by: Kathryn Dawson
Nowadays more than ever it’s essential to get clear and accurate guidance and advice in financial matters. The economy is volatile, laws are changing frequently and unless you’re up to date with the latest financial regulations, especially regarding tax, your precious assets could be vulnerable. Hiring a qualified financial planner makes such perfect sense in these difficult times.
Financial planning includes investment planning, retirement planning, tax planning and personal insurance advice. Obtaining financial advice is a major step towards getting your financial affairs in order and ensuring your assets retain their value and your future income stream will take care of your needs, especially during retirement.
When it comes to investing your money for example, you could of course do your own research. However, this is an extremely complex area, where specialist knowledge is invaluable. The level of risk that you are prepared to accept, when investing, must be considered. Then you could spend a lot of time investigating all the investment options available and still be unsure about what is the best way to plan for your future.
Without performing a detailed audit and assessment of your current financial situation, it’s difficult to choose the right type of investment for your needs. Qualified financial advisers have an in-depth knowledge of such matters as investment portfolios with differing levels of risk, interest rates and the best place to deposit your cash as well as the impact of the latest tax legislation. Together with professional training and long experience, this allows them to offer informed financial planning advice.
Financial planning for retirement is one area is which sound financial advice is crucial. These days, the average person spends between 25 and 30 years in retirement and for an enjoyable quality of life, this period needs to be well-funded.
Essentially most people in the UK receive a basic state pension along with a private pension from their employer. The self-employed make their own arrangements. Nowadays, many people with company pension schemes are also choosing to take out a private pension plan. This is a tax effective way to take charge of ones future. However, this is a complex affair and one which could benefit from professional financial advice.
Another area in which having expert financial advice can save you large amounts of money is inheritance tax. Inheritance tax legislation is subject to frequent changes as the Chancellor tries to balance the budget. Your decisions can have profound implications for the legacy you’re able to leave behind.
When considering hiring a firm to advise you with financial planning, here are some things to bear in mind. Firms offering advice on financial products must be authorized by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). You can check the status of a particular firm at the FSA’s web site or by calling their consumer hot line. Exceptional firms are accredited with Chartered Financial Planner status.
FSA authorization guarantees a certain standard and adherence to certain rules regarding the type of service they offer and how they charge for it. These matters are outlined in the Keyfacts document the advisor must give you. This document stipulates the type of service and whose products they are offering. It will also explain how you’re being charged for the service, whether by fee or commission or a mixture of both.
You can find out about financial planning services available by visiting the web sites of the UK’s reputable financial advisers. Here you can get full details of the services offered and the qualifications of the personnel. This will allow you to make an informed decision about the financial planning advice that’s right for your needs.
About The Author
Kathryn Dawson writes articles for Tower Hill Associates, a group of chartered accountants specialising in financial planning. http://www.towerhillassociates.com/ Using a series of methods to understand customers needs before giving financial planning advice, http://www.towerhillassociates.com/our-service/elements-of-our-service/financial-planning it is no wonder they have a good track record giving advice on financial planning for retirement.