The prospect of soliciting financial advice can seem daunting and many may question whether they need expert advice, or wonder which aspects of advice might benefit them the most. While a meaningful change of your circumstances is often viewed as a catalyst, certain scenarios can make seeking advice much more pressing.
The value of financial advice
When the economic environment is highly challenging you may be wary about paying for a service – but a potentially much better financial outcome could make seeking advice worthwhile.
The latest analysis by the International Longevity Centre (ILC) shows that those who received professional financial advice over a five-year period received a total boost to their wealth (in pensions and financial assets) of £47,706 just a few years later. The centre also reported on the non-financial benefits of advice such as better control, and greater peace of mind and security.
While both the financial and less quantifiable impacts can be significant, you should, of course, question whether you need advice at all.
Do you need advice, or guidance?
A little self-research and expert guidance can help you keep your financial plans on track. For example, we can help you decide whether to invest through an ISA or general investment account, and explore the various levels of risk with you without offering a personal recommendation.
We also think you shouldn’t have to pay to do the simple things – such as making new ISA subscriptions each year. This is advice you probably don’t need, especially when your plans or the composition of your investments haven’t changed. We can automatically transfer funds from your taxable investment to an ISA every year so you remain highly tax efficient.
Our powerful online tools (which you can try for free here without any commitment) also help you plan ahead effectively. You can make various assumptions – changing the figures as you please – based on the amount you invest, your timeframe, inflation level and how much risk you want to take. The projections can give you an extraordinarily clear view of how your potential financial outcome could take shape.
However, there are certain scenarios where financial advice can make a big difference – helping you avoid some of the hassles from managing money effectively, and giving you a meaningful amount more to spend in the years to come.
If you inherit money
An inheritance may come as a surprise and you might not be sure how best to manage the extra money, or how best to put it to work – whether you already have considerable assets or not.
We present some ideas here about how to effectively manage an inheritance but if you are holding lots of cash for whatever reason, you may want specific advice on how to put to it use more effectively.
If you are approaching retirement (or if you have already retired)
If your life is hectic you may not have had the chance to maximise your retirement funds, or to assess whether you could potentially boost your income (by paying much less in fees, for example).
How you plan to and can afford to live in retirement depends on your individual circumstances – often requiring a personalised approach to ensure you can still retire as planned. This video could provide some useful pointers but because retirement planning can be highly complex you may need tailored advice to maximise opportunities and avoid the inaction and mistakes that retirees often regret.
If you are going through a divorce
Going through a divorce can cause considerable emotional and financial disruption. And while lawyers are naturally involved during a marriage breakdown you shouldn’t overlook how financial advice could help you emerge on a sounder financial footing.
Expert advisers can help you navigate such aspects of a settlement as pension assets (often neglected) and give you confidence as you construct a financial plan of your own, and build towards a future with you in control.
If you face exceeding the lifetime allowance
If your overall pension assets are likely to exceed the current level of £1,073,100 you will face what is known as the lifetime allowance (LTA) charge – this is an area that is quite complicated to negotiate. We explain the ins and outs of the LTA here and to help you work out your potential lifetime allowance tax charge, you can register here to use our LTA calculator.
There is a misconception that you should curtail investing for your future to avoid LTA charges, but you can get help with structuring your finances to mitigate its effects and to fully enjoy the retirement you had planned.
If you are leaving money for the next generation
Effectively leaving money for the next generation usually requires considerable forethought. You will need to evaluate when to gift money, and assess how to do so tax efficiently while keeping the best interests of your family in mind.
This article explores some of the parameters to consider but again, it’s quite complicated, so you may need advice tailored to your situation.
If you have dependant family members
Nobody can anticipate the unexpected but you can prepare appropriately. It’s worth finding out about, for example, how a lasting power of attorney can protect your financial wishes or those of your partner.
Similarly, if the worst happens to you or your spouse, an adviser with knowledge of your affairs can help to smooth any transition, and give you vital consolation if you are feeling overwhelmed.
What to do now
You should think carefully about whether you need financial advice. Chances are, if your needs are reasonably complex, you will likely benefit: from the reassurance of an expert financial appraisal and the potential boost to your investments.
You may need one-off advice for a specific event, or you may prefer ongoing advice to ensure you optimise your investments and retirement plan. We provide a free no-obligation consultation to help you decide what’s right for you – so please get in touch.
Please note, the value of your investments can go down as well as up.
Our advisers offer restricted advice that relates to Netwealth’s products and services and does not consider the whole market. Netwealth does not provide tax or legal advice and does not advise on transfers of pensions with safeguarded benefits.