Financial Focus: Winter 2020

Summary

As a nation of shopkeepers and pubgoers, the Christmas party season this year is likely to be one more thing we’ll miss. While many retailers and those in the hospitality industry face uncertainty and restrictions leading to serious impacts on income, it’s hard to feel entirely in the festive spirit for the holiday season of 2020.

It's not all doom and gloom though. With a comprehensive vaccination programme likely to start before the end of the year and, for a struggling workforce, the furlough scheme extended to March 2021, there is a plan for making it through the winter and hopefully to the end of the pandemic in the UK.

With no autumn Budget, our concerns turn to changes the Chancellor may introduce in the spring, when the enormous task of paying back the borrowing that has kept the country going in 2020. Reviews from the Office for Budget Responsibility of inheritance tax in 2019, and capital gains tax this July, lead experts to believe these two areas could be subject to significant changes. Undertaking some year end financial planning now before the spring could help mitigate any new tax implications.

We also explore ensuring you maintain a diversified portfolio to make the most of your investments, as well as looking at strategies for savers during these straightened and unpredictable times.

Those coming towards retirement have also been hit this year. Many have had their retirement plans disrupted, with some retiring early due to health concerns or uncertain employment, or having to postpone retirement due to a reduced income. With the state pension age now at 66, those nearing retirement need to consider their position carefully, and make new plans to mitigate these difficult circumstances.

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