Financial News

Tips to help minimise the tax you pay

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.

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Financial freedom

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.

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New lease of life

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.

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Market matters

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.

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Beware of the scammers

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.

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Wealth preservation

Without professional advice and careful financial planning, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can become the single largest beneficiary of your estate following your death.

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Crypto currencies

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.

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Avoiding hidden dangers in retirement

Increasingly, more and more pensioners are keeping much of their pension invested after they retire. This means they’re faced with two very different risks when deciding what to do with their savings in retirement in a world of ‘pension freedoms’.

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Creating a financial roadmap

No two people have identical financial circumstances, which is why it’s essential you have a custom financial planning solution that meets your individual needs and goals.

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Maintaining a diversified portfolio

When you start investing, or even if you are a sophisticated investor, one of the most important tools available is diversification. Whether the market is bullish or bearish, maintaining a diversified portfolio is essential to any long-term investment strategy.

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Pooled investment funds

Pooled investment funds – also known as ‘collective investment schemes’ – are a way of combining sums of money from many people into a large fund spread across many investments and managed by a professional fund manager.

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Investment bonds

Investment bonds are life insurance policies where you invest a lump sum in a variety of available funds. Some investment bonds run for a fixed term, others have no set investment term. When you cash investment bonds in, how much you get back depends on how well – or how badly – the investment has done.

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Lasting power of attorney

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) enables individuals to take control of decisions that affect them, even in the event that they can’t make those decisions for themselves. Without them, loved ones could be forced to endure a costly and lengthy process to obtain authority to act for an individual who has lost mental capacity.

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Making a Will

If a person wants to be sure their wishes will be met after they die, then it’s important to have a Will. A Will is the only way to make sure savings and possessions forming an estate go to the people and causes that the person cares about.

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Residence nil-rate band

The Inheritance Tax residence nil-rate band (RNRB) came into effect on 6 April 2017. The RNRB provides an additional nil-rate band where an individual dies on or after 6 April 2017, owning a residence which they leave to direct descendants. During the 2017/2018 tax year, the maximum RNRB available is £100,000.

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Retirement roulette

Older workers are finding themselves caught in a position of retirement roulette, as many are relying on external factors such as a downsizing, an inheritance or even a lottery win to be able to afford a comfortable retirement, according to Aviva’s latest Real Retirement Report.

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Investing for the future

Many of us have been brought up to believe that saving is the responsible thing to do. But in today’s environment of low interest rates and rising inflation, savers may need to consider becoming investors to prevent the erosion of their assets.

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ISA returns of the year

A new tax year is nearly upon us – and that means, for all diligent savers and investors, you should make sure that you take full advantage of your current Individual Savings Account (ISA) tax-efficient allowance.

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Will you make provision for all those you hold dear?

Writing a will may seem daunting, and with everything else we should be thinking about it becomes just another chore on the to-do list. It’s especially important for cohabitating couples to have a will, as the surviving partner does not automatically inherit any estate or possessions left behind.

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Reach your financial goals

We’ve now entered a new age of retirement planning with the introduction of pension freedoms. Your retirement is likely to be the most important time in your life you’ll even plan for – you could be retired for 20 years or more.

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Making solid financial resolutions

The New Year is the perfect time to overhaul your life for the better, and one excellent place to start is by making solid financial resolutions that can help get you closer to your money goals, whether it’s increasing your retirement savings or setting enough money aside for a down payment on a house.

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