F1RST Financial Blog
Welcome to our latest edition. Inside this issue, we look at a number of the topical financial planning stories making the news agenda.
Creating and maintaining the right investment strategy plays a vital role in securing your financial future. But we live in the era of the 24-hour news cycle, and ‘bad news sells’. The investment world can be unpredictable, and investors currently have plenty of bad news to process, with a plethora of events making the daily and even hourly news headlines – from the US-China trade conflict and oil price volatility, to Britain's exit from the European Union. On page 6, we consider why it’s important to stay positive and focus on your investment goals.
Once we enter January, the end of the 2019/20 tax year will be just over three months away on 5 April. As this date approaches, the window of opportunity reduces if you want to make the most of valuable allowances, reliefs and exemptions that could help reduce your tax bill and make sure your finances stay tax efficient. Read the full article on page 4.
On 3 October, campaigners lost a significant legal battle against the Government's handling of the rise in women’s State Pension age. The retirement age for women has increased from 60 to 65, in line with men, and will go up to 66 by 2020, and to 67 by 2028. Nearly four million women have been affected by these changes. On page 8, we consider the impact of the High Court's decision.
Also inside this issue, we look at whether some people are ‘sleepwalking’ into retirement and how much you will need to save to afford a comfortable retirement. We assess, too, how the financial implications of divorce, added to the emotional upheaval, can be difficult to deal with. A full list of the articles featured in this issue appears on page 2.
Welcome to the latest issue. At the time of writing, the UK Government said it is ‘ready and willing’ to do a deal to leave the EU if new terms are negotiated with Brussels. But the new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has vowed the UK will leave the EU ‘come what may’ by 31 October – the date the UK must depart if no deal has been reached.
Even though we don’t definitively know what the impact of Brexit will be on both the UK’s and other countries’ economies, it doesn’t mean this is necessarily a bad time to invest internationally. Any well-run investment portfolio should include exposure to companies from around the world. This gives investors access to a greater range of opportunities and allows portfolios to be insulated from any shocks that could affect individual economies.
Saving for retirement is one of our greatest financial priorities, especially as life expectancy is growing and retirements are likely to last longer. It may be the case that you want to take the reins and have more control of your pension pot. Turn to page 6 to see how, for appropriate investors, one option to consider is a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP).
Nobody wants to worry about how they’ll pay the bills if they become sick or injured and can’t work. But illness or injury can strike at any time and can lead to serious financial trouble. On page 12, we look at the latest government figures that report the dramatic increase in the likelihood of long-term sickness absence when we age, leading to an employment absence of four weeks or more.
Also inside this issue, we look at how to spot the warning signs if you’re approached by a pensions scammer; consider the winners and losers under the new State Pension; and if you have accumulated a number of pension pots over the years from different employers, why consolidating them could be appropriate. A full list of the articles featured in this issue appears on page 2.
We hope you enjoy this issue. To discuss any aspects of building, growing and protecting your future financial plans, please contact us – we look forward to hearing from you.
Welcome to the latest issue. Inside, you’ll find an array of articles about how we can help you further to plan, grow, protect and preserve your wealth. As we all know, the ultimate goal money can buy is financial freedom.
Volatility fluctuates based on where we are in the economic cycle, but it is a normal feature of markets that investors should expect. From the unfathomable Brexit playbook and the continued prominence of populist ideology, to unconventional US foreign policy and the retirement of Draghi, the highly respected European Central Bank president, uncertainty prevails. On page 6, we consider why it is essential not to panic and to keep a perspective when markets are turbulent.
On page 5, we look at passing on wealth and why it is a sensitive subject, not just because of the financial complexities of it all, but also the emotion and family politics involved. Having built up their business or wealth, many families often wish to enjoy it whilst also ensuring that it is passed on to the next generation in their families. But some people find the idea of discussing passing on wealth uncomfortable.
Today, you’ve got a number of options and permutations available when it comes to what to do with your pension in retirement. But lots of choice can also mean increased confusion. Your retirement 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. Turn to page 10 to look at your options.
Also inside this issue, we suggest the ‘Top 5’ list of tax planning areas to consider now; ask ‘Should you invest into a pension or an ISA?’; and explain how to prepare your portfolio for inflation. A full list of the articles featured in this issue appears opposite.
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We hope you enjoy this issue. And to keep things in perspective, the journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. We think that sums up what we do very nicely. Thank you for your continued support. To discuss your situation, please contact us – we look forward to hearing from you.
At the time of writing this issue, the uncertainty around the terms of Brexit have been extended to a new deadline set for 31 October. All we can do is expect the best, prepare for the worst and capitalise on what comes.
Inheritance Tax is no longer something that only affects the very wealthy, but the good news is that there are ways to limit the amount of Inheritance Tax your family may potentially face. You worked hard to earn your wealth, so let us work hard preserving it. On page 6, we look at how you can help your family maintain its financial strength from one generation to the next.
You want to pay the minimum amount of tax legally possible. We want that for you, too. The 2019/20 tax year started on 6 April and, in general, taxpayers will have more money in their pocket after increases to allowances came into force. However, there are a few losers, in particular those selling shares and buy-to-let landlords. To find out more, turn to page 3.
Making a Will is very important if you care what happens to your money and your belongings after you die, and most of us do. On page 11, we consider why discussing your Will with beneficiaries means they are better prepared when the time comes, even though you may be nervous about raising the topic.
A full list of the articles featured in this issue appears on page 2.
Achieve your financial goals
We hope you find this issue useful. Whatever your goals in life are, careful planning and successful investing of your wealth can help you get there. If you would like to speak to us about your financial goals, please contact us – we look forward to hearing from you.
Welcome to our latest issue. Robert Kiyosaki, the American businessman and author of the best-selling book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, once remarked, ‘Making money is common sense. It’s not rocket science. But unfortunately, when it comes to money, common sense is uncommon.’ As we continue into 2019 with the uncertainties surrounding Brexit, we look to de-mystify the ever-changing landscape of the financial world.
What better place to start off than tax-efficient investing? Each tax year, we are each given an annual Individual Savings Account (ISA) allowance. The ISA limit for 2018/19 is £20,000, and anyone wishing to utilise their allowance should do so before the deadline at midnight on Friday 5 April 2019. The date marks the end of the 2018/19 tax year. It is a ‘use it or lose it’ allowance, meaning that if you don’t use all or part of it in one tax year, you cannot take that allowance over to the next year. To find out more about your ISA options, turn to page 6.
Over time, with life expectancy and the cost of living rising, it could mean that some retirees are at risk of running out of pension income in later life. On page 4, we consider what you can do to make sure that you have a big enough pension to meet your needs for your entire retirement.
This time of year is your last chance to get your tax affairs in order before the end of the 2018/19 tax year. On page 12, we’ve provided a summary of some key tax and financial planning areas which may be appropriate to certain taxpayers and should be considered prior to the end of the tax year.
Some people may believe that since they have reached their 60s and ‘retired’, the hard work is over. But there are probably another three or four decades ahead, so it’s not the time to be without expert professional financial advice. Turn to page 3 to read the full article.
At the time of writing, the UK Government is still in negotiations with the European Union over the terms of its planned withdrawal on 29 March 2019. The challenges facing the UK economy are unclear. On page 10, we look at some potential financial scenarios. We hope you enjoy this issue. A full list of the articles featured in this issue appears on page 2.
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Whatever your next step is in life, we’ll help you make your next big decision easier by getting the most out of your finances. To discuss your situation, please contact us – we look forward to hearing from you.
In this New Year edition, the start of 2019 is the optimum time when you may be thinking about resolutions and plans for the year ahead and beyond. It’s a good time to start planning your tax affairs before the end of the tax year on 5 April. And as you think about 2019 and your goals for the coming year, we’ll help to start you off on the right financial footing. Turn to page 4 to find out more.
As part of our continuing look at tax-efficient saving and investing, on page 6, we shine a spotlight on some of the different options available. Whether you consider yourself a savvy investor or a financial novice – and no matter what, why or how you want to save and invest – an Individual Savings Account (ISA) could help make your money work harder for you.
You may want to keep an element of control when passing on your assets. You may want your money to be used for a particular reason, such as paying for school or university fees or for a first property deposit. Or you may just want to make sure your money stays within the family. On page 11, we explain how intergenerational planning will help.
Plus, women will now start to qualify for the State Pension at the same age as men, currently set at 65. On page 3, we look at how the move to equalise male and female pension ages began 25 years ago and has been gradually phased in.
We hope you enjoy this latest edition and find it valuable. A full list of the articles featured in this issue appears on page 2.
Welcome to our latest edition and our customary collection of articles designed to help you create and protect your wealth to be able to experience life to the full.
As a parent, guardian or grandparent, you’ll want to provide the best future for your children or grandchildren that you can. Christmas is an excellent time to encourage children to start thinking about the value of money. Many children have hundreds of pounds spent on them at Christmas, but could that money be put to better use? Turn to page 4.
Although the current tax year does not end until 5 April 2019, tax planning shouldn’t be a mad March rush. Now is the perfect time to get a head start on your tax planning resolutions to enhance your own, your family’s or your company’s tax-efficient plans for the future. On page 3, we have set out some tax tips and actions that may be appropriate to certain taxpayers.
Throughout our lives, we will have many different lifestyle and financial goals that we would like to achieve. Although we all have different goals, there are some key goals that we’ll have in common, especially when it comes to retirement. What do you want from your investments? Supplementing your income? Building your retirement pot? Read more on page 6.
A pound saved is a pound earned. But thanks to inflation, over time, the value of the pound saved could be much less than when it was earned. One cannot ignore the corrosive impact of rising prices on investments. On page 11, we look at ways investors can easily fail to prepare for the risk of inflation eroding the purchasing power of money, especially in a low-inflation environment.
A full list of the articles featured in this issue appears on page 2 – we hope you enjoy them.
We don’t know what the future holds, but a little preparation goes a long way when it comes to planning for the future. We hope you enjoy this latest edition. If you want to discuss any of the topics featured, we’re here to help. To review any area of your financial plans, please contact us