Savings

  • Millennials leading the way in saving for retirement

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    Recent data suggests that younger generations are on track to save more than their parents and grandparents, despite their earnings on average being considerably lower. Part of the reason for this is time: simply put, young people have more years ahead of them than older generations until they retire, meaning that any money they put away now has mo...
  • 4 top tips to make your retirement savings last

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    When it comes to saving for when you retire, at the very least you want to ensure that you’re going to have enough to pay for your living costs for the rest of your life. However, what you probably want to be aiming for is a nest egg which allows you to truly enjoy your life after work and do all the things you’ve planned for as you’ve saved. Some...
  • Too late to start saving?

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    Not beginning to save towards your retirement until you reach your fifties would not so long ago have been considered leaving matters far too late to put anything meaningful away for your life after work. Previous generations saw building a pension as something to do over an entire career, with contributions throughout your working life coupled wit...
  • Three lessons about retirement from those who have already retired

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    Retirement is undoubtedly the section of your life which receives the largest amount of planning for most people, with much of your working life spent ensuring you can live where and how you want once you’ve retired. However, as with all plans, there are always going to be aspects of your retirement which don’t end up quite how you’d expected, and...
  • How long would your savings last?

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    A recent survey has found that the typical working person in the UK has around a month’s worth of savings to be able to maintain their current lifestyle should their income stop without warning. The data collected from 2,000 people found that the average person’s savings would support them for 32 days. More worryingly, 26% of those who responded sa...
  • The upsides and downsides of downsizing

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    If your family has grown up and flown the nest and you’re moving closer to retiring, it’s likely that you’ve at least thought about downsizing your home. For some it can be for practical reasons, for others it might be a desire to be closer to their children if they’ve relocated, for others still it might simply be the desire for a change of scener...
  • Save at least 11% of your income for retirement!

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    A recent study by leading think-tank the International Longevity Centre has suggested that people should aim to save a minimum of 11% of their income in order ‘to achieve an adequate retirement income’, which is defined as 70% of the amount earned whilst working. The think-tank emphasises that this is a minimum amount and in fact recommends a figur...
  • How long would your savings last?

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    A recent survey has found that the typical working person in the UK has around a month’s worth of savings to be able to maintain their current lifestyle should their income stop without warning. The data collected from 2,000 people found that the average person’s savings would support them for 32 days. More worryingly, 26% of those who responded sa...
  • How much should you really be saving for retirement?

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    Retirement should be the time in your life where you’re able to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour throughout your working life. However, simply paying into your savings or a pension for when you retire might not allow you to do this if you’re not putting enough away. But what does “enough” look like? Here are a few questions to consider to...
  • Prince, Bob Marley, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Pablo Picasso…. What do they all have in common?

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    They all died without making a Will. I know we’ve asked before but we’ll ask again… Have you made a Will? As an Expat, there are even more reasons to have a valid Will in place. Different countries have different rules around inheritance, property and tax. You need a Will that protects your assets as much as possible and ensures that your wishes ar...
  • 3 key considerations to ensure a surviving spouse is looked after

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    It’s only natural if you have a husband, wife or civil partner that you will want to do everything you can to ensure they’re looked after financially in the event of your death. But it’s not as simple as ensuring that they are named as a beneficiary in your will, as if you don’t take a number of potential complications into account, you could inadv...
  • ‘Alternative investments’: from children’s books to memorabilia

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    If you’ve got some spare cash left over from more traditional, structured investments, then you could follow in the footsteps of the growing number of people investing in collectibles. As well as providing something physical to enjoy and look after in a way that other investments can’t, many collectible items can increase in value as time goes on....
  • How will your spending habits change in retirement?

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    It will come as a surprise to nobody that retirement is one of the biggest lifestyle changes you’ll ever experience. But as your priorities shift and the free time available to you increases, what you might not be as aware of is the way in which your spending habits are likely to alter too. Research analysing the spending patterns of households in...
  • The new Lifetime ISA is here: the pros and cons

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    The Lifetime Individual Savings Account, also known as the Lifetime ISA or simply “LISA”, is the brainchild of former Chancellor George Osborne and has finally arrived at the beginning of April for those wanting to get their hands on one. That might be trickier than you would think, however, with no banks or building societies currently offering LI...
  • Pension Savings: a quick recap on your options

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    It’s been two years since the government introduced pension freedoms, greatly expanding the options for how those who have saved into a defined contribution pension product can access their savings. There are now a number of different ways to take advantage of pension freedoms, so let’s have a look at each of them and the potential advantages and d...
  • What is rising inflation doing to your savings?

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    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently confirmed that inflation calculated by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose from 1.8% in January to 2.3% in February, a figure above both the Bank of England’s own target of 2% and the figure of 2.2% predicted by many financial commentators. This rise will obviously have an impact on how far the mon...
  • We are pleased to announce the launch of our new International Savings Plan

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    Why Might You Need It? Because; You want a savings plan with the option to add to your plan or make withdrawals at any time to suit your lifestyle. You would like to save, perhaps for a specific purpose. For example: Private education or university fees. A deposit to buy a property. A wedding. A gap year. The new Alexander Beard International Sa...
  • Will the first online-only savings bond mean savers will miss out?

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    The new government-backed savings bond from National Savings & Investment (NS&I) is set to launch in April this year, offering what Chancellor Philip Hammond has described as a ‘market-leading’ interest rate of 2.2% over three years. The bond is also set to become the first savings account offered by NS&I which will only be offered onli...
  • 4 great ways to make your money go further

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    January is a month that often feels twice as long in financial terms after the extravagances of Christmas and New Year, but just because we’ve reached March and your bank balance is finally looking a bit healthier doesn’t mean giving up all those thrifty habits you’ve adopted at the start of the year. It’s far better to capitalise on your good fina...
  • Which is best? Save or invest?

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    Whilst you might expect an increase in the cash and investment ISA limit to be welcomed, at least one dissenting voice has come from Steve Webb, former Pensions Minister and current policy director at Royal London. Webb has warned that the rise in April from the current annual limit of £15,240 up to £20,000 could encourage poor long-term investment...
  • Why it could make sense to switch banks

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    An investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that small businesses could save around £80 annually by switching to a bank account better suited to their financial needs, whilst customers could save themselves an average of £92 a year by doing the same. However, the figures for switching accounts are still remarkably smal...
  • What could be the best way to provide for your grandchildren?

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    With both property prices and the cost of living continuing to rise, as well as low interest rates making it difficult to save, the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ is increasingly becoming a partnership with the ‘Bank of Gran and Grandad’. If you have grandchildren, it’s only natural that you’ll want to provide for them in some way as you move towards your r...
  • What will the new government-backed savings bond mean for savers?

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    Amongst a generally gloomy Autumn Statement, chancellor Philip Hammond offered a potential ray of hope for those looking to achieve better returns on their nest egg, thanks to the announcement of a new government-backed savings bond. Set to become available from spring 2017 through National Savings & Investments (NS&I) for those prepared to...
  • 3 new year’s resolutions for your finances (that you can actually keep) in 2017

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    Whilst New Year’s resolutions are always made with the best of intentions, the truth is that they often prove difficult to keep beyond the first few weeks in January. The main reason for this is that the goals we set ourselves are admirable but simply too lofty to achieve. It’s far better to choose a few small but achievable goals that offer increm...
  • LISA warnings highlight the need to make sure your investments are suitable

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    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently voiced concerns that new Lifetime Individual Savings Accounts (LISAs), due to launch next year, could be putting some savers at risk if the product is not fully understood. LISAs are being sold as a way to earn bonuses if the money put into them is put towards the purchase of a home or saved for re...
  • 31% of Britons have given up saving

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    A recent study has revealed that almost a third of the population are putting no money at all into savings. The report by the Social Mobility Commission found that 31% of people in Britain have nothing left to save at the end of every month, with 4% saving under £10. Around half save £100 or under, with only 23% saving more than £200. The alarming...
  • 1 in 10 people not saving anywhere near enough for retirement

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    Figures released in November 2016 have revealed that over one in ten (11%) of working people have yet to begin paying into a pension pot. Worryingly, this includes nearly one in ten people in the 51-65 age bracket. The average age at which most people expect to begin saving towards their pension is 46, and almost 40% of people under 50 are worried...
  • Defined benefit pension transfer: is it worth it?

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    When it comes to saving for retirement, most people working within the private sector are likely to have a defined contribution (DC) pension. This essentially provides you with a savings pot you pay into throughout your working life; these savings grow over time through compound interest and tax relief and are, in most cases, only drawn upon once y...
  • Millions have less than £100 in savings

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    A recent survey has revealed the startling statistic that over 16 million people in the UK have less than £100 of savings. In five areas of the country – Northern Ireland, the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, North East England and Wales – over 50% of the adult population has savings amounting to less than that amount. The South East had the lo...
  • The ‘cost of dying’ is now racing ahead of the rate of inflation

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    Recent research has revealed that the cost of dying is now the fastest rising fixed cost in the UK, ahead of costs of living including rent, utilities and food. Funeral costs are also now rising faster than inflation, wages and pensions. The average cost of a funeral within the UK is now £3,897, which is 44% of the current total cost of dying per p...
  • Savings ‘Moments of Truth’

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    A  recent study has found that around one in three people in the 18-40 age bracket not only are not saving any money for when they retire, but also don’t consider it likely that they will begin paying towards their pension in the future. Many people aged between 30 and 40 said they now felt they had left it too late to begin putting money away for...
  • Would you be happy renting in retirement?

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    A major goal for many during their retirement will be to enjoy their home after finishing paying off their mortgage. Depending on when you purchased your house however, and with house prices seeing a rise of 30% in the past decade, owning outright is becoming more difficult to achieve for some. Renting during retirement is therefore becoming more a...
  • Where now for interest rates after Brexit?

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    Whilst the Bank of England initially seemed to be holding steady at a rate of 0.5% in the wake of Brexit, the announcement at the start of August that not only was the rate to be cut further to 0.25%, but also that there may well be further cuts in future, wasn’t all that surprising to many in the financial sector. In the wake of the turmoil follow...
  • Despite consistent positive savings messages, many are still struggling to save for the future

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    A recent report has found that a significant number of people aged 35 to 44 are still struggling to save anything for the longer term, and are only just affording to pay for their present circumstances. Whilst 37% said that they struggle with their finances from time to time, 34% of people between these ages find it difficult to keep up with bills...
  • “Brexit means Brexit.” But what does that really mean?

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    Introduction As everyone now knows, David Cameron’s promised referendum on the UK’s continued membership of the European Union was held on Thursday 23rd June. It resulted in a win for the ‘Leave’ campaign, with 51.89% of the votes cast. More than 17m people voted to leave the EU, with just over 16m supporting ‘Remain’. David Cameron duly fell on h...
  • Negative interest rates and how they might affect your finances

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    With the Bank of England cutting UK interest rates this month for the first time since 2009 to just 0.25%, it looks more likely than ever that Britain could experience negative interest rates. The idea of negative interest rates has moved from theory to reality following the 2008 financial crisis, with several central banks in Europe introducing ra...
  • ‘Alternative investments’: from children’s books to memorabilia

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    If you’ve got some spare cash left over from more traditional, structured investments, then you could follow in the footsteps of the growing number of people investing in collectibles. As well as providing something physical to enjoy and look after in a way that other investments can’t, many collectible items can increase in value as time goes on....
  • How will your spending habits change in retirement?

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    It will come as a surprise to nobody that retirement is one of the biggest lifestyle changes you’ll ever experience. But as your priorities shift and the free time available to you increases, what you might not be as aware of is the way in which your spending habits are likely to alter too. A recent study analysed the spending patterns of household...
  • Downsizing, retirement and proper planning

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    A recent study has found that 2.3 million UK homeowners aged 55 and over – almost 40% of people in that age bracket – are planning to downsize their home in order to raise money during their retirement. However, if downsizing wasn’t always the plan for these people, then it potentially shows poor financial planning for their later years. The averag...
  • Do you know your partner’s bank balance?

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    A recent study by Experian of over a thousand US couples has revealed that the majority of spouses had no real knowledge of their other half’s finances until after they were married. Almost a third admitted to being surprised by what they learned from their partner’s bank statements once they saw them. 36% of respondents said they knew nothing abou...
  • Three small lifestyle changes that can mean big savings

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    ‘The Little Guide To Financial Admin’, a new publication about managing your personal expenditure, was published in May this year. The guide offers a variety of little changes you can make to your day-to-day life in order to make small savings here and there, the idea being that these will accumulate to a considerable pot of money over time. Read o...
  • Alexander Beard Group’s EU Referendum summary and viewpoint

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    Britain Takes Back Control. Or Does It? This somewhat, necessarily, lengthy note covers the likely consequences of Britain’ historic decision. It our attempt to give you an overview of how things currently stand following the Leave campaign victory; but you will appreciate that events are moving very quickly. ‘I declare that the total votes cast f...
  • Don’t Worry, Be App-y: three great money-saving apps for your smartphone

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    Apps have transformed the way you can do almost everything in life, from tracking your fitness regime to ordering a takeaway. For those interested in saving money, there are hundreds of finance-related apps out there, but it’s hard to know which of these will actually help you manage your hard-earned cash and which will just take up space on your s...
  • What's new in the new tax year?

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    In this article we provide a reminder of the various changes that have taken place from 6th April which will have an impact on the financial planning world. This includes changes in the areas of pensions, taxation and savings. Pensions Lifetime allowance – has reduced from £1.25m to £1m. Two new protections are available (Individual Protection 201...
  • The Lifetime ISA: What you need to know

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    Amongst the key announcements that came from the budget was the introduction of a new ‘Lifetime ISA.’ By far the most attractive feature of this new form of savings account is that contributions every year will receive a healthy 25% bonus from the government. As the maximum annual contribution amount will initially be set at £4,000, that means the...
  • A miserable turnaround in the fixed bond savings market

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    As far as the savings market was concerned, 2015 was the year of the challenger provider. Competition between them ramped up and average rates followed suit, and in turn, positivity started to make a welcome return to the market. However, this improvement was short-lived, as the latest Moneyfacts research, reporting in March 2016, shows a stark rev...
  • Four key things to do before the end of the tax year

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    Whilst the cold weather and long nights might make the beginning of April seem a long way off, the final few months of the financial year always seem to fly by. It’s therefore a good idea to start thinking about the most important things to do before 5th April arrives and the tax year ends. To get you started, have a look through our top four tips...
  • 7 Reasons why you should review your Pension’s in 2016

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    1 - Major changes to pension Tax Relief likely We already know high earners will be hit from 6 April 2016. The amount they can invest in a pension and receive tax relief on will fall to as little as £10,000. You are likely to be affected if your income is more than £150,000, although those with lower incomes could also be caught. But further chang...
  • 10 ways to save money in 2016

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    Is sorting out your finances top of your new year’s resolution list? Here’s a few ways the government can help to get you started in 2016. Please note that tax advice is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and that this article is not for your personal advice. If you wish to talk to your adviser please do call us. If you’re saving fo...
  • ISA Contributions

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    The deadline for 2015/6 ISA contributions is on the horizon and provides the opportunity to invest £15,240 (£30,480 per couple) in an extremely tax efficient environment. Rules now allow you to combine both cash and stocks & shares within the allowance and it is important to remember contributions can be made using single and regular monthly co...
  • Teaching your children about money in family life

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    Before your children are off to primary school, they may be with you for much of your weekday life, and go with you wherever you go. So when you go shopping, to the bank or cash machine, they may well be there with you but are probably a bit young to be learning much about handling money, savings and being careful with their cash. However, when th...
  • What is a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)?

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    Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) are designed to give you greater control over your retirement savings. With a SIPP you can choose from a wide range of high quality investments, manage them for yourself and consolidate your existing pensions in one place. A SIPP is different to other pension saving forms and can give you more control over yo...
  • Autumn Statement 2015 – 9 points to note

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    On 25 November 2015, the Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his Autumn Statement and spending review. This event allows the government to outline its taxation and spending plans, based on economic projections through to the tax year 2020/21. The Chancellor covered a wide range of issues. Below we provide comment on news relevant to savers and th...
  • Money trumps health as top retirement concern

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    Concerns over money dominate the thinking of pre-retirees, according to new research from Retirement Advantage. Conducted by YouGov, the study finds almost half (49%) of over 50s are worried about not having enough money in retirement to do the things they want to do, compared to just over a third (37%) who are concerned about health problems. Fin...
  • What is the difference between active funds and passive funds?

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    You may have heard the terms active and passive with regard to investment funds, but what exactly do they mean and how can they impact your investing? Actively managed investment funds are run by professional fund managers or investment teams who make all the investment decisions, such as which companies to invest in or when to buy and sell differ...
  • Devon tops the table for pensioner well-being

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    The South West of England appears to be the place to live if you want a long, healthy and safe retirement, according to a new league table of pensioner well-being developed by Prudential. The league table, which uses a combination of census data and results from the insurer’s own retirement research, ranks the top 20 counties in England and Wales a...
  • Wedding costs challenge the marital bliss of guests, as well as bride and groom

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    Experian’s latest survey suggests that the rising cost of weddings is rocking the boat for many couples, and not just for the bride and groom. In fact, almost a quarter of Britons (22%) have argued with their partner about the cost of witnessing others tie the knot. The findings also reveal that one in six people (17%) who are in a relationship ar...
  • The Dash

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    We were recently reminded of Linda Ellis’ poem The Dash, which you can read in full here. The Dash talks about the life of a man who has passed away, being talked about by his friend at the funeral. The friend refers to everything that he had done and achieved during his life as being represented by ‘the dash’; the space between the two dates of bi...
  • Money is more worrying than Health to over-50s

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    Concerns over money dominate the thinking of pre-retirees, according to new research from Retirement Advantage. Conducted by YouGov in May 2015 with over one thousand survey respondents aged over 50 and not in retirement, the study finds almost half (49%) of the over 50s are worried about not having enough money in retirement to do the things they...
  • Planning around the retirement threshold

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    By now, if you are somewhere in the retirement experience – either approaching it, passing through it or leaving it behind – you will already have experienced firsthand your own childhood and maybe that of your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Now you are heading to experience later life, which for most of us will stretch forward fo...
  • Sun, sea, sand… and savings: Money tips for the summer months

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    Whilst the summer brings bright evenings and warm weather, it can also be a very expensive time of year. Handy tips to help you save money whilst the sun is shining (hopefully) are always welcome, as even the smallest savings can build up to give you a little extra cash at the end of each month. If you’re planning a holiday overseas, a specialist t...
  • Watch out for online Pensioner Bond fraudsters

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    The National Fraud and Cyber-Crime Reporting Office recently issued an ‘Alert Notice’ regarding fraud focused on the new Pensioner Bonds. Fraudsters have set up a bogus website claiming to be the official site of National Savings & Investments (NS&I) and are contacting members of the public through cold calls to offer them the chance to inv...
  • Early working life? It pays to get into pension saving now!

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    The new pension rules mean that there’s much more flexibility and choice over how we take our cash in retirement than ever before. Whether you’re in your early 20s or bidding farewell to your 30s, it’s time to get to grips with pensions so you can take advantage of the new rules. The sooner you start paying into your pension, the more time and oppo...
  • Pensions and ISAs compared – how can you decide which is best?

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    According to HMRC, 45% of savers in stocks and shares ISAs are aged 55 or over. These savers already understand the mantra of ‘gross is good’ and have chosen an investment on which there’s no additional tax due on investment growth and income. What many investors seem to be unaware of is that the exact same tax treatment is available on funds held...
  • Protecting your savings: Pull up the drawbridge and drop the portcullis!

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    We are hearing a lot through the media about the attacks we may experience under the new UK Pension Reform arrangements and regulations, when we gain access to our pension pots and can choose to do what we like with them. What an opportunity for fraudsters who right now are ready to assault our new wealth castles! We will have all seen stories in t...
  • Gender gap in pension savings narrow, as women benefit from Workplace Pension changes

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    The number of women saving adequately for retirement has shifted from a record low to a four-year high in the last 12 months, according to Scottish Widows’ annual Women and Retirement Report. Half of the UK female population is now preparing adequately – the first increase recorded since 2011 – a leap of 10 percentage points from 40 to 50 in the pa...
  • The new ISA allowances (UK clients only) – Nigel Benn Managing Partner Alexander Beard Wealth LLP

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    Before 5th April each year you have the opportunity to invest up to £15,000 in a new Individual Savings Account (NISA), this is the maximum an individual can save in the tax efficient wrapper (cash and/or stocks and shares). The old ISA rules governed how much you could put into each pot; half the allowance in cash and half in shares, or you could...
  • A Guide for Grandparents: helping your Grandchildren with their finances

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    In later life, it is common for many of us to want to do something for the younger members of our family. If you are eager to provide your grandchildren with a sound financial start in life then the options may seem confusing; how can you save on their behalf most effectively? How can you pass on some of your wealth without incurring large tax li...
  • 7 Alternatives to using pensions to save for retirement

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    Faced with a hefty 55 per cent pensions tax bill because of HM Revenue & Customs new lower lifetime pensions allowance, many middle-to-high earners with generous pension arrangements are seriously on the lookout for alternatives to pensions as savings vehicles for retirement. That is quite a few savers potentially hunting around, considering th...
  • Our Guide to NISAs

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    On 1st July 2014, the government implemented the changes it had previously announced to Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), creating a new option for savers known as NISAs (New Individual Savings Accounts). The accounts benefit from the same advantages as ISAs as well as opening up several new options for savers and increasing the amount that can...
  • The Savings and Income Protection picture across the UK: worrying statistics emerge

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    The average UK household overall is 26 days from the breadline, but this reduces to just 11 days for those of working age (18-64 years old). People estimate their savings will last them 72 days – almost three times the actual deadline to exhausting reserve funds. Wales and the North East have the shortest deadlines in the UK of just 11 days and a t...
  • Save now to avoid becoming an eBaby Boomer?

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    Britain’s baby boomers are turning into eBaby boomers as the rising cost of living is forcing them to sell off their possessions to maintain their lifestyle. Concerned about making ends meet, one in five of the post-war generation are selling their clothes, jewellery and electronics online to boost their incomes, according to a recent study by MGM...
  • 5 Tips to help your money go further abroad

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    As the weather turns and we move toward the Summer months, it’s natural for all of us to look forward to forthcoming holidays and some time away somewhere nice! Foreign finance is a notoriously troublesome area, with poor exchange rates on overseas credit card transactions being just one of several fairly recent high profile examples of consumer...
  • ISAs: Now much NISA

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    Virtually all the headlines surrounding George Osborne’s recent Budget were about the changes to the pensions rules. Rightly described as the biggest changes to pensions legislation for a hundred years, they will have far-reaching implications for the financial planning of many of our clients. With all the attention devoted to pensions, it was easy...
  • Budget 2014 Overview

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    Whether you are a client based in the UK or abroad, we are sure you will be interested in learning how the UK Government’s 2014 Budget might affect you and your finances. George Osborne delivered the Budget to Parliament on 19th March and we have put together the following analysis and summary, which details all of Mr Osborne’s major announcements,...