20 per cent VAT 2012 budget 50% return accountancy accountancy fees accountancy services accountant accountant B accountants accounting for dividends accounting records accounting software accounts accounts software administration annuity annuity rates Autumn statement avoid inheritance tax avoidance of tax avoiding inheritance tax bank lending basic personal allowance BCC big picture book keeping Bribery Act British Chamber of Commerce BS7858 budget budget 2011 Budget 2012 budgeting business business accounts online business advice business cash management business confidence business continuity business continuity management business continuity plans business cost management business efficiency business exit business exit planning business finance business friendly business funding business goals business growth business investment business loan business management business owners business performance business plan business planning business record keeping business records business sale business success business succession planning business survival business tax planning business tips bwe based account cash flow Cash flow forecast cash is king cash management Cash-based accounting cashflow chancellor chartered accountant chartered accountant Birmingham chartered accountants chartered financial planner chartered financial planner Birmin child savings children’s savings choosing an accountant client entertaining Cloud accounting Company Tax returns compliance industry contractors IR35 corporartion tax Corporation tax credit control credit control procedure cyber attack cyber crime cyber insurance cyber security cyber threats data security data security. IT security debt collection debt recovery despite some of the bad press over recent years director’s loan account directors loan directors pensions Directors’ loan account dividends doubl Dragon’s Den dragons den Economic expansion EIS email security employee data security Enterprise Investment Scheme enterprise zones entrepreneur Entrepreneur’s relief entrepreneurs entrepreneurs relief ethical hacker Everyone needs to finance their retirement and exit planning finance finance management financial advisor financial difficulty financial forecasts financial freedom financial goals Financial management financial plan financial planner financial planning financial planning checklist financial planning tips financial wellbeing FSTE 100 FTSE100 fund manager gifts global markets growth growth finance HMRC HMRC enquiries HMRC enquiry HMRC IR35 guidance HMRC tax enquiries HMRC tax enquiry home loans how to manage time ICAEW IHT income tax income tax r income tax relief income tax return independent financial advisor information security information security management inheritance tax inheritance tax planning insolvency Institute of Chartered Accountants investing Investment investment advice investment diversity investment in marketing investment management investment options investment philosophy investment planning investment portfolio investment risk investment strategies investment volatility investments investors IR35 ISO 27001 ISO 27001 benchmark ISO 27001 consultants ISO22301 ISO27001 IT security Jimmy Carr jobs keeping the books key perfirmance indicators key performance indicators KPIs kpi's late payment penalties late payment penalty fines late payments legal tax strategy management information management meetings management standards managing data security marketing investment miscalculated tax motivating staff national lottery new years resolution online accountancy online accountancy software online accounting on-line accounting online accounting software online accounts online tax return online VAT return outsourced accountancy outsourcing outsourcing accounts overtrading owner managers Parker Management Consultants partnership agreements passwords Pay off mortgage PAYE paying a dividend Payroll penetration testing pension pension contribution pension contributions pension fund Pension funds pension investment pension investment strategy pension scheme pensions pensions forecast per personal allowance trap Personal financial plan personal financial planning personal guarantees personal pension personal pensions personal tax return plumbers tax safe plan pre pack administration private pension profitable business sale R & D tax credits R&D tax credits recession red tape reduce tax remote working report on economy research and development tax credits retirement retirement planning risk risk return safest passwords Saga sareholder protection cover security of websites Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme SEIS selecting an accountant Self assessment self assessment tax return self invested personal pension selling my business selling your company shareholder agreements shareholder protection SIPP SIPPS small business small business owners small business tax small businesses small firms SME SME business management SME marketing SME tax planning SMEs social media policy SSAS start up start-up stock market succession planning tax accountant tax affairs tax avoidance tax breaks tax charges tax code tax disclosure tax enquiries tax enquiry tax evasion tax investigation tax investigations tax liability tax man tax mitigation strategies Tax planning tax planning advice tax planning schemes tax reduction tax reform tax relief Tax return tax saving tax saving strategies tax savings tax strategies Tax tribunals taxation tax-break time management time management skills top rate of tax tough times UK Bribery Act UK economy VAT increase vat return VAT rise VAT submission web based acc website security when to pay a dividend work-life balance Xero Xero accountancy software Xero accountants xero accounting xero accounts Xero accounts service

5 financial planning tips for 2011

Add to: Digg Add to: Del.icio.us Add to: Facebook Add to: Furl Add to: Google Add to: Live Spaces Add to: MySpace Add to: StumbleUpon Add to: Twitter
Thursday December 16, 2010 at 11:57am
Whilst the Christmas period is a time for reflection, the New Year is all about looking ahead and making plans. The break between Christmas and New Year is an ideal time to take a bit of a financial stock-check and consider whether your finances are in order for the year ahead.

Here are the Parker Financial Advisors tips for preparing for 2011.

1. Review your investments
Now is a great time to review how your old investments, saving accounts and pensions are performing. Should you be consolidating or moving any investments? Is it time to move out of cash and into tax free savings vehicles for example? Does your investment portfolio match your current lifestyle and life stage? And has your attitude to risk changed, as this could affect which investment you hold?

2. Check your cash
Do you have a cash buffer of three or four months expenditure available should the worst happen and you lose your income? In our view creating this buffer is even more important than paying off loans, although this may seem to be counter intuitive. Let’s think about it; a bank load reduced by £2,000 might save you £80 per month in outgoings but the £2,000 as a buffer would allow you to pay that loan off for 25 months. Try getting a new loan once your income has gone!

3. Save
Make a commitment to saving a set amount each month for the long term future. We’re all full of good intentions when it comes to saving but often go about things in the wrong way – deciding to save what’s left over at the end of a month rather than making a commitment and sticking to it. If you’re like me there’s rarely anything left over at the end of the month, but if I’ve made a commitment to pay £100 into an ISA each month for example I stick to it.

4. Review your pension arrangements
You should review your level of pension contribution at least annually, to ensure your pension will deliver what you want in retirement. How much did you contribute in 2010? What’s your plan worth and does that meet your aspirations for a comfortable retirement?

What do you plan to contribute in 2011? Have you set a regular monthly amount or are you planning a lump sum payment into your pension?

The higher you earn the more tax relief you receive on pension contributions but just because your salary is low doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore pensions.

5. Be smart with your spending
Keeping track of personal expenditure is a good discipline to have, and now might be a good time to review how much you’ve spent during the year on holidays, meals out, household bills and so on. This could help you identify areas where money could be saved or inspire you to go out and look for a better deal on your utilities, for example.

If you are planning a major purchase early in the New Year, a new car, sofa or electrical items, remember the VAT increase due on the 4th January. Buying early will potentially save you 2.5% of the cost.

Our main tip when it comes to financial planning is simply that – to plan! Don’t leave anything to chance, stay on top of your personal finances and get specialist advice when it comes to things like your pension and investment portfolios.

Andy Parker
Chartered Financial Planner Birmingham

Comments on this post: (1 comment)

Mike P | Monday January 17, 2011 at 10:34am
Useful/sensible advice Andy. I also think that using the formula 100- Your age gives a good guide to the approx proportion of your investments you should hold in equities. So, for a 30 year old 100-30=70% equities and 30% cash or near cash. ...

Share your experiences:

Your Name  
(to appear with your comment)
Email Address  
(will not be published)
Comments:  
Human Validation Check  
In the box below, please type the characters that you see in the picture. This helps us to ensure a real person (and not a crafty computer!) is submitting this form.

Enter the code shown to the left:

Parker Chartered Accountants and Financial Advisors is the trading name for Parker Business Development Ltd (Registered No. 4116664), Parker Tax and Trust Ltd (Registered No. 06950353) and Parker Financial Planning LLP (Registered No. OC347027). Parker Financial Planning LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. All companies are registered in England and Wales – registered office contact details here