Make it a date

Keeping your target retirement plans on track

Most over-45s are not making plans to match their hopes for the future, according to research from Standard Life[1]. The vast majority (86%) of those aged 45 or over are already dreaming about escaping their working life for retirement, but only 8% of the same age group have recently checked the retirement date on their pension plans to make sure it is still in line with their plans. Continue reading

Protecting your estate for future generations

Many individuals find the Inheritance Tax rules too complicated

If you struggle to navigate the UK’s Inheritance Tax regime, you are not alone. Whether you are setting up your estate planning or sorting out the estate of a departed family member, the system can be hard to follow. Getting your planning wrong could also mean your family is faced with an unexpectedly high Inheritance Tax bill. Continue reading

Financial freedom

Deciding what to do with pension savings – even if you’re still working

It might seem like a far off prospect but knowing how you can access your pension pot can help you understand how best to build for the future you want when you retire. Continue reading

2018/19 tax changes

New initiatives you need to know

It’s important to consider the tax implications of making financial decisions. The 2018/19 tax year is now upon us, and a raft of new changes have come into force. The good news is that the overall tax burden is little changed for basic-rate taxpayers, but there are number of areas that have changed that should be taken note of. Continue reading

Retirement wealth

What’s the right answer for you?

The first increase in minimum automatic enrolment (AE) workplace pension contributions came into effect on 6 April[1]. According to research from Scottish Widows, however, one in five Britons (20%) – amounting to more than ten million people – say they’ll work until they’re physically unable to, while one in 20 (6%) – another three million people – say they expect to work until they die. Continue reading

Your money, your choice

Supporting your future financial requirements

You can pay into as many pension schemes as you want; it depends on how much money you can set aside. There are several different types of private pension to choose from, but in light of recent government changes the tax aspects can require careful planning. So what do you need to consider? Continue reading

Generous grandparents

The bank that likes to say ‘yes’

Forget the Lamborghini – 2.4 million UK grandparents[1] have either raided their pension to support their grandchildren or plan to in the future. According to research from LV=, a quarter of generous grandparents (25%) who have already given away money to their grandchildren[2] have taken the funds from their pension. A further one in six (16%) plan to use their pension for this reason once they reach retirement age. Continue reading

Diversification, diversification, diversification

Portfolio building requires different characteristics to evaluate

There are many ways to invest and different types of investments. But when looking to build an appropriate diversified portfolio, investors have a number of different characteristics to evaluate. For example, is the investment designed to provide growth or income? Is it domestic or international? Does it have a maturity? Another consideration is whether the investment is actively or passively managed. Continue reading

Art of bond investing

Portfolio balancing, negating stock market volatility and lowering risk

Bonds have historically been an alternative way to balance a portfolio and negate stock market volatility, and they are treated as lower risk. The art of investing is all about mixing assets to build a portfolio aligned to your investment outlook and attitude to risk, with shares and bonds as primary components. For investors, bonds can provide a stream of returns. Continue reading

Pension freedoms

Running out of money remains the biggest retirement fear for over-55s

On 6 April 2015, the Government introduced ‘pension freedoms’, and with it major changes to people’s private pension provision. Once you reach the age of 55 years, you now have much more freedom to access your pension savings or pension pot and to decide what to do with this money Continue reading