Personal Protection Episode 1: Financial Planning during COVID-19
The UK lockdown measures have put a tremendous strain on us all both as individuals and to the UK economy. We all have more time on our hands, and you may want to start thinking about your financial planning.
In our first blog on Personal Protection we have put together a basic ‘wealth planning checklist’ designed to get your ‘house in order’ during these challenging times.
1. Write or review your will
Recent research by The Royal London Mutual Insurance Society indicates that 54% of adults in the UK do not have a will and six out of ten parents do not have one, nor do the have guardians in place who would look after their children.
For those who already have a will, this might also be a good time to review and determine if it needs to be updated in the form of a new will to reflect changes in circumstances.
2. Set up a Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf should you no longer be able to, or if you no longer want to. This can cover health as well as financial matters.
3. Rediscover and review current and historic pensions arrangements
Are you aware of all of your existing pension arrangements?
Do you know how these are invested and if they offer access to the new pensions freedoms of 2015?
Any pension funds which you have accumulated in your working life could make a real difference to your overall pension savings when you reach retirement.
If you suspect that you have an old pension pot from a previous job, you are now able to track down the pension scheme’s contact details by using the Pension Tracing Service which is a free government service: https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details
4. State Pension
The new State Pension is based on your National Insurance record, requiring an individual to have 35 qualifying years to be eligible to receive the full amount. A qualifying year can include years where you have been in full time employment, or where an individual has received National Insurance credits given to those who have caring responsibilities (i.e. those receiving Child Benefit).
The link below provides further information on how much you could stand to receive and at what date it could become payable. The State Pension could form a valuable part of your retirement income, so understanding your entitlement is essential.
5. Review existing life insurance policies and consider any new protection you may need
Your insurance policies and any nominations may need updating following changes in your personal and financial situation and/or following certain life events including:
- A new job or changing to self-employment –do you have Death in Service Cover?
- You may have sold your business and be considering retirement
- Marriage or divorce
- The birth of children or grandchildren
- A change in either yours or your partner’s health
- Paying off or taking / increasing a debt or other liability
- Making financial gifts from your estate
We will talk more in our next blog about the different types of protection and when they may be suitable. Given the recent COVID-19 pandemic, now could be the time to consider your ongoing protection needs for you and your family
6. Charitable donations
Captain Tom Moore is amongst the may fundraisers who are making charitable donations during the lockdown.
If you are a UK tax payer, when you make these donations, you are usually able to elect to apply Gift Aid to these contributions meaning the charity you are donating to receives an extra 25%, at no cost to you.
7. In Case of Emergency (ICE) document
Do your family members know where all your important documents are held, who your financial planner, investment manager, accountant or solicitor is, and do they have their contact details?
Has one member of the family historically controlled all the family finances?
Now would be a good time to put all the important information into one document, including the location of your Government Schemes to deal with impact of COVID-19.
We can help with our ‘Safe in our Hands’ booklet which we provide and encourage our clients to complete and update. This could be vital should anything happen to you.
Other blogs in this Personal Protection series
At MHA Tait Walker Wealth Management, we are passionate about supporting our clients with their financial goals. We have over eighty years’ experience in providing our clients with the highest quality services which includes protection as well as investments.
For further information or to find out how we can support you please contact us.
Mark Parkinson, Wealth Management Partner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Whitehead, Financial Planner & Secured Lending Specialist – email@example.com
Deborah Trelease, Chartered Financial Planner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tait Walker Wealth Management is a trading style of Tait Walker Financial Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Company Number 5674020. Incorporated in England. Tait Walker LLP trading as MHA Tait Walker Wealth Management is a member of MHA. MHA is an independent member of Baker Tilly International Limited, the members of which are separate and independent legal entities.