5 Top Financial Planning Tips for 2019

With 2019 upon us, the New Year is an opportune time to get to grip with your financial affairs and highlight any areas for action.

Below Finance Monthly hears from Jeannie Boyle, Director & Chartered Financial Planner at EQ Investors, who provides 5 top financial planning tips to help you on the right path to a financially sound 2019.

1. Set goals for the life you actually want

Work out what you want from life and make your money work towards that, rather than vice versa. Your priorities will naturally change over time, so taking the time to differentiate your short, medium and long term goals will help keep you focused and on track through the inevitable bumps in the road.

2. Make the most of your tax-free allowances

With tax allowances, it’s a case of use them or lose them. Ensure you and your partner are using all available allowances; personal, savings and dividends. If you haven’t taken advantage of this year’s Isa, junior Isa, lifetime Isa or annual pension allowance, the 5 April is your last opportunity to do so in the 2018-19 tax year.

3. Get pension savvy

An increasing number of individuals will be affected by taper annual allowance as carry forward is used. For those with taxable incomes of over £100,000 per ann

m, it’s worth having a review to check employer and employee contributions remain appropriate. From April, the pensions ‘automatic enrolment’ regime will see the minimum amount paid in rise from 5% to 8%.

The Lifetime Allowance increases with CPI inflation from £1,030,000 to £1,055,000. Also make sure that your expressions of wish for pensions are regularly updated.

4. Build a picture of your current and future finances

Financial planning is all about anticipating the consequences of different choices and situations. By looking at your income, outgoings, savings and other assets, you can crunch the numbers to create a long-term projection of your finances. Identifying trends (positive or negative) can help to give you the best chance of achieving your goals and have a huge impact on how in control of your finances you are.

We’ve designed our free online health check to help you measure your financial fitness, and to see what your finances might look like in the future.

5. Peace of mind

One person in the UK develops dementia every three minutes, so stay in control and plan ahead by setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and allow powers for discretionary management. Every adult with assets should look at getting an LPA, otherwise your loved ones will need to apply through court. And don’t keep putting off getting or updating a will.

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