without you noticing.

2. Is your money exposed to the appropriate level of risk?

Decisions over where and how to invest your money must be taken with your risk appetite in mind. That way, you’re not left worried about adopting more risk than you are comfortable or able to take.

You also need to make sure that the level of risk you are taking continues to fit with your requirements. For example, if you are approaching retirement and have a pension investment, you might wish to reduce the level of risk it is exposed to in order to protect its value.

If you are many years away from requiring an element of your financial portfolio, you might be willing to adopt a higher level of risk with the objective of potential long-term gains.

3. If you’re not aware of the pension freedoms

There continues to be a huge amount of confusion over the pension rules – even the Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane admitted in May that he doesn’t understand them.

In a nutshell: major changes came into effect in April 2015, which enable you full access to your defined contribution pension when you reach the age of 55. Previously you had to use up to three-quarters of your pot to arrange an income, but now there could be more flexibility with restrictions, this would be scheme specific.

This matters greatly because it makes the prospect of investing into a pension a much more attractive one. There are signifi cant tax relief benefits from paying in (although there are also tax considerations when withdrawing your money). With a careful financial plan, these rules could have a majorly positive impact on your future. Accessing pension benefi ts early may impact on levels of retirement income and is not suitable for everyone. You should seek advice to understand your options at retirement.

4. If you want to provide for your loved ones
Rising house prices, the spiralling costs of going to university, even getting married: for the younger generation today, it is increasingly difficult to fulfil life goals. The Bank of Mum and Dad is something that many young people rely upon these days.

At the other end of the spectrum, the cost of long-term care for older people is not cheap. If you have elderly parents who you anticipate requiring extra support during their later years, you might want to make sure you have suitable provisions in place.

If you want to be there for your loved ones, financially, it makes sense to start preparing for these milestones now. There are times where we all need a helping hand, and your loved ones would be forever grateful if they can turn to you.
Investments do not include the same security of capital which is afforded with deposits/savings accounts.
The value of investment may go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount invested.

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