The clear victory of the Conservative party in the UK general election has significantly reduced the levels of uncertainty over the next steps for the UK, both politically and economically.
The pound was up 2.5% as the exit poll emerged on Thursday night which indicated a decisive win for the Tory party. UK stocks have risen across the board, partly aided by President Trump indicating that a US-China phase-1 trade deal would be signed imminently.
By mid-Friday morning the FTSE 100 was up around 1.8 per cent, and the more UK-focussed FTSE 250 by 4.3 per cent. Utility and banking stocks soared, with National Grid up 7 per cent and Lloyds Banking Group up...
The State Pension is a great benefit that most people qualify for in some way, and it can make an enormous different to lifestyle in retirement. Yet due to the numerous rule changes over the years, many people would agree it is exceedingly complicated.
My recommendation is to obtain a personal State Pension forecast to find out what you will be entitled to. You can do this here. As the State Pension age is being increased, the forecast will also confirm when it is due to commence.
The number of years required to reach the maximum State Pension has also changed over the years. Until 2010, men needed 44 years to receive the maximum, and wome...
There are many reasons why people who could retire are hesitant to do so. Some people think they need to wait until they’re 65 or older. Some are worried about running out of money. Many parents want to keep supporting their children through some major life transition, like university, marriage, or buying a first home.
Maybe the most common reason we see for a retirement delay is individuals who just can’t imagine their lives without work. That’s understandable. A routine that’s sustained you and your family for 30 or 40 years can be a hard routine to shake.
But retirement doesn’t have to be all or nothing right away; many people these days will graduall...
IR35 rules are designed to assess whether an individual working through their own Personal Service Company should actually be treated as an employee and paid through the PAYE system. Workers using Personal Service Companies have the advantage of being able to draw dividends which are generally more tax efficient, and not subject to National Insurance.
Changes were introduced in April 2017 in the public sector, which meant that public bodies using contractors were effectively responsible for enforcing these so-called IR35 rules.
Private sector contractors are already subject to IR35 rules, but a consultation has been launched by HMRC into how rules will o...
HMRC have further expanded their online services recently in their "making tax digital" campaign.
It is about this time of year that, if you have income that is taxed through the PAYE system, you will begin to receive tax codes for the coming year.
It is now possible to login and view your tax code and personal allowance online via your Personal Tax Account. In addition, you will be able to notify HMRC of any changes affecting your tax code, update employer and pension provider details, view an estimate of how much tax you will pay, and to check and amend estimates of how much income you will receive from employment, pensions and bank or building society...
Financial advice has long been about planning for the future, often aiming for one single event; retirement.
Focussing on your savings, your investments, your pensions, and working out how much income you’ll have to live on when you retire. This is often what people expect from us when they first get in touch.
To us, whilst this may be a helpful question to answer it is very one-dimensional. Financial Planning isn’t just about planning for one single day when you stop working. It’s creating a vision of the life you want to lead. It’s identifying what is important to you. It’s figuring out the things you absolutely don’t want to miss. It's having a b...
For the second year running, we offered our clients the chance to win two pairs of tickets to the annual Chelsea Flower Show. Once again, this proved to be very popular.
Last year, we offered the tickets on a first come first served basis to the first person to reply to our email. Amazingly, it took just 30 seconds for the winner to stake their claim! This year, decided to put the entries into a hat, and the lucky winners were picked out at random by my five-year old Son, William!
Whether you're a keen gardener or not, the displays at the show, which has been hosted by the Royal Horticultural Society since 1912, are terrific. As this year's winner of the...
At Protect and Invest HQ we've been busy implementing some great features that we hope will make it easier for you to keep track of your finances, and will allow you to communicate with us more securely.
We are really pleased to announce that our Personal Finance Portal has now been launched, which is available both online and via smartphone app.
Here's some of the features of our Client Portal:
Communicate securely with your adviser, sending and receiving secure messages on your smartphone, computer or other device, and logging in with just your fingerprint (where supported by your device).
Securely receive documents from your adviser, and store...
Started in 1895 by a Priest, a Lawyer and a Social Reformer, the National Trust has grown into an amazing organisation in its 125 year history. Appreciated by many, it has 4.5 million members and around 60,000 volunteers who come together to help realise the Trust's cause.
With such a diverse range of properties spread throughout the UK, and so many events arranged by the Trust, there is sure to be something to keep you amused, whether simply wandering the impressive gardens of Hinton Ampner, negotiating the maze at Greys Court, or investigating one of the more unusual properties like lighthouses, gold and tin mines or the many miles of coastlines.
About a year ago, the Office of the Public Guardian reduced their fee for registering Lasting Powers of Attorneys to £82.
It has now been announced that individuals who registered their Lasting Power of Attorney before this time, but after 1st April 2013, you can apply for a partial refund of your registration fee. You’ll even receive interest at 0.5%!
The amount of the refund depends when you registered the LPA, as follows:
April to September 2013 - £54
October 2013 to March 2014 - £34
April 2014 to March 2015 - £37
April 2015 to March 2016 - £38
April 2016 to March 2017 - £45
If you qualified for a fee remission as a result of having a low income, you’ll qua...
It was the Conservative government’s long held intention to raise the Inheritance Tax threshold to £1m. During the time of the coalition with the Liberals, this was not achievable however the Tories have, finally, just about achieved this policy objective with the introduction of the Residence Nil Rate Band on 6th April 2017.
In this first article of a two part exploration of the Residence Nil Rate Band (RNRB), I shall explain more about how this new measure is being introduced, and the basic qualifying criteria. As legislation often dictates, however, the RNRB is not as straightforward as...
The Treasury has published its second Finance Bill of 2017 to legislate for proposals made in this year’s Budget that were abandoned when the Government called June’s General Election.
Key announcements include:
The money purchase annual allowance reduces to £4,000 (currently £10,000) from 6 April 2017. This limits the amount of pension contributions that can be paid by some individuals who have begun drawing benefits from their money purchase pension.
The dividend tax allowance reduces to £2000 (currently £5,000) from 6 April 2018. This will reduce the amount of dividends an individual can receive before they incur a tax liability.