Toft Financial Planning
104 Grove Park, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 8QB 01565 649491

INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVICE

Care Fees Planning

You may need care yourself in the future or be receiving care already. The worry is that your money could run out and that you will have to switch to a cheaper level of care or become a burden on your family, losing your dignity at the same time. Many people also worry that if care costs use up all of their savings and assets, there will be nothing left to pass on to their children or other family members.

A secure and stable future for you and your family

Our independent advisers specialise in providing advice and guidance on the complex area of care fees planning. We can help both individuals who need care and their families understand the implications of care requirements, state benefits and local authority support and the solutions available to them to pay for the care. There are a variety of solutions available that can be tailored to fit individual circumstances and objectives, therefore it is important that professional advice is taken from appropriately qualified advisers before making what could be one of the biggest decisions of a person's life.

As well as financial considerations, our advisers will help you and your family understand the following, if they apply to your circumstances:

Warning: Advice regarding care requires specialist qualifications and you should ensure that your adviser holds these qualifications before engaging with them.

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Savings & Investments

Whether you wish to invest a lump sum or save a regular amount to build up a sum of money, our independent advisers can help you understand the options available to you and can recommend the most appropriate solution for your needs and objectives.

Our methods

Before making any recommendations, your investment risk tolerance will be discussed and assessed and then tested using modern psychometric techniques. When considering the level of risk to take it is important to focus on the potential of negative returns as well as the potential for positive returns. Objectives and timescales to achieve them are also important considerations - for example, more risk may be taken for a longer-term objective such as retirement planning, whereas less risk or no risk may be more desirable for short-term objectives such as saving for a new car or holiday.

The second step is to ensure that you have enough liquid funds available as an emergency fund. These funds are usually held in an instant access deposit account or Cash ISA.

Once the amount remaining available for savings or investment has been established, our advisers will guide you through your options taking into account your tax position and access requirements in conjunction with your risk tolerance and objectives and recommend a suitable solution for you.

Regular reviews to keep you on course

We use a range of investment solutions from single funds to managed portfolios and both passive and active investments. Our aim is to provide solutions that behave as expected over a period of time and to avoid any unpleasant surprises. It is recommended that savings and investments are reviewed on a regular basis. The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you have put in.

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Retirement Planning

Retirement planning has two distinct stages: the accumulation phase, during which you build up and grow your assets during your working life and the decumulation phase, when you use those assets to provide capital and income in retirement, whether that be full or semi-retirement.

A personal plan for a perfect retirement

There are many different ways of funding retirement, from traditional private and workplace pension plans to building up an investment property portfolio. Whether or not you use one or all of the strategies available to you, professional planning is essential to ensure you have a sufficient level of income after taxes to provide for your essential and non-essential expenses.

During your working life, our advisers will help you plan and build up funds to provide for you when you retire. They will discuss with you the amount of income you require and the various ways of providing it and then recommend an appropriate solution for you, which should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it remains on target.

Peace of mind income for your entire retirement

When you decide to stop work or reduce your working hours and want to draw benefits from your plans, our advisers will help you consider all of your options to structure your assets in the most appropriate and tax efficient way to provide the income you require. We generally recommend that you structure your assets to provide a secure and increasing level of income sufficient to cover your day-to-day living costs, with the remainder of your assets being used to cover non-essential flexible expenditure with any remainder passing to your beneficiaries.

It is not uncommon for a person stopping work now to expect to live for another thirty years. It is important, therefore, that careful planning and advice are received and regular reviews take place to ensure that a person's assets will provide for them over a long period of time.

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Financial Protection

We all insure our cars, bikes, homes, belongings, holiday travel and pets but what about our family finances? The loss or serious illness of a close family member in emotional terms is enough for most people to cope with but it can also cause a great deal of financial stress and worry for all of the remaining family. For a relatively low cost, you can insure your family finances against death, serious illness and disability, repay debts and pay tax liabilities.

Helping to protect the things that matter most

There are many different types of plans and benefit structures to consider, such as deciding on whether to take a lump sum or an income. When that decision is made where do you purchase the elements of your plan from? The internet or even supermarkets are just two of the available options. The only way to ensure you have an appropriate plan with a suitable level of cover is to seek advice from an independent financial adviser. Choosing the wrong plan or setting it up incorrectly can have serious consequences or create tax problems.

Our advisers will assess your situation and recommend appropriate insurance that suits your financial needs and they will do this in the most cost effective way to suit your budget.

All insurance may be subject to medical, lifestyle and financial underwriting which may result in an increase in cost, exclusions of certain conditions or a refusal to provide the cover.

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School Fees Funding

Most parents want their children to receive the best possible education. For some, this means the state school system until the age of 18 followed by higher education at university and for others, this means privately funded primary and secondary education followed by university.

Preparing for the future you want your children to have

Whichever route your child is likely to take, at some point there will be costs to pay. Currently, the majority of parents pay school fees directly from their income and, whether affordable or not, it is generally the least effective way of settling the bill. Compounding this, although paying for one child's education can be within a family budget, difficulty often arises when there are two or more children. Overlapping years can place stress on household budgets and increase stress and worry and could result in having to take children out of their schools or universities. Effective planning to forecast and manage these costs can avoid serious problems.

Planning ahead is essential and effective at any point in time but the earlier you start the better. Spreading the cost over a longer period of time, together with careful tax planning, can make the costs of education more affordable and also increase your wealth in the longer term. It is common for both parents and grandparents to want to help with the funding of a child's education.

Our advisers will meet with you and discuss your requirements and the education path you would like your child or children to follow. An assessment of your current financial situation will be carried out, along with an assessment of the likely cost of the education, then your adviser will develop a strategy with you to provide the funding needed at the time it is required. Your adviser will carry out regular reviews with you at least once a year to ensure that the strategy is on track.

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Tax Planning & Mitigation

The most well known taxes in the UK are income tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and VAT but of course there are many more that we pay during our lives whether we realise it or not.

Professional tax planning to reduce liabilities

Planning to avoid paying tax is not illegal or immoral and in fact has been actively encouraged by successive Governments which allow products with tax incentives to encourage saving, pension contributions and funding into smaller growing UK businesses. Tax evasion is illegal.

In 1986, Roy Jenkins described inheritance tax as "a voluntary levy paid by those who distrust their heirs more than they dislike the Inland Revenue".

There are many ways to save or reduce tax liabilities which can involve effective structured planning or the purchase of insurance, investment and pension plans. Our advisers are able to assess your current financial situation and plans for the future and offer advice on how to become as tax efficient as possible, both now and in the future.

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Wills, Trusts & Lasting Powers of Attorney

People put off making a Will for a variety of reasons but the reality is that putting it off until it is too late can cause lots of problems for those left behind. Without a Will:

Protecting your wealth and your family's future

The simple fact is that everyone needs to have a Will and we will be happy to arrange this for you.

Our advisers may recommend the use of Trusts as part of a financial planning exercise to protect your assets in the future from taxation, care fees and bloodline issues such as divorce. Trusts can be set up during lifetime or on death as part of a Will and may be used in conjunction with other financial products or investments to achieve an objective.

Just as important as making a Will is the setting up of a Lasting Power of Attorney. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: 'Health & Welfare' and 'Property and Finance' that enable you to appoint one or more people to act on your behalf should you lose mental capacity. Not having these in place will leave your family having to apply to the Court of Protection to deal with your affairs, which can be costly and take several months to sort out.

Our advisers can provide help and advice on many other legal matters including General Powers of Attorney, Advanced Directives, Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Business Succession and Probate; and are all accredited by the Institute of Professional Willwriters.

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Retirement Income Modelling & Shortfall Planning

It has always been important for clients to understand how far their hard earned pension pot will take them in retirement, but perhaps even more so following the introduction of pension freedom.

Toft Financial Limited subscribe to a specialist income profiling module, which helps us to identify any shortfall and help your budget and plan your retirement. You can include one off items and also vary income levels as your client goes through various stages of their retirement.

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