Quirky Facts About A Better Planned Future

Here’s seven quirky facts that also help focus our minds on the importance of pension planning and investing in our futures. £40,000 The current annual allowance of £40,000 could buy you one night in The Ty Warner Penthouse at the Four Seasons in New York - the...

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North Korea: Why Haven’t Markets Been Affected?

Following North Korea’s latest missile launch, and with tensions in the Korean Peninsula escalating, many concerned observers are asking why this potential for international conflict has yet to affect the world’s stock markets. Hydrogen bombs and medium range...

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Inflation Hike Leads To Interest Rate And Mortgage Fears

The Bank of England’s Consumer Price Index cost of living benchmark for August matched May’s five-year high figure, prompting talk of an interest rate hike sooner than previously expected. The Bank’s policy makers meet later this week to discuss whether to raise the...

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High Earning Families’ Child Benefit Entitlement

Reports suggest that thousands of higher-earning parents are unaware of the link between their pension contributions and their family’s child benefit entitlements. If either parent earns over £50,000 per annum then annual payments per child of £1,076 tax free start to...

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Busy Doing Nothing

If you are fortunate enough to be looking forward to unwinding by the pool, or contemplating life whilst sipping a cold drink on the beach this August, then maybe you’ll appreciate the fact that, sometimes in life, you just need to relax and do as little as possible....

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Equity Release Reaches New High

The amount of people opting to release equity from their home, rather than downsize or relocate, reached a record high in the second quarter of 2017, with over-55s withdrawing more than £700m from their homes. That is a 36% increase on a year ago and they highest...

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Inflation ‘Blip’ Triggers Mortgage Deals

The unexpected fall in the latest inflation figures seems to have seen off any imminent threat of an interest rate rise in the UK, however, some Economists see this data as a blip, meaning those looking to grab one of the currently available low rate mortgage or...

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Rate Caution After Dip In UK Inflation

  They suggest that The Bank of England (BoE) is in an anomalous position… “ The US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank are gearing up for ‘normalisation’ of monetary policy in the absence of inflationary pressure, whilst policymakers at the BoE must decide...

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Good Advice Certainly Pays Off

Research released this week shows that people who receive either independent or restricted financial advice are, on average, £40,000 better off than their unadvised peers. The data, which is supported by Royal London, found those who received financial advice...

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Life Expectancy Rate Falls In The UK

After more than 100 years’ growth in life expectancy levels in the UK, experts have claimed there has been a sharp dip in recent years. Lifestyle choices, as well as an increase in Alzheimer’s diagnosis, are contributory factors it is claimed. The increase rate has...

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Mortgage Availability Expected To Reduce

Lenders expect a slight reduction in mortgage availability over the next three months, the Bank of England said today. This is expected to affect only borrowers with loan to value (LTV) ratios of more than 75%, and in particular those with a LTV ratio of more than...

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The Financial Planning Group Summer Newsletter

Or download the PDF version here FPGnewsletterJune17 If you would like more information on any of the topics in this newsletter, or to arrange a financial planning consultation, please fill in your details below, or call us on 0800 731 7614...

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More Tempting Mortgage Deals Announced

Barclays have launched some very attractive new residential and buy-to-let mortgages as well as sweetening many of its current deals. These include a new 1.65 per cent two-year fixed rate house purchase loan at 75 per cent LTV, with no fees and a higher value...

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Local Expertise Outperforming City Wealth Managers

For the past eight years, Wealth-X, the leading global wealth information researchers, have collaborated with the Financial Times newspaper to inform readers of the top performers in the UK’s wealth management industry. This year’s results were published in the FT...

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Bank of Mum and Dad Need To Stay Within The Rules

According to recent research, ‘The Bank of Mum and Dad’ risk incurring accidental inheritance tax (IHT) bills due to not fully understanding the rules on gifting money to family members and friends. Nervousness and confusion were cited as key factors in not fully...

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A Broker To The Rescue!

Remarkably, in an era when so many of us shop around to find the best available deals on our car insurance, utility bills and will spend hours trying to shave a few pounds off holiday flights, would you believe that 58% of people have never remortgaged to a better...

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The Tempting Alternative To A Buy To Let Investment

The phased removal of tax relief for would-be buy to let landlords, plus a stamp duty surcharge on second property ownership, has seen a big fall in demand since April 2016 when the new rules came into effect, as well as a reduction in mortgage approvals from lenders....

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From Saga to Aga to Gaga

According to an insightful article in the Financial Times recently, Saga, Aga and Gaga are the three phases of retirement; “Firstly, the “Saga phase”, when you’re sprightly enough to travel the world, take endless cruises and do the things you’ve always wanted. Next,...

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Mortgage Approvals Tighten – But Help Is At Hand

According to figures released by the Bank of England, mortgage companies have tightened their lending criteria in recent weeks, which has led to a reduction in approval rates and fewer loans being offered. House prices have grown 5.8% in the year to February according...

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April’s Arrival Heralds Some Big Financial Changes

A report by the BBC highlights why April could be a month of tightening the purse strings in households all over the land, with a list of changes coming into effect throughout the month. A rise in the National Living Wage, an increase in personal allowance income tax...

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Article 50 Triggered: Brexit Begins

Prime Minister Teresa May has signed the letter of notification to the President of the European Council, which triggered the much-discussed Article 50 and outlines the UK’s intention to withdraw from the European Union. This historic event is a real landmark, but...

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Is Childcare Help On Its Way?

Juggling work commitments with often complicated and expensive child care arrangements is a situation that all parents struggle with – especially during the pre-school years – and it is no exaggeration to say that it can be a exhausting combination. The Institute of...

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House Prices Rise Further In 2017

According to the first significant UK house price report published in 2017, prices are continuing to rise by almost 6.5% on average in the first month of the year. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows that the average UK house price was £218,000 in the...

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National Insurance U-Turn Leaves £2bn Black Hole

The government’s decision to halt its Budget announcement plans to raise National Insurance rates for self employed people, following stinging criticism from Conservative back-benchers and a significant section of the public, has raised concerns that the U-turn will...

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Spring Budget – Some Talking Points

  Although many of today’s newspaper headlines accuse the Chancellor of moving away from a manifesto pledge, after launching a £2 billion tax rise on self-employed workers to provide extra money for social care, there were no other significant tax or pensions...

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Avoid The Standard Variable Trap At All Costs

Homeowners who delay the decision to remortgage their homes at the end of fixed-rate deals, thus moving onto the lender’s standard variable terms, are facing avoidable monthly expenditure. For example, somebody with a £200,000 repayment mortgage over a 25-year term...

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A Quarter Of Neighbourhoods Are Unaffordable

According to new data issued by the Office of National statistics (ONS) a quarter of neighbourhoods in England and Wales were off-limits to many prospective homeowners last year because average income in these areas was below the level needed to buy an entry-level...

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Will New Loan Deals Ease Landlords’ Concerns?

Buy-to-let landlords fear that new ‘stress test’ regulations that were introduced this year, which dictate that a landlord’s rental income must cover 125% of their mortgage interest costs, as well as a hypothetical interest rate of 5.5%, will make remortgaging their...

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Acceptable Tax Planning Versus Tax Avoidance

HMRC's latest weapon in the battle against tax evasion and avoidance is the introduction of new penalties against 'enablers' of unacceptable tax avoidance schemes. HMRC's specific avoidance armoury now consists of: DOTAS (Disclosure Of Tax Avoidance Schemes) - their...

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Santander Unveil Lowest Ever Deals

If you are considering moving home, or re-mortgaging your existing property, the unveiling of Santander’s new product range could have come at the perfect time for you. The lender launched its lowest-ever fixed rate mortgage, a 0.99 per cent 18-month loan at 60 per...

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New Tax Incentives For Pensions Advice

Pensioners who find themselves confused by the myriad of options available to them, yet are put off seeking professional advice because of the possible cost implications, will be heartened to learn that from April 2017, those planning for later-life financial...

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The Curse of Long Term Cash

As bad financial habits go, ‘saving too much’ does not, on the face of it, seem too bad a position to be in. However, according to data issued by pension provider, Royal London, the amount of money squirreled away in low-interest cash Isa accounts could be costing the...

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Ten Reasons To Pay Into Your Pension Before April

Pensions remain the most tax efficient way to save for retirement. And the new freedoms have removed any lingering barriers to accessing funds and passing on unused funds on death. To ensure our clients don't miss an opportunity for a top up, we've put together 10...

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The value of investments can go down in value as well as up, so you could get back less than you invest.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.