I’m self-employed. Do I need financial advice?
The switch from a salaried role to working for yourself has challenges as well as rewards – especially in the areas of taxation, pensions and mortgages, says Rosemary Bigmore.
Self-employment brings both freedom and responsibility. Though you have more control over your finances than when you are in a salaried position, there are many things you need to think about to make the most of your new status. Using an independent financial adviser could help you make the most of your money.
1 Self-employed tax is complex
You may have chosen to operate as a sole trader or to open a limited or umbrella company. Whichever is best for you, you will need to grapple with the tax laws about your business income and how to pay yourself.
You also need to ensure you are making the correct national insurance contributions so you do not lose your entitlement to the state pension when the time comes. A financial adviser can help with all of this, ensuring you do not pay more tax than you have to.
2 Your pension is your responsibility
When you are employed, you usually have an employer contributing to your pension. Many people do not even think about where their workplace pension is invested, leaving the employer to get on with it. But self-employed, you are responsible for your retirement planning and saving for your old age. A financial adviser can help you with a pension plan that makes the most of tax breaks and is invested in assets aligned with your own risk tolerance and financial goals.
3 You may need help with a mortgage
When you are self-employed it can be more difficult to get a mortgage, as lenders are sometimes nervous about the amount of money you have coming in. A financial adviser can help you navigate the maze of lenders, which have different criteria for lending to the self-employed, as well as ensuring you have the correct evidence in place to prove you are a good loan candidate.
Self-employment has considerable rewards and challenges. To make the most of it you will need clear financial goals and to know how you will work towards them. Getting an expert in could make all the difference.
A qualified financial adviser could help you make the best decision for you, taking into account the tax rules and your circumstances as well as your retirement plans.
Investments may fall as well as rise in value and you may not get back what you put in.
This document is based on Old Mutual Wealth’s interpretation of the law and HM Revenue and Customs practice as at 10/2019. We believe this interpretation is correct, but cannot guarantee it. Tax relief and the tax treatment of investment funds may change.
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