Author Richard T Lishman, Managing Director of money4dentists, a firm of specialist Independent Financial Advisers who help dentists across the UK manage their money and achieve their financial and lifestyle goals.
With the date of the Autumn Statement approaching fast, it may be wise for you to start thinking about, if you haven't done so already, your financial plan for 2017. Financial planning not only helps you to identify and map out your long- and short-term goals, it can also help you to maximise your income and make the most of your hard-earned money.
Today, there are endless amounts of information available to dental professionals on a wide range of topics, but when it comes to financial planning, there is no denying that you are better off seeking expert advice from a qualified adviser than going at it alone. Indeed, as the old adage goes: "Apart we are strong, together we are stronger." That is because a professional can simultaneously help you to secure your financial wellbeing, provide peace of mind and help you unravel the mysteries surrounding your money.
One of the main areas that a financial adviser can assist with is tax planning. In other words, minimise tax liability through the best use of available allowances, deductions, exemptions and reliefs.
There are numerous factors that impact upon the amount of tax that an individual is required to pay each year, such as the amount that they earn, as well as changes in tax law. This year alone, there has been a number of reforms that have been announced or implemented that will directly affect dental professionals and their families, including changes to pensions, Corporation Tax, Personal Allowance Tax, Small Business Rate Relief, Capital Gains Tax and more. Alone, it can be difficult to understand the impact taxes can have on you and your finances, but with the aid of an independent adviser, you could become more tax efficient and save a significant amount of money.
Expert financial advice is also extremely useful when it comes to planning for your future and creating or balancing a portfolio of investments, which is integral if you plan on putting money aside for future projects, family commitments or retirement. Placing money into long-term investments, such as pensions, independent savings accounts and national savings and investments, is also an ideal way to accrue money long into retirement. As allocating your assets, maximising your returns and managing your portfolio requires extensive knowledge of the market and constant attention, it is always advisable to use a certified financial planner.
An adviser can also help with understanding the financial implications of becoming an associate, buying a house, buying and selling a practice, income protection, making a will and mitigating tax through transfers and Inheritance Tax. Not to mention how to financially cope with life changing events such as getting married, getting divorced, being widowed or having a baby.
Altogether, financial planning can be complicated, time-consuming and stressful, which are not ideal when you are trying to concentrate on delivering patient care and meeting practice requirements. That is why it is always prudent to seek financial advice.
The Right Adviser
It is important to remember, however, that not all financial advisers will be able to offer the advice that you need. Thus, it is crucial that you understand exactly what it is that you require and what your short- and long-term goals are, as it is those factors that will determine which type of financial adviser that you choose.
Restricted Advisers, for instance, can only offer guidance on a limited range of products and/or product providers, whereas Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) are able to give unbiased and unrestricted advice on all types of products from a large number of firms. Consequently, IFAs can tailor solutions to your personal needs and priorities and offer you a wide selection of products so that you get the optimum outcome.
Before approaching an IFA – if you have decided to move ahead with financial planning and require a number of services – there are a number of questions that you should ask yourself. These include:
What is the maximum fee I am willing to pay?
What is the maximum fee I am willing to pay?
Do I want to invest?
If so, which asset classes do I want to invest in and what amount of risk am I willing to take?
Do I want one-off advice or on an on-going basis?
With access to more than 2,700 financial products and over half a century of experience, the Independent Financial Advisers at money4dentists are well placed to help you with your financial planning.
The importance of financial planning in your career is paramount, so to get ahead for 2017 or to start your journey, get in contact with an IFA.
For more information please call 0845 345 5060, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.money4dentists.com