The rising cost of living is shining a bright light on the value of advice.
Seeking expert help to make life’s biggest financial decisions has never been more important.
The cost of living crisis has been with us for over a year now and isn’t likely to disappear any time soon.
But it’s during tough times that financial advice often proves most valuable.
From securing the best mortgage deal to protecting your hard-earned savings from inflation to keeping your tax bills low, here are eight reasons you should take advice in 2023.
Peace of mind
It’s no surprise that money worries are one of the leading causes of sleep problems.
Uncertainty is not something that sits well with many of us – and concerns about the future often intensify at night.
In fact, according to a study published in 2016, uncertainty is more stressful than knowing something bad is guaranteed to happen.
Uncertainty was a defining characteristic of 2022, and we can expect more of the same this year.
Many of you will be worried about how your finances might be affected.
For most of us, the holy grail is financial peace of mind, the confidence that whatever happens down the line, our future will be taken care of. And that’s exactly what good financial advice can provide.
While news that inflation fell to 7.9 percent in June was encouraging, it still poses one of the greatest threats to your finances.
Interest rates have recently increased, with banks now offering more than 6 percent if you’re prepared to forgo access for at least a year, but this is still lower than inflation.
Finding an investment strategy that keeps pace with price rises is essential to ensure your savings hold their value.
This is where advice can prove really helpful.
An adviser will learn about your investment goals, including your attitude to risk and capacity for investment loss, and recommend a plan that’s right for you.
Major life events
Big life events often trigger an equally big change in our financial circumstances, for better or for worse.
For example, being promoted at work might land you a bigger wage, meaning you can stick more money away for your future or afford a larger home.
On the flip side, it may push you into a higher tax bracket.
Meanwhile, few things match the excitement of becoming a parent, but it can also be expensive: childcare, family protection and children’s savings plans will enter your list of financial priorities.
You may find that, during the early years at least, your finances do not stretch as far as they used to.
When life changes in a major way, financial advice can help ensure that your goals remain on track. And may even encourage you to set new, more ambitious goals.
Taxes have risen
In November, Jeremy Hunt warned during his Autumn Statement that we’ll all be paying more tax this year.
And while the chancellor claimed the wealthiest will be hit the hardest, everyone will have to make sacrifices.
Not exactly music to our ears, especially with our finances already under strain from higher prices.
But the good news is tax planning and mitigation are key services that financial advisers provide.
Whether you aim to streamline your personal affairs, protect your business profits, or safeguard your offspring’s inheritance, expert advice can put more money in your pocket and less in HMRC’s.
Your mortgage deal is ending this year
Anyone with a fixed-rate mortgage expiring this year could be in for a nasty surprise.
Since December 2021, interest rates have risen from 0.1 percent to 5.25 percent, and mortgage rates have followed suit.
The average two-year fix deal is now over 6 percent, significantly higher than it was a year or so ago.
According to reports, there are around two million households with fixed-rate mortgages due to end in 2023. Many face the prospect of paying thousands of pounds a year more in repayment costs.
If this applies to you, and you’re concerned about the potential impact given your mortgage is possibly your largest monthly outgoing, then getting mortgage advice can help.
A regulated broker will scan the market to find the right mortgage deal for you at the best price.
You're nearing retirement
Few financial decisions require more care and attention than how you choose to draw retirement income.
Whether you opt for the security of guarantees, the flexibility of income drawdown, or a combination of the two, the decisions you make with your savings pot will affect the rest of your life.
Choosing the wrong approach can be costly. Once you have bought a guaranteed income product such as an annuity you can’t change your mind, while with drawdown you could run out of money too soon.
There’s no right or wrong answer here – everyone’s situation is unique. It’s about selecting what’s suitable for you.
With your retirement lifestyle on the line, it’s wise to seek advice from a qualified and regulated professional.
You may also need help deciding whether it is worth consolidating existing pensions, and how and when to draw tax-free cash from your retirement arrangements.
The cost of delay
The best time to start saving for your financial future is today. Waiting just a couple of years could cost you thousands of pounds down the line.
This is called the cost of delay. In short, the longer you put off saving for your future, the harder you must save.
We acknowledge things might be tight right now with high inflation, but even small savings can build up over time.
A financial adviser can help you calculate how much you can afford so that you can start making headway towards your financial goals, saving you money down the line.
To map out your future
Choosing and setting financial goals is the easy part. Formulating a plan and having the discipline to see it through is far more challenging.
This applies whether the goal is immediate, such as building a financial buffer or something years into the future like your retirement.
If you need help putting a plan together, you’re far from alone.
And this doesn’t just apply to our finances. It’s why so many people, including professional athletes, use sports and fitness coaches.
A regulated adviser will take the time to learn about what you want to achieve in life, create a tailored plan, and review it regularly to ensure that it remains on track, whatever life throws at you.