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How to start 2024 on the right footing

Financial Planning can be overwhelming at the best of times. Come back from a road trip and good luck with the car valet getting sea sand out of the car seats. The boogie board purchase went on to an already loaded credit card and school fees have been upped 9%. year on year, and junior is only in grade 3.

An updated will is the cornerstone of financial planning. Thats a good place to start in January. If your circumstances have changed its important to at least update your will. Make sure guardians have been discussed with Aunty Sally-you don’t want to surprise Sally if you and your husband pass away, and now Sally has become junior’s official guardian. If you decided on a divorce over Christmas, your will needs updating too, you may not want 'miss hot pants' inheriting.

February is a good month to make sure your retirement annuity (RA) is topped up. You are allowed to contribute up to 27.5% of your taxable income capped ta R350,000. If you want the cash, then pay the tax. Really, who wants to pay tax? If you want a refund when the tax season opens then top your RA. This is a great way to save for retirement.

Budgeting is important and the first quarter is a good time to start. Where can I cut costs? Examine your risk cover. Both short-term and long-term insurance can be analysed by an independent advisor who has your best interests at heart. Be cautious of the insurance salesman who sells only for the company in blue.

You may want red or green and he pushes you towards the one in blue.

Medical schemes annual cover increases more than inflation. Once again, work with a health care consultant who understands your needs and can provide an appropriate solution. If you want a hospital plan, then accompany that with a gap cover, it's not as expensive as you may think. 

Remember, debt destroys wealth. It doesn’t go away, so don’t bury it under the carpet.

Pay extra into your home loan. If you gross up the interest on the debt (and don’t get a tax break on a home loan repayment), it’s a high amount. The sooner you pay off your debt, the closer you are to financial freedom.

In the second half of the year you can get into investment planning. Local is not so lekker. Look to go offshore for wider investment opportunities, especially in the artificial intelligence (AI) space. Work with a professional who can align your appetite for risk with the right plan.

Trust is at the heart of what you do with your money. Trust both the company and the advisor.

If you are uncertain seek recommendations from loyal friends. Afterall, would you go on the internet to find a doctor?

Take control of your financial destiny with Sasfin. Embrace strategic planning, secure your future, and pave the way for prosperity. Consult with our experts today to set the stage for a financially sound 2024. Your journey to financial success begins now.

About the Author

Darryl Bennett
Wealth Advisor, Sasfin Wealth

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