Taking Your Annual Financial Pulse

annual financial pulseContinuum clients have at least one financial review each year. It’s the best way for us to ensure that your financial planning is up to date – and ready to meet your financial goals.

Here’s how to make the most of your next financial review

Plan your goals

Everyone has different financial goals and timings.

You need to consider what your goals actually are. It may be that your goals are the basics, such as paying for your home, saving for retirement, or a child’s education. Perhaps you have something more specific – a second home or building a financial cushion.

What changes in your personal situation have occurred in the past year?  Changes like a job change, divorce, having a child, buying a home, retiring, getting married, losing a spouse, etc. can alter your spending and savings needs and aims.

Your review will let you look at those changes, and the impact they have on your financial plan.

Is your investment strategy on track?

Once your goals are defined, you can use your annual financial review to revisit each of your priorities and your strategy for reaching them. If your situation has changed, it will help you make any required investment changes.

Check your target investment asset mix to ensure that it continues to meet your time frame, risk tolerance, needs, and preferences, and to perform any rebalancing that might be necessary in light of the past year’s market performance.

Take some time to look at specific investments and check whether they still fit your portfolio. It’s important to match your investments to certain time frames or specific goals.

Check your debt

How are you doing on controlling and paying down debt?

It’s difficult to invest when too much of your income is going to interest payments on credit cards. Has your credit card debt decreased or increased? If it’s gone up, you are not in control, and it’s time to get back on track and to figure out where the leaks are taking place.

How’s the interest rate on your mortgage? Should you consider remortgaging?

Even a small reduction in rates can make a big difference over the life of your mortgage, but you have to consider your exit costs to see if it’s worthwhile.

Are you paying more tax than necessary?

One of the key features of every annual review is the chance to look closely at your tax position – and to ensure that you are taking full advantage of every allowance.

By reviewing your financial situation on an annual basis we can identify if there are any tax efficient strategies that could help you pay less tax or boost your after-tax returns. The taxman takes a large enough slice of your wealth – by helping you check up on the latest tax legislation we can help ensure you don’t let him have any more than he is entitled to.

Have changes in legislation affected you?

Recent changes to pensions like the new limit on lifetime allowance will affect your financial plans. Changes to taxes such as capital gains allowances and dividends will affect your plans. Your annual review can help you keep in line with these changes.

Is your Life Insurance still adequate?

Life Insurance is an expense that can sometimes feel unnecessary – until you realise it is an investment in peace of mind, and protection for those you care about.

Do you have enough Life Insurance to cover your debts and current family situation?

What about other types of protection? Is your Income Protection sufficient if you were unable to work due to sickness or injury? Changes to your personal, family or work situation can all impact your insurance needs.

Is your pension on track?

Your pension pot should be growing steadily – but will it really fund the kind of retirement you want, and does it take advantage of the latest tax allowances. Should you be putting more in – or does the new lifetime allowance mean you need to find another way to save? Your financial review will give you the answer to these questions too.

It’s also the best time to make sure your estate planning is up to date.

Arrange your financial review now

To arrange your financial review, simply call us. It will be time well spent.


< Return to posts