Financial planning is the process of taking control of your finances and then making your money work for you. If you do not plan, the chances are that you will not make the most of your money. But planning is much easier if you undertake the process with the help of a skilled practitioner who is well used to helping people to define their aims and work out how best to achieve them.
The key stages in financial planning
It is important that financial plans are reviewed regularly to ensure that they evolve in line with changes to income, outgoings and responsibilities.
You and yours – estate planning
Estate planning involves tax, but it encompasses much more. As with most tax planning, the key is to know what you want to achieve - who should benefit after your death and what they should receive, but also who might you want to make gifts to now and in what form. As your circumstances and the tax rules change, it is important to keep your estate planning under review. The earlier that you start planning, the easier it may be to achieve your objectives.
Financial protection for you and your family
Premature death and serious illness are fortunately relatively rare, so much so that insuring against these risks is not expensive – especially if you are reasonably young. But they happen frequently enough for life and health protection to be essential financial products. We can recommend the types of cover that are relevant for you, calculate how much you need and for how long. We can also recommend and arrange cover with the most appropriate providers.
Year end tax planning
The end of the tax year is an important time to review the possibilities for saving tax. It may be necessary to act well before the end of the tax year, or in some instances, defer action until the new tax year has started. In general, the strategy should be to make use of available allowances and reliefs, and to reduce any higher rate tax, as far as possible.
Levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change and their value depends on individual circumstances.
The value of investments and income from them can go down as well as up, and you may not get back the original amount invested.
This publication is for general information only and is not intended to be advice to any specific person. You are recommended to seek competent professional advice before taking or refraining from taking any action on the basis of the contents of this publication. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does not regulate tax advice, so it is outside the investment protection rules of the Financial Services and Markets Act and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. This publication represents our understanding of law and HM Revenue & Customs practice as at 31 April 2017.