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Posted by: The Probe 18th January 2019
Did you survive Dry January? That’s assuming you had 31 days of abstention during the bleakest month of the year and, obviously, you only consumed a plant-based diet too, while managing to squeeze in a 5k run every morning before work.
Jokes aside, New Year’s resolutions don’t have a great track record of lasting long after the decorations have been cleared away. The resolve to give something up (or take something up), overhaul and improve may be strong on 1 January, but this can fade fast once the cold, dark days start feeling like a punishment for the festive fun that’s now a distant memory.
Maybe it’s because many resolutions are focussed on achieving short-term goals. Staying off the booze in January might make you feel better, but some experts claim that the chances of it having a lasting impact on your health are slim to say the least. When it comes to your finances, however, you can make changes, or take action that will have long-term benefits. Most of us resolve to spend less in January, but there are some resolutions that you may not have thought about, yet require minimal effort andcould improve your financial future.
Check your rating
If you are not planning on applying for any kind of finance in 2019, you may wonder why checking your credit rating is important. But it is far better to deal with any queries now, rather than wait until you need to know your borrowing record. Even the smallest error can cause massive problems and rectifying it can be a time-consuming and tedious process, especially if it relates to an old credit account. A missed or late payment – which you might be unaware of – can stay on your report for at least six years. Cases of identity fraud are also soaring in the UK.
Even if your report does not contain any nasty surprises, checking your rating is a valuable exercise. It’s easy to do too, via one of the big credit reference agencies. It’s what a lender will look at to assess your risk as a customer – how risky are you?
Where there’s a will…
The number of UK adults without a will is at an all-time high, according to 2018 figures.[i]If you die without making a will, your estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy, which could make life hard for the people you leave behind. Circumstances change too, so even if you have made a will, review it to ensure it still befits your wishes.
Establishing lasting powers of attorney (LPA) isn’t something that many of us think about doing, but if you currently have nothing in place, this is a worthwhile course of action to start 2019 right. A LPA allows you to appoint a person or persons to make important decisions on your behalf, which may relate to your health and welfare and/or property and financial affairs. Making one will give you peace of mind in the knowledge that, should you ever lack the mental capacity due to illness or an accident, decisions will be made by the person(s) of your choosing.
If you go to https://www.gov.uk/check-state-pensionyou will find an easy way to check your state pension entitlement in just a few clicks. You’ll get a projection for what you should receive and when (based on current rates), and see what scope there is for increasing this amount.
These financial resolutions aren’t one-month wonders. They represent simple things that you can do for long-term peace of mind for the year ahead – and beyond.
For more information please visit www.lansdellrose.co.uk or call Lansdell & Rose on 020 7376 9333.
[i]60% of people don’t have a will. YourMoney.com, 21 February 2018. Link: https://www.yourmoney.com/retirement/60-people-dont-will/(accessed January 2019).
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