3 simple actions that could help you reach your financial goals in 2024

2024 is upon us, and as the clock struck midnight on 31 December, you may have thought about the resolutions you’d like to make for the year ahead. 

Finder reports that 29% of Brits will make financial New Year resolutions for 2024 – and if you’ve felt overwhelmed by the cost of living crisis, you may be one of the people wishing to make financial changes this year. 

Indeed, while the cost of living crisis is not over yet, things do seem to be improving for consumers up and down the UK. 

Firstly, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that inflation slowed to 3.9% in November 2023, sparking fresh hopes that price rises may continue to ease in 2024.

What’s more, the Bank of England (BoE) kept the base interest rate at 5.25% between August and December 2023. While this rate is significantly higher than it has been for more than a decade, the recent slowdown in the rate of inflation could mean that the BoE chooses to maintain or decrease the base rate in 2024, rather than raise it.

With these factors in mind, you may wish to take this more positive fiscal outlook and do something meaningful with your own finances. Here are three actions you could take in 2024 that might help you stick more closely to your financial plan.

1. Increase your pension contributions

A survey of 2,000 UK adults found that 20% said they had either cut, or thought about cutting, their workplace pension contributions in the cost of living crisis.

A “small dip” in your pension payments may not sound like much, but according to the report from PensionsAge, these cuts could lead to a significant shortfall in your pension pot when you retire.

The research used the example of a person earning £27,756 – the average UK salary – contributing their minimum auto-enrolment amount, which is £143.44 a month. If this individual halted their contributions for three years at age 30, this could reduce the value of their pension pot by more than £21,000 by the time they retire.

If you earn significantly more than the example given, stopping or reducing your pension contributions could have even more of an impact on your retirement fund.

Fortunately, the opposite is also true: increasing your pension payments could be a great way to boost your retirement fund in 2024. Upping your contributions and paying one-off amounts into your pension, such as a work bonus, may help to bolster your existing retirement savings.

Not only will this money help to increase the value of your pension, but your contributions are also likely to receive government tax relief. As such, this move could be beneficial on multiple levels.

2. Ensure your wealth is protected from the unexpected

Nobody likes to dwell on the unthinkable, but if your family is affected by a death or serious illness in 2024, having an appropriate package of protection in place could make an enormous difference.

Cover options like life insurance, critical illness cover, and income protection insurance, while different from one another, are all designed to help shield your wealth from the impact of a life-changing event. Payouts from any of these types of protection could help your family to:

  • Continue their standard of living even in unexpected situations, such as your death or illness
  • Keep paying important bills like your mortgage and essential household expenditure
  • Pay for important one-off costs, such as a funeral, without worry
  • Put money away for later in life.

Sadly, many people do not put protection in place because they believe providers won’t pay out. Yet according to the latest data from the Association of British Insurers (ABI), in 2022, the following percentage of claims were paid out to families:

  • 96.9% of life insurance claims
  • 91.6% of critical illness cover claims
  • 84.4% of income protection insurance claims
  • 97.5% of all protection claims.

With these statistics in mind, it may be worth taking the time to review your existing protection and update it according to your current circumstances. This way, you and your family can start 2024 with the knowledge that your wealth is protected to the best of your ability.

3. Talk to an experienced financial planner

Financial planning is more than just a numbers game – in actual fact, a financial planner’s main role is to help you put your life goals into action. 

Think of yourself as a driver behind the wheel; your money is the vehicle, and your financial planner provides the map that guides you towards your destination. The road has been bumpy for many people in the last four years, so having an experienced guide in the passenger seat could make a huge difference to your journey.

Consulting a financial planner in 2024 could help you to:

  • Prepare you for any increase in your tax burden from April 2024
  • Review your retirement plans and ensure your pensions are on track to support you sufficiently later in life
  • Put plans in place for exciting bucket list opportunities in the year ahead
  • Offer funds to the next generation for important milestones like a wedding or their first home
  • Continue building your investment portfolio
  • Gain the ultimate peace of mind that your finances are in safe hands.

If you wish to take action on your finances this year, working with a professional could give you the confidence and motivation to achieve what you desire.

To learn more, email me at a.douglass@grosvenorconsultancy.co.uk or call my office on 01793 766 123. 

While I offer high standards of service and will work with you to ensure any plan is right for you, I’m also a busy mum, so work Mondays and Tuesdays only.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

A pension is a long-term investment. The fund value may fluctuate and can go down, which would have an impact on the level of pension benefits available. Your pension income could also be affected by the interest rates at the time you take your benefits. 

Note that life insurance plans typically have no cash in value at any time and cover will cease at the end of the term. If premiums stop, then cover will lapse.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

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