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Five reasons not to let Pension Freedoms go to your head

Throughout the 2017/18 financial year, flexible pension withdrawals totalled more than £6.5 billion, the highest it has been since the introduction of Pension Freedoms in 2015 (Source: HMRC). In the first three months of 2018 alone, just under £1.7 billion was taken from pension funds by 222,000 people; an average of £7,644 per person. Of course, some of those people will be making withdrawals as part of a sensible and sustainable plan. Others, however, may be letting the new-found Pension Freedoms go…
28th June 2018

Key information for interest-only mortgage holders

According to UK Finance, the number of outstanding interest-only mortgages has fallen by 46% since 2012. Unfortunately, the issue of interest-only mortgage holders, with no way to make their final repayments, is still a reality for some. If you have an interest-only mortgage, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about and whether you should be concerned about your own arrangements. It is likely that you will have many questions, so we have endeavoured to cover all the main points:…
28th June 2018

Child or Grandchild off to uni this September? Three things to teach them before they go

Watching your kids or grandkids go off to university brings many feelings: Pride: At how well they have done until this point. Nostalgia: Where did the time go? It only seems like yesterday they started nursery! Freedom: It’s time to turn that box room into a home gym at last! Utter terror: How will they survive in the big, wide world, without you to protect them? …And many more besides. But, there is another emotion which should begin to manifest in the months remaining before…
24th May 2018

How do you look after your finances? The protections you should know about

With new data from The Money Charity showing that almost 10 million people in the UK have no savings, it’s time to talk about financial protection again. It can be easy to feel like your finances are under control. You have two incomes coming into the household, the bills are paid in full and on time and your credit is manageable. Maybe you even have spare cash for holidays and treats? You’re sorted. But what happens if your household suddenly loses an…
24th May 2018

Three things to consider before using your pension to help relatives

There’s nothing new about retirees helping younger generations financially. Whether it’s to cover the seemingly ever-rising costs of living, or just to make sure they’re able to enjoy their spare time, giving money to children and grandchildren has become something of a tradition in some families. However, research from Prudential has shown that the amounts being given away by many pensioners is reaching new heights, with those due to stop working this year predicted to hand over an average of £4,300 to…
24th May 2018

The true value of increased pension contributions

You probably know that the minimum pension contributions have increased for those who have been auto-enrolled. Previously, the contributions for both you and your employer were 1%, but since the 6th April, this has increased to 3% for you and 2% for your employer. These are minimum amounts only, and either party can choose to contribute a bigger percentage each month. Qualifying earnings The required amount contributed by you and your employer will be calculated based on your qualifying earnings, for 2018 this is your…
19th April 2018

Great expectations: Are millennials expecting too much from retirement?

Retiring early is the dream for many people. Indeed, according to research from Barclays, UK adults aged 18-34 are aiming to retire at 56, more than 10 years prior to their projected State Pension Age. Additionally, most want to do so with a pension pot of more than £300,000. Are these aims realistic? Are they arbitrary numbers based on ideals, or have millennials got a plan to fast-track the way they build their retirement capital? Unfortunately, most evidence points to the former.
19th April 2018

Are you pension savvy? See how you compare to the rest of the population

How much do you know about your pension? According to research from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), many UK adults have a lack of knowledge surrounding their retirement savings and income. The results show that awareness and engagement with pensions increased with age, as over-55s are more in touch with their retirement finances than younger people. However, in three key areas of financial planning for later life, there are still gaps to be filled: 1. Reviewing pensions Regular pension reviews help you to stay on…
19th April 2018

The retirement risk assessment: Five pitfalls to avoid when you finish work

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Wise words from US Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, who is also attributed with coining the phrase: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Safe to say, he liked being ready for whatever the future had in store for him. Which is exactly the attitude you need to have toward your retirement planning. There are five threats to your financial security in retirement and each can be prevented with a mix of financial planning…
21st March 2018

Will you regret saving too little for retirement? Make changes before it’s too late

Will the money you put away today be enough to live on when you stop working? For some people, the act of paying into a Workplace Pension each month feels like enough, but it might not be. According to an international study by Schroders; 88% of retired investors says that they regret not saving more, meanwhile: a quarter of those wish they had contributed “a lot more” The average investor currently puts away 11.4% of their annual income for later life This…
21st March 2018

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