As we move into 2019, Carl Lamb looks at how to make sure you are mak­ing the most of your fi­nances

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE -

New Year res­o­lu­tions for your money with Al­mary Green

I’d like to take this op­por­tu­nity to wish all EDP Nor­folk mag­a­zine read­ers a happy and pros­per­ous New Year. I have five fun­da­men­tal fi­nan­cial res­o­lu­tions for you to take on board this year.

Num­ber one is to make sure that you are tak­ing ad­van­tage of the tax re­lief on pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions if you are still in the ac­cu­mu­la­tion stage of your plan­ning. Tax re­lief is avail­able on con­tri­bu­tions up to the an­nual al­lowance of £40,000 (pro­vided you haven’t al­ready taken flex­i­ble ac­cess to your scheme).

Pen­sion sav­ings should be re­viewed and man­aged just like any other in­vest­ment so res­o­lu­tion num­ber two is to take an­other look at your re­tire­ment plan­ning to make sure that any ar­range­ments you have in place are still fit for pur­pose.

Stay­ing with re­liefs and al­lowances, my next res­o­lu­tion is to en­sure you man­age any fu­ture In­her­i­tance Tax (IHT) li­a­bil­i­ties by us­ing ex­empt gifts. Your an­nual gift al­lowances per­mit you to make gifts up to a to­tal of £3,000 per year with­out in­cur­ring an IHT li­a­bil­ity as well as mak­ing gifts of up to £250 per per­son to as many peo­ple as you like. There are also al­lowances for wed­ding gifts and gifts to char­i­ties or po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

Your sav­ings and in­vest­ments are the build­ing blocks of your fu­ture wealth, so it is im­por­tant to make sure that they con­tinue to de­liver as ex­pected and that they still meet your ob­jec­tives. A proper fi­nan­cial re­view at least an­nu­ally – ide­ally with an in­de­pen­dent fi­nan­cial ad­viser – will give you a re­al­ity check and al­low you to ad­just your plan­ning if the goal­posts have moved.

So my fourth res­o­lu­tion for you is to book some time with a fi­nan­cial plan­ner to re­view your in­vest­ment strat­egy.

Res­o­lu­tion num­ber five is also about in­vest­ments: make sure you are tak­ing an ac­tive ap­proach to your in­vest­ments by us­ing a form of port­fo­lio man­age­ment. This is a ser­vice where you hand over re­spon­si­bil­ity for ad­just­ing your in­vest­ment port­fo­lio to ex­pert man­agers who will make changes as mar­kets rise and fall al­ways in line with your agreed risk pa­ram­e­ters and pref­er­ences. Port­fo­lio man­age­ment comes in dif­fer­ent forms and there are op­tions to suit most in­vestors and port­fo­lio sizes.

2019 will no doubt bring its share of both op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges in re­spect of your fi­nan­cial well-be­ing. My five res­o­lu­tions can ac­tu­ally be dis­tilled down to one ba­sic rec­om­men­da­tion: take a proac­tive ap­proach to your fi­nances year on year and reg­u­larly re­view all of your ar­range­ments. Only then can you be cer­tain that your plan­ning is on track.

The value of an in­vest­ment and the in­come from it could go down as well as up. The re­turn at the end of the in­vest­ment pe­riod is not guar­an­teed and you may get back less than you orig­i­nally in­vested. The tax treat­ment of in­vest­ments de­pends on in­di­vid­ual cir­cum­stances and is sub­ject to change.

For in­de­pen­dent ad­vice, con­tact Al­mary Green on 01603 706740 or email en­[email protected]­mary­ Please re­mem­ber that the guid­ance here is generic and we rec­om­mend that you get in­di­vid­ual per­son­alised ad­vice. al­mary­

Photo: Getty

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