SEVEN TOP TIPSa��a��a��a��..a��a��a��a��a��IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE DAY
Simple mistakes can lead to very costly outcomes. The family of the late UK comedian and actor Rik Mayall will likely be dismayed at his oversight in writing a Will. Inheritance taxes may now be due on his A?1.2m estate which could have been avoided.
When someone dies “intestate” – without a Will – a portion of their assets go straight to their children rather than their spouse, triggering a potential tax liability. Assets up to A?250,000 go to the spouse or civil partner. Assets above that limit are split 50/50 between the spouse and the children.
For the sake of a couple of hundred pounds, an estate can save thousands. This is just one instance of a simple action having a disproportionate effect on your finances.
This episode reminded me of an ingenious checklist devised nearly a decade ago that still rings true today. Dilbert, an American comic strip written by Scott Adams, called the “Unified Theory of Everything Financial”, set out some simple concepts.
Rik Mayall failed to write a Will before he died

I now published an a�?updateda�? version, with a little more tweaking, here are the seven actions in 2015 (rather than Dilbert’s nine) you can follow today to give yourself near-perfect personal finances, permanently:
Step 1:
Make a Will: see above. Contact me now!
Step 2:
Pay off your credit cards and loans. Then close the accounts: this is the most expensive debt for most of us.
Step 3:
Take out Term Life Insurance if you have a family to support: use the online calculator on my website to see how much cover you need – the savings are immense if you use a Professional Adviser rather than any other means.
Step 4:
Fund your company pension to the maximum: your employer probably makes contributions that match yours. This is free money. If your employer does not offer a scheme, introduce me to them! In the meantime, contact me to start a Personal Pension.
Step 5:
Put three months’ worth of outgoings in a deposit account (or National Bonds account). This is the buffer that should be used to protect you from sudden loss of income, not your investements.
Step 6:
To maintain your long term future, as your mainstay, put any leftover money OFFSHORE a�� 80% in a global stock market index tracker and 20% in a global bond fund – and don’t touch it until retirement. Do this via the cheapest fund a�� again contact me now.
Step 7:
If any of this confuses you, or you have something special going on (retirement, the need for university fees planning, tax issues), hire a fee-based Independent Financial Adviser such as me. The difference between an a�?old mana�? and a a�?gentle mana�?a��a��a��a��.is money.
This grossly simplifies personal finances but that’s the point here. Most of us don’t pay attention to this stuff when we know we should.

No time to look after your own financial future? Try this at the very least pleasea��a��a��a��

GREG POGONOWSKI
www.yourmoney-matters.net