Tools and guides

There are lots of financial planning tools and guides out there that can help you to navigate your way through the financial world. Here we've included a selection of them which we think are useful. 

Managing debt:

  • Worried about how much money you owe? If you have debts use this debt test calculator to see where you stand.
  • Check out unbiased.co.uk’s debt freedom day calculator which will help you discover how many days you need to work just to pay off the interest on your current debt.

Money management for young people

  • Wherever you are on life’s journey, you’ll want to look after yourself and those who depend on you for support. Getting a head start can build a strong financial foundation for your future. The #yourmoney guide and app offers money management tips for young people.

Planning for retirement:

  • Saving for your retirement is really important.  The first step is to work out how much your state pension is likely to be. You can do that here.
  • Topping up your state pension: If you're looking to maximise your income in retirement, a good place to start is with your State Pension. If you're not getting the full amount or are not on track for it, then it's worth considering topping up. The cost of doing this is effectively subsidised by the Government which means it can be very good value for money. Read Royal London's guide to topping up your State Pension
  • The Money Advice Service helps you manage your money better. Their pension calculator will help you work out what your future might look like.
  • How much will you need to live on in future? Work out how much you will need to live the life you want, then devise a plan to get there. This budget planner will get you started. 
  • Do you hold a company pension? Read Royal London's guide on the pros and cons of transferring out of your company pension
  • The rising cost of living is a particular problem for those on fixed incomes and those in retirement and it can easily affect your long term plans. Check rates of escalation for your pensions and if you're relying on income from savings, remember that inflation erodes the value of your capital. Use this money savings danger calculator to help.
  • To get set for your retirement, use this helpful guide. It covers a range of things to think about as you prepare for retirement. 
  • Use unbiased.co.uk’s cost of delay to check how much money you may be devaluing your future pension pot by not planning ahead now or whether you have maximised your retirement plans so far.  
  • Need help planning your retirement income? Take a look at Just’s guide on how much money you’ll need to achieve the lifestyle you want during retirement.
  • Want a secure guaranteed income for life? Read this factsheet on the value of secure income
  • We talk a lot about planning for your future, but it’s up to you to build up a retirement savings pot throughout your working life, and it’s never too early to start. To get you started, here are ten basic pre-retirement steps to consider.

Protection, Inheritance tax and making a Will:

  • It doesn't matter how much money you have; a valid Will is essential to provide for your family in the event of death. You should also consider a power of attorney.  Find out more from GOV.UK  here.
  • Protect yourself and your family against unforeseen events - like redundancy, ill health, accidents, and premature death. Consider what insurance you need and how much. Find out more.
  • Considering releasing capital tied up in your home? Equity release has become more popular but it’s a big step so do your research first to make sure it’s what you need. Make sure you read up on this equity release guide before making any decisions.
  • If you have assets valued at more than £325,000 (single person) or £650,000 (married couple) then find out about inheritance tax and what you can do to minimise it.

Family finances and budgeting:

  • Whatever your plans are for your future, you’ll need to manage your monthly income and outgoings carefully. Work out your budget with this budgeting tool
  • To help you to put your goals in life into context, this free financial healthcheck tool from Money Advice Service provides a personal action plan.
  • If you're thinking of growing your family, check-out this great guide from the Money Advice Service. 
  • Tax planning needn’t be a chore if you have the right information. Unbiased.co.uk’s tax waste calculator gives you a basic idea of what you could be wasting in tax and where an adviser may be able to help you become tax efficient.
  • Work out how long you are likely to live, based on your age and the quality of your health using Just’s Longevity Calculator

Savings & investments:

Financial Products: Make the right choice by ensuring the products you use are appropriate to help you achieve your goals in life

  • Taking out a mortgage is a huge financial commitment and selecting the right mortgage product is therefore critical. The Find a Mortgage tool from Defaqto is 100% independent and enables you to search the whole market.
  • It's important to base your financial decisions on what a product offers - not just price. Star Ratings from Defaqto provide an independent, unbiased assessment of where a product sits in the market in terms of the features and benefits it provides.
  • Considering releasing capital tied up in your home? Equity release has become more popular but it’s a big step so do your research first to make sure it’s what you need. Make sure you read up on this equity release guide before making any decisions. 

Not sure if you need professional financial planning advice? 

  • Check out your options here for searching for information or advice.
  • Hear the viewpoint from Shelley McCarthy, a Certified Financial PlannerTM professional at Informed Choice, on how to find an exceptional financial planner here. Don't forget that Accredited Financial Planning FirmsTM have been subjected to rigorous assessment by the CISI as meeting the highest standards of professional financial planning advice. Search for an Accredited FirmTM or a CFPTM professional using our find a planner tool.