Take a more flexible approach to retirement

How the new rule changes could affect your future planning

As life expectancy rates in the UK continue to rise, the coalition Government estimates that nearly one in five people will live to see their 100th birthday. Radical legislation will attempt to ensure pension savings are sufficient for these retirees, which in turn will help reduce the burden on the state. Continue reading “Take a more flexible approach to retirement”

Get your pension planning back on track

Are you financially prepared for retirement?

If you are a 50-something, are you financially prepared for retirement? It is estimated that one third of people in this age group have no retirement savings at all. However, the plans you make in the final approach to retirement can have the most significant impact on the size of your eventual pension. Continue reading “Get your pension planning back on track”

Taxing times

How the taxman treats investments

Different investments are subject to different tax treatment. The following is based on our understanding, as at 6 April 2011, of current taxation, legislation and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) practice, all of which are subject to change without notice. The impact of taxation (and any tax relief) depends on individual circumstances. Continue reading “Taxing times”

Is it time to spring-clean your portfolio?

Picking the right combination of assets will depend on your risk profile

All investments, including cash deposits, carry a degree of risk but some are more risky than others. Once you have established a solid foundation of savings for the short term, you may look to investments to provide more growth potential over a longer period, typically five years or more. There is no one investment strategy that suits everyone and your decisions on how to divide up your investment portfolio into different types of investment will change over time. Continue reading “Is it time to spring-clean your portfolio?”

Gender-based insurance rates

EU rules against sex discrimination

The European Court of Justice has ruled that gender-based insurance rates are unlawful in a move that could lead to a shake-up in the annuity market. This major ruling takes effect from 21 December 2012 and will fundamentally reshape the retirement landscape, leading to the likely equalisation of annuity rates for men and women. This ruling means it will be imperative that every investor shops around with their pension fund at retirement; if they don’t they risk ending up with a homogenised standard–issue annuity which is almost certain to be a poor deal for them. Continue reading “Gender-based insurance rates”

How focused is your portfolio?

Investing for growth, income or both

Do you want to grow your capital, increase your income or both? Your answer will determine the type of investments you select and, in addition, you need to be aware of the concept of ‘total return’. This is the measurement of performance – the actual rate of return of an investment or a pool of investments over a given evaluation period. Total return includes interest, capital gains, dividends and distributions realised over a given period of time. Continue reading “How focused is your portfolio?”

Budget 2011

Chancellor George Osborne’s speech in full

Mr Deputy Speaker, last year’s emergency Budget was about rescuing the nation’s finances, and paying for the mistakes of the past. Today’s Budget is about reforming the nation’s economy, so that we have enduring growth and jobs in the future. And it’s about doing what we can to help families with the cost of living and the high oil price. Continue reading “Budget 2011”