The squeezed middle & half time whistle

Getting on with your financial planning

A hockey game lasts 70 minutes and a rugby match lasts 80 minutes. With a bit of a break in the middle and some extra time, the overall game might last between 75 and 85 minutes. Change minutes to years and 75-85 is about the life span of the UK public, so if you’re reading this about age 40, you can probably hear life’s half time whistle being blasted.

They say life starts at 40... unless you’re 50, then they suggest that life starts then! Whichever is true, it’s time to get on with your financial planning and make it happen.

Mortgaged, with a partner or spouse, and possibly some young children, your good education has pushed you into middle management and you share the household bills, but there’s not much excess to enjoy yourselves above the annual holiday abroad. You hope the next promotion might help a bit with cash flow. A few bits of savings, possibly a small shareholding and your employer has you in the workplace pension scheme.

You have not made a will yet, but it’s on your list and you have some life cover to repay the mortgage and you think your partner has some death in service cover from their work.

Your parents try to help where they can, and are generous to your children as long as it’s equitable. Other than this, there is not much more planning in place.

So what to do?

Budget Planning

Prepare a budget planner to check real income and outgoings to see that all of your money is going where you expect it to and if any savings can be made.

Employer Protection

Check what you’ve got from your employer and to ensure that any debt, such as the mortgage, can be repaid if you die and still leave some cash for your partner and children to make ends meet thereafter, especially if you are the main income earner.

Health Protection

Also check the ill health position if you are unable to work. How long will you be paid? Some life covers come with the addition of Critical Illness Protection and you might want to check your policy for this benefit. Other protection plans might include income replacement as the benefit. Standard Statutory Sick Pay is not high, so make sure you have enough cover to protect the family in the event of accident or illness.

Pension Check

Have you checked your pension death benefit nominations? Did you last make them when you were without a partner, or kids for that matter, and your mum is still the benefactor? Check it out.

Higher Rate Pension Tax

If you are a higher rate tax payer, then pension contributions might attract higher rate tax relief which is well worth claiming. Don’t forget to add in taxable benefits, like a company car, that might push you into higher rate tax. SaidSo can help you look at this during your financial planning process.

Who pays what tax?

If you and your partner have a big disparity between your incomes then there might be some tax savings to be made. If you are a higher rate tax payer and your partner is not, you might want to make sure any taxable savings are in your partner’s name to keep the tax take down to a minimum.

Use your Tax Allowances

Noting the point above, let’s not forget some good opportunities, such as tax efficient ISA allowances which might keep the Chancellor’s opportunity of reducing your overall returns to a minimum.

Make a will

Always worthwhile, especially if you have dependants. Try to use a solicitor although we appreciate that cost might well be an issue here. If you have a really limited budget, use a Will Kit, available from any good stationer. Also, you can find some cost reductions in promotional ‘free will weeks’. Have a look out for these.

Children’s Savings

It might be hard to believe that the kids running around your home, or needing their homework done, will leave your nest at 18-ish and head off to University or an Apprenticeship. Starting some savings for them now might be worthwhile, however small, and in our experience, ethical investment for children is topical. can help with this important area if this is an issue for you and the family.

Great guidance, but what about advice for me?

We hope you have been inspired to take action for your financial planning from the notes above. This SaidSo free guide is for guidance only. SaidSo can help with your own individual independent financial advice. But what is the real value of advice to you and how can it help meet your objectives?

Why should online financial advice be important to you?

No one likes to be sold to, but most like to be advised. Being wise after an event is usually pointless and some would argue an exact science, detailing what you should have done had you known the outcome. So what is advice – and, in this context, financial advice?

Definition of advice: guidance or recommendations offered with regard to prudent action.

For those that want to know, the definition of selling is: persuade someone of the merits of. I suppose you could argue that we are selling you the merits of the real value of online financial advice...and you would be right...even if we have SaidSo!

So, what does advice mean in the context of financial advice? And most importantly what does it mean to you?

It could be:

  • Saving money.
  • Reaching and fulfilling a target or ambition in the future.
  • Having enough money to survive.
  • Saving tax.
  • Managing expectations as to what your future world could look like.
  • Being assured you know where you are with your wealth and cash.
  • Protecting your loved ones if you are present or not.
  • Having enough money to have some fun!
  • Having more money than you would have had if you had been left to your own actions.
  • Education to know what to do and in what order.
  • Not dying at your desk because you had to work to the bitter end to make ends meet.
  • Getting someone who knows what they’re doing to make it happen for you.

...and of course a combination of some or all of the above.

If you value any of the points above, then, in reality, you value financial advice. And we are not talking about buying products, although that might be part of your eventual solution, we’re talking about you planning to run your life the way you want it.

It’s almost a statement of your personal freedom. And what price would you put on that? If you think that financial advice is not for you, even at the low, transparent and fixed costs that charges...think about your future personal freedom...and think again.

‘Show me the advice value!’ I hear you shout! Check out how SaidSo can help below...

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