Pensions freedoms introduced three years ago mean that people are able to do what they like with their retirement savings. If you are on a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme you may be offered the opportunity to transfer out of your pension scheme in return for a fixed sum.
DB schemes promise savers a certain level of income after retirement, such as a final salary. Transferring out means that you will usually be offered between 25 to 30 times your annual pension value as a lump sum. However, it could be as much as 40 times. For instance, someone on a £10,000-per-year pension could be offered between £250,000 and £400,000. Continue reading →
You may well have seen the headlines that victims lost an average of £91k each in pension scams last year. Worryingly, in a recent survey, 32% of pension holders aged 45-65 said they were unsure how to verify if they were speaking to a genuine pensions adviser. Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. They can be articulate and sound highly knowledgeable. They will have designed seemingly attractive offers to try and persuade you to transfer your pension pot or release funds from it, which they will then invest in high-risk investments like overseas property, renewable energy bonds or forestry – or simply steal it directly. Continue reading →
As part of your overall financial planning, one item that is worth considering is your state pension and whether you are on track to get the full amount. If not, it is possible to buy top-ups, which could boost your payout by £244 a year for life.
The 2017/18 voluntary payment, under the Class 3 National Insurance top-up scheme, costs £741 and will get you nearer to, or over, the threshold for the maximum state pension payout – currently £164.35 a week. Such an opportunity can be particularly relevant for those who have contracted out of part of the state pension at some point previously during their working life. Continue reading →
‘Stock market closing at an all time high’; ‘The bubble’s burst’; ‘The stock market is crashing’; ‘Shares have gone through the roof – how could they go any higher?’; ‘House prices plummet by 30%’; ‘UK economy in weakest growth’; ‘The end is near for the bear market’; ‘Stocks dangerously close to unique kind of bull market’; ‘Not seen such market volatility since the 1987 crash’; ‘Warnings of market correction ahead’.
Don’t worry, these are just examples taken at any point in time. But you know what it’s like – you listen to the radio and hear one thing, then open a newspaper and read the opposite. You go on social media and hear all manner of contradictory views and opinions. You chat with friends in the pub who’ve got as many different pieces of advice as there are types of beer or artisan gins on offer!
Noise, noise, noise!
Everyone’s an expert. Everyone’s telling you what to do. But how do you know who to trust?
The good news is that if you’re working with a financial adviser, you don’t need to listen to that all clamour around you. The right adviser will help you understand what you can control and give you a sense of perspective.
For example, a recent study showed that investors value the following from their relationships with their advisers:
35% sense of security/peace of mind
23% knowledge of personal financial situations
20% progress towards their goals
14% investment returns
As financial advisers, we’re only too aware that markets will go up and markets go down but we can help you take a long term view. By gaining an understanding of your overall goals and objectives, we can give you reassurance over short term fluctuations. We’ll discuss your risk profile with you and adjust it as market conditions and your own particular circumstances change. The regular reviews we’ll have with you will keep your plan on track. As a result, you’ll find that because your decisions are now part of a strategic financial plan instead of isolated choices, you won’t feel so bombarded by every single news item.
By working with a financial adviser, you’ll know that we can cut through the conflicting messages and help you see past the headlines to the hard facts you need. It’s our job to be able to give you a sense of perspective when the markets may seem in turmoil. So when others may be tempted to made sudden withdrawals or changes, we’ll give you the ressaurance to stay invested. Alternatively, when it’s right to move, we’ll give you the confidence to change. It’s this kind of discipline that can make all the difference in terms of investment performance.
So rather than being swayed by sensationalist headlines or being worried by the ups and downs of the markets, use your financial adviser to help you ‘keep your head when all about you are losing theirs’.
A national saving and investment survey has shown only 7% of people have spoken to their parents about inheritance. One of the most important parts of planning to leave an inheritance is to talk about it. This is obviously not an easy topic and it may be a good idea to set aside some specific family time to have this discussion. This could help avoid any family disputes before and after you are gone. Continue reading →
Hand writing the text: Whats Your Plan for Retirement?
When retirement is decades away, it’s understandable that many people near the start of their working lives don’t give a lot of thought to exactly how much of a difference the amount they pay into their pension will make when they finally come round to needing it. Increasing your pension contribution by 1% might sound so small as to be insignificant, making it tempting to choose to enjoy more of your hard-earned money today rather than putting a little more of it away for years to come. But is that really the case? What difference would putting an extra 1% into your pension actually make?
The National Landlords Association (NLA) has warned that the next pension crisis could be created by the impact of changes to the way buy-to-let properties are taxed, as many individuals are becoming increasingly reliant on funding their retirement through income generated by property. Recent figures suggest that around 77% of landlords rely on their residential property investment for when they retire, which equates to around 1.8 million people in the UK. Additionally, buy-to-let continues to be considered a safe way of saving for retirement, with 68% of people seeing it as a good way to plan for when they finish work. Continue reading →
Since December 2016, the top fixed-rate cash ISAs have seen their rates rise by up to 42% thanks to smaller less well-established banks hoping to boost business. Four new fixed-rate ISAs paying market-leading rates were launched at the end of July by Charter Savings Bank, whose new one-year ISA offers a better rate (1.3%) than that on offer from Bank of Cyprus UK (1.22%). Customers can gain early access to the one-year ISA as long as they’re happy to be charged 150 days interest. Compared to what a one-year ISA paid at the end of 2016, when the Bank of Cyprus UK’s ISA paid just 1.05%, the new account offers 24% more. Continue reading →
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