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Navigation changes - check everything

05 July 2024

Have you ever driven along in your car and entered a new section of road? It doesn't show on the satnav and perhaps just for a second, you might not know where you're going. The problem is normally short lived, and resolved with the next system upgrade, but disconcerting all the same.

Little stands still, and many landscapes change, with adaptions made by us to reflect our reaction. The best current example must be the change in government in July 2024. The political landscape has changed, and rules/regulations, taxes, and legislation will of course change as Labour begins its administration and introduces us all to their views over the next five years, indeed possibly more. As we have seen from the results, there will be little opposition to new legislation. Let's not forget that the UK is not alone in having elections (see France and America as examples) and other political landscapes may also change.

And just like the car satnav scenario noted in the first paragraph, we will all adapt in our own ways as a new political 'road map' unfolds before us. Unmapped so far, it will be interesting to see how and when changes are made and delivered. Knowing where you are financially at the time of change would be sensible to help you to consider your best route forward.

Many of our blog readers will appreciate that we are advocates of a regular financial review, to ensure that you know where you are, and to identify whether any changes or adjustments need to be made. This is not always the case, but knowing where you are on your own financial map is important.

This year might be different. You might want to check everything, to have a detailed assessment of your investments, pension income, other arrangements, and tax position for your overall income.

As examples (and this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Have you checked your State Pension forecast? Is there a benefit in topping up, if suitable?
  • Are Wills and Powers of Attorney arrangements in place and up to date (and does a loved one / trusted one know where these are kept)?
  • Where possible and suitable, are your savings sheltered from tax (for example, in ISAs and Premium Bonds)?
  • Have you looked at holding savings in a spouse's/partner's name to possibly reduce tax charges?
  • Have you reviewed your investments, and any relevant tax take being made?

This financial check does not have a positive or negative connotation attached to it, just having a map of where you are. You may be better or worse off following the change in government, and a check might help to confirm this position.

Knowing where you are is always worthwhile, but perhaps more than ever in 2024.

No individual advice is provided during the course of this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS
CFP Chartered FCSI
Chartered Financial Planner

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

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