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Too busy with the present to think about the future?

As economic uncertainty continues into the new year, many of us remain focused on our day-to-day fiscal stability. However, Stephen Straker, independent financial adviser in the North East and Scotland team at Continuum Financial Services, tells North East Times Magazine about the importance of planning for the long-term.


Planning makes a big difference

As recent events have made very clear, we cannot see what is around the corner, but that doesn’t mean we can afford to simply wait and see what comes along.

Your future is too important to leave to chance, and financial planning makes a huge difference at every stage in your life.



Buying a home is a priority for most of us. Without planning ahead, however, just getting a deposit together may be impossible.

With a mortgage planned around your needs and circumstances, you may not only be able to afford a home, but afford a better property and pay it off early too.


Life can be uncertain, and when we have a family who depend on us, uncertainty is something we cannot afford.

Without planning, and a proper financial safety net to provide an income if you were to die or unable to work because of illness or accident, you and your loved ones are at risk.

Everything you have worked for could be lost.

With a carefully planned package of life insurance, income and health cover, you could have complete peace of mind.


Wealth creation

Making spare cash the basis of real wealth is something we should all consider.

Without planning, the chances of succeeding in investment by luck alone are small.

With investment planning and a proper strategy, though, you could see steady growth in your portfolio, building capital and providing income as you grow older.



Whether your retirement is imminent or many years away, you need to start thinking about the best way to build up a pension pot and the best ways to use the sum.

Without proper planning, you are unlikely to have the kind of pot you need for a comfortable retirement.

By properly planning, you can take full advantage of the Government’s tax concessions – and expert investment – to build up the lump sum you need.


After you are gone

Without proper planning, the taxman can help himself to the wealth you spent your life building up.

Inheritance tax could take 40 per cent of everything you leave above a threshold of £325,000 (for tax year 2022/2023 – frozen until 2028).

With proper estate planning, it may be possible to avoid inheritance tax liabilities altogether, and ensure your beneficiaries are your loved ones, not HMRC.



The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable protection, mortgage products or investment strategy.

You should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.

The value of investments can fall, as well as rise, and you may get back less than you invested.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate taxation, trust advice and will writing.

The levels, bases and reliefs from taxation depend on individual circumstances and may be subject to future change.