When was the last time you sat down with your financial adviser or planner?
Regularly reviewing your arrangements is a vital way of ensuring you meet your financial goals. Taking the time to meet with an adviser ensures that all your plans are up to date in light of changes to your circumstances and the wider financial landscape.
Under new regulations, your financial adviser will be obliged to provide certain information to you more regularly, and to ensure products remain suitable on a ‘continuing’ basis. While you can expect to receive updates from your adviser, there’s still huge value in a regular review. Here are seven reasons why.
1. Your personal situation may have changed
A lot can happen in a year! In the time since your last review you could have:
- Changed jobs – you may need to consider new pension arrangements, or you may have benefits such as ‘death in service’ which need to be replaced
- Got married – you may need to change your will, or consider life or income protection to ensure your spouse or civil partner is protected
- Separated or divorced – you may have to deal with issues surrounding the ownership of assets. You may also have joint arrangements which you need advice on
- Had a baby – you may need additional protection, or you might want to consider saving tax-free for your child’s future
- Moved home – you may need mortgage help or advice on related insurances. If you have bought a more expensive property, this may also affect estate planning
- Lost a loved one – you may have inherited some assets and need advice about how to manage these
All these life events will have an impact on your financial plan. If your circumstances are stable, even a pay rise could affect the recommendations your adviser makes. Meeting your adviser on a regular basis gives you the chance to discuss any changes to your circumstances and to tweak your financial plan where appropriate.
2. Legislation may have changed
Imagine if you were approaching retirement in 2015 and you decided to miss your financial review. The biggest legislative changes to pensions in years came into effect – changes which would have potentially resulted in significantly different advice.
Another good example recently would be if you had ‘Buy to Let’ investments. Recent changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax and to the taxation of rental income have impacted many landlords. Missing your review could result in your arrangements not being as tax efficient as they could be under the new rules.
Reviewing your plans regularly means you can talk to your adviser about how you may be impacted by these sorts of external forces.
3. Allowances and limits may have changed
Tax allowances and limits typically change annually, or whenever the Chancellor unveils a new Budget.
While your adviser will monitor these changes, a regular review gives you the opportunity to discuss any changes you need to make in line with movements in tax allowances or limits.
For example, you may be able to contribute more to your pension or pay more into tax-free investments. Changes to personal allowances may also mean you have more disposable income.
4. Your goals may have changed
Sometimes, life events can lead you to re-evaluate your own plans. The death of a loved one can make you think differently about your own future. The birth of a child can lead you to take a more responsible approach to saving and protection. Or, a bout of ill health could mean that you decide to bring forward your desired retirement age.
When you change your goals, it’s worth changing your financial plan accordingly. Your adviser can help you to make the changes you need to achieve your new ambitions.
5. Your estate planning may not be up to date
Has the value of your property or assets increased since you last met your adviser? If so, your estate planning may no longer be up to date. And, events may have occurred which mean you want to change your will.
A review meeting can help you to ensure your estate planning remains appropriate for you and your family’s needs.
6. Your attitude to risk may have changed
As you get older, your risk profile may change. For example, as you approach retirement you may want to reduce the amount of risk you take with your pension savings, preferring to hold them in risk-averse investments.
Or, changes in market conditions may mean your risk profile is not quite how you thought it was. Perhaps you aren’t as tolerant to a stock market downturn as you thought you were?
A financial review gives you the opportunity to review the allocation of your investments, and to make changes that better reflect your changed risk profile.
7. A review keeps you more focused on your goals
Achieving a particular goal requires you to be proactive and to work towards it.
A regular financial review helps you to keep your goals and ambitions in focus and helps you to work towards them. It reminds you what your financial arrangements are designed to do, why you need them (or no longer need them!) and what role they play in helping you to accomplish your financial goals.
Without a review, it’s easy to forget why you hold certain investments or insurances. A regular meeting helps you to stay in control and to understand why certain arrangements are in place.
Want to review your arrangements or benefit from advice from an expert? Get in touch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (0161) 8080200.
Please note:The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Tax advice, buy to let properties.
The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.