2022 was an eventful year, giving you good reason to think about your financial planning for 2023.
This year we saw three prime ministers, four chancellors, no formal Budget (even if the Autumn Statement looked remarkably like one), high inflation, rising interest rates and volatile investment markets.
As we start 2023, it makes sense to review the effects of these events on your personal finances and ask what, if any, actions you should consider to put you in good stead for the year ahead.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Does your life and health cover need to be increased?
Double-digit inflation rapidly erodes the value of fixed sums. £10,000 of protection set up two years ago now has less than £9,000 of buying power.
What top rate of tax will you pay in 2023/24?
The continued freezing of personal allowances and many income tax thresholds, plus the cut in the additional rate threshold, could mean you drift into a higher tax band next tax year. It is worth knowing that early, so you can plan accordingly.
What interest are you earning on your cash deposits?
Interest rates started 2022 on the floor. The Bank of England has been busy increasing them ever since, but many banks and building societies have been much less zealous in raising the rates they pay to their depositors, particularly on accounts no longer open to new savers. At the time of writing, the top instant access accounts were offering around 2.5%, but some big names were not even paying 0.5%.
How did the mix of your investments change over 2022?
Although many investment indices fell in 2022, some of the relative changes were surprising. For example, many UK government bond funds suffered larger falls than their UK share fund counterparts. US funds were also often performing better than the Dow Jones Index suggested because the dollar was so strong against the pound. The net result is that your portfolio may need rebalancing.
If you need help answering these questions, or have different concerns about your financial position and what actions may be required, please get in touch.