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Free financial health checks with local financial planner

As part of Financial Planning week next week, arrange a free one-hour consultation with a financial planner

Piggy bank and people

by
Charles Stanley

03.10.2019

As part of Financial Planning Week 2019 (7-11 October 2019), we are offering free one-hour consultations with a financial planner. Advisers in Edinburgh, London and Oxford will be on hand to help people understand how they can achieve financial well-being and identify what steps they need to take to help reach their future goals. 

Simon Davis, Director of Financial Planning, Charles Stanley says: “People have a tendency to think that only very wealthy people use financial planners and that they don’t need advice, but nothing could be further from the truth.  Anyone planning for life milestones such as buying a home, planning for retirement, or saving for their children’s university education can benefit.  There have been a number of tax and pension changes over the last year which can be complex which is why people often miss out, so getting expert advice can really pay off.”

To book a face-to-face or telephone appointment for a free one-hour, introductory meeting contact: (0203 553 7384).  Appointments are limited and are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Top 10 reasons to see a financial planner

  • Retirement: Avoid common retirement planning traps and get help in making crucial decisions such as whether it’s better to buy an annuity and how to get the best deal or if it’s better to draw money from your pension without buying an annuity to secure your future income.
  • Pension planning: many people are not putting enough aside to ensure the retirement they ideally want, while others want help in transferring their pensions from one scheme to another and consolidating them.
  • Inheritance:  whether you have inherited a sum of money and want to make the most of it, or if you want to plan ahead for passing on your estate to make sure your loved ones get as much of your hard-earned money as possible, it is worth getting advice.   The sooner you start planning the more options you have, to minimise the amount of inheritance tax that might be due, such as looking at trusts or lifetime gifts and annual exemptions.  Similarly, if the main or sole earner in your household has passed away you may need help in sorting out your financial affairs.
  • Children’s savings:  saving little and often from an early age can build into a substantial nest egg by the time your children leave school.  Explore the most tax-efficient options of saving, from JISA’s to pensions, and whether cash or stocks and shares solutions are the most appropriate for your needs. 
  • Preparing for life milestones: whether you are looking at buying your first home, changing career, starting a family, paying for your child’s education or planning for retirement, it’s important to make sure you are financially prepared. Take time to set goals and think about what your priorities are to put the best savings scheme in place for your life ambitions.
  • Succession planning: having a succession plan in place is crucial to safeguard a continued smooth running of your business or estate.  Transferring a business to a new owner can have significant tax implications, so it’s essential to understand how the funds from the sale of your company may tie into your own personal wealth objectives.
  • Tax-efficiency:  tax rules are complex and there are a number of tax allowances and exemptions to be aware of, to ensure you are not paying more tax than you should be.  From Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Inheritance Tax (IHT) to Charitable Giving and tax-efficient saving, there many ways to make sure you are taking advantage of all the legitimate tax breaks you are entitled to. 
  • Long-term care planning: with the onus increasingly on the individual to meet some or all of the expense of long-term care should it be needed, there are a number of options to consider, such as covering the costs from savings and investments, taking a Deferred Payment Agreement (DPA) with the local authority, equity release or taking out an immediate care annuity.  By planning early, you can ensure you are prepared. 
  • Divorce:  going through a divorce is a stressful transition and a financial planner can be invaluable when it comes to cataloguing assets and advising on potential distribution, as well as other important factors, to ensure you are in the best possible financial position going forward. 
  • Lifestyle protection:  make sure your family is protected and reduce the burden of life-changing events by arranging flexible protection policies to provide peace of mind such as life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection.

How to choose a financial planner

  • Get a recommendation:  speak to family and friends and see if they can recommend anyone.
  • Check qualifications and expertise
  • Get references:  speak to existing clients and check if they advise any clients in a similar situation to you.
  • How do they charge?  Make sure you get a breakdown of their charges and that you fully understand what you are getting for your money.
  • The psychology of money:  can the financial planner work out a financial life plan for you and create a vision for the future with a related financial plan?
  • Meet them:  make sure you feel they understand you and what you are trying to achieve.  Establishing a relationship with a financial planner you can trust is critical to achieving your goals.  Make the most of free consultations.
  • Do the understanding test:  make sure they explain everything clearly and don’t use jargon.  Explain it to a family friend so they can sense check it for you and if they can understand it and you can explain it to them then that’s a good way of checking that advice is sound.
  • What do you really, really want?  be clear about the advice you are looking for and what you hope to gain from the meeting and make sure they can offer the specific advice you are looking for.
  • Check they are regulated:  they should be authorised by the FCA so check they are on its Register.

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