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04 Jan 2017

Ask the experts: Personal finance New Year´s resolutions

With the start of the New Year, and 78% of Brits intending to save over the coming months - according to Masthaven - the City A.M. website recently offered some advice on personal finances. Below are some of the financial resolutions experts suggest you should make for 2017.

Maximise your personal allowances

Gary Smith, associate director of financial planning at Tilney, advises savers to make the most of all available allowances - making their portfolio work harder and be more tax efficient. For example, utilising the Isa allowance for the current tax year (£15,240), along with the increased allowance of £20,000 from April. Individuals should also take advantage of tax relief on pension contributions in case the chancellor makes changes to these.

Confront your mortality

The number of high-profile deaths in 2016 should have forced people to consider what will happen to their savings and portfolios after they die, says Rachael Griffin, financial planning expert at Old Mutual Wealth. Ensure that your will is accurate and up-to-date, and consider using trusts - not only do they have tax benefits, they offer greater security over wealth distribution after death.

Consolidate your debts

If your finances are stretched after Christmas, make sure you´re not overpaying interest on store cards or credit cards, Clare Francis - savings and investing expert at Barclays - advises. With today´s competitive balance transfer market, long interest-free periods and good rates on personal loans, it´s a good time to get things in order.

Expect the unexpected

Karen Barrett, chief executive at Unbiased, reminds us that 2017 looks to be as uncertain as the year previous. With surrounding political and economic uncertainty, protect yourself with everything from income protection to life insurance and critical illness cover. Preparing for the worst will leave you in the best possible stance.

Copyright M2 Bespoke 2016

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