How we did in 2022
It's been over a year since Longfields launched a Financial Services offering in conjunction with Independent Financial Adviser Neil Walker of 2plan wealth management Ltd. With 2023 well underway, we caught up with Neil to look back on how he has assisted our clients with their financial planning over the past 18 months.
Whilst each client may have different needs, Neil tells us in 2022, there were four key areas that clients discussed with him. Below, we take a look at what these were:
Since the Financial Services offering began, approximately 30% of our cases have involved offering financial protection for loved ones. An area which Neil is finding more and more people being acute to. Not only in terms of the requirement to protect against the breadwinner's premature death but also the need to replace lost childcare provisions and important tasks at home. These are all seen as vital should the worst happen to a parent in the family.
Alongside obtaining life cover, many clients are becoming more aware of the need to protect against serve or critical illness. We have seen approximately 40% of our protection cases making provisions for this as well as death. This need is all too easily reflected when we consider Macmillan’s latest research, which suggests that as many as 1 in 2 of us will be diagnosed with cancer during our lifetimes. Having a financial response to such a diagnosis can at least soften the financial blow of such life-changing news, allowing you to focus on recovery without the additional worry of finance.
Our 'A New Tax Year' blog, which launched in spring 2022, remains the main area of focus for enquiries, and we'd actively encourage you to read this. In the blog, Neil talks about making full use of the tax efficiencies offered by ISAs and Pensions, as well as ensuring that current plans match a client's current needs, views, and circumstances. In fact, more than 50% of our cases since January 2022 involve using an ISA or Pension solution.
Keep regular focus
Looking back on what has been one of the most turbulent years for financial markets in some time, simply providing a regular and reliable face-to-face review service is hugely important to allow clients to keep things in perspective. Neil finds that just being there to hold his client's hand as fund values fluctuate is one of the most important parts of an investor/adviser relationship. The emotive desire to 'cut and run' as markets decline is most natural for many clients. By removing emotion from the equation, clients can focus on their original investment goals while ignoring all the noise. Regular reviews of asset classes, portfolio makeup and a client's risk attitude enable us to ensure that the client remains on track for their goals. By far, the majority of Neil's meetings are spent completing reviews of current holdings.
Make the most of Limited Companies opportunities for owning Directors
Be it by making pension contributions funded by the employer or by the use of Relevant Life as a highly tax-efficient method of protecting the family, reviewing family-owned companies has increased in popularity. Of those life cover cases previously mentioned, 30% have been funded by a Relevant Life plan, which means that the business can offset the cost of family protection as a business expense, leading to large tax savings. In our blog 'Let Your Business Take the Strain', Neil talks about the benefits of Relevant Life and why business owners should explore this as part of their personal and business financial arrangements.
As 2023 gathers momentum, early indications suggest these four main focus areas, along with Inheritance Tax issues, remain top of the list for Longfields clients.
If you would like to discuss your financial planning and find out how Neil can assist you, please speak with your Longfields Account Manager, who will put you in touch with Neil.
Neil Walker is an adviser at 2plan wealth management Ltd.
2plan wealth management Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It is entered on the FCA register (www.fca.org.uk) under reference 461598. Registered office: 2plan wealth management Ltd, 3rd Floor, Bridgewater Place, Water Lane, Leeds, LS11 5BZ. Registered in England Number: 05998270
Tax planning is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.