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Review your finances!

Whatever your age, it always makes sense to review your finances. What may have been suitable a few years ago, might be quite inappropriate to meet your current needs. Life’s path is full of deliberate decisions and unexpected changes – both the ‘knowns’ and ‘unknowns’ (to paraphrase the US politician, Donald Rumsfeld).

With so many variables, we can only highlight a few issues here that may help you to focus on matters that could affect you, either now or in the future.

The ‘knowns’

Life events that you may chart or anticipate, include (amongst almost limitless possibilities):

  • change of job – including moving from salaried to self-employment;
  • buying a home;
  • marriage;
  • birth of children;
  • school and university fees;
  • a recent inheritance;
  • retirement; and
  • planning in case a family member might need to go into care.

All of these events may well affect your financial road map.

The ‘unknowns’

This category includes matters that cannot be planned for in advance but which could have a huge impact, such as a serious illness either of the bread-winners or dependent family members, relationship break-up and ultimately, death.

Other unexpected changes include those brought about by new Government policies – for example some of those introduced by the recent Budget were particularly radical and could have a huge impact on your plans:

  • changes to pensions rules (effective in 2015-16, but with some immediate transitional effect) affecting defined contribution      pensions;
  • abolition of compulsory annuity purchase altogether and allowing savers unlimited access to their pension pots.

These changes have been so dramatic that it will take some time to fathom out the options available in terms of making wise investment choices that may considerably affect your retirement lifestyle.

Focus on what matters to you

  • what you want from life so you can enjoy it to the fullest;
  • what type of education you want for your children;
  • the importance of security – protecting you and your family from unforeseen events will affect the decisions you make about      insurance, for example life, health and income protection policies;
  • the balance between enjoying the good things in life now and putting money away for the future – and how to invest wisely; and
  • making a will to provide for your loved ones and to limit the amount of inheritance tax payable when you die.

A regular review with sound analysis and advice from your adviser will help to ensure that you are ‘on track’ and not missing out on something important. You may also want to discuss the many benefits of putting your investments onto a platform.

Key Facts:

What may have been suitable a few years ago, might be quite inappropriate to meet your current needs.

The value of the investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back as much as you put in.