Credit Unions: An alternative to a traditional savings account?

Interest rates for traditional savings accounts haven’t been very interesting lately. Many savers are bored, miserable and getting gloomy returns. There are a few exceptions to the rule, of course, but most accounts struggle to beat the current rate of inflation. It’s therefore no surprise that many savers are considering an alternative. One little known and used option are accounts offered by credit unions, for example, the new Interest Bearing Deposit Account from RetailCURE. It offers a fixed interest rate of 3% over a period of 12 months with a maximum deposit ...

Has your child got £1,000 stashed away you don’t know about?

The idea of your child having £1,000 stashed away that you don’t know about might seem a little farfetched, but it may well be the case for to 700,000 parents in the UK. It isn’t as suspicious as it sounds however; your little angel hasn’t been hoarding cash under the floorboards. Well, they might be, but that’s another matter entirely. Instead, the money will be sitting in a Child Trust Fund that may have been opened by the Government without your knowledge. How has this happened? The last Labour Government announced the Child ...

What does the election result mean for your personal finances?

What a few hours it has been! The exit poll has been proved broadly correct, and we now know that the Conservatives will form the next government, albeit with support from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Now that has been confirmed, we can look forward, and ask: How will your personal finances be affected by the result? When the Tories wrote their manifesto a few short weeks ago, they did so in the hope, and probable expectation, of an increased majority. The reality is very different, we can therefore expect some of the ...

Don’t be caught short – the importance of a State Pension forecast

  New research from Retirement Advantage suggests a lack of awareness among those approaching retirement over when their State Pension will be paid, and exactly how much it will be. In a survey of 1,103 over 50s, only 39% had asked for a State Pension forecast, which will tell you:   How much State Pension you will receive When you are eligible to receive it How to increase it, if possible A State Pension forecast is an invaluable piece of information, serving for many as a foundation for retirement planning. Worryingly, the survey also ...

Need a mortgage? Look no further, we’ve now got the answer

We are big believers in the benefits of specialising in certain areas of financial advice. For us that means pensions, especially SIPPs and final salary, working with people at, or around retirement, and, of course investments. We have never given mortgage advice and don’t plan to do so in the future. But we know that many of our clients, and indeed their children or grandchildren, will need high-quality, independent, mortgage advice to help them buy their first home or move to somewhere more suitable. Mortgage advice for our clients We are therefore delighted ...

Are you prepared for a rainy day?

Harold Wilson once said: “I’m an optimist, but an optimist that carries a raincoat.” Planning for a financial rainy day is important for a number of reasons. Unexpected costs, as the name suggests, don’t give you a great deal of warning, and have a nasty habit of arriving at the most inconvenient of times. It doesn’t just apply to money that needs to be paid out, it can also come in the form of an illness or injury that causes a loss of income. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported in ...

How to be a full-time parent with a full-time pension

Imagine working 168 hours a week with no lunch breaks and very little holiday. It should, in theory, mean that you can retire early and comfortably, right? Unfortunately, for the many stay-at-home parents in the UK, this simply isn’t the case. Research shows that full-time mothers and fathers are among those least likely to save for their retirement, leaving them exposed to financial hardship in the future. According to the founder of MummyMoneyMatters.com, Kalpana Fitzpatrick: "Stay-at-home mums are at the highest risk. Saving for retirement is simply not on the agenda, because ...

Pension and dividend tax changes dropped as election looms

Confusion reigned this week as the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, revealed that two measures previously announced in his Budget will not go ahead. For now, anyway. Mr Hammond’s Budget, delivered in early March, will be remembered for the proposed National Insurance rise for self-employed workers. A few days later, following protests and a media backlash, he changed his mind. It now seems that two other measures, which would have affected pensioners and shareholders, will now not go ahead. Contribution cut Prior to the Budget, the Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA), the maximum people who have withdrawn money ...

Six warning signs that mean you should change SIPP provider

Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) are mainly used by savers and investors who want more flexibility than is offered by more traditional pension options. We’ve previously written about how to choose the right SIPP. But how do you know, years after you have made that decision, whether your SIPP provider is still right for you? Over the past few years the SIPP market has been through a period of considerable change. New rules, imposed by the regulator, the curse of toxic assets and a series of high profile mergers and acquisitions have all ...

General Election 2017: How will it affect your personal finances?

The answer to that question depends on two things; the outcome of the election and how you react to the inevitable instability it will cause. At this early stage, the most likely outcome seems to be a Conservative victory, with an increased majority. At least that’s what a certain Mrs May, of Number 10 Downing Street, has gambled on. Logically, if this is the case, Mrs May, and the Chancellor Philip Hammond, will be emboldened to drive through changes to domestic policy, whilst negotiating Brexit. Of course, even if it looks unlikely right ...
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