Posted on 18th July by Graham Laverick

Time to Brexit Proof Your Finances

What interesting days we live in.

Certainly the past 3 weeks have been some of the most exciting and troubling times we have experienced for decades.

On the 23rd June as we all went to bed it was looking likely that the country would vote to remain. It was then crucial for the government to get back on track and carry on with its dat job of ensuring the economy remained in growth mode.

Of course the next day at 5.30 am we were given the facts that against all odds the Brexiteers had won.

There is no doubt that the fallout from and response to the Brexit vote will have a major impact on the UK economy in the months and years ahead.

The political landscape is shifting all the time we have a new Prime Minister and Chancellor installed and a leadership crisis within the Labour party. It would appear that there is going to be a change of direction in the economy from the days of Cameron and Osborne. The Bank of England have signalled there intention to maintain the economy and not just sit back and wait for things to happen. Sterling has fallen which has repercussions, imports will cost more which is going to be bad news for inflation as many goods are priced in dollars for example petrol. The cost of foreign holidays will rise. It will be a lot cheaper for foreign visitors though so we can expect a boost to tourism.

Financial markets are likely to remain in a volatile mood. Gilt yields are tight and this effects anyone buying an annuity or wanting to transfer out of a final salary pension scheme.  Surprisingly transfer values on final salary pension schemes have increased since Brexit.The UK stock market resembles a yo –yo. Worryingly some of the country’s biggest property funds have suspended withdrawals and stoking fears of a commercial property crash.

The Conservative Party has acted quickly to bring a semblance of calm with the appointment of Teresa May. Let’s hope this continues and we can extract our way out of the EU on terms that are of benefit to the whole of the UK. The jury is out on this one.

So against all this political,financial and economic background her are some simple messages.

  1. Be wary of locking into rock bottom pension annuity rates. Shop around 64% do not and accept the figures of the existing provider. Make sure that if the annuity route is the right option it suits your circumstances and takes into account any health issues.
  2. Utilise your tax-friendly savings allowances and tax reliefs.These are ISAs,pensions and personal allowances.
  3. Ensure your cash savings are earning a half decent rate of interest. This is getting more difficult with many institutions already offering poor returns reducing them further. There is also speculation that the Bank of England base rate which is at an all time low of 0.5% could reduce further and this could be as early as August.
  4. If you have a mortgage look at the interest rate you are paying and now maybe the appropriate time to look at a fixed rate preferably a five year one.
  5. Be careful not to denude your drawdown pension fund with punishing withdrawals.

If you do wish to discuss any aspects of your finical affairs please do not hesitate to contact the office.