3 simple steps to a great financial 2016!

New Year Resolutions are high on everyone’s agenda, and we all have renewed determination to tackle jobs that we’ve been putting off for a while!

Financial Planning can fall into that category, and sometimes it can be hard to know exactly where to start….but the benefits of being clear on your medium and longer term financial goals, and of working with a Financial Planner who can help keep you on track, are enormous.

There are really just 3 steps needed to get you on the right road in 2016:

Counting1. Clear your credit card debts or overdraft – this is the obvious January hangover after an expensive December. Try and repay whatever you owe by the end of January so you can start the year debt-free. If that’s not possible, at least find a credit card deal offering 0% interest for a fixed term, work out how much you need to pay each month to repay the full amount before the interest rate deal finishes, and then stick to the repayments religiously.
Good financial discipline starts with living within your means, and not spending more than you earn.

2. Protect yourself against unforeseen risk – if you have monthly financial commitments such as a mortgage and bills to pay, it’s important that you are protected in the event of being ill, or having an accident and needing time off work. During that time off work your employer may no longer pay you an income, and if you are self-employed, your earnings may stop immediately, depending on the nature of work you do. Insurance policies known as Income Protection can provide a replacement income in such circumstances, to ensure the bills can still be paid and you do not feel undue pressure to get back to work to start earning again. For mortgages or any other large secured loans, then a life assurance policy can also ensure the debt is repaid in the event of your death.

3. Invest wisely for the medium to long term. As long as you have some cash savings as “emergency funds”, any surplus monthly income or cash savings could be working harder for you if invested wisely rather than remaining in the bank, with ongoing low interest rates prevailing. Making the most of tax-efficient investments such as Stocks & Shares ISAs can result in the growth of your investments over several years. All investments involve risk, and values can go down as well as up, so working with a Financial Planner will enable you to discuss this in detail before you take the plunge, and ongoing regular reviews should ensure that the investment continues to be suitable for your circumstances, objectives and risk profile.

Following these 3 simple steps should get you on the right track for a successful financial 2016 – Happy New Year!

To receive a complimentary guide covering Wealth Management, Retirement Planning or Inheritance Tax Planning, please contact Amanda Redman on 07801 045587, email [email protected] or visit www.amandaredmanfp.co.uk

Remember that the value of a Stocks & Shares ISA can fall as well as rise, and you may get back less than the amount invested. An investment in a Stocks & Shares ISA will not provide the security of capital associated with a cash ISA. The favourable tax treatment given to ISAs may not be maintained in the future as they are subject to changes in legislation.

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