Protect the things that mean the most to you

Cohabiting families risking their family’s financial future

The lifestyle of our loved ones may be seriously compromised if we die. However, very worryingly, more than 2.4 million cohabiting families across the UK – the fastest-growing family type in the country – do not have life insurance, potentially leaving their loved ones open to financial problems once they pass away, according to new analysis[1]. Continue reading…

Turbocharge your pension

Will you be able to afford the retirement lifestyle you want?

If you’re still working, what kind of life would you like to lead when you’ve said goodbye to the 9-to-5? Saving for your retirement is essential if you want the financial freedom to enjoy your later years. After all, you’ll still want to do all the things you love now – and probably a few others too. Continue reading…

Growing care costs

Ageing population faces significant funding crisis

As part of Budget 2017, Chancellor Philip Hammond announced an extra £2 billion of funding for social care and paved the way for major changes to how people pay for it. But people in the UK are still underestimating the cost of elderly care by £7 billion every year[1], according to new research from Scottish Widows’ independent think tank, the Centre for the Modern Family. Continue reading…

Don’t worry, be happy

How to build a sustainable retirement income plan

It is impossible to consider retirement, and our experience of it, without also considering how we’ll pay for it. But almost 30% of people over the age of 55 are unsure if they will be able to retire on their current savings, according to new research[1]. Continue reading…

Market sentiment

Reaching your long-term investment goals

It is impossible for investors to predict the future. Short-term losses can be unsettling, but holding steady through the ups and downs is the best way to reach your long-term investment goals. A key to successful investing is to remain focused on your long-term objectives and not let short-term trends distract you. Holding onto your investments when times get tough is a proven strategy for staying on track. Continue reading…

Your wealth. Your legacy

Families shying away from difficult conversations

If you have significant assets, you may be wondering whether Inheritance Tax (IHT) affects you. Worryingly, some families appear to be shying away from difficult conversations, as almost half (47%) of UK adults say they have never discussed inheritance matters, according to new research[1]. Continue reading…

Priceless education

Choosing an independent school is a serious investment

Parents or grandparents wishing to give their children or grandchildren the benefit of an independent education face startling costs. This is followed after school by the costs of a university education, which are also considerable. However, with careful planning, it may be possible to avoid a huge outstanding student loan or tax burden. Continue reading…

Get ‘wrapped’ up

Autonomy to make your own investment decisions

Some people don’t want a pension company deciding how their pension savings are invested – they want to control where their money goes and how it grows. For people wanting to have autonomy to make their own investment decisions with their retirement savings, a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) may be an alternative solution. Continue reading…

Savings black hole

Inflation set to erode Britain’s £60 billion cash savings

Millions of Britons could see their savings shrink, as they don’t know how to shield them from the threat of rising inflation. Currently, UK savers are hoarding over £60 billion[1] in cash for long-term savings and investments, which stands to be eroded by £1.5 billion this year as a result of higher inflation.

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Buy-to-let

Boom to be sustained by pension freedoms

In the previous five years, buy-to-let has seen the impact of huge property price increases. THERE HAVE BEEN legislative changes, new tax treatment and deep economic uncertainty across the country. Continue reading…

Bank of Mum and Dad

The UK’s most lenient lender?

The Bank of Mum and Dad is potentially the UK’s most lenient lender. its relaxed approach means it ends up writing off huge numbers of loans each year, according to new research[1]. Continue reading…

Balancing act

You’ve worked hard for your money – now investing can get your money working harder for you

Before investing, you need to decide how much risk you are willing to take and consider your ability to deal with any losses. Some investors are happy to take higher risk if there is a chance for higher returns over the longer term, while others don’t want to accept any risk. Others may sit somewhere in the middle. The value of investments can go down as well as up, and so there is always a risk that you may not get back the amount you put in. Continue reading…

‘Empty nesters’ plan to downsize

Convenience rather than cash is the biggest motivation

There are plenty of reasons why moving into a smaller home makes sense, and more than 3.9 million over-55 ‘empty-nesters’ approaching retirement are planning to downsize to a cheaper property later in life[1] – but it is convenience rather than the cash that is their biggest motivation. Continue reading…

Are you ready to invest?

5 reasons to open a Stocks & Shares ISA

Whatever you’re putting money aside for, there’s likely to be a role for Individual Saving Accounts (or ‘ISAs’). Low interest rates on cash savings since the financial crisis have meant that many savers have turned to the markets in the hope of achieving a better return.  Continue reading…

Retirement delays

Access to health and well-being support in the workplace

There is now a clear trend of people working for longer and delaying their retirement. Although some are staying in work out of financial necessity, others want to keep working because they value the mental and social stimulation their job brings. Continue reading…

Self-Invested Personal Pension benefits on death

Declaring who you want the payments to go to

If you die, your Self-Invested Personal Pension benefits will be paid to your beneficiaries – either as a lump sum or an ongoing pension. You’ll need to complete a nomination form declaring who you want the payments to go to. The tax treatment of any death benefits paid from your SIPP will depend on your circumstances. Continue reading…

Shopping around for an annuity

One-time purchase that affects your whole retirement

Due to the current economic climate, it has never been more important to make the correct decisions when deciding how to invest a retirement fund. If you decide an annuity is right for you, it’s important to shop around. It’s a one-time purchase that affects your whole retirement, and you cannot change your mind later on. Continue reading…

Lifetime annuity

Guaranteeing you a regular retirement income for life

An annuity allows you to use your pension fund to buy an income from the provider of your choice. The annuity guarantees regular payments until you die. Normally, once purchased, it cannot be altered. There are different types of annuity available in the market, and you should consider the best product to suit your circumstances. Continue reading…

Drawdown

Helping you make the most of the new pension freedoms rules

Drawdown allows you to take income directly from your pension fund without the need to purchase a lifetime annuity. In turn, this allows your pension fund to remain invested in the assets of your choice whilst taking an income. Continue reading…

Pension freedoms

Major shift in how you can access your pensions

New rules about pensions came into effect on 6 April 2015, providing more choice for anyone who has a private or occupational money-purchase pension. Continue reading…

Giving you more control over your retirement investments

Transferring other pensions into a Self-Invested Personal Pension

If you have a UK registered pension scheme with another company, you can transfer its value into your pension fund. However, by transferring benefits from another pension provider into your Self-Invested Personal Pension, you may give up the right to guarantees over the kind of benefits, the amount you will receive and the level of increases that will be applied to your pension in the future. Continue reading…

Lifetime allowance

Maximum total amount that an individual can hold within all their pension funds

There’s also a maximum total amount that an individual can hold within all their pension funds without having to pay extra tax when you withdraw money from them. The lifetime allowance is a limit to the amount you can save in your Self-Invested Personal Pension or other pensions over your lifetime, but excludes your State Pension. Continue reading…

Self-Invested Personal Pension contributions

Limiting the amount of contributions you can make each year which attract tax relief

Every year, you receive an allowance for making contributions into a Self-Invested Personal Pension. The Government sets this limit because your pension contributions are topped up with tax relief. Continue reading…

Making Self-Invested Personal Pension investments

Flexibility over where your money is invested to fit in with your overall investment strategy

Self-Invested Personal Pensions are likely to be most suited to experienced investors who are comfortable choosing and managing investments themselves. You need to have the necessary skills to invest your own pension fund, and you must remember that the value of investments can fluctuate, so you could get back less than you invested.  Continue reading…

Self-Invested Personal Pension tax relief

One of the most tax-efficient ways of saving for retirement

Self-Invested Personal Pensions are one of the most tax-efficient ways of saving for retirement, and you can invest up to the annual allowance for tax relievable pension contributions (currently £40,000). As always, please bear in mind that tax relief will depend on your individual circumstances, and tax laws may change. Continue reading…

Who can have a Self-Invested Personal Pension?

Saving for a retirement that puts you in control of your financial future

Just like any other kind of pension, Self-Invested Personal Pensions are designed to help you save for retirement and take an income when you reach it. Continue reading…

Time to take control of your retirement planning?

Cover for A tax-free wrapper in which you hold a wide range of permitted investments you and your loved ones

Self-Invested Personal Pensions (also known as ‘SIPPs’) are being used by a rising number of private investors keen to take control of their retirement planning. First introduced in 1989, SIPPs have evolved into the favoured investment vehicle for individuals seeking more control and flexibility in their retirement planning. Continue reading…

Financially unprotected

Dads putting their family’s financial security at risk if the unexpected were to happen

What would happen to you and your family in the event of unforeseen circumstances, such as the diagnosis of a serious illness or premature death? Worryingly, research from Scottish Widows reveals that more than half (53%) of men in the UK with dependent children have no life cover, meaning that 3.9 million dads[1] are potentially putting their family’s financial security at risk if the unexpected were to happen.

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New state pension Age

How will it affect your retirement plans?

Will you be one of the millions of workers who will have to work an extra year before retiring after the Government announced that it would be extending the retirement age to 68? New plans announced in July this year mean that the rise in the State Pension age to 68 will now happen in 2039, affecting people born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978.

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Family Succession planning

Taking advice early and developing a personal financial plan is crucial to meeting long-term goals

Succession planning may be one of the most challenging experiences facing any leader, especially an entrepreneurial business person who has built a family business from scratch, so it is crucial to get right. For a family business, transition is a once-in-a-lifetime decision. Perhaps no challenge has as much potential to exacerbate the special stresses – or, conversely, highlight the special advantages – of operating a family business.

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