Five financial resolutions for 2021

Word 2021 put on coins and glass bottles with coins inside on green bokeh background.Savings New yea

Jeremy Woodruff of Smith & Pinching offers his expert advice in the form of five financial resolutions for the New Year - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As we start 2021, Jeremy Woodruff, director at Smith & Pinching, suggests some New Year’s resolutions for your finances.

Jeremy Woodruff is a Director and Chartered Financial Planner Picture: Smith & Pinching

Jeremy Woodruff is a Director and Chartered Financial Planner Picture: Smith & Pinching - Credit: Archant

The beginning of a New Year is a good time to take stock of your finances and to take positive steps to secure your financial future, both in the short and the long term. It’s also a time to come up with resolutions to do what’s good for you and your loved ones, so I have five financial resolutions for you to consider.

The first resolution is to step up to the plate and take responsibility for your finances. It’s all too easy to do the minimum just once – sign up to workplace pension contributions, put money into a savings account, take out life insurance and open an ISA, for example – and to sit back and expect everything to fall into place without further intervention from you. My message is this: you need a long-term financial plan that maps out what is needed to achieve your goals. Your financial plan must be flexible and adaptable as circumstances change both personally and in the wider world. Reviewing your arrangements and adjusting your plan are essential if you are to keep on track.

Resolution number two is to make the most of the tax breaks available across pensions, savings and investments. Where possible and suitable, use your ISA allowances to optimise your investments. Pension contributions benefit from tax relief, adding value to the overall pot, so make additional contributions if they are affordable and suitable.

My third resolution for you is to be prepared for the curve balls that life may throw at you. In practice that may mean taking out insurance policies for support in the event of illness or injury, or maybe retaining an emergency fund to cover short-term disasters.

The fourth resolution I propose for you is to look beyond the immediate horizon. Whatever your age, wherever you are on the career ladder, it’s never too early or too late to start to plan ahead. We will all hopefully be able to enjoy a long retirement – even with advancing retirement ages – so it’s essential to ensure that you have made the right provision to maintain the lifestyle you want.

The final resolution is to get independent financial advice from a Chartered Financial Planner. Chartered Financial Planners such as those in the advice team at Smith & Pinching will be able to put vague concepts into real life facts and figures and help you build a financial plan that is right for you. Happy New Year!

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Any opinions expressed in this article do not constitute advice. The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested.

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