New Year usually triggers a lot of introspection and resolutions of making a better you. Every newspaper will have some take on this and the one that took our eye was the article offered by the Financial Times, here, “tweets” of stuff to do.
So, in keeping with the Financial Times article ‘What is at the top of the financial to-do list for some of the Martin-Redman Partners team in 2019?’:
Julian Martin-Redman, Chairman and Independent Financial Adviser
‘I’ve been meaning to set up a pension for my two children for some time but have yet to get around to it. 2019 is going to be the year I start saving into pensions for my son and daughter so they’re off to a good start in building up a retirement pot, and benefit from tax relief even though they’re not earning yet.’
Jeremy Edwards, Independent Financial Adviser
To revisit all of the subscription services I pay for; Spotify, Amazon Prime, cable TV, Internet access, land line telephone, mobile telephone, boiler insurance, classic car magazines, Land Rover magazines, Sci-Fi magazines and any other stuff I find on the bank statement. Do I think they are still worth the candle? Has the rise of Netflix and Amazon made cable access to films irrelevant? This may be a hard sell to my film student son!
Sarah Austin, Director
To teach my 7 & 8-year-old daughters about the value of saving, using their pocket money as the tool. I’ll be giving them 10% interest per month for any money they save with the ‘Bank of Mum & Dad’. Hopefully it’ll start to help them understand the power of compound interest in an age-appropriate way and reduce the number of cuddly toys that would have otherwise been bought with their pocket money this year!’
If you’d like to set up some financial resolutions of your own for 2019 here are our thoughts on a few areas you could consider;
Check your bank statements; look for regular payments for services you no longer use. Old appliance warranty plans and gym memberships are often overlooked.
Revisit your budget; check you are not spending more than you earn. Spending more than you earn will ultimately lead to debt; credit cards, overdrafts and loans.
If you need to file a tax return, have you claimed for all the reliefs you can get? If you are a 40% tax payer, did you claim your extra tax relief on pension premiums? Claimed your professional fees? Personal Protective Equipment?
If you did not file a tax return, is your tax bill reasonable? Get out last year’s P60s and P45s and key your information into an on-line tax calculator. Does it match what you paid?
Can you afford to top up your ISA account? This is a use it or lose it allowance, so get it done before the end of March 2019.
Can you afford to top up your child’s ISA? Same applies, use it or lose it! Could Grandma or Grandpa contribute, rather than buy more plastic toys, when most little ones would rather play with the box!
Get a will. If you have one, make sure it is still up to date. Is the executor still willing and able? Have any of the beneficiaries fallen out of favour?
Sort out power of attorney. No one knows when they will lose capacity temporarily or permanently. If you are in business, this is essential as sickness could lead to liquidation as the business will be deadlocked. Start the ball rolling by visiting the www.gov.uk website.
Do your investments still make sense? When was the last time you looked at them and do they still seem a good idea after the turbulence of the last few months?
Do you need to update your protection insurance? Have you more debt or more children compared to last year? Does it still offer value for money or should you change it for something else?
Could you pay more into your pension? If you can join an occupational scheme, then join it! The employer’s contribution is the nearest you will get to free money. If you are already a member, could you put some more money in? The default amount currently paid into a basic occupational pension is not enough for retirement at half pay at age 67. If that is your target, then you will need to find more.
Everyone will have slightly different needs and priorities in 2019 but taking stock once or twice a year and accomplishing just one or two of the above resolutions could make a significant difference to your finances, and your peace of mind.
Finally, we’d like to round off by saying we wish all our readers and clients, both new and old, a happy and prosperous New Year.
Arrange a meeting with us to discuss your 2019 financial goals, and how we can help you achieve them
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About Martin-Redman Partners
We are a team of experienced Financial Advisers who can advise on your personal or business financial arrangements. We have been building trusted relationships with clients for many years by articulating clear and tailored recommendations in areas ranging from investments to retirement planning, to complex estate planning advice.
The information contained is for guidance only and does not constitute financial advice. It is based on our understanding of UK legislation, whether proposed or in force, and market practice at the time of writing. Levels, bases and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change. Accordingly, no responsibility can be assumed by Martin-Redman Partners its officers or employees, for any loss in connection with the content hereof and any such action or inaction.