Financial Resolutions for a Prosperous New Year

The New Year period is a common time for people to take stock of their finances and make resolutions designed to boost their financial wellbeing. And a new study has found the likelihood of success in this area is heavily linked to receiving professional advice and the establishment of clear financial objectives.

Advice is key to success

The recently released research 1 actually provides a quantitative measure of the value attributed to advice when it comes to helping investors achieve their goals. The US study was based on real-life data relating to more than 100,000 advised investors and found that eight out of 10 with a defined retirement goal had at least an 80% greater probability of achieving their financial objectives. In other words, advised investors typically hit 80% of their financial goals.

Create a financial plan

The research vividly demonstrates how taking expert advice and constructing a tailored plan can significantly boost an investor’s financial wellbeing. In many ways this is unsurprising, as the benefits associated with financial planning are well known and plentiful.

Financial wellbeing

Discussing your financial objectives with us enables you to consider exactly what you want to achieve with your assets and thereby establish clear goals that are both realistic and achievable. Regular financial reviews provide opportunities to monitor progress and adapt plans where necessary. Good financial planning also ensures all investments are tax-efficient by minimising both current and future tax liabilities.

It’s good to talk

This study once again reiterates the significant value that can be gained from seeking professional financial advice. So, if your circumstances have changed or the New Year has encouraged you to refocus your financial objectives, then get in touch. That way you can be sure your financial goals remain realistic and you give yourself the best chance of turning any New Year financial resolutions into reality.

1Vanguard, September 2019

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated.

It is important to take professional advice before making any decision relating to your personal finances. Information within this newsletter is based on our current understanding of taxation and can be subject to change in future. It does not provide individual tailored investment advice and is for guidance only. Some rules may vary in different parts of the UK; please ask for details. We cannot assume legal liability for any errors or omissions it might contain. Levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are those currently applying or proposed and are subject to change; their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor.

The value of investments can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. The past is not a guide to future performance and past performance may not necessarily be repeated. If you withdraw from an investment in the early years, you may not get back the full amount you invested. Changes in the rates of exchange may have an adverse effect on the value or price of an investment in sterling terms if it is denominated in a foreign currency. Taxation depends on individual circumstances as well as tax law and HMRC practice which can change.

The information contained within this newsletter is for information only purposes and does not constitute financial advice. The purpose of this newsletter is to provide technical and general guidance and should not be interpreted as a personal recommendation or advice.

State Pension top-ups surge

Figures recently released by HMRC have revealed a sharp rise in voluntary National Insurance Contributions (NICs) over the past couple of years as people seek to top up their State Pension record.

Chance to boost your pension

In 2018/19, the total value of voluntary ‘Class 3’ NICs amounted to £119.3m; in comparison, the figure was £12.8m in 2016/17 – a nine-fold increase in just two years. This surge has largely been driven by the introduction of new State Pension rules in 2016, particularly the increase in the number of years’ contributions required to qualify for a full pension, from 30 to 35. As a result, it makes sense for some people to pay voluntary contributions, so they have enough qualifying years for a full State Pension.

Keep track of your pensions

It’s certainly a good idea to regularly review your pension provision, both private and state. Pension providers send out annual benefit statements detailing entitlements and you can also request a state pension forecast from www.gov.uk/check-state-pension. Many people only review their pensions when they are about to retire, by which time it’s too late – make sure you don’t fall into that trap.

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