Tips

  • Top tips for retiring successfully

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    Your retirement should be something you look forward to: a time when you can reward yourself for the years of hard work you’ve put into your career, your family and anything else you’ve spent time and effort on throughout your life. But retiring successfully can be trickier than it might first seem. So, whether you’re looking to leave the world of...
  • Travel insurance: what to look for in a good policy

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    It’s that time of year when you may be starting to think about booking a holiday. Travelling without insurance can be a gamble, particularly if you are going overseas, leading to many jet-setters now seeing it as an essential purchase before they leave. However, the variety of travel insurance policies out there can seem overwhelming, especially i...
  • What financial wellbeing means for your health

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    The latest Financial Wellness Index has revealed that people with very little savings and those who are struggling to pay their bills are also those who are suffering from poor health. Conversely, those enjoying good health are more likely to experience a higher level of financial wellness. The findings raise the question of whether working to impr...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Already ? Surely Not!

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    It’s that time again when many International Teachers are coming to the end of their existing contracts or just relish a new challenge. Professionally, due to timing, you most likely have already had to resign from your existing post (usually by Christmas) before confirming a new posting (vacancies advertised/job fairs begin early Jan 2017 onwards)...
  • When’s the best time to do your Christmas shopping?

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    Are you one of those people who started planning their Christmas shopping for this year after the last mince pie of 2015 had been devoured? Or are you more of a last-minute gift-buyer who’ll be relying on pure adrenaline and whatever’s left in the shops on Christmas Eve? According to research from PricewaterhouseCoopers, more people are closer to...
  • The scammers won’t go away, so be careful out there!

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    It’s an unfortunate truth of the computer age that, as the software developed to protect your identity and sensitive information improves, so the methods of those trying to defraud you become ever more effective. It’s an ongoing battle between both sides, which means it’s just as important to be aware of scam emails now as it ever has been. The pra...
  • Earning over £150,000? You need to review your pension. Here’s why.

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    If your annual income is above £150,000, then your pension allowance has been subject to tapering since April this year. For every £2 of income over £150,000, your £40,000 annual allowance is reduced by £1, with the reduction rounded down to the nearest whole pound if necessary. Reductions are capped at £30,000, meaning that those with incomes of £...
  • The value of mortgage advice

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    Mortgage advice might not be for everyone, but for those clients who seek it out it can be an invaluable service in helping them to strike a better deal than they could have achieved on their own. The role of a mortgage adviser is to work with a buyer in order to find them the best option for their circumstances. The main way in which a mortgage ad...
  • Travel insurance: what to look for in a good policy

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    The summer months mean we’re at the peak of the holiday season, with countless families, couples and individuals jetting off for a break during July and August. Going on holiday without insurance can be a gamble, particularly if you are travelling overseas, leading to many jet-setters now seeing it as an essential purchase before they go away. Howe...
  • 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...
  • 5 tips for reducing debtors

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    Keeping your debtors to a minimum is important to ensuring your business is a continuing success. However, reducing your debtors can often be a task which seems much easier said than done. Have a look below to see our top 5 tips for keeping your debtors down as much as possible. Reduce your trading terms – if you haven’t revised your trading terms...
  • 2016’s Top Summer Holiday Destinations

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    As the warm weather keeps threatening to finally arrive for good, it feels like the perfect time to start thinking about where to go to get away in the summer months. Keep reading to discover our top three destinations for your 2016 holiday. Bordeaux, France – Situated in the area of France which currently produces the greatest volume of fine wines...
  • Brexit the Movie...

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    Sliding Doors Yesterday we saw a rising pound and markets shored up by polls indicating that Remain was likely to prevail.  Then, like the plot in “Sliding Doors”, an alternate reality took over.  The vote to Leave sent markets sliding, the pound tumbling and the movement was all the more extreme because of the about-turn from last minute polls to...
  • 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...
  • The unexpected financial influence of “The Bank of Mum and Dad”

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    Recently released data suggests that “The Bank of Mum and Dad” will lend out £5 billion this year to children looking to get on the UK property ladder. Parents will therefore be assisting in financing one in four of all UK mortgage transactions in 2016. The average loan amount will be £17,500, around 7% of the average purchase price, and parents ar...
  • Wealth? Fame? Working hard? New research reveals what really makes us happy.

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    It’s been 75 years in the making and the topic for countless philosophers to muse over, but a US study seems to have finally uncovered the secret to happiness and health. Speaking during a TED Talk, Harvard professor Robert Waldinger revealed that, though wealth and fame continue to be commonly cited desires amongst millennials (those born sometim...
  • The new decluttering craze. Could it apply to your office… or your finances?

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    Two books are first and third in the current US Best Sellers list – both by Japanese-American tidying guru, Marie Kondo. Her tidying wisdom has swept the US as a way to feel better about yourself and your home and it’s now heading to the UK. She recently shared her top tips for ‘decluttering’ and it made us wonder whether her new form of ‘healthy l...
  • 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...
  • A timely reminder about the importance of making a will, from Lesley Stevens

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    So what happens if I die without a Will in place? Figures show that over 50% of adults with children in the US and UK do not have a Will in place. You are said to have died 'intestate'. If you die intestate the results could be catastrophic for your family. Should this happen, the state sets out who should deal with your affairs and who should inhe...
  • 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...
  • Have you stranded your pension in Malta?

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    Due to the historic inability to move a pension from the UK directly to the US, many UK expats, who are now US residents, moved their pensions to Malta. Malta has a favourable tax treaty with the US and allows pension access from that country, so a move to Malta may have made sense in the past. Now, however, with the advent of FATCA and the knock-o...
  • Keeping your money safe by avoiding identity theft

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    Experian’s expertise and insight on data security, in a report published recently, has highlighted a gender imbalance. Men are now victims in two out of three ID thefts (63%) across all financial product applications. The report tells us that criminals making bogus current account applications have been targeting men aged between 50 and 59 (up 3.4%...
  • Is university a good investment? Just how much does it cost to study at a UK university?

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    An April 2015 article reviews the cost of studying at university in the UK, giving food for thought for would-be undergraduates and their families. UK tuition fees are frequently under the media spotlight, following price hikes for home students in recent years. But the overall cost to study in the UK, according to an April 2015 topuniversities.com...
  • When should you keep faith with an underperforming active fund?

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    Investors who entrust their savings to active fund managers do so in the hope they will achieve market-beating performance. When the fund starts to dip, it is possible that some investors may forget that short-term bouts of underperformance must be endured along the road to potentially superior long-term results. Ultimately, whether to stick with a...
  • Path Sensitivity in Investing

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    There are many ways of viewing the performance of investments.  For example, we could compare the returns against an objective benchmark such as the FTSE 100 or the S&P 500, we could compare to a target return, or we could adjust the returns to take into account the risks taken.  However, the recent volatility in stock markets has highlighted t...
  • $ 600 Fine? ......... Don't be caught out!

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    The USA Affordable Health Care Act calls for each individual to have Qualifying Health Cover (known as Essential Coverage) for the entire year. As a non resident US citizen you may apply for an exemption if you have Essential Cover from your overseas employer. Do not assume you have opted out simply because of your non resident status. It's the IRS...
  • What not to forget when leaving the UK

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    When moving overseas the more tangible issues people tend to face are arranging Visas, transport of possessions, arranging employment and selling property. There are however things that are often forgotten and can come back and haunt you in the future! The three main areas that people should address before leaving the UK are cross border financial,...
  • 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...
  • Cheaper holidays and breaks in the Eurozone?

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    The strong Pound, with the Euro at a historic low in Europe, suggests that this is the time for you to travel from the UK to Europe, when time there will be less expensive than it has been in years. One Euro in summer 2014 exchanged at around 80p sterling, but this summer this has come down to around 70p per Euro – 12.5% less. The pound now goes a...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Busy Brits regret rushing decisions

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    Time-poor people around the UK risk rushing important long-term decisions, with 9 out of 10 (90%) regretting rushing their career choice and 87% feeling regret over hurrying financial decisions, new research from Scottish Widows has revealed. The study into managing time and life administration priorities found that people in the UK are becoming bu...
  • Planning a business exit: Eight ways to maximise value and attract buyers

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    Most business owners go into business planning to make profits and to maximise the value of the business ready for selling when they exit. Then many fail to either maximise or extract their business’ value, because they don’t have the strategy to do so. This should include a plan to ensure that the business is attractive and valuable and a plan for...
  • Quick tips on financial planning for thirty-something professionals

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    After age 30 it is probable that financial planning will be upped one or two gears and become a far more intense matter. It is worth reflecting how things have changed over the past few generations; more and more people are going to universities, families are having children later, are buying property (and by definition therefore taking on mortgage...
  • Things to do before moving abroad

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    If you are thinking of retiring abroad, did you know that while the UK full basic state pension for a single person was worth £79.60 in 2004 and in 2014 is now worth £113.10 a week, an increase of 42%, if the country you’re retiring to has a reciprocal agreement in place with the UK then the UK state pension will be paid and increased as normal. If...
  • 10 Financial tweeters to follow

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    We’re always here to talk through your financial plans but whilst we manage your money, on a day-to-day basis you might want to keep on top of the markets, or hear about the latest goings on and changes in the investment industry. For that, there are some great experts out there who you can follow on twitter and learn a little more about the financ...
  • 9 Financial blogs to further your knowledge of finance

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    If you are seeking to gain some further insight into world finance and the UK economy, or just want to delve deeper into factors that could affect your personal financial position, then it is likely that there is a financial blog out there for you. To help you to discover some of the best, we have compiled a list of the top ten most informative, a...
  • Top 5 financial questions to ask before moving abroad

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    The decision to move abroad is probably one of the most exciting you will ever make, but it will come as no surprise to learn that there is plenty to sort out before you leave, not least of all when it comes to your finances. It is common to have questions about the processes involved, even if you have already made the decision to move and so, belo...
  • 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...