The very basics of Financial Planning is Protection, otherwise know as Life Insurance or Life Assurance. Its always difficult to talk about, its not at the glamourous end of the Financial Planning spectrum but it is the very cornerstone of almost all Financial Planning I do.
"You dont buy Life Insurance because youre going to die, you buy it because the people you love are going to live."
If you dont have life insurance I can bet you probably need it. If you have some life insurance, I can bet you probably need more. Nobody likes to talk about it and so at the end of the day the topic usually gets swept under the carpet. Most people buy a little, a small policy for a few pounds a month and tuck it in a draw. It makes them feel good, makes them feel satisfied that they have taken steps to protect those they care about.
1. Personal family Protection
2. Mortgage or Debt Protection.
3. Business Protection.
4. Key-Person Protection.
5. Critical Illnes Protection .
6. Estate and IHT Planning.
Business protection would normally make you think about protecting yourself from a legal challenge or indemnity insurance, and to a certain degree, it is. But in this case, it is about protecting your business against the death or severe illness of a business partner or key personnel.
Key person protection offers a financial cushion if the sudden loss of a certain individual would negatively affect the company's operations. The death benefit essentially buys the company time to find a new person or to implement other strategies.
If you are a small business owner or have a start-up project, the chances are you have made some key hiring decisions and have tied up a lot of your projected growth in the performance of one or two key members of the team. Or maybe it is just yourself and two or three business partners, each carrying the load for a particular facet of the business. Business Protection is as the name suggests, protecting yourself and your partners should one of you die or fall seriously ill. Once a business partner dies they take with them their ideas, their skills maybe the entire investment they made into the company or project. And imagine for a moment that should your business partner die and then their partner or spouse inherits their estate and becomes your new Business Partner!
1. Buy out their spouse and estate.
2. Replace the lost investment.
3. Protect against losing their ideas.
4. Protect short-term cash flow.
5. Repay any bank guarantees or loans.
6. Properly fund the closing of the company.
Estate planning involves determining how an individual’s assets will be preserved, managed, and distributed after death. It also takes into account the management of an individual’s properties and financial obligations in the event that they become incapacitated. It should always include dealing with the eventual Inheritance Taxes due after your death.
Domiciled or non-domiciled, resident or non-resident, resident but not ordinarily resident. Death and Taxes.
Assets that could make up an individual’s estate include houses, cars, stocks, artwork, life insurance, pensions, and debt. Individuals have various reasons for planning an estate, such as preserving family wealth, providing for a surviving spouse and children, funding children's or grandchildren’s education, or leaving their legacy behind for a charitable cause. Estate Planning also includes planning for the eventual tax bill that will be levied against the estate. In the UK the Inheritance tax rate is 40% on a value over £325,000 including property. The rate is more punitive for a Non-Domiciled Spouse, that's a partner who is not a UK domiciled individual.
1. Writing a Will.
2. Assigning Guardians for your children.
3. Using Life Insurance for Tax Planning.
4. Using Trusts to protect your estate.
5. Equalising your Estate now.
6. Making gifts and donations.
Good basic financial planning is the core of what any Financial Adviser would do. In a perfect world, I would meet a young person or couple who are starting out and we can start a journey together by first building a sound financial basis for them to build upon. Sometimes the job is to help undo some previous mistakes or help guide someone through a difficult time financially. Either way every FInancial Adviser should have all the tools to be able to help any client on their journey.
A holistic approach helps to build a long term relationship and a much deeper understanding and respect between the client and the adviser. Eventually we both become invested.
Over the last 30-plus years I have taken a more holistic approach to financial planning. This approach helps clients see the bigger picture and plan accordingly rather than simply calculating optimal portfolio allocations and telling the client what they can and cannot do or achieve. In other words, I take a top-down approach to figure out “what are your goals and how can we reach them?” rather than a bottom-up approach that tells you “how much can you afford?” With the rise of robo-advisors, algorithms, and over-regulation, this kind of holistic approach is becoming increasingly necessary. Plus each part of your financial plan is connected to another. A change in one area could; and ultimately will, adversely affect another.
1. Understand and set goals.
2. Building a workable budget.
3. Understanding the costs.
4. Being realistic about timescales.
5. Adapting to change.
6. Catering for the inevitable emergencies.
Whether you are making retirement plans in the UK or elsewhere you need to be prepared for life after paid work ends. Retirement planning is the process that helps you prepare for that stage in your life. All retirement planning is about achieving financial freedom, in other words, being able to live the life you want when your regular income from work stops. This is usually done by putting processes in place and setting up sources of income that support you for life.
Many would find it hard to save for a months holiday. Just imagine if that holiday were for 30 or 40 years and not just a month. The best advice I can give anybody about saving for retirement is start. NOW!
In this modern age, our average life expectancy at 65 is 18.5 years for men and 21 years for women meaning that we will spend much longer in retirement than our grandparents or maybe even our parents. Funding this is a challenge that only gets greater with delay. Ultimately saving as much as you can towards retirement is the best way forward but saving anything is a good start. The key is to start.
1. Define the type of retirement you want.
2. Understand what you can afford.
3. Consolidate existing schemes.
4. Identify other asset types to use.
5. Understand potential tax on savings.
6. Stay flexible.
The term savings and investments are usually interchangeable with each other, many advisers will seek to combine them both under the same umbrella however they should be kept very separate. Savings are generally short-term. Saving for holidays or a larger purchase, maybe even saving an emergency fund. Investments are long-term, mortgages, pensions, and fees for further education.
"I aim to retire at 65 and then live off of my savings. What I live off from 66 onwards is anyones guess."
The biggest differences between saving and investing are time and risk. Saving into a bank account or deposit would carry very little risk. In an emergency, you should be able to access the savings almost immediately and they should be safe. Investing should be for the longer term and would have less flexibility than a bank savings account plus as with any investment there will be an element of risk. Usually the greater the reward, the greater the risk.
1. Emergency Funding.
2. Mortgage reduction and repayment.
3. Education Planning for University.
4. Retirement Planning.
5. Bequests and Inheritance.
6. Short-term committed investing.