Downsizing

01 September 2017

I always aim to make these blogs topical and this is on many occasions influenced by the enquiries that we receive at Chapters Financial. Our website attracts on average three to five enquiries a week and we are delighted that our text attracts so much attention. As we approach our thirteenth birthday, the level of client enquiries remains sustained and we are always grateful for this compliment.

One of the topics that has developed over the summer is the financial effects and possible benefits of downsizing from the family home, both for the individual or individuals concerned, but also for the family in the form of gifting.

We are all living longer, which is good on many levels, but it brings with it responsibilities and, sadly in many cases, liabilities. I am of course referring to any future need for long term care.

Inheritance tax is an important issue and my colleague, Vicky Fulcher, has looked at the current position and potential future position of the main residence and any tax that might be applicable: http://www.chaptersfinancial.com/private-clients/inheritance-tax-planning

If you do sell, and this can be a very emotive decision we appreciate, how much do you release? Don't forget costs, both for the sale, such as estate agent costs (+ VAT), and stamp duty (along with new carpets and curtains), for the purchase. Is this effective 'equity release' sufficient and how could it be invested to provide, as an example, income?

Do you move locally to stay with your friends, or move closer to the family that moved away some decades ago? And of course, there's the family home, with its 3-4-5-6 bedrooms that will need to be emptied of its contents, whether these are distributed or sold. Possibly heart-wrenching, but very often necessary all the same. All questions that will need to be considered and in our experience something that takes a little time to get your head round before you take the plunge and the 'For Sale' board appears in your hedge.

And what about gifting money away at this junction in your life, because it is a life junction, make no mistake. However, in our experience, it is a worthwhile progression, although do not leave it until you are too old to make good, considered decisions. As to what 'too old' is – this is for you to decide, possibly with your family.

One of the other important topics is provision of future long term care and its ever-increasing cost. We appreciate that inflation is an important factor in any financial planning; however the scale of rate increases in recent times is, it appears, somewhat in excess of the headline rate in the Surrey area. This needs to be taken into account.

As we note, there is much to consider at this life junction and we look forward to helping you through the process. If you would like to know more about how we can help, then please contact the Chapters Financial team in Guildford.

No individual advice is provided during this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS

Director

CFP Chartered FCSI

Chartered Financial Planner

Chapters Financial Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, number 402899.