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The Magnificent 7 Questions to Control Your Personal Finances

All of us check a mirror every day – some of us more frequently than others, to check if we are looking at our best.

Many of us will keep an eye on our weight, visiting the weighing scales – often with anticipated dread. Few of us however, keep a regular eye on our personal finances – our financial well-being and standing. There are seven critical things you need to be checking, if not every day, then at least several times a year. Here’s our key areas I recommend you should be watching out for:
1. Make checking the look of your finances and your financial ‘weight’ a habit

You should do this at least once a year. A great time to do this is at the beginning of each calendar or financial year.

2. Make sure you protect your loved ones

What will happen to your partner/children/other loved ones? (Do include any pets in your analysis!) Another related question is what will happen to my business or my business partners? There are in fact lots of different types of personal protection policies, varying as to the level of cover and cost. Income Protection is one type of protection which not many people are aware of, which covers you for losing the job you are presently doing and can compensate you up to your present net profit; it may not be as expensive as you think. Think about it and take action – before it is too late.

3. What plans have you made for your retirement?

Retirement soon comes around. The earlier you start the better, but you probably do need to save more than you think to get the level of pension you want. Indeed do you know the level of pension you want? Is a pension even the right answer? The answer to this latter question can vary with age. Have you considered ISA’s or other alternative investments for your retirement? If so, are these strategies right? Long-term starts today!

4. How often do you review the performance of your pensions and investments?

Most of us are guilty of failing to keep an eye on our investments are performing. Have you also considered how your pension is performing? Again, this should be done annually.

5. Have you got a will?

Few of us want to think of the worst; it seems to be tempting fate. The Intestacy rules however, can sometimes be unpredictable. If you have no will the Intestacy rules apply. Have you thought about wills for your business? These protect you and your spouse and your business partners should you or your business partner become unable to work or die.

6. Have you thought about inheritance tax?

Although the levels at which inheritance tax start seem high, they affect more of us that expected. Have you prepared a personal Balance Sheet? You might be surprised at the answer; it might make you feel good, but also leave you with an Inheritance Tax headache. The importance of these questions can vary at different stages of your life; indeed, are you asking yourself these questions? Do you know the answers?

7. Is this the time to make your exit?

Lastly, don’t forget your own business. How would you like to exit your business? This is something you should be thinking about from starting up the business. If you don’t plan this, you could end up in the wrong place. Starting to think about this with only 2 to 3 years to go could be too late. Having thought through your magnificent seven questions why not have a chat with us, as we are completely independent; we don’t sell any financial service products. We can offer a review of your personal finances, the Wealth Tracker. Alternatively we can also help you put together your personal Balance Sheet. Knowing where you are right now and putting in a plan will help you feel in control of your future.