Cameron and Co http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news Financial News Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:59:16 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Tips to minimise the tax you pay http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/tips-to-minimise-the-tax-you-pay/ http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/tips-to-minimise-the-tax-you-pay/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:59:16 +0000 http://www.newsfin.co.uk/news/?p=2270 Have you utilised all your year-end tax planning deadline opportunities?
As we near the 2017/18 tax year end on 5 April, if appropriate to your particular situation, we’ve provided some tax planning tips to help you maximise the use of your various tax allowances and minimise the tax you pay.

We take a personal approach to your tax needs. Informed by our detailed knowledge of your affairs, we explore some of the best options which you could consider to help manage your tax obligations most effectively.

Income Tax planning
Ensure income-producing investments are held by the spouse who has the lowest tax rate
Make use of the transferable married couple’s allowance where one spouse is not fully using their personal allowance and the tax- paying spouse only pays the basic rate of tax
If your income is around the £100,000 figure, look at ways of preserving the personal allowance. You could consider making Gift Aid payments or pension payments to help minimise loss of this allowance
Consider topping up any Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) you or your spouse have to the maximum limit, which is £20,000 each
Make use of any unused annual pension allowance brought forward before it is lost
Make use of the £5,000 dividend allowance available when considering salary and dividend options
If your company car arrangement is coming up for renewal, consider opting for cars with lower emissions and list prices to help minimise an Income Tax charge

Inheritance Tax (IHT) planning
Use your annual exemption for gifts of up to £3,000 per tax year; this exemption can be carried forward to the next tax year
Regular (qualifying) gifts out of net incomeare exempt from IHT – consider establishing a pattern of regular gifting to take advantage of this tax break
Wedding or civil ceremony gifts of up to £1,000 per person (£2,500 for a grandchild or great-grandchild, or £5,000 for a child) are exempt from

IHT
Small gifts exemption up to £250 – you can give as many gifts of up to £250 per person as you like during the tax year, providing you haven’t used another exemption on the same person

Capital Gains Tax planning
Make use of the annual exemption – currently £11,300 – and remember that assets can be transferred between spouses and registered civil partners tax-free

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE INDIVIDUAL ADVICE. ALWAYS OBTAIN PROFESSIONAL ADVICE RELEVANT TO YOUR OWN CIRCUMSTANCES.

ANY REFERENCE TO LEGISLATION AND TAX IS BASED ON OUR UNDERSTANDING OF UNITED KINGDOM LAW AND HM REVENUE & CUSTOMS PRACTICE AT THE DATE OF PRODUCTION. THESE MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE IN THE FUTURE. TAX RATES AND RELIEFS MAY BE ALTERED.

THE VALUE OF TAX RELIEFS TO THE INVESTOR DEPENDS ON THEIR FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES. NO GUARANTEES ARE GIVEN REGARDING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ANY ARRANGEMENTS ENTERED INTO ON THE BASIS OF THESE COMMENTS.

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Wealth preservation http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/wealth-preservation-2-2/ http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/wealth-preservation-2-2/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:58:45 +0000 http://www.newsfin.co.uk/news/?p=2268 Reducing Inheritance Tax means taking action now
Without professional advice and careful financial planning, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can become the single largest beneficiary of your estate following your death.

A recent survey about Inheritance Tax (IHT)[1] shows that wealthy Britons over the age of 45 are either ignoring estate planning solutions or they have forgotten about the benefits these can provide. Only 27% of those surveyed have taken financial advice on IHT planning, despite all of them having a potential IHT liability.

60% of people surveyed want to leave assets to their spouse or registered civil partner, and 29% would like to leave an inheritance to younger relatives such as nieces, nephews and grandchildren, but the largest single beneficiary from people’s estates is still HMRC. To highlight this point, HMRC revealed they received IHT payments to the value of £4,670,000,000 (that’s £4.67 billion) in the 2015/16 tax year alone.

How much could your estate pay?
The level of IHT your estate will pay depends on the amount your estate is worth and the tax allowances in place at the time. The current IHT allowance of £325,000 is set to remain level until 5 April 2021. Your estate will normally pay IHT on anything above that at 40%. If you leave any assets to your spouse or registered civil partner, they won’t have to pay IHT – it can be added to their estate and settled on their death. In the event your full IHT allowance isn’t used on your death, the remaining proportion will pass to your spouse or registered civil partner to increase their IHT allowance.

From 6 April 2017, on top of the £325,000 allowance, a new allowance was introduced for people owning their own home. This Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB) provides an additional £100,000 allowance to be applied against the deceased’s main residence, as long as it is left to a direct descendant and the estate is valued at less than £2,000,000. Beyond that figure, the RNRB (and any transferred RNRB) will be gradually withdrawn. Like the main nil rate band, any unused proportion can be taken on by the surviving spouse or registered civil partner.

Reduce IHT and maximise the wealth you pass on

Make a Will
Having a Will is arguably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only can a Will legally protect your spouse, children and assets, but it can also spell out exactly how you would like things handled after you have passed on.

If your estate is worth more than the current IHT threshold, when you die and it passes to a non-exempt beneficiary (such as a child) or doesn’t qualify for relief as an agricultural or business asset, then IHT at currently 40% will have to be paid on the excess.

Appraise your assets
IHT is a tax payable on the value of your assets when you die. It covers your estate, which can include your home, savings and investments, jewellery, cars, art, other properties (including holiday homes abroad), and proceeds from life insurance policies not written in an appropriate trust.

Potentially exempt transfers
If you’re in reasonably good health, you could think about making an outright gift to someone you love. If you live for seven
years after making the gift, it will usually be free of IHT.

Think about giving
You can give away up to £3,000 each year as either a single gift or several small amounts.

If you haven’t used this in any tax year, you can carry it forward for one year. This will give you an annual exemption of £6,000 in the next tax year. For a couple, this could add up to £12,000 in one tax year, all free of IHT.

Consider establishing a trust
Another way you can reduce your IHT is to put your money into a trust. This enables you to make a gift without losing control of the money, although care is needed if you still need to be able to access the money for yourself.

Some trusts still attract IHT but are worth considering nonetheless. There are three main types of trust that can assist you with any IHT planning you are considering. If this is the case, please speak to us or your legal representative regarding placing money under trust and how it could help you.

Take out life insurance
If you don’t want to give your money away while you are still alive, taking out life insurance could be an option. You may be able to set up a policy to pay out an amount equal to your estimated IHT bill.
It’s possible to set up the policy in the form of an appropriate trust to remain outside your estate. It will pay out to the trustees to pass on to your nominated beneficiaries, giving them the money to pay the IHT due.

Gifts from monthly income
You can make regular gifts from your income after tax without paying IHT. This is the money you use for normal living expenses. You must make sure you only pay money from your income and not any savings or investments you have.

Gifts to qualifying charities
One way you can instantly reduce your tax rate to 36% is by leaving at least 10% of your estate to charity.
All gifts to qualifying charities and political parties are free of IHT.

Protect your pension
Maintaining your money purchase pension pot is another way to protect your family’s inheritance. Unlike Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and other savings vehicles, pensions are not normally subject to IHT and can be passed to loved ones on death. Spending down other taxable areas of your estate before calling on your pension makes sense.

Source data:
[1] Survey conducted by Canada Life of 1,001 UK consumers aged 45 or over with total assets exceeding the individual inheritance tax threshold of £325,000 carried out in September 2016.

INFORMATION IS BASED ON OUR CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF TAXATION LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS. ANY LEVELS AND BASES OF, AND RELIEFS FROM, TAXATION ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

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Financial freedom http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/financial-freedom/ http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/financial-freedom/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:58:15 +0000 http://www.newsfin.co.uk/news/?p=2266 Creating and maintaining the right investment strategy
Our life is an endless series of daily choices, and how we manage those choices determines the outcome of our life. We all want financial freedom, but how will we achieve it? Financial goal-setting is the key to building wealth.

There are always going to be bumps in the road on every journey, which is why it’s essential to be flexible enough to adjust your plans when the unexpected happens. Your wealth creation objectives need to be able to adapt to whatever’s going on in your life. Nothing should stand between you and your long-term goals.

Creating and maintaining the right investment strategy plays a vital role in helping to secure your financial future. Whether you are looking to invest for income, growth or both, we can provide you with professional expert advice to help you achieve your financial goals. So what do you need to consider?

Set a goal and start early
Short term, ultra specific goals are generally very easy to achieve as they don’t really involve any planning, but longer-term goals on the other hand require you to actually plan out how you are going to achieve the goal. Remember that wealth creation is about creating a lifestyle of your choosing, and the earlier you start to invest, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits of compound growth working for you to build value and make your money work harder for you.

By taking the time to step into your future, you can look back and visualise what needs to happen today for you to enjoy the lifestyle you want tomorrow. Ask yourself these three questions to help you visualise your future needs: what do I have? What do I want? When do I want it?

Develop an investment habit
If you think that investing a few hundred pounds every month will offer little in return, you should change your mindset. To start your investment strategy, you should adopt a stable and organised investment routine that will help you achieve your goals. Compound growth is the central pillar of investing. It is why investing works so well over the long term.

The more you invest and the earlier you start will mean your investments have that much more time and potential to grow. By investing early and staying invested, you’ll also be able to take advantage of compound earnings. Making money on your money is the concept behind compounding. Compounding is when the money you earn from your investments is reinvested for the opportunity to earn even more. However, you need to keep in mind that while compounding can make an impact over many years, there may be periods where your money won’t grow.

Be consistent
Many people stop their investment planning particularly during market downturns, as we’ve seen in recent weeks. By doing this, they often miss out on opportunities to invest at lower prices. If you keep to your investment strategy and keep moving ahead consistently, this helps spread risk and enables you to grow your wealth for the long term through pound-cost averaging and careful asset allocation.

It’s important to remember that investing is an ongoing process, not a one-time activity. The right way to begin your investment strategy is by establishing goals that need to be achieved over the short, medium and long term. Secondly, it is necessary to assess your current position in the financial lifecycle. Thirdly, you must ascertain your risk profile, as that decides how much risk you should take while investing. This is particularly important as different financial objectives require different investments approaches.

Maintain a well-diversified portfolio with regular reviews
Regular reviews of your portfolio enable you to adjust your portfolio to meet your changing needs and risk appetite at different stages of your life and in different market conditions. This helps you keep up your investing momentum towards achieving your long-term financial goals. It’s also important not to put all your investment eggs into one basket.

Investing randomly into different asset classes without ascertaining their asset allocation, not following a disciplined approach to investing, exiting abruptly from an asset class and investing without a clear time horizon are some of the most apparent inconsistencies in any investment process. τ

INFORMATION IS BASED ON OUR CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF TAXATION LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS. ANY LEVELS AND BASES OF, AND RELIEFS FROM, TAXATION ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

THE VALUE OF INVESTMENTS AND INCOME FROM THEM MAY GO DOWN. YOU MAY NOT GET BACK THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT INVESTED.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT A RELIABLE INDICATOR OF FUTURE PERFORMANCE.

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New lease of life http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/new-lease-of-life/ http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/new-lease-of-life/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:57:46 +0000 http://www.newsfin.co.uk/news/?p=2264 Pensioners embracing the benefits of retirement and new-found time
As with any new life stage, planning often helps a smooth transition from the old to the new. Preparing properly for anything new requires planning and commitment. Spending time on planning now will ensure you enjoy the retirement you’ve worked hard to achieve.

According to new research[1], retirement has meant a new lease of life for millions of people who have given up work in the last ten years, with more than one in four (26%) saying they are fitter and healthier since they stopped working. Far from winding down, nearly half of those who have retired since the height of the financial crisis (48%) say they are busier and more active than they anticipated.

Experience of retirement
Through embracing the benefits of retirement and making the most of the new-found time, more than one in three (35%) say they have more time to make their life more adventurous than they could have hoped while they were still at work.

When asked how else their experience of retirement was exceeding their expectations, many of those who have become pensioners in the last ten years pointed to improvements in their relationships. More than a quarter (26%) believe they now get on better with their partner, while 25% think that their relationship with their family is happier since stopping work. Meanwhile, just under one in four (23%) say their social life has improved more than they expected.

Professional financial advice
As people who plan to finish work in the next ten years begin to look forward to their retirement, there’s plenty they can still do to make sure they are as comfortable as the people who have become pensioners over the last decade. Most importantly, in the face of changing pension rules, many people will benefit from obtaining professional financial advice in the run-up to retirement.

Retirement will continue to change over the coming years, but for many people the desire to make the most of their new-found free time will remain. Reflecting on their retirement in general, the vast majority who gave up work in the last ten years (86%) said that it had met their expectations or they were happy with how it had panned out so far, while only one in eight (13%) said that it has been a disappointment.

Thoughts, feelings, emotions
Nearly two in five (37%) thought they would have missed work more than they have since retiring, and in fact one in four (26%) wish they had retired earlier. Meanwhile, on reflection, more than one in ten (11%) wish they had been more active or found a job in the early years of their retirement.

It’s important to prepare your thoughts, feelings and emotions for the next phase in your life: a time to look forward to and welcome as a chance to do the things you have been dreaming about, as well as a rest after a long career. There is likely to be a mixture of feelings and thoughts as you start on this new venture into uncharted territory.

Source Data:
[1] Consumer Intelligence conducted an independent online survey for Prudential between 26 May and 5 June 2017 among 751 adults in the UK who had retired within the last ten years.

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Market matters http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/market-matters/ http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/market-matters/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:57:19 +0000 http://www.newsfin.co.uk/news/?p=2262 Don’t let current global uncertainties affect your financial planning
It’s important not to let current global uncertainties affect your financial planning for the years ahead. People who stop their investment planning, particularly during market downturns, often miss out on opportunities to invest at lower prices.

It’s important to stick to your strategy and keep moving ahead consistently by spreading risk and growing your wealth for the long term.

Higher inflation and faster interest rate rises
At the time of writing this article in February, markets had reacted to the signs of faster wage growth and a strengthening US economy that may lead to higher inflation and faster interest rate rises. The global sell-off began following a solid US jobs report that fuelled expectations that the Federal Reserve would need to raise interest rates faster than expected because of the strength of the economy. That concern prompted the pullback from stocks.

The Bank of England seemed to offer support for the view that rates in general are on an upward path with a strengthening UK economy, meaning interest rates are likely to rise sooner than the markets were expecting.

More attractive investment alternatives
A government budget proposal announced by US lawmakers to raise spending caps could also fan inflationary pressures. Rising US bond yields are another possible signal of higher rates to come, which could impact on corporate profits and curb economic activity. But at the same time, higher interest rates can make investment alternatives to stocks, such as bonds, more attractive.

In practice, everyone’s investment goals are different. By deciding on your long-term financial priorities – whether it’s funding your children’s education or saving enough to be able to retire early – you can avoid being blown off course by short-term events.

Investors should focus on long-term horizons
Trying to second-guess the impact of events such as Brexit or the recent stock market correction – or even attempting to make a bet on them – rarely pays off. Instead, investors who focus on long-term horizons – at least five to ten years –have historically fared much better.

Sensible diversification – owning a mix of assets, including shares, bonds and alternative investment such as property – can help protect investors over the long term. When one area of a portfolio underperforms, another part should provide important protection – and it’s never too early or too late to start taking this considered and strategic approach.

Media frenzy
Volatility, risk and market declines are a normal part of the investing cycle, but the media likes drama. Reports will use words that make these market fluctuations sound alarming, so be cautious about reacting to the unnerving 24/7 news cycle.

Stay strategic
If you have a well-diversified portfolio, then it’s more important than ever to stay the course. You have a strategy in place that reflects your risk tolerance and timeline, so stay committed. However, if you reacted and sold in a previous market decline or have not implemented a strategic asset allocation, then now is the time to have a discussion about your investment options.

Stay calm
Be aware of the psychological affect this type of volatility has on you as an investor and resist the urge to be reactive. The recent decline was expected and is coming after financial markets as a whole have experienced a historic bull phase for close to ten years now.

Stay focused
No one knows how severe any market turbulence will be or what the market will do next. It could be over quickly or linger for a while. But no matter what lies ahead, proper diversification and perseverance over the long-term are what’s most important.

THE VALUE OF INVESTMENTS AND INCOME FROM THEM MAY GO DOWN.
YOU MAY NOT GET BACK THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT INVESTED.

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Why being over 40 is the new mid-20s http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/why-being-over-40-is-the-new-mid-20s/ http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/why-being-over-40-is-the-new-mid-20s/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:54:34 +0000 http://www.newsfin.co.uk/news/?p=2260 Healthier lifestyles and feeling happier about financial planning for retirement
An increasing number of middle-aged Britons are getting healthier as they exercise more and eat better than they did when they were younger. Over-40s are turning to healthier lifestyles, with more than half rating themselves as more health-conscious than they were in their mid-20s, according to new research[1].

Nearly one in five (17%) of working over-40s say they are physically fitter than they were in their mid-20s, the nationwide study shows. And the fitness bug even applies to older age groups, with 11% of over-65s reckoning they are physically fitter than in their mid-20s.

Career, finances and relationships
The study asked over-40s to rate themselves now compared with their mid-20s and found 53% believe they have a healthier general lifestyle now. However, being happier with their lifestyle than in their mid-20s does not necessarily translate into all aspects of their lives according to the research which asked about career, finances and relationships.

Just 45% of over-40s feel happier about their financial planning for retirement than in their mid-20s, while a worried 36% admit to feeling less positive about retirement planning than in their mid-20s. Over-40s are most positive about financial security and relationships now compared with in their mid-20s.

But being happier at work now than in their 20s and being generally happier is not always the case as findings show.

Less positive about retirement planning
Growing older means changing attitudes, and it is striking that more than half of over-40s believe that they are healthier now than in their mid-20s, with nearly one in five claiming to be fitter. As people earn more and save more, it is good to see they feel more financially secure. However, it’s worrying that so many are less positive about retirement planning, especially as many will be fast approaching retirement.

The commitment to healthier lifestyles does not always translate into taking exercise – around 30% admit they either rarely (if ever) exercise for 20 minutes or only do it once a month. However, a committed 22% say they exercise for 20 minutes every day.

Source data:
[1] Research conducted by Consumer Intelligence for Prudential amongst 1,057 adults aged between 40 and 65 across the UK from
6 to 11 July 2017.

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Beware of the scammers http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/beware-of-the-scammers/ http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/beware-of-the-scammers/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:54:00 +0000 http://www.newsfin.co.uk/news/?p=2258 Fraudsters employ increasingly advanced psychological tactics to persuade victims to invest
An estimated £1.2bn is lost to investment scams each year, with share sales, wine investments, land banking and carbon credits commonly used by fraudsters to target potential investors.

A recent study by Citizen’s Advice found nine out of ten people would fail to spot common warning signs of a pension scam, such as unusually high investment returns, cold calling and offers of free financial advice.

It’s very important to remain vigilant when you are looking to access the money you have invested. Last year, victims of investment fraud lost on average £32,000 as fraudsters employed increasingly advanced psychological tactics to persuade victims to invest.

So what is an investment scam?
Investment scams are a form of fraud where there is a high risk that you could lose some, or all, of your money. Often, the investment opportunities that scammers offer don’t really exist – or don’t have the rewards being promised. Scammers can appear professional and trustworthy, so even experienced investors may fall victim to these schemes.

How to spot an investment scam
Scammers are always changing their tactics, so the following are some of the red flags that could help you to spot an investment scam:

Be vigilant – if a phone call or voicemail, email, or text message asks you to make a payment, log in to an online account or offers
you a deal, be extremely cautious. Financial institutions, banks and online retailers never email you for passwords or any other sensitive information by requesting that you click on a link and visit a website. If you get a call from someone who claims to be from your bank, don’t give away any personal details.

Scammers often use very convincing tactics to get you to sign up. Beware of anyone trying to pressurise you into making a decision.

Scammers will make an investment sound very appealing and will often suggest that it’s less risky than it is.

Offers made by scammers often sound too good to be true. For example, you might be offered better interest rates or returns than you’ve seen elsewhere.

Scammers are persistent and will often try to form a relationship with you in an effort to build your trust. Beware of anyone who calls you repeatedly and/or anyone who tries to keep you on the phone for long periods of time.

You might be told that you’re receiving a very special and/or limited offer.

You might be told not to tell anyone about the offer you’ve been given. But talking with trusted friends and family about any investment offer you’ve been given could help you spot a scam.

Fraudsters are known to target previous victims of investment fraud, claiming that they can recover lost money. You might be asked to pay an upfront fee, but these companies will not get back your money.

Some companies that run scams base themselves overseas in order to avoid regulatory requirements. Be cautious if a company that is based overseas contacts you with investment opportunities.

How to protect yourself from investment scams
Get to know the red flags above that could suggest a scam. The Financial Conduct Authority ScamSmart website offers helpful support about what you can do to spot investment fraud.

More information about pension scams can be found at www.pension-scams.com – check out the leaflet there.

Make sure that the company or financial adviser you’re dealing with is authorised by the UK Regulator – the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

You can check their Financial Services Register and get more information on unauthorised firms overseas.

The FCA also have a warning list that you can check to help stay ‘scam smart’ before you go ahead with any investment.

Reject any cold calls that you receive, and please don’t give out any personal or financial information until you are sure you are dealing with a reputable company.

Useful information to help protect you from scammers can be found on The Pensions Regulator website.

You can report fraud and cyber crime via ActionFraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre.

Keep up to date with the latest scams and fraud warnings with useful advice at Age UK.

Remember to trust your instincts. If you think the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

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Financial Fitness http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/financial-fitness/ http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/financial-fitness/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:53:18 +0000 http://www.newsfin.co.uk/news/?p=2256 Time to track and celebrate your wealth goals?
With the Christmas festivities now a distant memory, money matters are firmly on people’s minds this year according to recent research[1].

A poll of more than 3,500 UK adults[2] found the most common money goals are: putting more money into their savings accounts (21%); paying off their credit cards or loans (17%); and starting a regular savings habit (15%). Some people also plan to reduce their household expenses by switching energy suppliers and insurers (9%).

Clear goals in mind
Many are planning to save or invest this year, with clear goals in mind. Four out of ten (38%) people are saving for a holiday, one in ten are putting money aside for a new car (11%) and the same number (11%) are tightening their belts so they can financially help their children. A further one in ten (10%) are saving for a deposit for a house.

However, one in seven (14%) are thinking long term and investing for their retirement, and one in 13 (8%) are saving for later life care.

Setting a financial plan
Others are keen to set a financial plan (7%) and use all their Individual Savings Account (ISA) allowance (6%) in the year ahead. While some (6%) say they want to more actively manage their investments in 2018, one in 20 (5%) people say they want to start investing – perhaps recognising that they need to start making their money work harder for them in 2018.

Most people acknowledge that they may need help if they want to change their money habits in 2018. While some people turn to their mum (12%), dad (9%) and friends (8%) for advice, six out of ten (62%) say they’ll do their own online research in order to achieve their financial goals in 2018.

Familiar goals listed
The poll also found people have some familiar goals on their list for 2018. For instance, losing weight (26%), exercising more (25%) and travelling (15%) are all activities that many people want to do in 2018. Other common goals include: getting organised (12%); spending more time with family and friends (11%); and learning a new skill (9%).

An ambitious one in ten (9%) people have set their sights on getting a pay rise or a new job (8%) this year. τ

Source data:
[1] Brewin Dolphin research published 28 December 2017.
[2] Opinium surveyed 3,500 UK adults online between 8 and 13 December 2017.
Results weighted to reflect a nationally representative audience.

INFORMATION IS BASED ON OUR CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF TAXATION LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS. ANY LEVELS AND BASES OF, AND RELIEFS FROM, TAXATION ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

THE VALUE OF INVESTMENTS AND INCOME FROM THEM MAY GO DOWN. YOU MAY NOT GET BACK THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT INVESTED.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT A RELIABLE INDICATOR OF FUTURE PERFORMANCE.

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How to make the most of your retirement http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-retirement/ http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/how-to-make-the-most-of-your-retirement/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:52:52 +0000 http://www.newsfin.co.uk/news/?p=2254 Steps you could take to increase your eventual income
Even if retirement isn’t far away, there are steps you could take to increase your eventual retirement income. This applies both to your State Pension entitlement as well as to any personal or workplace pension pots.

We’ve provided some areas to consider that you may wish to discuss with us to help you to meet your retirement goals.

Make sure you have details for all your pension pots
Locate pension pots that you may have forgotten about. The Pension Advisory Service and the Pension Tracing Service can help you to trace forgotten pension pots. Remember to take your State Pension into account. Check your State Pension entitlement to help determine if and how much you’re likely to receive when you reach State Pension age – and whether you’ll need to top it up.

Consider topping up your pensions
Think about topping up your pension in the years leading up to your retirement. That little bit extra could make a difference. Remember, you might be eligible to top up your State Pension too. This could be particularly beneficial if you’re self-employed or a woman, because it’s possible your State Pension entitlement may be low.

From age 55 you can draw your pension savings as and when you need it and still pay into your pension. You’ll continue to receive tax relief on your payments up to age 75, although taking benefits flexibly will limit how much you can put in.

Maximise your employer’s contributions
You and your employer must pay a percentage of your earnings into your workplace pension scheme. How much you pay and what counts as earnings depend on the pension scheme your employer has chosen. Ask your employer about your pension scheme rules.

In most automatic enrollment schemes, you’ll make contributions based on your total earnings between £5,876 and £45,000 a year before tax. When you increase your contributions to a workplace pension or private pension, some employers will also boost the amount they contribute.

National Insurance credits
National Insurance credits allow you to fill in gaps on your National Insurance record when you’re not working and unable to make National Insurance contributions – for example, if you’re unemployed, caring for children, ill or disabled, taking an approved training course or doing jury service. The credits go towards building qualifying years for your State Pension and could help boost your final entitlement.

Redirect regular spending into your pension
If you have a regular expense that stops being needed, you could redirect that extra money to your pension instead. As an example, once you finish paying off a car loan, you can use those payments towards your pension fund. This is a quick and simple way to give your retirement savings a boost while sticking to your everyday budget.

Save any income increases
If your income rises – for example, due to a pay rise or a new income stream – put all or part of the sum towards increasing your retirement savings. This can be done in a number of ways, including by increasing the sum you contribute to a workplace or personal pension.

Carry forward tax reliefs
Carry forward allows you to make use of any annual allowance that you may not have used during the three previous tax years, provided that you were a member of a registered pension scheme. The current annual allowance is £40,000, so you might be able to boost your pension by up to £120,000 without incurring tax.

Consolidate your pensions
If you have paid into several different pensions over the years and find it hard to stay on top of all the paperwork, you could consider consolidating your pensions into one plan. This will also help to keep track of your overall retirement sum and whether or not you’re on track towards your targets.

Before you switch, it is essential to obtain professional advice to check that you don’t have any guarantees that you’ll lose by moving your pension savings to another scheme, and that the charges you pay aren’t higher in the new scheme. Not all pension types can or should be transferred. It’s important that you know and compare the features and benefits of the plan(s) you are thinking of transferring.

Consider retiring a little later than you’d originally planned
Delaying your retirement might give your pension fund more chance to grow. Remember though, if your pension fund remains invested the value could go down as well up and you may not get back what you put in. If you defer your retirement, it’s also important to check whether this will affect any state benefits you’re entitled to.

Working part-time for a while after you finish full time work might enable you to delay drawing money from your State Pension or your pension, meaning your money may last longer when you do retire.

You could consider trying something new, like setting up your own business. Becoming your own boss could be a good way to stay active and keep earning.

PENSIONS ARE A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT. THE RETIREMENT BENEFITS YOU RECEIVE FROM YOUR PENSION PLAN WILL DEPEND ON A NUMBER OF FACTORS INCLUDING THE VALUE OF YOUR PLAN WHEN YOU DECIDE TO TAKE YOUR BENEFITS WHICH ISN’T GUARANTEED, AND CAN GO DOWN AS WELL AS UP. THE VALUE OF YOUR PLAN COULD FALL BELOW THE AMOUNT(S) PAID IN.

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Crypto currencies http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/crypto-currencies/ http://www.candcfp.co.uk/news/crypto-currencies/#comments Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:52:31 +0000 http://www.newsfin.co.uk/news/?p=2252 Don’t believe the hype
Digital or crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple have been causing a financial frenzy over the past months. Bitcoin is the oldest and most well-known crypto currency created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.

Transactions are made with no middle men – this means there’s no bank, regardless of the hype around getting rich by trading it. The frenzy was sparked by bitcoin soaring to more than 1,900% in 2017 to around $20,000, before falling to around $14,000 in February this year at the time of writing this article.

Separate components
There are two separate components. You have bitcoin-the-token, a snippet of code that represents ownership of a digital concept – or a virtual IOU. Then you have bitcoin-the-protocol, a distributed network that maintains a ledger of balances of bitcoin-the-token. Both are referred to as ‘bitcoin’.
Crypto currencies can be used to buy merchandise anonymously. In addition, international payments are easy and cheap because bitcoins are not tied to any country or subject to regulation. Some people just buy crypto currencies as an investment, hoping that they’ll increase in value.

Private transactions
Though each transaction is recorded in a public log, names of buyers and sellers are never revealed – only their wallet IDs. While that keeps bitcoin users’ transactions private, it also lets them buy or sell anything without easily tracing it back to them. That’s why it has become the currency of choice for some people online buying drugs or other illicit activities.

There are now hundreds of other such currencies that can be traded – and new ones are regularly being created. For some investors, one attraction of crypto currencies is the ability to participate in an initial coin offering, or ICO. Investors jump in, hoping to get the digital currency at a low price, and then profit as it rises. But ICOs are far riskier than stock initial public offerings (IPOs) and have other key differences.

Imperfect information
Crypto currencies are very risky investments because the technology is new and unproven, and prices have been extremely volatile. Many experts are sceptical about bitcoin as an investment primarily because there is nothing for them to analyse, so people are investing with imperfect information and joining the herd of speculators.

Aside from the operational issues of trading in crypto currencies, there is also a high risk of fraud. There is still a good deal of misinformation and lack of clarity regarding bitcoin trading, and fraudsters have taken advantage of this to launch Ponzi schemes, which promise ‘guaranteed high returns’. Some companies claim to double the initial investment within a very short period of time. The growing use of virtual currencies in the global marketplace makes it easy for miscreants to lure investors into Ponzi schemes. Investors should be careful to steer clear of such unrealistic promises.

For any investor looking to take the plunge and buy crypto currencies, it is essential they make sure it’s a very small part of their diversified portfolio – and that they can afford to lose their investment.

INFORMATION IS BASED ON OUR CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF TAXATION LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS. ANY LEVELS AND BASES OF, AND RELIEFS FROM, TAXATION ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

THE VALUE OF INVESTMENTS AND INCOME FROM THEM MAY GO DOWN. YOU MAY NOT GET BACK THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT INVESTED.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT A RELIABLE INDICATOR OF FUTURE PERFORMANCE.

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