I’ve been writing my list for Retirement Planning Santa, and there are a couple of gifts I’d like for the New Year.
Tax Relief for Financial Planning Services
I see the “Cost of Living Crisis” as two, quite distinct “crises”:
- An inequality crisis. Whilst my work doesn’t expose me much to people who are struggling financially, it is clear that some people are struggling to make ends meet. This is a political issue – and I keep politics out of my blog posts!
- A Financial Planning Crisis. It is clear that some people just don’t plan and my work exposes me to plenty of people who don’t know how to plan their finances. This often means that people don’t know how much they spend from year to year, and they may miss out crucial items from their expenditure analysis. It often means that they haven’t put money aside for emergencies too, and, when an emergency comes along, they don’t have the funds to cover it.
Simple financial planning could have prevented many people from getting into difficulty over the last year or so, as costs rose more quickly than expected. By simple financial planning, I mean a short term analysis of expenditure and income, assets and liabilities (as opposed to whether you should invest in ISAs, pensions or change your investment strategy, etc.). A simple financial plan would have helped people to recognise where the risks to their financial security lie, and to work out what to do about those risks in advance. The knowledge that there are some things that can be cut from the family budget when things get tough or the presence of an emergency fund so that you can deal with financial shocks would have been helpful to a huge number of people over the last year.
It’s something that will help in the future too.
However, it’s only complex financial planning which gets tax incentives – for example, paying money into pensions, ISAs and Venture Capital Trusts.
A forward-looking Chancellor would see the benefit of simple cashflow planning, and give people a tax incentive to take up this service. If not tax relief, then maybe some other incentive for people to plan their finances. Sadly, the Chancellor hasn’t done so yet, so I’m asking Financial Planning Santa to provide this gift to help people have a better New Year financially.
National Savings Index-Linked Certificates
Many of our clients have been happy that they hold this valuable investment. They provide a tax free return, linked to inflation, backed by the government. Returns for 2022 have been pretty good, as a result of inflation, and compared to other investments, they have been outstanding.
Sadly, Index Linked Certificates aren’t available to new investors, and a new issue doesn’t seem to be on the cards. So, I’m asking Financial Planning Santa to bring us all some Christmas cheer and make a new issue available.
Christmas greeting to all the readers of this blog from the team at Sussex Retirement Planning.
Philip Wise | email@example.com
Managing Director and Chartered Financial Planner