As we move into 2019, Carl Lamb looks at how to make sure you are making the most of your finances
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]marygreen.com. Please remember that the guidance here is generic and we recommend that you get individual personalised advice. almarygreen.com
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