Do you set time aside every year to look at and review your financial plan? If so, then we would like to hear from you. If you don’t, however, would like to discuss how it is done then we would like to hear from you! At Nelson Life, before we mention products and asset allocations, we take time needed to build a picture of what you have and where you want be in the future.
By setting goals (this requires honesty) you are in a much stronger position.
Here are 9 quick starting points for consideration when financial planning;
1.What are your key figures?
- Know your starting point – do you know your exact annual metrics – gross and net income, expenditure, assets and liabilities?
- More importantly, how these figures move in the medium to longer term will have a big impact on your longer term financial freedom.
- Every figure tells a story.
2. Spending versus saving.
- Looking more closely how we spend our earned income and savings.
- Highlight payments that you will shop around for in 2019 – e.g. life cover, home insurance, car insurance, health insurance, mobile phone, heating costs, television provider, electricity.
- Your trusted financial advisor will help you with these.
- Then look more closely on discretionary expenditures on clothes, gym membership, meals out, lunches and coffees on the move.
- Increased awareness is not meant to be painful, however, more insight will allow you to see where your money can be redirected to shorter and longer term savings goals.
- Selling things that you don’t use or need – this can generate cash very quickly and de-clutter.
3. Protecting yourself, your dependants and your business with adequate assurance.
- What do you want your legacy to look like?
- Life assurance, salary protection and specified serious illness are things that most of us prefer to defer discussing with our financial advisor.
- Think about the exact financial loss will be if the worst happened – what would your dependants need and how quickly would they need it?
- Using a financial advisor like Nelson Life will ensure all available options are considered and best value product is used to protect the financial loss.
4. Pay off expensive debt faster
- Most people are initially badly informed about the costs associated with borrowing – interest rates that often higher than they should be paying e.g. Loan to value rates
- Do you know your mortgage free date – do you know how much money/interest you could save if you increased your payments ?
- Paying off expensive debt and prioritising these borrowings will save a lot of money in the longer term.
- Being debt free is a major financial goal for most of us and making extra payments on your mortgage maybe worth consideration.
5. Better saving and investing habits.
- Make sure that you understand clearly the trade off between risk and return.
- At Nelson Life we use psychometric tools to assist risk calibration.
- Making sure your money is well diversified between asset classes is critical for longer term increases in wealth and sticking to the plan – many companies now offer Multi Asset investment funds that are calibrated to your appetite to risk.
- Your choice of product is also a critical choice : deposits taxed under DIRT, Gross Roll Up investment funds, Tax Free investment Bonds, Capital Gains Tax investments and tax free Pension investment. Using a combination will ensure you always have access to emergency monies and make use of the huge tax relief available to pension fund investors – 40% to the marginal tax payer.
- The annual management charges on your savings, pension and investment are also a very important variable and should be reviewed annually with you financial advisor.
- Before you make any changes to an existing contract make sure there are no surrender penalties, protected bonuses, underlying guarantees.
- Vow to increase contributions this year to your savings and your pension.
6. Hire a professional advisor immediately.
- Does your present advisor ADVISE or SELL? Will they advise on a fee only basis?
- Meet one who advises, normally an advisor like Nelson Life will not charge for the first meeting.
- Having a good open relationship with your advisor is very important and make sure they are not tied to one or a small number of companies.
7. File your returns & taxes early if you are business owner or self employed.
- Doing this puts you under less pressure at the deadline point and forcing you to make pressured decisions.
- More importantly it gives you a picture of finances normally 6 months in advance, so you can react to the figures and change habits sooner.
- Ask your financial accountant what they think you should do more of ……. and less of !
- Make sure that you claim all the tax relief available to you, for example tax relief on pensions paid by direct debit, salary protection tax relief, pension term assurance tax relief and DIRT exemptions on deposit.
8. Planning what needs to happen on death or serious illness.
- Unfortunately, at some point we will all die – the good news for the average person they will live until their early / mid eighties.
- You owe it to you loved ones to have a clear plan on death.
- A professional financial advisor will ensure that all your policies and contract numbers are readily available to beneficiaries. In the event of the worst happening they will assist your beneficiaries accessing benefits.
- Nelson Life always recommend your Solicitor is consulted with to ensure your legal affairs, Will and Power of Attorney correctly reflect your wishes.
9. Health care provision for the longer term.
- Your health is your wealth. We all vow to start the year with a better fitness regime and disciplined diets.
- However, think about and discuss the shape of long term care you require in the event of sickness with your nearest and dearest.
- Discuss this with your family and your financial advisor at your next meeting
If you have a financial planning or product question please contact us :
This article was written by Rory Nelson, founder of Nelson Life. Rory is celebrating 20 years in financial planning this year. Professional qualifications include; UCD Specialist Diploma in Wealth Management, Pension Trustee Practitioner PTP, UCD Professional Certificate in Stockbroking,UCD Professional Certificate in Asset Management (SIA), QFA FLIA, Pensions Diploma, Mortgage Advice Diploma, CFP module – Tax & Estate Planning and has a degree in BA Accounting & Finance. He has regularly participated in national financial press.
Know more. 091 44 11 88 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LIFE INSURANCE | INVESTMENTS | PENSIONS | FINANCIAL PLANNING.
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- WARNING: The value of your investment may go down as well as up.
- WARNING: You may lose some or all of the money you invest.
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- WARNING: The above content does not constitute investment advice, as it does not take into account the investment objectives, knowledge and experience of financial situation of any particular person. Prospective investors are advised to make their own assessment of the information contained herein and to obtain professional advice suitable to their own individual circumstances.
- WARNING: The information contained in this document is based on our understanding of current tax legislation and the current Revenue Commissioners interpretation thereof and is subject to change including retrospectively without notice. This is intended as a general guide only and is not a substitute for professional tax, legal and investment advice.
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