Tag Archives: financial planning

The Importance of Financial Planning for Retirement

Financial planning is the key to shaping the retirement you want.

If you consider yourself to be nearing the end of your career and/or planning to retire within the next 10 years or so, then you should probably consider these financial planning questions:

> Am I going to be able to afford to choose when I retire?
> Is there a chance I might run out of money?
> How can I be sure I can enjoy the sort of retirement I’m hoping for?

However, planning for retirement is an often-overlooked aspect of personal financial planning, which can be a cause for concern as retirement starts getting closer and closer.

We’ve outlined some suggestions as to how to boost your pension savings and help achieve your retirement goals sooner.

Review your pension contributions
Sometimes the simplest solutions can have the most impact – and, if you want to beef up your savings for retirement, you can simply increase the contributions you make to your pension.

For example, those who are lucky enough to receive a pay rise broadly in line with inflation each year, who then make just a 1% increase in pension contributions, could potentially add thousands to their eventual pension pot, due to the power of compounding.

Of course, the earlier you invest your money, the greater the benefit you will enjoy from the effects of compounding. Increasing your contributions as early as possible just makes the compounding effect even larger, so careful financial planning for the long term is key.

Make sure you regularly review your strategy
Many pension holders are not aware that they can choose how their pension is invested and often just leave the decision in the hands of their workplace or pension provider.

In fact, you don’t have to hold a pension with the provider your employer has chosen. If you wish, you can ask them to pay into a different pension so you can choose the provider yourself, based on the type of funds they offer, the fees they charge and other factors such as ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) considerations.

Also, a lot of pension providers can offer you several options for investment strategies. If you’re in the default option, you could achieve higher returns with a different strategy (though this will usually mean taking on more investment risk). Note that this may not be appropriate in all circumstances, particularly if you are close to retirement.

Make sure you understand your pension contribution allowances
When you save money in a pension for retirement, the government adds tax relief on top of the contributions you make, which helps you to grow your savings faster. But the amount of contributions on which you can claim tax relief each year are limited by an ‘annual allowance’. For the 2021/22 tax year, the limit is £40,000, or may be lower in some cases, so it’s important to take this into account.

It is also important to know that, if you’ve received a lump such (e.g. an inheritance, proceeds from the sale of a business or other asset…) and you want to contribute more than your annual allowance limit into your pension in one tax year, you can use any unused allowance from up to three previous years.

So, if you have £20,000 of unused allowance in each of the past three years, that’s another £60,000 on which you could claim tax relief for this year.

Tracking down lost pensions
Very often, starting a job with a new employer means starting a new pension and the pension they had with their last employer can be overlooked. As a result, it is surprisingly common for people to lose track of the pensions they had with previous employers.  Tracking down lost pensions, especially if contributions were made many years ago, can give a very significant boost to your retirement savings.

Old pensions can usually be tracked down via the provider, so make sure you check through letters and emails you still have from your past employer(s) to see if you can find your pension provider and/or policy number.

If you’re not sure, ask your past employer(s) the about the pension provider and, once you know the name of the provider, they should be able to find your pension by using details, such as your date of birth or National Insurance number.

For independent expert advice about pensions and planning for your retirement, please contact the Farnham-based Fish Saltus team today and we’d be happy to help!








Visualising Your Financial Future

Visualising your financial future can help you live your life of dreams and pass on your wealth successfully

Many of those who seek to change their lives and move forward find they encounter roadblocks. Visualising your financial future and preparing for such roadblocks, which come in the form of unnecessary fears and worries about what might happen next, can stop us from reaching our potential and achieving happiness.

Visualise your financial future

Visualisation is a powerful tool that we all use every day, without realising it. It allows us to imagine anything we desire – such as the image of our favourite celebrity, or something we want to buy – and this technique can be harnessed by those who wish to visualise their future for more practical purposes too.

One way in which you can begin visualising your future is by imagining how you would like your life to look in five years’ time, ten years’ time, twenty years’ time, and so on. Financial well-being ultimately comes from achieving financial security and independence.

When you’ve reached a state of financial wellbeing, you’ve got to a point where you have a sufficient level of income for your lifestyle needs, enough capital to give you peace of mind and the knowledge that whatever happens you, your family and business are fully protected.
Most people have lifestyle goals that are directly related to their finances. So why is it then that some people have the ability to live the life of dreams and pass on their wealth successfully to the next generation, but others face the prospect of selling their home or worry about health and care fee costs, and leave behind a tax bill for their loved ones to deal with?

Tangible and realistic goals
Regardless of what life stage you are at, you are likely to have some short, medium and long-term financial and lifestyle goals. Setting tangible and realistic goals, following them, and tracking and reviewing your progress is the key to success in achieving them.

If you are married, it makes sense for you and your spouse to both share the same financial and lifestyle goals. Otherwise, achieving them will be almost impossible. It’s important to develop your financial and lifestyle plans together, and review your progress together to make sure both of you are contributing to the same outcomes.

How much money will I need?
Determining what your short-term, mid-term and long-term financial and lifestyle goals are is the first step. This may include planning for that dream holiday, buying a new property, university savings for your children or grandchildren, and retirement savings. Once you’ve both agreed your financial and lifestyle goals, the next step is to determine a good estimate for how much money you’ll need for each of them.

Determining an accurate amount will involve clearly identifying each of them. So for example, do you want to pay for your children or grandchildren to have a private education? If you are saving to pay towards your children’s or grandchildren’s university fees, what percentage do you want to pay? Your retirement savings needs will depend greatly on the lifestyle you plan to lead once you are retired, as well as when you plan to retire.

What savings goals should I set?
It’s important to prioritise each of your financial and lifestyle goals in order of importance, and then determine how long you have to save or invest for each of them. Retirement could be many years away, but your short-term goals could be in a year or two. Next, estimate how much interest or capital gains you’ll expect to see from saving and investing your money. While capital gains, or growth, are never guaranteed, an estimated average can be used for these purposes.

When you set your financial and lifestyle goals, don’t just pick an ambiguous number. Look at how much you’re earning, what your expenses are, and determine how much you could realistically save or invest each month. You should have both a monthly and yearly savings and investment goal, and ideally they should align based on your overall total wealth solution.

Do I have a sufficient emergency fund in place?
It’s no surprise that when life presents an emergency, it threatens your financial wellbeing and can cause tremendous stress. Are you currently living without a financial safety net? How would you hope to get by financially without running into a short-term crisis? If you don’t already have a rainy day fund in place, this should be the first savings goal on your list. Your emergency fund should be sufficient to cover at least six months of your outgoings. This should include all of your living expenses, and the expenses of any dependents you have.

Where should you keep your emergency savings? If you already have an emergency fund, how does it fit in with your goals? Being prepared with an emergency fund gives you confidence that you can tackle any of life’s unexpected events without adding money worries to your list.

Do I know where my money is going?
Are you tracking your expenses? If you don’t know how much you spend in a month, that will seriously hinder your ability to budget. That’s why tracking your expenses is so crucial. Make a budget plan you can stick to. But making a budget plan and making a budget plan you can follow are two entirely different things. This is why tracking your expenses is important and it can inform your budgeting choices.

Ask yourself: How would I cope with unexpected car problems or medical bills? Do I know where my money is going? Am I in control of my spending? Have I prepared a budget plan? Provided you stick to it, a budget plan will help you keep on top of your spending and make sure you can identify wasteful expenditure.

Is my family protected if the unexpected were to happen to me?
We can’t predict the future. However, we can help our loved ones by planning for it. It’s not just you that your financial planning has an impact on. We all intend that our plans will come good. But, making sure that your family – or your business – can cope if you fall ill or were to die unexpectedly is something we can too easily put to one side.

Would my family or business find themselves unable to pay the bills if something were to happen to me? This is why it’s essential that your financial and lifestyle goals are fully protected to ensure that an outstanding mortgage and any liabilities would be paid off, and your family would continue to receive an ongoing income if the worst were to happen. Should an unforeseen event occur today, am I adequately protected? If not, take action now.

What do I need to invest for? What do I want to invest in?
When it comes to building an investment portfolio, you should have specific aims that reflect your risk tolerance, time horizon or asset class preferences based on your financial and lifestyle goals. Do you have plans to buy another property, or to invest in a new project or business venture? Knowing how much of a role you want to play in selecting and managing your investments can help you choose the approach that aligns with your investment goals.

Your investing preference can also impact the investment products and offerings you might choose. If you feel you don’t have the time or experience to monitor your portfolio balances so they stay true to your original target goal allocations, you should look to choosing fund types that take on some of that work. Ask yourself these questions: How experienced am I with investing? How much assistance do I need? How much control do I want over my investments? Do I prefer to be in charge, or do I want my investments managed for me?

How can I further grow my wealth?
Whatever the origins of your wealth, it now provides for even greater growth opportunities. An effective total wealth solution focuses on long-term goals while managing risk along the way. The old adage ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’ applies when you are looking to further grow your wealth. An appropriate diversified asset mix is key to investing wisely.

To further grow your wealth by investing, this involves buying financial assets such as shares, government and corporate bonds, and property. The main reason for investing and taking on additional risk you wouldn’t have if you kept your money in cash is the hope of making higher returns. The aim of investing for growth is that the investments you put your money into will increase in value over time. Am I prepared to accept a higher level of investment risk? Have I set my investment goals based on my financial and lifestyle goals?

What will my children’s future hold?
What action do I need to take to provide my children with an independent education? The thought of paying school fees for five, ten or even fifteen years can look like an insurmountable mountain to climb. Which schools should I apply to for my children? Do I want my children to board or not?
Also, no matter how harmonious you may want your family life to be, some disruptions and disturbances are inevitable. When they occur, they may not only be stressful, they can also lead to financial worries and difficulties. How would my family cope financially if I were no longer around? Have I made provision for every possibility? If your family could end up becoming financially vulnerable, you need to make provision sooner rather than later.

How can I support my children and parents?
With longer life expectancies and people starting families later than ever, many of us can expect to become part of the ‘sandwich generation’ at some point. Will I be faced with the task of caring for my elderly parents alongside my dependent children? Finding yourself squeezed between – and often by – these two generations can be very stressful. As well as facing time pressures, chances are your finances will become very stretched, too.

Do I expect to have to financially support my parents in later life? Do I have plans in place if I need to care for my parents while also trying to make financial provision for my children as they enter adulthood? Balancing the demands of raising and supporting your children and worrying about your parents’ independence and wellbeing without planning is difficult. The trouble with being stuck in the middle is that you run the risk of neglecting your own self-care while attempting to help everyone else. It’s essential to have a plan of action in place to care not only for your ageing parents and children, but for yourself too.

How do I talk to my grown children about how to handle the money they will inherit? How can I ensure the wealth will last for them and beyond?
You may have accumulated wealth after many years in a successful career, from the sale of a business or by receiving a substantial inheritance. But when children inherit wealth it can pose plenty of questions, particularly around how they should best invest, manage and preserve these assets. There is also a common concern that children who inherit wealth lose their motivation if they are aware of the scope of the family’s wealth and a likely inheritance.

While access to and knowledge of this wealth can be a positive thing, there’s always the risk that the security provided by the money might lead to complacency and entitlement. Do I have concerns about how best to prepare my children for their inheritance? Are my children prepared to receive such wealth? Have I had an honest conversation about money with them before they inherit these assets?

Do I have the right plans in place to retire when I want?
What should I be saving for retirement to live the life I want? Do I know my exact number? The reality is that there are countless factors that will impact on how much you will need in retirement. Therefore, determining your target goal for retirement savings can be more challenging than it may seem. So what is the solution? Instead of thinking of your retirement savings goal as one big number, look at breaking this number down in relation to your life goals.

For instance, if you have any idea about where you might want to live in the future, or in what type of property, that can go a long way towards long-term retirement planning. Setting a retirement goal doesn’t necessarily mean sticking to one large monetary goal; instead, aim to incorporate retirement savings into your goals for today. How much money will I need to save in advance to deliver the income I want in retirement? How will I spend my time in retirement? How much will my leisure and travel pursuits in retirement cost me?

Time to get motivated to reach your personal and financial goals?
Setting personal and financial goals makes it more likely that you’ll save and invest for – and achieve – every financial and lifestyle goal. You’ll be more motivated to reach each of them since you can gauge their progress. And you can consider the time horizon and risk level separately for each goal, and invest accordingly to ensure they form part of your overall total wealth solution.


For independent, expert advice on financial planning, wealth management, investments and more, please contact Farnham-based Fish Saltus today on 01252 931265 or complete our short enquiry form and we’ll call you back

Financial Planning – What Really Matters To You?

Financial Planning: Spreading risk between different kinds of investments

Financial planning for a successful personal lifestyle has no value unless it is properly implemented through an appropriate investment strategy. If you’ve got a sufficient amount of money in your cash savings account – enough to cover you for at least six months – and you want to see your money grow over the long term, then you should consider investing some of it.

Fish Saltus - Financial Planning - What Matters To You

Investing is a lifelong process, and the sooner you start, the better off you may be in the long run. Regardless of the financial stage of life you are at, you will need to consider what your investment objectives are, how long you have to pursue each objective, and how comfortable you are with risk.

Current finances and future goals
The right savings or investments for you will depend on how happy you are taking risks and on your current finances and future goals. Investing is different to simply saving money, as both your potential returns and losses are greater.

If you’re retiring in the next one to two years, for example, it might not be the right time to put all of your savings into a high-risk investment. You may be better off choosing something like a cash account or bonds that will protect the bulk of your money, while putting just a small sum into a more growth-focused option such as shares.

Choosing your savings and investments
You may be a few months away from putting down a deposit on your first property purchase. In this case, you might be considering cash or term deposits. You might also choose a more conservative investment that keeps your savings safe in the short term.

On the other hand, if you have just recently started working and saving, you may be happy to invest a larger sum of your money into a higher-risk investment with higher potential returns, knowing you won’t need to access it in the immediate future.

Different types of investment options
If appropriate, you should consider a range of different investment options. A diverse portfolio can help protect your wealth from market corrections. There are four main types of investments, also called ‘asset classes’, each with their own benefits and risks.

These are:
> Shares – investors buy a stake in a company
> Cash – savings put in a bank or building society account
> Property – investors invest in a physical building, whether commercial or residential
> Fixed interest securities (also called ‘bonds’) – investors loan their money to a company or government

Defensive investments
Defensive investments focus on generating regular income as opposed to growing in value over time. The two most common types of defensive investments are cash and fixed interest.

Cash investments include:

High interest savings accounts
The main benefit of a cash investment is that it provides stable, regular income through interest payments. Although it is the least risky type of investment, it is possible the value of your cash could decrease over time, even though its pound figure remains the same. This may happen if the cost of goods and services rises too quickly (also known as ‘inflation’), meaning your money buys less than it used to.

Fixed interest investments include:

Term deposits, government bonds, corporate bonds
A term deposit lets you earn interest on your savings at a similar, or slightly higher, rate than a cash account (depending on the amount and term you invest for), but it also locks up your money for the duration of the ‘term’ so you can’t be tempted to spend it.

Bonds, on the other hand, basically function as loans to governments or companies, who sell them to investors for a fixed period of time and pay them a regular rate of interest. At the end of that period, the price of the bond is repaid to the investor.

Although bonds are considered a low-risk investment, certain types can decrease in value over time, so you could potentially get back less money than you initially paid.

Growth investments
Growth investments aim to increase in value over time, as well as potentially paying out income. Because their prices can rise and fall significantly, growth investments may deliver higher returns than defensive investments. However, you also have a stronger chance of losing money.

The two most common types of growth investments are shares and property.

At its simplest, a single share represents a single unit of ownership in a company. Shares are generally bought and sold on a stock exchange. Shares are considered growth investments because their value can rise. You may be able to make money by selling shares for a higher price than you initially paid for them.

If you own shares, you may also receive income from dividends, which are effectively a portion of a company’s profit paid out to its shareholders.

The value of shares may also fall below the price you pay for them. Prices can be volatile from day to day, and shares are generally best suited to long-term investors, who are comfortable withstanding these ups and downs.

Although they have historically delivered better returns than other assets, shares are considered one of the riskiest types of investment.

Returns are the profit you earn from your investments.

Depending on where you put your money, it could be paid in a number of different ways:
> Dividends (from shares)
> Rent (from properties)
> Interest (from cash deposits and fixed interest securities)

The difference between the price you pay and the price you sell for makes up your capital gains or losses.


For independent, expert advice on financial planning, wealth management, investments and more, please contact Farnham-based Fish Saltus today on 01252 931265 or complete our short enquiry form and we’ll call you back

Finances: Income Inflows and Expenditure Outflows

Creating a picture of your finances, now and in the future

It’s important to evaluate your current finances and your financial and lifestyle goals if you want to plan for your future responsibilities and aspirations.

Financial Planning with Fish Saltus

In order to create a successful lifestyle financial plan, you need clarity over your financial and lifestyle goals, your objectives and your motivations. An integral part of this process includes cash flow modelling. A cash flow model is used to calculate how your income, expenditure, savings and investments may be distributed over time.

This process illustrates what might happen to your finances in the future and enables you to plan to ensure that you make the most of your money to enable you to achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.

Current and forecasted wealth
Cash flow modelling shows your current position relative to your preferred position and your goals by assessing your current and forecasted wealth, along with income inflows and expenditure outflows to create a picture of your finances, now and in the future.

This detailed picture of your assets should include your investments, liabilities, income and expenditure, which are projected forward, year-by-year, using calculated rates of growth, income, inflation, wage rises and interest rates.

Meet your investment objectives
In order to implement a detailed plan that outlines how to deliver your financial future, communication is vital. To ensure that, over time, you achieve your desired lifestyle goals, it is important for us regularly to review your financial plan, at least annually, and make any necessary amendments should your personal circumstances change.

Cash flow modelling can determine what recommendations and best course of action are appropriate for your particular situation and the right asset allocation mix. The growth rate you require is calculated to meet your investment objectives.

Analysis of different scenarios
This rate is then cross-referenced with your attitude towards risk to ensure your expectations are realistic and compatible with the asset allocation needed to achieve the necessary growth rate.

Where cash flow modelling becomes particularly useful is the analysis of different scenarios based on decisions you may make – this could be lifestyle choices or perhaps investment decisions. By matching your present and expected future liabilities with your income and capital, we can make recommendations to ensure that you don’t run out of money throughout your life.

How much to save, spend and invest
A snapshot in time is taken of your finances. The calculated rates of growth, income, tax and so on that are used to form the basis of any cash flow modelling exercise will always be assumptions. This is why regular annual reviews and reassessments are required to ensure you remain on track. Nearly all decisions are based on what is contained within the cash flow, from how much to save and spend, to how funds should be invested to achieve the required return, so there is a lot that needs to be managed.

A lifetime cash flow plan will enable you to:
> Produce a clear and detailed summary of your financial arrangements
> Define your family’s version of the ‘good life’ and begin working towards it
> Work towards achieving and maintaining financial security and independence
> Ensure adequate provision is made for the financial consequences of the death or disablement of you or your partner
> Plan to minimise your tax liabilities
> Produce an analysis of your personal expenditure planning assumptions, balancing your cash inflows and your desired cash outflows
> Estimate future cash flow on realistic assumptions
> Develop an investment strategy for your capital and surplus income in accordance with your attitude to investment risk, flexibility and accessibility with which you are comfortable
> Become aware of the tax issues that are likely to arise on your own death and that of your partner

Own peace of mind
With every financial corner you turn, it is important to run through the numbers, which will help you make the right financial decisions. It is important to be specific. For example, it is not enough to say, ‘I want to have enough to retire comfortably.’ You need to think realistically about how much you will need – the more specific you are, the easier it will be to come up with a plan to achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.

If your needs are not accurately established, then the cash flow will not be seen as personal, and therefore you are unlikely to perceive value in it. Some years, there may not be any change, or just small corrections. However, in other years, there may be something significant. Either way, you will need to ensure things are up-to-date for your own peace of mind, knowing your plans are still on track.


For independent, expert advice on financial planning, wealth management, investments and more, please contact Farnham-based Fish Saltus today on 01252 931265 or complete our short enquiry form and we’ll call you back.

How To Create A Personal Lifestyle Financial Plan

Make your money and investments create more opportunities for your future.  A successful lifestyle financial plan can help you gain control of your financial situation and provide the opportunity for both short and long-term success. So how do you start to create a personal lifestyle financial plan?

Personal Lifestyle Financial Plan

Been putting off planning for the future?
The first place to start is by asking questions: What led me here? Why am I considering doing this now? What would having an excellent plan mean for me? Why would I want to do this? What does a personal lifestyle financial plan actually consist of and how would it benefit me? Where am I right now in terms of my plans and what steps do I need to take to achieve the best results for myself?

What are the benefits to me of having an excellent plan? How will my life realistically look if I have a good working system for maintaining my finances? Where do I see myself financially in three years based on where I’m at today? What do I hope to get out of this, personally or professionally? If I could wave a magic wand and change anything about my finances, what would it be and why? What’s one thing I can start right now that may have the biggest impact on my finances in the long-term?

Financial success
Knowing your answers to these questions will help you understand exactly what you want from your personal lifestyle financial plan. By asking yourself these questions and giving honest, well-thought-out answers, you’ll be taking the first steps towards creating life-long personal financial success.

Writing them down is a great way to organise your thoughts. You may even find some inspiration from those questions as they relate directly to your own situation and desires as an individual. A solid personal lifestyle financial plan isn’t about making life more complicated, it’s about simple organisation and foresight so that you’re prepared for anything that comes along no matter how unexpected it may be.

Life’s indulgences
Before you invest, it’s helpful to have a clear plan of what you are investing for, and how you might achieve your goals. Planning your finances may take up some of your time, but the benefits are well worth the effort. By taking a proactive approach you’ll find that you have more money at all times and can take part in even more of life’s indulgences when you need them most.

The reward is in seeing your plan come together over time without panic or stress, because it fits into exactly who you are and what you want for yourself right now and moving forward into the future. Just remember to be clear, specific and realistic in your goals, so you can up your odds of staying on track.


For independent, expert advice on financial planning, wealth management, investments and more, please contact Farnham-based Fish Saltus today on 01252 931265 or complete our short enquiry form and we’ll call you back. 

Fish SaltusSMART Money Magazine Summer 2021

Download Fish Saltus’ SMART Money Magazine – Summer 2021

This issue focusses on several hot topics, including sustainable investments, the effects of the Chancellor’s most recent budget, your retirements options and the benefits of reviewing your finances in light of the effects of the pandemic.

Fish Saltus’s Summer 2021 edition of SMART Money Magazine is now out – please download your free copy here.

If you would like independent, expert advice on planning a brighter financial future for yourself and your family, please contact us our Farnham-based team!

Guide to 6 principles of investing

Free Download – Fish Saltus Guide to The 6 Principles of Investing

Putting aside money for your future and getting it to work for you.

Whatever stage of life you’ve reached and whatever plans you may have for the future, you want your
money to earn the best return possible without taking undue risk. Please download Fish Saltus ‘s Guide to The 6 Principles of Investing, to help build a brighter financial future.

If you would like independent, expert advice on investing for you future, please contact us our Farnham-based team!

Fish SaltusSMART Money Magazine Spring 2021

Download Fish Saltus’ SMART Money Magazine – Spring 2021

This issue focusses on creating, sustaining and protecting wealth for you own and your family’s future.

Fish Saltus’s Spring 2021 issue of SMART Money Magazine is now out – please download your free copy here.

If you would like independent, expert advice on planning a brighter financial future for yourself and your family, please contact us our Farnham-based team!

Download Fish Saltus’ SMART Money Magazine – Winter 2021

Time to reflect on your financial plans and reasons to take professional financial advice.

Fish Saltus’s Winter 2021 issue of SMART Money Magazine is now out … and free to download.

With the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the turn of the year, we look at how financial plans may have been impacted, 10 top tips for building a brighter financial future, and reasons for taking professional financial advice… and more.  Download your free copy of Smart Money HERE.

If you would like to review your situation or discuss the options available, please contact us for further information – we look forward to hearing from you!

Financial Resilience

Are you under-prepared for a financial emergency?

Pandemic causes people to re-evaluate their financial resilience.

Managing your current and future finances successfully can be a minefield in today’s economic climate. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has derailed many a financial plan, ushering in job losses, decreased earnings and creating lifestyle changes that have the potential to send our spending into an unhealthy cycle.

Read more…