UK inflation has been rising in 2021. It more than doubled in April to 1.5% as clothing, footwear and energy prices rose. Inflation erodes the “real returns” of investments – e.g. if an equity fund rises 4% in value over a 12-month period but inflation also rises 2%, the “real value” of your returns is 2%. As such, many investors are concerned about what this could mean for their investment strategy. Unfortunately, there is no cast-iron method to predict whether inflation will rise significantly within a given timeframe – or by how much.
How do you generate a sustainable, comfortable income in retirement? For most of our working lives, our lifestyles are supported by a salary. As such, the thought of living off your savings and investments for 30+ years can sound strange. Given the complexities and timescales involved, careful planning is needed. This helps you mitigate taxes and costs which could eat into your retirement income, avoid dangerous withdrawal rates and manage risk so that your lifestyle is not jeapordised should the markets or UK economy experience turbulence.
Most business owners are aware of their need for an accountant. After all, taxes need to be filed each year and most limited companies recognise that it mitigates risk by getting a professional to look over everything. Yet why use a financial planner? To use an analogy, an accountant is like a mechanic for your car. They check that everything passes the legally required tests. Your financial planner, however, is like an experienced guide for a long, cross-continent road trip where you will encounter many challenges and opportunities that need navigating effectively.