Octagon’s 8 Step Wealth Workout for Financial Fitness
Joe Wicks’ online exercise classes have got the nation moving. But are you paying as much attention to your financial fitness?
Try our 8 step Wealth Workout and let us be your personal finance fitness trainer!
1. Sort out financial paperwork
You could save yourself and your executors a lot of effort and confusion by shredding unnecessary and obsolete financial paperwork clogging up your filing cabinet. Produce a summary of your assets (we can help with this) – where to find them, bank account numbers, passwords etc and place it somewhere secure. Ensure that you tell your executors and attorneys where to find this document.
2. Bill bust your bank statement
Trawl through your bank statement and review outgoings for unnecessary bills. Changing energy suppliers for example is incredibly easy through platforms such as uswitch.com.
Make a note in your diary a month or six weeks before your home and car insurances are up for renewal so you have time to compare quotes. Review your subscription services – do you need them all? These simple steps can often save hundreds of pounds a year.
3. Review Cash Savings Accounts
Are your cash savings languishing in a current account? Consider moving them to National Savings & Investments. It may not offer the highest rate but the NS&I income bond no notice account consistently pays more than many banks or building societies. This is government guaranteed so the only limits on how much you can safely invest are the account limits – up to £1M.
4. Reassess your insurance needs
Review your life insurance, income protection and critical illness policies to check they are still necessary, appropriate and competitively priced. You should consider placing life policies in trust.
5. Use Your Tax Allowances
Each of us has a number of tax allowances in a year (ISAs, Capital Gains Tax etc). It is important to make best use of them. It may be beneficial for married couples and civil partners to divide assets between them and to make the most of these various allowances.
6. Sort out your Will
Is it still relevant? When did you last review it and are you still in touch with the Executors?
An up to date will is the only way of ensuring your estate goes where you want it to.
7. Set up Lasting Powers of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney empower identified loved ones or trusted professionals to make financial and health decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. This is not just for the elderly – the forms need to be completed when you are of sound mind as incapacity can strike in many ways at any age.
8. Think about Inheritance Tax and giving regularly
The simplest way to avoid IHT is to give your money away (or spend it) before you die but you must ensure you have enough to live on before then and that any giving is sustainable.
Consider giving out of surplus regular income. This is IHT free but keep a record of donations. You are also able to benefit from other IHT free gifting allowances, which we can help you understand and make full use of.
This article does not constitute advice. Anyone considering any form of financial planning should seek independent financial advice. Octagon Consultancy Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You should note that the FCA does not regulate tax advice. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The value of your investment may go down as well as up