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What is your end game?

We know that our working lives are being extended all the time. You only need to look at the rising age at which you can draw your State Pension to confirm this. The reality is that time is ticking on and planning for what happens when the kids really have left and that the urge to work hard at the daily grind may wane. Some will deny this and others would embrace the day they can stop work tomorrow...even this evening. There’s still the mortgage to repay and keeping fit to make sure you can make it to the winning line is a focus, to make sure you have time to enjoy yourself once you’ve finally stopped work.

Ageing parents may be a concern and that last house move or promotion may be a pressing objective. If you took the leap and set up your own business, the need to ‘make it happen’ never leaves.

So, what should you be thinking about for your financial planning and why is good advice now crucial?

What does your end game look like and how much will that cost? The thought of spending 20 years in retirement to some is horrendous, and some like the thoughts of part time work, both to subsidise income and to keep the grey matter stimulated.

What should you do?

Make a will

Use a solicitor – it’s an important document and you want to get it right. If cost is a real issue, you could use a Will Kit, which is available from any good stationer.

The legal profession sometimes run a ‘free wills week’ and you might want to have a look out for this.

Check your (and your partner’s) State Pension entitlement

The State Pension is a valuable source of index-linked income in retirement. It’s a great idea to check what you might be entitled to when you reach State Pension Age – many people expect to receive the full amount but may find that they haven’t built up enough National Insurance contributions over the years. It is good to be prepared – and if you have a shortfall, you may be able to top this up. You can check your State Pension here.

Check your existing pension benefits

It’s likely that by now you will have built up a range of pension benefits through the different jobs you’ve held, and maybe through your own pension savings too. No matter how small they are, it’s important to make sure the funds are invested in line with your attitude to investment risk and it’s also worth checking the charges that you’re paying on each plan.

Don’t forget to check the death benefit nominations on your pension plans as well – you may have last made them when you were without a partner, or kids for that matter.

Think about plans for your house

Once the children have flown the nest, do you plan to remain in the same house you’re in now? You may no longer need all that space (and the work that goes with it). If you are planning to downsize, have a think about where you want to live, what type of property you’re looking for and how you will invest the surplus cash. Do you need to generate additional income from it? Will it be a ‘nest egg’ for possible long-term care costs in the future? Or maybe you’re still subsidising the kids...

Can you really retire now?

You may want to – but is it really possible, given your financial commitments? Retirement might look like a far-away dream at the moment – however, with careful planning, it might be closer than you think. As a starting point, make a list of what you see as the barriers to retirement (still paying off the mortgage, paying school fees, paying off debts etc.) and the timescales for these.

Alongside this, work out the sources of income that might be available to you in retirement and when these will kick in. And remember that SaidSo can help you with this planning – you’re not on your own.

What about your other savings?

You have probably built up some cash savings by this stage, maybe from regular savings or from an inheritance or gift. It’s important to keep cash savings equivalent to around 3-6 months’ income as a minimum in readily accessible funds so that it’s easy to get to in an emergency.

If you’ve built up more cash than this, is it working hard enough for you? Check out the interest rates available on the high street and don’t forget about other cash-type investments such as NS&I Premium bonds. If you have cash on deposit that you know you won’t need in the short to medium term, you might want to think about investing this to help you meet your goals.

Whether it’s cash or stock market investments or both that work for you, remember to use your taxefficient ISA allowance every year: it’s a great opportunity to shelter at least a bit of your cash from tax.

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 SaidSo.co.uk 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 SaidSo.co.uk 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 SaidSo.co.uk 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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