For me, September has completely ran away but I think it has been relatively productive and has involved lots of planning.
I have taken a good amount of time to plan in some personal and business goals, most of which are to be achieved by the end of the calendar year but some the financial year (5th April). I thinks it’s good to have goals and aspirations, otherwise do we really know what we are aiming for? I’ve been really detailed in my planning and have been as specific as I possibly can be.
This month, work wise has been super busy, this is why I thought I would ask what September has meant for you? It seems that the children have returned back to school and lots of you are getting in touch to start getting your financial ducks in a row, before the man in his big red suit comes down the chimney! Some of my posts over the recent weeks have been focused on retirement planning and pensions. In-case you haven’t seen those, did you know that there is an estimated over £2billion pounds of unclaimed pensions which have been effectively lost or forgotten about. Based on our average population that’s around £13,000 per person. I know I’d like to keep a handle on an additional lump sum and invest it for my future. Not only are people wanting to search out and amalgamate their pensions, they are looking at ways they can save on income tax before the end of the financial year. Pensions are an amazing way to do this!
For all you self-employed people, have you completed your tax return yet ahead of the 31st January deadline? If yes, great news. If not, you might want to think about doing this sooner rather than later so that you can make sure you have enough set aside to pay the bill...Do you have a separate account where you save for your tax bill? I have to do this otherwise I end up spending the pennies that I shouldn’t really be spending! My point here is that if you have some spare money and are considering investing for your future, now is a great time to do so. You are buying in, at a time where the stock market is relatively volatile, therefore your return on investment has better potential. If the contribution is made before the end of your tax/company year end, all money paid in is free from income and corporation tax, just this alone means at least a 19/20% relief. There is NOWHERE else that can give you this return, plus some potential investment growth.
CW’s weekend tip:
DON’T leave finding your Tax-Bill money until the LAST MINUTE...
This itself can create angst and worry that can knock your overall goals off course. I’ve been speaking with a few of my accountant friends recently and it seems that people generally scrap around to find their tax bill money rather than plan for it. I on the other hand, LOVE a plan, if you hadn’t gathered already. So I plan mine on a monthly basis and set aside as if I was employed. One of my first jobs for May, following the end of the financial year, is to get my accountant to submit my tax return so I have the next nine months to plan for any deficit and of course spend any surplus saved! Next year I’m hoping for a shiny new, bigger and better handbag. I only allow myself to buy one a year (or so)!
This month I am continuing to plan and would love to hear from you about financial planning topics, that you would specifically like to hear about from me, over the next few months. Lots of you kindly let me know, that you would like to read about the impact that Covid has had on our pensions and investments, this is in pipeline. It is also important to note here that, the longer you have to retirement, the less important this blip in the stock market is. There will always be a Brexit or a Covid or a something that is effecting your investments. Providing you have a good financial planner and time on your side, what goes down, generally comes back up and often better.
I’ve also had a little bit of a restructure of my week and decided to free up Friday’s for a bit of ‘me’ time. I think sometimes because I love my job so much, I get totally consumed and forget that I have to love me too. This actually started from this week...it feels great and I think I have been so much more productive Monday to Thursday because I knew there was a reward. Working for rewards, is a much better approach for me, otherwise I’ll always leave a tasks until tomorrow, tomorrow takes a while to come around and I end up with bits hanging over my head. I’ve also decided to turn off my social media notifications. I’ve found that since lockdown it consumes a lot more of my time and that I’m very reactive. Moving forward I will check my apps a couple of times a day but look forward to enjoying a clearer headspace and achieving my goals!
As always, I am here and happy to help with any questions that you might need answering. I hope to hear from you soon.