Protecting your future in uncertain times

Thinking about money and the future might be enough to bring you out in a cold sweat. From job insecurity to soaring utility bills, you may have a host of financial concerns that make you worry about what tomorrow will bring. Perhaps you’re also concerned about what would happen to your loved ones if you were no longer around. The good news is, there are ways to make your family more secure, even in these uncertain times. Here are a few suggestions that could help you to safeguard your household.

Create a will

If you haven’t already drawn one up, you may benefit from making a will. OK, so no one likes to think about a time when they’re no longer around, but it’s important to be prepared for all eventualities. By creating a will, you can ensure that your money, possessions and property go to the right people when you die. As it states on http://www.thelawhouse.com, a carefully planned will can also reduce or even eliminate the inheritance tax bill levied on your estate.

This document should include details of the assets you own, including banks accounts, shares and insurance policies, and a list of beneficiaries. If you have kids under the age of 18, you’ll also need to include arrangements for their care. Your will must identity your chosen executors too. These are the people who will sort out your estate in accordance with your instructions. You can make a will yourself, but to avoid mistakes and to give yourself greater peace of mind, it may be better to enlist the help of a solicitor.

Get into the habit of saving

Even if your household budget is tight, it’s important to try to put some money aside each month into a savings account. Having a financial safety net can give you extra peace of mind and ensure that whether you lose your job, have to stump up for property repair costs or experience other financial pressures, you’re in a better position to cope.

The best way to save is to set up a standing order that leaves your account each month just after you’ve been paid. To work out how much you can realistically expect to save, draw up a detailed list of your monthly outgoings and deduct this from your income. Even if you can only afford to put away a small sum each month, your savings will build up over time. For the best results, you’ll need to make sure you choose a suitable savings account. Cash ISAs can be a good option. You can put up to £15,240 per year into these savings schemes and they are tax-free.

Make sure you’re paying into a pension

It might seem a long way off, but it’s important to start planning for your retirement too. To put the urgency of this issue into context, note that the maximum state pension in the tax year 2015-16 is £115.95 a week. So, unless you think you could manage on an amount as small as this when you stop working, now’s the time to start contributing to a pension. As an added incentive, it’s worth noting that money you put into personal pension schemes qualify for tax relief. Also, if you are offered the chance to pay into a scheme that your employer will contribute to, then choosing not to take advantage of this is like turning down a pay rise.

Protecting your family’s future might seem like a mammoth challenge, but taking steps like these should help to increase your sense of security.

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