Blog

  • Free password managers: what’s available and how they compare

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    As more and more services become available online, the number of login details you need to remember also increases. But whilst the growth of internet banking, shopping, film and TV streaming offers ever more convenience, it also puts your sensitive information at increased risk. This is because it can be tempting to help yourself to remember all yo...
  • How to combine work/life balance, job satisfaction and retirement

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    Two of the biggest concerns faced by workers when they reach their 50s and 60s are those of achieving job satisfaction and a work/life balance. Recent studies have offered fresh insight into the reasons behind these issues and the best ways to tackle them. One study conducted by economists at the University of Southern California and California Sta...
  • Alexander Beard Group - 30th Anniversary Party

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  • The case for inheritance tax – for and against

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    Jean-Baptiste Colbert, France’s celebrated 17th century finance minister under King Louis XIV, famously said the following: “The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to procure the largest quantity of feathers with the least possible amount of hissing.” Or, to put it more bluntly, a successful tax should earn the government plenty o...
  • Don’t get caught out by the lifetime allowance rule change

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    The total tax paid by those exceeding their lifetime pension allowance amounted to £36 million in 2015/16, climbing steeply from £20 million in 2014/15 and equating to an 80% rise. The figure has climbed in recent years from £12 million in 2012/13 to £19 million in 2013/14 and up again to £20 million in the following year. The increased revenue has...
  • 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...
  • Do you know how much your pension pot is worth?

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    Recent research from Royal London has found that around five million people in the UK have ‘forgotten’ pension pots from final salary schemes of former employers. What’s more, many of these deferred members of defined benefit funds don’t know how much a lump sum payout of this accumulated pension would be worth, thanks to a lack of communication fr...
  • Germany Update - September 2017

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    For the first time since WW II we will have a party in parliament right of the Christian Democrats (Conservatives): AfD “Alternative for Germany” (which in fact is not one!). However I don’t see it so much dangerous, as the voters for this “anti” party did not really have a program, they just needed to open their arms in order to collect all those...
  • Netherlands Update - September 2017

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    On September 19th 2017, the Dutch Government has published its spending plans for 2018. However this year the situation is different than normal for several reasons. First of all there is still no new government in place. After the elections from March this year several attempts have been made to form a new coalition, but so far without result. New...
  • Update on state pensions: essential reading for the under 50s

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    Recent changes announced by the government to the state pension will result in nearly six million people currently in their forties having to wait longer until they can retire. It’s a development which has raised concerns over the dependability of the state pension, which for many makes up the lion’s share of their retirement income and is the most...