Blog

  • Flexible ISA rules

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    A flexible ISA allows the saver to withdraw cash and replace it during the same tax year without reducing the current year’s allowance. They can also withdraw cash from previous tax years. Withdrawals can be made from a cash ISA or any cash held in a stocks and shares or Innovative Finance ISA (including from the sale of investments) provided the I...
  • Protecting Your Income Abroad

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    On my recent visits to schools I have unfortunately met with a couple of international teachers who are dealing with life changing illnesses. It is clearly stressful enough being away from their homes and extended families but they both also found themselves in a situation whereby their employers had completely stopped paying their salaries. Quite...
  • Aretha Franklin: The ‘Queen of Soul’ who died without making a will

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    On 16 August, Aretha Franklin passed away, aged 76, in hospice care after battling pancreatic cancer. She didn’t leave a will. This leaves her four sons and other family members to work out her total assets and divide them amongst themselves. After the mourning process, the practical concerns around a death take hold. When someone dies without a wi...
  • 5 steps to make sure you’re not losing out by shunning annuity guarantees

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    Since increased pensions freedoms were established in April 2015, the FCA says that £3 billion worth of annuities have been rejected by over 55s. Now, nearly three in five over 55s are refusing the guaranteed annuity rate (GAR) offered to them by their pension provider. Of these, nine out of ten are taking the cash instead. A GAR means that if you...
  • The top 4 places to buy a home abroad in 2018

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    It’s not difficult to see why Briton’s find buying a property abroad so attractive. High house prices, a temperamental climate and long working hours in the UK can make buying a property abroad seem like a highly desirable option. Whether for a holiday property or somewhere to live long term, here are our top places to buy a home abroad in 2018. Sp...
  • Kids off to Uni? Congratulations – but have you been saving enough?

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    The Institute of Fiscal Studies suggests that the average total debt incurred by today’s university students over the duration of their studies will amount to £51,000. This figure comes as those in higher education saw the interest rate on student loans rise to 6.3% in September. Total student debt in the UK has now risen to £105 billion as of Marc...
  • In business? Why now is not the time to pull up the drawbridge

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    There’s no denying there has been a significant amount of instability and volatility in recent years. The ongoing uncertainty over Brexit means the pound continues to fluctuate while Trump’s presidency delivers unpredictability on a whole new level. Added to which businesses have had to cope with the new GDPR legislation. We should be used to deali...
  • Should the Bank of Mum and Dad start charging interest?

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    If you’ve lent money to your children to help them with university fees, a deposit on their first home or even just to support them with the rising cost of living, then you’re not alone. Statistics suggest that around a quarter of all mortgages are now partially funded by the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’. But have you ever thought about whether you should...
  • What might be in the Autumn Budget?

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    In normal years, the Autumn Budget (formerly the Autumn Statement) is announced in November. However, with less than 6 months left on the countdown to Brexit, this year is far from a normal year. At the end of September, Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed that the Autumn Budget would be released on 29 October which is also, unusually, a Monday – tr...
  • The Medicis: the banking family at the heart of the renaissance

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    The Middle Ages are not generally associated with multinational banking. However, during the 15th century, Florence’s Medici family built a banking empire that dominated Europe for a century. By the time their dynasty began to crumble, they had opened branches in Milan, Venice, Rome, London, Geneva, Lyon, Avignon, Barcelona and Bruges. The Medicis...