16 Oct Parents Massively Underestimate Student Debt

Helping children financially through university may mean resorting to drastic measures Parents are still very much in need of a reality check when it comes to the true costs of a university education according to the latest annual student debt research by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) using Opinium Research. And while over two thirds of parents plan to help their children financially through university, many say they have to resort to drastic measures in order to do so, whether it be downsizing the family home (9%) or using …

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13 Oct Estate Matters

Structuring your affairs efficiently means starting the correct planning early enough Inheritance tax (IHT) is payable by some people who, for the most part, could have avoided it. If you want your estate to go to your loved ones with the minimum amount of IHT payable, you should obtain professional advice. There are currently a number of generous reliefs relating to IHT. New main residence transferable nil-rate band From 6 April 2017, there will be a new main residence transferable nil-rate band (family home allowance) that will apply when a …

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08 Oct Pensioner Scams

Financial fraudsters using reforms to target retirees Changes to the pension rules are creating new opportunities for scams. Be cautious of anyone approaching you with advice on how to invest your pension. Almost one in ten pensioners has been targeted by financial fraudsters since their retirement. A nationwide study by MetLife[1] shows that among retired people, 9% say they have been victims of financial scams or targeted by financial scammers since they stopped work. That rises to 14% among retired people in the South West. Vishing scams Recent reported frauds …

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05 Oct Pension Planning Apathy

More than ten million pots are being left largely unmonitored Individuals are living longer, meaning that savings have to fund a longer period of retirement. However, there has been a well-documented decline in pensions saving over time. Many people do not think about retirement as they consider it’s too far in the future, and almost two thirds (63%) of over-45s who are not yet retired admit they pay little or no attention to their pensions, leading to more than ten million pots being left largely unmonitored[1]. The findings form part …

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01 Oct Changing Financial Attitudes

New priorities increase the protection gap Many Britons consider that having an Internet connection and mobile phone is a greater financial priority than protecting their mortgage and income, according to new research. The economic downturn in previous years, low interest rates, job uncertainty and government cuts appear to have taken their toll on some people’s protection priorities. The latest Scottish Widows Protection Report revealed that only 39% considered providing financial security for their family in the event of their premature death as essential – which has dropped from more than …

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24 Sep Investing

Six principles to consider Successful investing involves making choices that meet your unique needs today and your financial goals for the future. Your personal circumstances will affect your decisions every step of the way. Whether you are saving for a home, retirement or your child’s education, here are six investing principles to consider: 1. Invest for the long term It may seem very obvious but the longer you invest, the bigger the potential effect of compound performance on the original value of your investment. Many investors will be familiar with …

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21 Sep The Critical Factor

Would a tax-free ‘lump sum’ help if you became seriously ill? Most home buyers purchase life assurance when they arrange a mortgage, but many overlook another form of financial protection that they are potentially more likely to need prior to retirement. Critical illness cover, also known as critical illness insurance, covers specified serious illnesses and provides a tax-free ‘lump sum’ – a one-off payment that could be used to help pay for your mortgage, liabilities or alterations to your home such as wheelchair access should you need it, but ultimately …

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15 Sep New Domicile Rules

Permanent non-dom tax status will be abolished from 6 April 2017. The reform does not eliminate the tax status, but individuals who have lived in the UK for 15 of the past 20 years will lose the right to claim it. . The proposed measures: People who have been resident for more than 15 out of the past 20 years will be deemed domicile for all tax purposes, so no remittance basis will be available. Those who came to the UK in 2002 or earlier will be affected. No grandfathering …

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10 Sep Staying Connected Trumps Priorities

Only 39% considered providing financial security for their family as essential   Britons consider having an Internet connection and mobile phone to be greater financial priorities than protecting mortgage and income, according to new research. The latest Scottish Widows Protection Report revealed that only 39% considered providing financial security for their family in the event of death as essential – which has dropped from more than half in four years – compared to eight out of ten (80%) who considered broadband and mobile phones (71%) essential for daily living. Becoming …

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08 Sep Banking on Inheritance

One in three Britons rely on a cash windfall to fund their retirement plans   Anticipated inheritances often don’t materialise. But one in three working Britons (35%) are still relying on an inheritance in order to achieve a stable financial future. The reality is that many could be in for a big shock. The study[1] released by LV= shows millions are banking on an inheritance to provide them with financial assistance, with this cash windfall often key to their retirement plans[2]. Unsurprisingly, the most common thing people would do with …

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