Financial planning for the New Year

 

By Rachel Efetha, Chartered Financial Planner.

At this time of year when we vow to finally lose those extra pounds, drink less, exercise more, give up smoking, isn’t it important to review your finances?

As a Chartered Financial Planner, many clients I meet have no financial plan in place so here are a few tips on the things you should be considering when putting your financial plans in place.

 

Short-Term financial planning Goals.

These are anything you would like to achieve in the next five years and can include things like:

–   Saving for a deposit on a property purchase

–   Saving for a holiday

–   Saving for next Christmas, rather than putting it on the credit card and having January blues in 2019

Work out how much money you need to fulfil this goal, and how much you would need to save for this purpose each month. Your savings should be kept in cash as the timescale is too short to risk the volatility of the stock market.

Medium & Long Term financial planning Goals.

The timescale for medium-term goals is 5-10 years, and long-term is 10 years plus. For most people, retirement is their longest term goal, but few have actually sat down and planned how they would like to spend their retirement and how much money they need to fund their desired lifestyle.

Even if retirement is a long way off, you need to start planning now. Have a look at your monthly expenditure, subtract things like mortgage payments and commuting costs to get your basic income needs to cover council tax, utilities, food etc. Once you’ve done this, then think about how much you’d like on top of this to fund hobbies and travel.

Once you know what your income goal is, then you can start planning how you’re going to fund it. With these goals, you need to move away from cash. Cash rates are still low and do not keep pace with inflation so you will be losing purchasing power.

It is important that any investment you make fits in line with not only your appetite for risk but also your capacity for loss. Capacity for loss is the measure of how much you can afford to lose before it affects your lifestyle.

Stumbling Blocks.

So you know your goals, and how to achieve them. Now you need to build in some protection. What if your spouse dies, leaving you to bring up a family on a low income? What if you become injured or ill and can’t continue doing your job?

What good is a retirement plan if you can’t afford to live now?

How we can help you with your financial planning.

Although there are many calculators to be found online to help with this sort of thing, nothing can replace face to face advice with a suitably qualified professional who will guide you through writing your financial plan and executing it. As well as meeting each year to ensure that you are still on track through births, marriages, deaths, redundancies and the various other things that life will throw at you.

To arrange a financial planning meeting with Rachel Efetha why not contact us today. We have offices in

  • Kettering
  • Stamford
  • Birmingham
  • London

We also make use of meeting rooms in Bedford, Towcester, Wellingborough, Grantham and Northampton.