Blog

  • 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...
  • People who get financial advice are £40k better off

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    A recent study has revealed that people who seek the advice from an independent financial adviser (IFA) are on average £40,000 better off than those who don’t do this. The research has come from leading think-tank the International Longevity Centre, who have stated that both the ‘affluent’ group – wealthier people more likely to own their own homes...
  • Could the Buy-to-Let tax changes be the next pension crisis?

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    The National Landlords Association (NLA) has warned that the next pension crisis could be created by the impact of changes to the way buy-to-let properties are taxed, as many individuals are becoming increasingly reliant on funding their retirement through income generated by property. Recent figures suggest that around 77% of landlords rely on the...
  • 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...
  • Time, not material goods, raises happiness

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    A new study has found that paying to free up your time is linked to increasing your level of happiness. Individuals taking part in a psychological experiment said that they felt happier when using $40 (around £30) to save themselves time rather than buying material goods. Stress over not having enough time can lead to reduced well-being, as well as...