Financial Planning Tips

by | Jan 3, 2024

Protect Your Financial Well-Being

(Originally published January 2024, this article provides early financial planning tips for any time of year.)

Many of life’s changes can inspire you to get your finances in order. Maybe it’s the beginning of a new job that allows you to save more. Maybe it’s the needs of a new family. Maybe you have goals that require long-term financial planning.

Whatever the reason, here are a few essential tips to get you started.

Create a Savings Budget
Save money as part of your financial plan.

To do this, you need to look at how much income you have each month after tax (or for the self-employed, after provision is made for tax that will have to be paid). You can often find online budgeting applications or just create a spreadsheet that then lists all your essential and non-essential spending. 
It is quite surprising how much we all spend on non-essential items, so review whether savings can be made. Identify how much money you should have left over each month on the spreadsheet and then look at the reality. You may have wondered where all the money goes each month, now you can identify it and then start to build a plan to save money each month. 

It reminds me of a conversation:
A- Look at all the money you have spent on drinking and eating out. If you had saved this money over the years, you could have had a Ferrari by now’ 
B- ‘You never drink or eat out- where is your Ferrari?’ 

Debts and Emergencies

Interest rates are high and planning to pay off debt should be a high priority. If you hit the credit cards before Christmas, it would be a good idea to clear those first. Then, prioritise building an emergency fund that covers at least 6-12 months. This is your safety net in case of unexpected financial emergencies such as job loss. 
One way to do this is to ‘automate’ savings via online banking to transfer a sum at the start of each month into a savings account. 

Prepare for unexpected bills and emergencies.

When I started out as a financial planning in the late 1980s, I was told my job is ‘Protection, protection and protection’. That was it! 

Protect your family through financial planning.

Protection- Life Insurance 

Protect against the death of the breadwinner(s) to ensure that the family not only are left with no debt but that there are sufficient funds available to provide an income that will cover their living costs- particularly important for those with children and other dependants. 

Protection – Illness/Accident 

 Protect against not being able to work in the event of illness or disability. State benefits are unlikely to be sufficient and, for those with commitments, not being able to work could be financially disastrous. 

 Protection- Retirement 

State Pensions in many countries are considerably lower than average earnings and many find it a struggle to live solely on this level of income. To protect a decent standard of living in retirement, it is prudent to put together a plan to maintain a savings regime with retirement in mind. This could be via personal/supplementary pension savings or regularly investing into a retirement portfolio. 

Take Financial Advice

It may also be a good time to get financial adviser to review your plans and help meet these goals. 
Whatever your plans, we hope you have a successful 2024. 

The views expressed in this article are not to be construed as personal advice. Therefore, you should contact a qualified, and ideally, regulated adviser in order to obtain up-to-date personal advice with regard to your own personal circumstances. Consequently, if you do not, then you are acting under your own authority and deemed “execution only”. The author does not accept any liability for people acting without personalised advice, who base a decision on views expressed in this generic article. Importantly, where this article is dated then it is based on legislation as of the date. Legislation changes but articles are rarely updated, although sometimes a new article is written; so, please check for later articles or changes in legislation on official government websites, as this article should not be relied on in isolation.

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Post written by:

Chris Lean

In the UK he worked with accountants as an independent financial adviser, qualified as a Chartered Financial Planner and became an examiner for the Chartered Insurance Institute. He also qualified as a European Financial Planner and specializes in investment and pension advice to clients.

Aisa International is the only financial advice service company specialising in advice for expats that is regulated as a Securities Trader in the Czech Republic, USA, and UK.