What is Financial Planning?
Many believe Financial Planning to be the process that you follow to ‘set up a pension’, ‘invest in an ISA’ or even ‘arrange a mortgage’. Certainly the resultant outcome may be to arrange one of these products but at Future Start we believe Financial Planning to be so much more.
We believe proper Financial Planning can help people to achieve their dreams and aspirations. What do we mean by this?
Setting a goal, a point you want to get to, perhaps numerous goals, at various points in the future should always be the start. Next consider your current circumstances, existing provisions and current levels of saving and investing. Are these best suited to your goal(s) from a tax perspective, risk perspective and accessibility perspective? Are you saving or investing enough to achieve your goal(s)?
Many people have various investments, or piecemeal pensions that they have built up through their lives; some people have no savings at all, believing they can ‘always make a start in the future’. The truth is, if you do not know what your existing provisions can provide for you when you need it, how do you know you will have enough? Or perhaps you are saving too much. Is this possible I hear you say? Saving too much? Of course, saving in itself can potentially lead to other considerations such as inheritance tax liabilities when your estate is passed on. Some people save more than they can really comfortably afford because they are worried for tomorrow, not living the life they would like today. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that actually, yes, you do have enough, or actually by saving a bit more you could have enough? On the other hand, the longer you leave it before you start saving, the more you are leaving to chance the likelihood of achieving specific goals or your comfort in future years.
Good Financial Planning can help with this. Giving consideration to all your existing plans, whether they are suitable, whether they need tweaking, whether they are most tax efficient, or perhaps setting up further plans, Financial Planning can answer the fundamental questions that you may have.
That said, not everyone has a specific goal in mind that they wish to save for. Some people just have disposable income or capital on deposit in excess of their immediate needs which they wish to get working harder for them. Low interest rates are often the reason people may wish to consider longer term investments for some of their capital. Again, sound Financial Planning can give you an indication of what investment return you are likely to achieve in your given timeframe based on the level of risk you are prepared to take. It can also help to ensure that, based on your current and future circumstances, the money you have is invested as tax efficiently as possible.
Future Start Independent Financial Planning took its name from the strong belief that the best financial planning is taking the time to understand thoroughly our client’s needs, ambitions and individual goals, using these future points as a starting point and then working backwards to formulate the most appropriate financial plan. Essentially, use where you want to get to as a starting point and then work backwards to make sure you get there in the most efficient and comfortable way for you.
Financial Planning does not enable us to see into the future! Goals, personal circumstances, unexpected investment performance and legislation can change affecting your Personal Financial Plan. Regular reviews are paramount to ensuring you remain on track, taking action where necessary.
Future Start have varying levels of service both for your initial recommendations for a Financial Plan and on an ongoing basis.
Full, detailed Financial Life Planning is available through our Comprehensive level of initial service.