With so many complex and uncertain variables out there with the potential to knock your investments off track and jeopardise your objectives, it’s wise to seek guidance from a qualified professional.
The term ‘investment’ can mean different things to different people.
For you, it might mean “making my money grow” or “getting a decent income from my capital”. While these may seem like simple concepts, the current low interest rate environment could render the achievement of an investment return that meets your expectations more challenging.
Even in an economy with higher interest rates, such as those seen during the 1980s, the impact of tax and high inflation can also work against savers, combining to diminish the buying power of cash.
Regardless of the wider economic backdrop, generating good investment returns has never been simple.
Do you want to help a child or grandchild onto the property ladder, support them through higher education, help with a major expense, such as a wedding, or even start a pension pot for them?
Higher education costs, including loans for tuition fees, living costs and maintenance, are estimated to cost in excess of £50,000, for a three-year university education.
Getting onto the property ladder
Is another major expenditure. For an average first-time buyer, a deposit of over £50,000 could be required, more than the average annual salary.
May seem a very long way off, but as with all planning, the sooner you start, the better. The full State Pension is currently £175.20 a week and is certainly not enough on its own to achieve a comfortable retirement.
Planning for retirement might seem a bit pointless if you are young. Any investment could contribute to your retirement in some way but pensions were designed to encourage it with financial incentives. You have probably been told pensions don’t perform, are risky and pointless. Those people don’t understand what a pension is.
A pension is usually set up as a trust (see trusts) which provides inheritance tax advantages. You or your employer can pay into it before income tax and national insurance is deducted or get a tax credit for the income tax already paid.
You can then choose how you invest and the level of risk you are willing to take.
There are many types of trusts. They are set up by a donor or settlor who place the assets in the possession of a trustee to look after them for the beneficiaries, the people the donor or settlor intended to eventually give them to.
They are just a legal contract establishing your wishes.
Inheritance tax planning can make a huge difference to your loved ones. It might seem hard to believe but having five or ten million pounds doesn’t have to mean you will have to pay inheritance tax. It just means you need to seek advice and make some choices.
You must have done something right to have enough to be liable for inheritance tax, don’t mess it up now.