Financial Planning, Pensions Advice, Financial Adviser Dunfermline, Fife, Edinburgh and Central Scotland

Sunday 17th December 2017

12 December 2017

Being self-employed can have some great benefits. Setting your own hours, no boss to answer to and deciding your own salary (within reason) are just some of the reasons why almost five million people choose to work for themselves.

However, when it comes to saving and protecting their finances into retirement, many self-employed and gig-economy workers are currently set to lose out and may even face financial hardship in later life.

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12 December 2017

The days of the ‘cliff edge’ retirement are over.

Where you would once be working one day and retired the next, many people are starting to take a more flexible approach to the end of working life.

Research from Retirement Advantage has identified that almost half (49%) of over-50s do not plan to stop working completely when they reach retirement age. In fact:

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12 December 2017

Have you ever talked yourself out of seeking professional financial advice?

You are not alone, almost half (49%) of over-50s who are not yet retired have done the same thing. But, with research by Dunstan Thomas showing that those who take financial advice could enjoy £13,000 more each year in retirement than those who don’t, it is worth challenging that decision.

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12 December 2017

A study by Dunstan Thomas shows that 51% of people aged 54-71 have not told their pension providers whether their retirement plans have changed since they first took out the policy.

Why does that matter?

De-risking.

De-risking is a process carried out by pension providers to reduce the investment risks of funds due to be accessed by the policy owner. It is a practice which became popular to ensure that people who planned to buy an Annuity with their pension fund see less movement in its value. However, now that Annuities are becoming less popular, the practice is less relevant.

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12 December 2017

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has revealed figures which show that the estimated Inheritance Tax (IHT) payable on estates over the next five years is due to rise by almost £1 billion; from £32.4 billion to £33.3 billion.

This rise is due, in part, to a larger population; more people are dying, therefore more IHT is being paid.

However, other research shows that an improved understanding of IHT regulations could result in many people paying less IHT. Currently, the figures show that, due to a lack of knowledge, IHT is being taken from estates which could have otherwise been avoided.

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12 December 2017

For many people, Philip Hammond’s announcement that the Lifetime Allowance will be rising is welcome news.

As part of the Autumn 2017 Budget, the amount you can hold in a pension fund, without incurring taxes, will rise by £30,000; from £1,000,000 to £1,030,000, effective from April 2018. This is a welcome increase, considering that the Lifetime Allowance started at £1.5 million in 2006/7, rose to £1.75 million in 2010/11 and fell to £1 million, where it remained until the budget announcement.

But what does that mean for you?

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12 December 2017

In the third quarter of 2017, 198,000 people made withdrawals from their pension funds under Pension Freedoms, 40,000 more than in the same period of 2016.

Why is the demand for Pension Freedoms so high?

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22nd November 2017

Every Budget has winners and losers; with some people faring better than others.

So, how did you fare? Read on as we reveal whether you are a winner or a loser after Philip Hammond’s second Budget of 2017.

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22nd November 2017

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond rose to his feet at 12.38 to deliver his second Budget of the year.

The days leading up to the Budget have been dominated by talk of housing, Universal Credit and, most surprisingly, rail cards.

Mr Hammond started in a bullish and optimistic mood, saying: “I report today on an economy that continues to grow, continues to create more jobs and continues to confound those who seek to talk it down.” He then turned to Brexit, saying that the UK will be prepared for every possible outcome of the current negotiations.

As convention dictates, the Chancellor then moved on to the latest economic data and forecasts for the years to come.

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14th November 2017

University is one of the pivotal times in life. Your children have made it through the tantrums and tears and are starting to navigate adulthood alone. Over the next few years they will graduate with:

  • A degree
  • Some great memories
  • A mountain of debt

They could also leave university as a homeowner who has been collecting rent throughout their education to offset some of the expense, with a Buy for Uni student mortgage.

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