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Managing your finances starts with getting to grips with your monthly outgoings.

It does not matter how much money you are earning from your salary; bonuses, rental income, dividends, pension, and annuity income, investments, savings interest, or tax planning unless you can manage your outgoings.

You need to run your personal expenditure like a business and cut out all the unwanted waste. Do you have a gym membership you don’t use? A Sky TV ultimate package that you don’t watch it to be worthwhile? A magazine subscription you don’t even open each month? That bank account with extras that you don’t use when paying around £35 a month for the privilege?

So let’s get Ruthless! Open our expenditure file and look at all your outgoings for the past six months, from your bank accounts and credit cards. List it all and see how much you actually spend each month. If ever there was a time to start to understand your outgoings, then Covid-19 and lockdown was it! Don’t forget to add in all the costs you normally have like: holidays; travel; birthdays and eating out etc. Work on averages here and if you are looking back over six months then you can simply divide the totals by six. Enter these as your regular monthly outgoings.

Do you want to plan for something in life? Travel when we get out of lockdown, or another bucket list item? Take a look at our Life Goals planning document next an to see what you really want to start spending your money on. Once you have narrowed your list from question three and know what you should be spending your money on, it will then make saving for it (by cutting your outgoings) ll the more worthwhile.

Do you want to plan for something in life? Travel when we get out of lockdown, or another bucket list item? Take a look at our Life Goals planning document next an to see what you really want to start spending your money on. Once you have narrowed your list from question three and know what you should be spending your money on, it will then make saving for it (by cutting your outgoings) ll the more worthwhile.

So you have completed your expenditure and goals list, what next? Now you need to see if you can purchase your outgoings with lower monthly costs, so you can get to achieve your life goals faster. Look at trying to buy utilities cheaper, car and home insurance, TV subscriptions. Every time you save money each month, put that into an ISA or savings account and work towards your first goal. make sure you write it down and share with others so they can hold you accountable for acheiveing your goal.

Let us know how you are getting on and what plans you have in place.

Good luck. If you need a professional review of your finances, book a FREE online review today.

Splitting up: divorce and your finances

A guide to managing your finances during divorce. The end of a marriage is a difficult time. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional impact and sudden shift in routine, but there is also likely to be a number of financial matters that need to be attended to. Whether you have been married for decades or just a few years, splitting up the personal side of your life often means disentangling a web of interconnected financial arrangements too. So where do you start? Your first thought may be to see a solicitor. But it’s important to give it some thought before your solicitor starts clocking up billable hours. When it comes to dividing property after a divorce, the law dictates that:
  • the court must put the welfare of any children under the age of 18 first
  • you must be truthful about your income, earning power, property and finances.
The court in question has the power to examine:
  • both your incomes and earning capacities
  • both your responsibilities in the future
  • the standard of living you had and the contribution you made to your relationship before you broke up
  • how old you both are
  • how long you’ve been together
  • if either of you have any physical or mental disability and will lose any benefits after you break up
  • any debts.
The courts can also order:
  • the transfer of property from one partner to the other, thereby guaranteeing that a home is provided for the children
  • the sale of property, so that you can split the money resulting from this between you.
Court orders can also be issued on the following:
  • maintenance payments, meaning that one partner will have to make regular payments to the other partner after the separation
  • lump sum payments, meaning that one partner will have to make a one-off payment to the other partner to even up the relative wealth of each party
  • payments relating to pensions.
The majority of these points require you to have accurate and up-to-date information about all aspects of your finances. Not having an accurate idea of your financial position or not being able to adequately prove this position to people is not the optimum place to be while just about to enter a process where your assets are going to be scrutinised. Contact us today to talk about your divorce.

Before you split up

If you’re starting to think that your relationship isn’t working out, ask us to do a stock take of what assets and liabilities you have – both separately and jointly. It will be needed as part of your financial disclosure if you do decide to break up, and will help to prepare you, just in case. Assets can include:
  • family home
  • any other property
  • pensions
  • savings and Investments
  • value of life policies
  • any potential inheritances
  • cars, art, antiques or other items of value
  • your salary, any benefits and your spouses or partners salary or ability to earn.
Liabilities can include:
  • mortgages or secured loans
  • unsecured loans, credit cards, overdrafts
  • debts to family or friends
  • potential child support or maintenance to your current partner or children
  • child support or maintenance payments to a previous spouse or partner
  • any promises made or commitments to others, such as paying for care home fees for elderly parents or other relatives, school fees or support for children through university.
This list is not exhaustive, but gives an indication of all the things that need to be taken into consideration before any decision is made on how it will be split after you break up. Ideally, you and your spouse or partner will sit down together and work out an amicable agreement that is fair to everyone. However, in practice, this doesn’t often happen so the matter is either decided by two lawyers battling it out between them, or it is decided by the divorce courts. Talk to one of our expert team about financial planning.

What does the law say?

As you may imagine, the body of law surrounding divorce and the separation of assets can get complicated. Whilst some aspects of the law apply to the whole of the UK, there are some which only apply to those in England and Wales, and others which only apply in Scotland. As a general rule, in both jurisdictions, the interests of any children are the priority. After that, a lot will depend on personal circumstances. Judges have quite a bit of individual discretion when it comes to making orders about who gets what, but the overriding principle is that both parties should aim for something that is fair. The courts have laid down three principles to be applied on divorce:
  • sharing: marriage is a partnership and so the starting point is that the matrimonial assets should be divided equally
  • needs: equal division will take into account future income needs and housing needs
  • compensation: this principle is less clear-cut than the proceeding 2, but can be seen as an attempt to compensate individuals who did not pursue a career in order to stay at home and raise children, and are subsequently left in a disadvantageous position after the divorce.
Contrary to popular belief, this issue of fairness applies whether you have negotiated between yourselves directly, instructed a lawyer to negotiate, chosen mediation or simply gone through the divorce courts.

Is it really that complicated?

Unfortunately, the answer is probably yes. Let’s take the example of the family home. If you aren’t married then it is comparatively easy to work out who owns what. Even if you live together, a non-owner will not be entitled to a financial share in the property unless a legal agreement exists. If you are married then it is far more complex. The property can be owned in a number of ways: by 1 of you, jointly by both of you or by someone else entirely, such as a trust or family member. When you split up, the following are all possible scenarios:
  • ownership remains the same one of you is given the right to stay in the property until your children are 18 or finish university, for example
  • ownership is transferred to one person the other may choose to give up their share in return for a larger share of a pension or savings
  • ownership is transferred to one but the other retains interest the interest can be cashed in as a lump sum or fixed percentage when the property is sold
  • the property is sold the proceeds are split between you (following the deduction of any mortgage repayments, estate agents and legal fees).

Get help

Even the most financially savvy person may have difficulty working out what would be a fair division when the emotional aspect of divorce is added into the equation. This is why it helps to have the cool clear head of a financial adviser to help you find the best- and fairest way forward. Accountants offer expertise that can turn out to be very important during the period of personal and financial upheaval that a divorce usually entails. We can help you make sure you have the right information when you need it and help take the right steps into the next stage of your life. Important Notice FCA regulation applies to certain regulated activities, products and services, but does not necessarily apply to all financial planning activities and services. This document is solely for information purposes and nothing in this document is intended to constitute advice or a recommendation. You should not make any investment decisions based upon it s content. Whilst considerable care has been taken to ensure that the information contained within this document is accurate and up-to-date, no warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of any information.

Understanding your retirement income needs just got a lot easier

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) recently published its new ‘retirement living standards’ which aim to give people a clearer idea of how much money they will need in retirement.

The standards, which include three different levels of living, are based on goods and services, ranging from holidays to food and gifts.   It is hoped that these guidelines will change the way people think about their retirement savings.

So what kind of lifestyles do the standards describe?  Well for those living outside of London, there are three levels of affordable lifestyle:

Minimum income: 

The level of income needed for the minimum would  be £10,200 for a single person and £15,700 for a couple.  Under this minimum lifestyle you would be able to get a £38 weekly food shop and a holiday in the UK but you wouldn’t be able to own or run a car!

Moderate income:

If you wanted to have a car (replaced every 10 years) and an annual 2-week holiday in Europe, you would need an income of £20,200 per year for a single person or £29,100 for a couple.

Comfortable income:

The final, more comfortable lifestyle outlined would require an income of £33,000 for a single person or £47,500 for a couple.  This would allow you a few more luxuries including three weeks in Europe per year, a replacement car every five years and a £56 weekly food shop.

Planning your retirement is a huge decision, so these standards are a good guideline to help you make decisions about your future today.  If you still have questions, or you want advice on how to achieve your desired level of income in retirement, then book a free retirement planning consultation with one of our advisers.  Call us on: 01925 396 122 for a FREE review today.

What Can Financial Advice Really Do For Your Life?

Almost 60% of people in the UK say they would benefit from regular financial advice.

Almost 60% of people in the UK say they would benefit from regular financial advice.

As the need for financial advice continues to grow, the country needs more financial advisers to meet demand.

Are you in the 33% of people who admit to a lack of confidence in money matters? Or do you worry that you don’t know enough about money and your finances? The stats show you’re not alone.

Younger people are now seeking advice to improve their financial situations. Retirement planning is happening a lot sooner. And people aim to retire early and are encouraged to do those bucket list items before they retire.

What’s Stopping Some People Seeking Financial Advice?

More people across the UK are realising they need expert help when it comes to protecting wealth for their families. Choosing a financial adviser can be an intimidating process.

That’s why it is important financial advisors are transparent and make things easy to understand.

Just as you trust a dentist to take care of your dental health, you trust in a financial advisor to take care of your financial health. Like choosing a dentist, choosing a financial adviser can feel like a daunting job. So when making a decision, choose a financial advisor you know will make things clear from the offset. 

As you’d expect from Assured Wealth, we make you feel at ease from the start, whatever your knowledge level. We encourage customers to be confident that we’re the right fit for them. And that’s why our initial consultation is always free.

Get In Touch

Whatever your financial situation, Assured Wealth is here to educate and deliver financial advice in a way you’ll understand it. To set up a free consultation, call 01925 396 122 or get in touch via our contact us page.

When can I sell my business?

At what age can I stop working and retire for good?

Building your business has been hard work. But what is it all for? After all, you only get one life, so why not start to live it today!

Will the value you receive for your business allow you to live out your retirement dreams for you and your family? How much do you need to retire on? How old will you be when you exit your business? Will retiring at age 65 for example, allow you enough time to do everything you want to do in life?

These are all challenging questions, with answers that seem a mystery right now. Without expert advice, it’s normal to feel unsure if you’re heading in the right direction to an great retirement.

How To Successfully Sell up and Retire Early

Sitting down with an Independent Financial Planner, you’ll find out how to retire earlier from your business. We will ask you some thought-provoking questions. They’re usually questions you’ve never really sat down to think about. It’s those things you dream of doing when you retire, those all-important bucket list items that remain on your to-do list! Things like how often you want to go on holiday and to where, how you may want to support your children (Education, new home deposit or first car), or what big purchases you want to make in the future for yourself (houses, holiday homes, final home move, new cars etc).

After sharing your dreams and desires with us, we’ll be able to put a monetary figure against them. Treat us as your retirement calculator. We do the maths and create a highly detailed financial plan that works for you. It will include what value you need to sell your business for so you can live the lifestyle you deserve, and that you’ve been dreaming of. After all, no one wants to run out of money early, or sit back and do nothing fearing that they will run out of money in later life.

You owe it to yourself to get a detailed personal financial plan. After all you have been planning for your business for years. Don’t drift into selling your business, take control, now how much you need to sell it for and why.

Get In Touch

Assured Wealth will provide you with a detailed plan, so you know how soon you can sell your business and how much you need it to sell for. And after, you will have a clear vision of your roadmap until your 100 years old. 

Bring clarity and direction to your exit strategy today. Call Assured Wealth on: 01925 396 122 today, to book a FREE review.

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