Saving for your pension is only half the battle for a comfortable retirement. As a new comparison website from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows, annuities — the income for life you receive in exchange for your pension pot – vary enormously between providers. Accepting what your pension company offers can leave you thousands of pounds worse off.
With the economy now getting back on track and markets improving, it could be time to review your investments to take advantage of new opportunities. Monitoring those investments can be a great deal easier if you have a platform.
Inheritance tax – once known as Estate Duty – used to be something that only troubled the seriously rich. Now, with house pricesrising in line with a recovering economy, many more people are starting to find that the taxman will take a share of their legacy before their loved ones. But there are steps you can take to help ensure your wealth goes where you want.
We are all living longer. According to current research, 50% of babies born now could live to see the grand age of 100. Unfortunately, longer life does not always mean longer independent living. More of us could need to fund long term care, for ourselves, parents or spouses.
The experts say the ideal time to start putting money into a pension is as soon as you start earning. That said most of us don’t live in an ideal world – so is there anything we can do if we’ve left things late?
Ron (of Red Earth Education) is back and hosting an art exhibition in Blackheath – Children of Africa Art Exhibition – to raise money for Red Earth Education.
You and a generous taxman have been paying into your pension for many years and, unless it is a final salary scheme, you will need to choose – as retirement approaches – what to do with the accumulated ‘pot’. Some important decisions will have to be made about the pension set up best suited to your needs.
Put very simply, there are two alternatives, but there are various possible options under each of them. You can either buy a lifetime annuity or opt for the alternative of ‘drawdown’. Needs vary and choosing the right way to enjoy the benefits you have worked for during all those years is a big issue requiring expert input from a qualified adviser.
Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says it is investigating instances where Capital Gains Tax (CGT) has not been paid on profits from selling a second home and points out that a crucial deadline looms.
Unlike a sole or principal residence, the sale of a second home or a buy-to-let property does not attract ‘private residence relief’, so can be subject to CGT. Taxable gains are not uncommon and many people pay up but some have evaded the liability, others may have been unaware of it and in some cases the situation may be unclear. Specialist advice may be needed when, for instance, someone has let their main residence and lived somewhere else for a while.
Timing can be very significant where financial matters are concerned, whether it is getting your self-assessment tax return to HMRC punctually or deciding when to invest in particular assets. Like everything else the financial world has seasons that need close attention, as they can impact your investment planning.
If you have some direct holdings of quoted shares, including from privatisations, you probably receive various communications from the companies’ registrars. You may be urged to have dividends paid direct to your bank account and view annual and half-year accounts and details of your holding online – and vote online. Your hotchpotch of shares could involve far more admin than a wider portfolio held through a collective investment scheme.