Navigating and planning for 2024
As we move towards the final month of 2023, our thoughts turn to the New Year. We might set goals or have things we want to achieve, perhaps you are thinking of moving home, buying your first property or sorting out your finances and security for the long term?
There is no denying that homeowners have had a bumpy ride over the last few years. With increases in mortgage rates, the cost of living and an uncertain future, we see more and more people coming to us for not only mortgage advice, but for insurance and protection advice as well.
Whatever your plans are for the coming year, this blog will look into the key considerations we think everyone should consider to ensure you have everything covered!
Let’s start with where we are in terms of the economy. Global events and the looming general election are continuing to create an atmosphere of unpredictability for home owners in the UK. Although we cannot speculate on what’s going to happen in 2024, we think being prepared will stand you in good stead.
The Bank of England chose to keep the base interest rate at 5.25% in November, the second time in a row it has held the rate following 14 consecutive rate increases which was a relief to many. Although this doesn’t necessarily indicate what will happen to interest rates in 2024, we have seen rates decreasing a little in the last few weeks and we certainly hope that this trend continues.
If you are thinking about buying your first home or are a current homeowner looking to re-mortgage, we would advise you talk through your options with your mortgage advisor. Although they cannot predict what will happen, they keep a close on what’s going on in the market and will be able to give you their best advice based on your circumstances and what you want to achieve.
In uncertain times, protecting your income, home and health has never been more important. There are a variety of policies available and an advisor will be able to discuss these with you. If you have policies in place then a review would ensure they align with your current needs and circumstances.
Most home owners will need Home Insurance, which consists of Buildings Insurance, covering you for any structural damage from accidents or natural disasters; and Contents Insurance which covers all of your belongings. Neither of these policies are mandatory, yet Buildings Insurance may be a condition of your mortgage. Our advisors can help you secure the right policy for your property.
Life is unpredictable, and having a protection policy in place can provide invaluable peace of mind. This type of insurance ensures that your loved ones are looked after financially in the event of unforeseen circumstances such as disability, critical illness, or death.
There are a variety of policies which provide different cover.
Life insurance will pay out on death. It can help your children and family if you are no longer here and can pay off debts such as your mortgage, pay for funeral costs and potentially provide an ongoing income or a lump sum payment for your dependents. A life insurance plan covers you for a fixed period and pays out a lump sum if you die during that time.
An income protection plan is a long-term insurance policy that makes sure you get a regular income until you retire or are able to return to work should something happen which stops you from being able to work. You can find out more on this policy here. (link blog)
Critical illness cover does just that, provides you with a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a critical illness such as cancer, a heart attack, stroke, and other conditions that may affect your life such as loss of sight or loss or a limb. You can then use the pay-out to cover your mortgage, allow you the necessary time off work to recover, or pay for adjustments you need to make in your life moving forward.
Family Income Benefit, is a type of life insurance policy that pays out a tax free regular income to your loved ones for a specified period of time in the event of your death. This type of policy can really help if you have young children, and particularly if one of you is the main income provider. It’s also considered the most affordable type of life insurance available. You can find out more about family income benefit here. (link blog)
Many of these policies come with additional benefits aimed at supporting your physical and mental health.
Because everyone’s circumstances are different, we would recommend you talk to one of our advisors. They can look at your existing protection policies and consider if adjustments or additional coverage are necessary to safeguard your family’s financial well-being. If you currently don’t have policies in place, our advisors can talk you through the different options based on your needs.
As we look forward to the opportunities and challenges that 2024 may bring, being proactive when it comes to your financial matters is key to a secure future.
At Kingsbridge, we’re committed to being there for you every step of the way. We really take our time to get to know all about your circumstances so we can advise you on a mortgage or policy that’s right for you and your family. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your mortgage or insurance policies then get in touch with one of our advisors today.