If you have a business with even just one person on PAYE (other than yourself if you are the director), you need to find out what you are expected to do as regards having a Workplace Pension. This has been going on since October 2012 starting with the companies with the most employees. Over the next year or so it will catch up businesses even with just an employee or two. There are pretty steep penalties for not meeting your obligations in this regard. If you have been sent your “Staging Date” (the date at which you are required to have the Workplace Pension set up and operating in your business), you should not ignore it. If you are not sure, you can check on your Staging Date by going on-line to www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/employers.
Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Monday, 22 August 2016
There are many more choices on taking your pension benefits than ever before. It is a good idea to get professional advice to help you make the decisions that best suit your plans. As the rules have changed as regards how pension benefits are treated on death, this too is something important to know about. We would be happy to assist.
Monday, 15 August 2016
It is worth keeping a check on your Financial Basics:
• M ost important! – ensuring more money comes in than goes out
• Building up some cash reserves in case of an emergency (putting this cash into an ISA
is a good plan for most)
• Life assurances kept at an adequate level (basic life assurance is inexpensive for most and
we are happy to provide quotes)
• Build up some long range savings or investments, e.g. pension, property, stocks and
shares (there are many options; feel free to discuss the options with us)
• Keep your credit in good shape by always making payments on time (setting up a Direct
Debit helps ensure you do not forget)
• As you move into your 60s, look into taking out a Lasting Power of Attorney
• Make a Will
Monday, 8 August 2016
Those looking to buy in the near future may benefit from the bit of a slump that has occurred following the new rules affecting Buy-to-Let properties. There was a surge in the first three months with the deadline in the higher Stamp Duty charges for Buy-to-Lets that came into force on the 6th of April. However, there is now the beginning of a slump so it is worth doing some tough negotiating.
Tuesday, 2 August 2016
In the UK we still have available some of the best mortgage rates ever. If you are on your lender’s standard variable rate and are in a position to remortgage, do give us a ring and we can let you know what is possible.
Monday, 25 July 2016
There are still many people who have an interest-only mortgage which is coming to the end of its term. For whatever reason, the original strategy for repaying it is often no longer an option, and for many moving down market is not desirable. Many lenders are now willing to consider extending
a term even if it goes into the 70s and 80s – particularly if part of the new arrangement will include some repayment of capital. A recent example we know of involved a man aged over 80 being given an extension of 10 years for the mortgage on the basis that half of it would be on a repayment basis. It is worth talking to your lender. If you are paying the lender’s Standard Variable Rate (4.5% or more), you should also ask for a better interest rate, e.g. a two year fixed rate. We had one client recently who we advised to do this. With just a telephone call she was able to reduce her mortgage by 2.5% for two years – saving her £400.00 per month. If talking to your existing lender does not work, then you can look at one of the new Lifetime Mortgage options if you have enough value in the property.
Monday, 18 July 2016
The mortgage market for older people is improving remarkably. At the insistence of the Financial
Conduct Authority (FCA), lenders have been encouraged to extend their maximum ages for standard
mortgages. Whereas age 65 some years ago remained a cut-off point, now it is quite common to
find mortgages available to age 70 and 75 and even 80 and 85 in some cases. After 70, however, it
is still likely to be only pension income, or other similar guaranteed income, that will be taken into
account when they look at affordability and how much they will lend.