State benefit confusion

Families could be missing out on thousands

Half (49%) of parents are confused by the array of state benefits available to them, and many don’t claim them even though they are eligible according to figures from LV=’s 13th Cost of a Child study. Continue reading…


Pension freedoms: one year on

What are the key reasons for shifting retirement patterns?

New pension rules which give you far greater flexibility over what you can do with your pension pot came into force on 6 April 2015, but according to Aviva’s latest Working Lives report a third of people aged over 50 who are employed in the private sector are now planning to retire later than they previously hoped. Continue reading…


Surviving a critical illness

More people could face financial hardship despite medical advances

Most homebuyers purchase life assurance when they arrange a mortgage, but only a minority obtain another form of financial protection that they are five times more likely to need before they reach retirement. Continue reading…


Tax credit on dividends abolished

Tax-free Dividend Allowance introduced under new system

rom April this year, the notional 10% tax credit on dividends has been abolished and replaced by a new tax-free Dividend Allowance. The Dividend Allowance means that you won’t have to pay tax on the first £5,000 of your dividend income, no matter what non-dividend income you have. Continue reading…


Preserving wealth

Should you review your situation with further changes on the horizon?

Inheritance Tax (IHT) affects not just the very rich – other people may be liable without realising it. Few taxes are quite as emotive – or as politicised – as IHT. Continue reading…


Devil’s in the detail

Taking stock of Budget 2016

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, delivered his eighth Budget speech on Wednesday 16 March, his third in 12 months. Now that we’ve had time to take stock of the key announcements, we consider how they could impact your finances both today and in future years. Continue reading…


Brexit

Impact on financial markets ahead of the EU referendum

With an increasing focus on ‘Brexit’, our investment clients will naturally be monitoring the impact on financial markets ahead of the referendum scheduled for Thursday 23 June. Continue reading…


Hello LISA

Harnessing the simplicity and popularity of the ISA wrapper

The introduction of the new Lifetime Individual Savings Account (LISA) next year is aimed at helping young people save flexibly for the long term throughout their lives, and simultaneously enabling them to save for a first home and for their retirement without having to choose one over the other. Continue reading…


Stamp duty rule changes

What could the shake-up mean for you?

A shake-up of the stamp duty rules took effect on 1 April 2016 in relation to anyone owning more than one residential property – this will affect those buyers funding the purchase of a new home with the sale of an existing home: if their buyer pulls out but they still want to go ahead – perhaps by using a bridging loan – they will be liable for the stamp duty surcharge because they will technically own two residential properties at completion. Continue reading…


Using your pension pot

More choice and flexibility than ever before

Following changes introduced in April 2015, you now have more choice and flexibility than ever before over how and when you can take money from your pension pot, but it’s essential to obtain professional advice to decide what the best course of action you should take, as this will be your retirement income for the rest of your life. Continue reading…