Richard T Lishman: Make smart switches
Author Richard T Lishman is the Managing Director of the 4dentists Group of companies and a regular contributor to Dental Review
With markets volatile and lots of significant changes happening in the UK economic climate, we’re all looking to save a bit of money where possible. With food, fuel and energy prices on the rise and wages mostly stagnant, even those who were in good financial positions before may be feeling the pinch.
Maybe it’s time to take a closer look at some of the various policies you have taken out such as your pension and any insurance, as well as any investments you have. Some of these may no longer be fit for purpose in your current circumstances, so making a switch is a smart way to save.
We generally recommend you review your pension every 6-12 months, but how many people actually do this? It’s easy to set your pension policy and let it just work for you in the background, but this might mean that you’re not on a policy best suited to your needs and/or future goals.
A biannual/yearly pension review makes it easy to see if any of your pension funds are underperforming. Following this, you can seek out and compare different pension policies. Making a switch might help enhance your savings and allow you to put measures in place that are more in line with your current situation.
Does your pension policy include any unnecessary extras? For instance, some pension policies may also include Life Assurance which may be cheaper to take out separately – it’s always worth looking at your policies in the best detail and making sure you aren’t paying out more for things you don’t need or that could be cheaper elsewhere.
Pension reviews, there are often savings to be made by regularly comparing the available insurance policies on the market to see if switching can save you money or even bring you extra perks (assuming they’re ones you need!)
It’s a good idea to review all insurance policies across both your home and professional life, especially as there is more often than not significant savings to be made. A good thing to look out for is whether insurance policies are auto-renewed. If they are, it’s quite common for the price of these policies to rise at the renewal stage without you being informed, meaning that a policy that may have looked great a couple of years ago could now be costing you a lot more than you bargained for.
If you have any investments such as stocks and shares, now is a good time to examine them closer and see if they are still fit for purpose. As markets are unstable, you may have seen that certain investments are decreasing or increasing in value. Keeping on top of this and buying and selling at peak times is a great opportunity to make some extra capital. If you’re in a comfortable position and have spare funds, you may also consider making some new investments at this time.
Various plummeting stock can be bought very cheaply, and if you think these will rebound in the future and regain value, this could be a good opportunity to broaden your investment portfolio – as long as you remember that there is always a risk!
With so many companies and businesses vying for our custom, it’s not unusual for them to offer perks if a customer is willing to switch to use their services.
For instance, switching bank accounts may be rewarded with a cash lump sum, interest on your balance, cashback on fuel and plenty of other benefits that are worth looking into.
Similarly, swapping energy companies can also result in good savings, though it must be noted that with prices increasing so rapidly, fixed rate deals with these companies are unlikely to be the cheaper option at this time.
If you do want to switch energy supplier, pension scheme or want to follow any of the other suggestions in this article, it’s imperative to seek expert advice such as the award-winning independent financial advisers at money4dentists. As our team only work with dentists, we have a unique understanding of the profession and can tailor our advice to your individual circumstances.