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RIS top tips for 2011

The New Year is typically a time when we get our financial affairs in order, aim to get round to doing all those things we mean to get organised and try to get ready for the year ahead. Therefore RIS have come up with a list of Top Tips for 2011 to help you feel secure knowing you’ve got all the essentials covered.

 1. Don’t put it off

Most people procrastinate over financial planning issues for a number of reasons: they don’t want to know the truth, they are worried about fees, or they think it will be hard work.  If you don’t take action now, when will you start? What could you be missing out on if you don’t take the bull by the horns?

 2. Make/Update your Will

None of us can predict what the future has in store, and making provisions for when we are gone is the last thing most of us want to consider. But the New Year is an ideal time to check that your Will still reflects your wishes.

The New Year is typically a time when we get our financial affairs in order, aim to get round to doing all those things we mean to get organized and try to get ready for the year ahead. Therefore we’ve come up with al list of Top Tips for 2011 to help you feel secure knowing you’ve got all the essentials covered.

 1. Don’t put it off

Most people procrastinate over financial planning issues for a number of reasons: they don’t want to know the truth, they are worried about fees, or they think it will be hard work.  If you don’t take action now, when will you start? What could you be missing out on if you don’t take the bull by the horns?

 2. Make/Update your Will

None of us can predict what the future has in store, and making provisions for when we are gone is the last thing most of us want to consider. But the New Year is an ideal time to check that your Will still reflects your wishes.

 3. Check your interest rates

In the current climate of incredible low interest rates are you confident that your savings are getting the very best rate available? Too many people sign up for an initial high interest rate and then neglect accounts which will quickly revert back upon maturity – don’t let it happen to you.

4. Have you considered a Trust?

Trusts don’t have to be complicated or costly and are a really valuable tool in tax mitigation and keeping your money “in the family”.

 5. ISA allowances

Have you used up your ISA allowances? There are just two types of ISA - the Cash ISA and the Stocks and Shares ISA – and the combined allowance for both in 2010/11 is £10,200.

Within this, the limit for Cash ISAs - or for the cash element within a Stocks and Shares ISA – is £5,100. However, there is flexibility over how these limits can be used - you can, for example, put the maximum £5,100 in a cash account and £5,100 in a stocks and shares account. Alternatively, though, if you place just £2,000 in cash, you can use the entire remaining balance – £8,200 in this case - to invest in stocks and shares. If you don’t need cash at all, you can put the full £10,200 into stocks and shares.

In addition, you can transfer existing Cash ISA holdings to a Stocks and Shares ISA without impacting on your current tax year allowance. So, if you have £10,000 already sitting in existing cash ISA plans then this amount can be moved to a Stocks and Shares ISA, yet leave your entire current tax year allowance still available for new investment.

6. Check your coding

Last year HM Revenue & Customs sent out 25 million tax codes, but not many people are aware that a large number of them were wrong!

Your PAYE coding notice tells employers and pension providers how much tax to deduct from your pay or pension but thanks to moving all their records onto a new computer system last year it seems to have gone drastically wrong.

If you have any concerns about your Tax Coding give us a call or contact the Revenue on 0845 302 1443. However be warned - you may have to be patient as hundreds of thousands – possibly millions – of Coding Notices are wrong.

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T: 01489 878300
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