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Pension and Retirement Planning

In this current climate of high inflation, low interest rates and volatile market conditions, it is more important now than ever to make sure we are making the most of our hard earned cash. There are things we can all do to ensure our pension savings are working as hard as possible for us, and that we take advantage of the tax breaks available.

In this month’s blog we look at pensions and retirement planning and taking you through the steps of ensuring your goals and plans for the later years are given the best chance possible of being achieved.

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Investing versus leaving your cash in a savings account…

There are billions of pounds, currently, sat in bank and building society accounts earning nothing or very little and this has been the case for a number of years. Although these will not fall in value they can very much be eaten away by inflation.

Although emergency cash is very important to cover any unforeseen costs or a period of unemployment the amount that is available to deal with these situations is, for the most part, much more than is needed. 

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Socially Responsible Investment

The world of investment is changing, especially where it is no longer possible to ignore statements from our own UK Government making it clear that change is happening.

The Climate Change Act 2008 committed the UK to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions relative to the levels in 1990, to be achieved by 2050. In June 2019, secondary legislation was passed that extended that target to “at least 100%”.

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Simplifying Inheritance Tax

Last year my blog subject covered The Office of Tax Simplification’s (OTS) second report on simplifying inheritance tax.

I thought it was, therefore, a good time to reflect on what if anything has changed. The short answer as Paul Daniels would have said is ‘not a lot’. I won’t cover all the findings, but instead focus on a few areas impacting on financial planning.

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Market Volatility

In simple terms, volatility is the erratic up and down movements often seen on financial charts.

It’s something you may have heard fund managers talk about – they demonstrate that their fund doesn’t have the move up and down as much as the index they are trying to match or the objective return of the fund. 

Over the last decade we have generally seen markets move up, there have been some big movements down, but they have recovered quickly.  These recoveries are what traders and fund managers call corrections. 

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ISAs – 21 years on

This April, ISAs celebrate their 21st birthday. So, I thought it would be a good idea to remind you how good an investment vehicle they can be, just before the end of this tax year.

Statistics suggest ISAs have become a huge hit with savers. The value of adult ISAs stand at over £600 billion, shared between around 22 million account holders. They have also proved popular with successive Chancellors as a means of encouraging the saving habit with the annual subscription limit having almost trebled since launch.

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