Most people tend to seek advice at transitional moments in their life, and there can be many triggers for someone to engage with a financial adviser for the first time. People often seek this help during negative times in their life such as bereavement, divorce or unemployment. However, there are also many positive life stages that would benefit from professional financial advice that may not seem obvious at first.
Whilst it is never too late to seek advice, some of the best financial planning is set in motion years before these events occur. Looking ahead at positive life stages may be a useful and motivational way to evaluate your finances.
Retirement can be considered as the peak of positive financial planning and one of the most common reasons why clients get in touch with advisers. It’s the end point of your working journey and benefits the most from early financial planning.
For the majority, retirement is the time in your life where you can finally tick off some of those inspirational bucket list wants and needs (if you’ve planned your finances correctly). It’s time to reap the rewards of your working years and spending time with your loved ones and the earlier you start planning for it, the earlier you are likely to get there.
Getting married/civil partnership
Entering into a marriage or civil partnership is another a positive life stage to plan for. Gifting between spouses and civil partners is free of tax so there can be efficiency in restructuring asset ownership and using each other’s allowances when you find the right person to settle down with.
Also worth bearing in mind is that, if you have a will, entering into a marriage or civil partnership will void the will, so this will need to be addressed as a result of a new partnership. It is also a good time to be checking nominations of pension benefits and death in service.
A significant life stage to plan for financially is having children. You can start setting up savings accounts for children such as JISAs, and if grandparents are in a position to help, non-parents investing in the child’s name is a tax efficient way to help fund school fees later down the line, and maybe even higher education further into the future. Forward planning for these events means you could be better positioned to fund their education comfortably.
Getting a promotion or starting a new job
Receiving a promotion or starting a new job on a higher salary is a great trigger for contacting a financial adviser, especially if your salary reaches over £100k. One of the major tax implications of earning this amount is that you start losing your tax-free personal allowance of £12,570. For every £2 earnt over £100,000 there is a loss of £1 on that personal allowance and those earning between £100k – £125k find themselves paying an effective 60% tax rate. A financial planner can help you plan for this. The next trigger is income over £200,000 when potentially the pension annual allowance starts to be tapered.
This can be a complex time with both negative and positive emotions at play. Given inheritance often comes following the death of a family member, the weight of grief coupled with the stress of a sudden increase in wealth can be overwhelming. Having an adviser already in place, who knows you and your family, and your life goals and aspirations, can help relieve some of the stress in managing this situation and allow you the personal space you need to grieve.
Receiving an inheritance can sometimes mean receiving a life-changing amount of money and in accordance with the wishes of the benefactor, could be a hugely positive moment in your life. Having a financial planner on board can help you manage your wealth effectively and structure a financial plan based on your personal goals and aspirations.
Of course, financial advice isn’t just for the big landmark moments in your life, it’s there for every day and there are times in between these big life stages that require the advice and support of a financial advice professional. Maintaining regular communication and having an annual review of your finances is the best way to achieve this.
Many clients will reach out to their adviser when they need a sounding board to discuss their own thoughts, goals and aspirations. Having a trusted adviser to listen and guide you along the right path will help you on your financial journey through life.