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Financial checklist for 2018

If you are a doctor or a dentist working in the NHS you will understand that nothing is ‘constant’. Changes to your contract, role and even location of where you work can happen at short notice and changes to tax legislation are prominent in every tax year.

This does not constitute advice and advice should be sought in all instances before acting on it.

If you are looking to have more control over your finances going into 2018, a financial checklist can help you achieve this.

We’ve listed some things that you can consider including in your financial checklist:

Check your tax code

The tax code is a simple combination of numbers and letters. However, its meaning is far from simple.

Here is a little-known secret about the tax code. If you multiply the number in the code by 10, it gives you the amount you can earn before you must pay tax. So, for example, if your personal allowance for the tax year 2017/18 is £11500, your tax code should be 1150L.

Another thing to check, is to make sure that you have not been put on an emergency tax code for some reason. If you the code contains the following: BR, X, WK1 and MTH1 you will need to speak to HMRC straight away.

Has your working situation changed?

A change in your working situation can impact on your sick pay, particularly if you are a doctor. For instance, if you’ve made the move to becoming a locum, this means you are no longer covered by the NHS sick pay scheme. If you become ill as a locum doctor and can’t work, you do not get paid.

You must ask yourself, can I afford not to get paid, even if it is only for a short period of time.

Or, it may be that you have made the move up to ‘consultant’. If so, first off, congratulations! One of your next steps, is to check what sick pay you are entitled to.

If by looking over your financial situation it becomes clear that your family would not be able to cope financially if you were to be taken sick, you need to look at what type of protection will provide the best cover.

Has your personal life changed?

For instance, have you recently got married, had a child? Or a child is going to university, or you’ve decided to start planning for your retirement? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, it may mean that your personal finances will change as well.

For example, if a child has decided to go university, you may face having to pay tuition fees of around £9000 per year, for the next three or four years.

Accounting for things like this can impact on your future financial plans.

Check your pension

You may not be thinking of retiring any time soon, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start planning for it now. The earlier you begin, the more time you have to invest into it.

If you have a pension already in place, do you know how the changes to NHS pensions in recent years have affected your pension? If not, book a time with a financial advisor who is experienced in this field so you can review your pension to ensure it is performing well for you.

Financial planning for you and your family

Dental & Medical Financial Services have been helping doctors and dentists with improving their financial position for over 25 years. Call Darren to discuss your options.

Tel: 01403 780 770


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