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Pensions

Estimating Investment Risk

People are generally very bad at estimating risk and deciding whether they should be concerned or not when given a statistic. As illustrations, please think about the chances of winning the National Lottery Lotto draw and chances of being struck by lightning. In the weekly Lotto draw, your chances of winning the jackpot are 1 in 45 Million; to win…

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When SIPPs can bite!

Small to medium businesses owners who need premises are often advised to use their pension money to buy the premises. Then their business pays rent on commercial terms for the premises to their pension scheme, which in turn pays off the commercial mortgage. Given average luck, the business owner should live happily ever after, as at retirement, they can sell…

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Use it or lose it – getting near to the tax year end

This time of year it is worth looking seriously at using up allowances or bracing yourself for losing the unused allowances. Uncertainty around the next budget makes this a more urgent proposition, but as far as I am aware, much of what is in the press is speculation, pure and simple, with little substance or perhaps a little mischief making….

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How free is a free pension review?

The Financial Conduct Authority has strict rules about cold-calling potential clients for regulated financial advisers, so many IFA’s do not solicit for clients in this way. Unfortunately, most cold calling is done by marketing companies, who are unregulated and sell on their leads to IFA’s at considerable cost. As a consequence, if you do take up a “free pension review”,…

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Is Edwina Currie right about the young?

Edwina Currie, the ex-Conservative politician and ex-lover of John Major has an opinion piece in the Saturday Telegraph and the website that suggest the spending habits of the young are responsible for their inability to save for buying a house and save for a pension. (See the original article at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/12102364/Hey-youngsters-No-pension-No-home-No-wonder.-Look-at-you.html. As probably one of the last of the “Baby-Boomers”,…

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A Fitness Test for your Savings

I suspect like a lot of the UK population, you have made some New Year resolutions about getting fit and losing a few pounds. These resolutions normally do not last past the beginning of February, so try something different; gain a few pounds, (in the purse or wallet), and ignore the diet! Everyone needs some savings; borrowing money to meet…

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Retirement – do the public and the government really have a clue?

Two headlines have cropped up in the financial press recently that suggest that we are heading for yet another retirement income disaster. These are both taken from the New Model Adviser on the 3rd November 2015: “Pension Freedoms: Savers withdrew £4.7Billion since April” and “Pensioners to run out of cash by age 75, report warns” (For the full articles, please…

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Pension Income Choices: Defined Benefit Schemes

The last article covered the pension income choices offered by defined contribution, (also know as money purchase schemes), which embraces all of the choices offered by Pension Freedoms for April this year. For a defined benefit, (or final salary), scheme there is a clear and almost brutal dichotomy – which can be summed up as “take it or move it”…

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What has happened with Pension Freedom?

New figures released by the Financial Conduct Authority suggest to me that Pension Freedoms have been quite successful in getting people to access their money in new and novel ways, but not entirely sensibly. Since April 2015, The Association of British Insurers, (ABI), say that £2.5Billion has been accessed, with £1.1Billion going into some form of drawdown contract. The FCA…

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The Value of Financial Advice, (according to Unbiased)

Recent research by Unbiased suggests that the value of advice can be many times the cost. In terms of the working population, this titbit may come as a bit of a surprise as the level of take up for financial advice is still very small. Unbiased used a figure for advice on a pension of £580, which is in line…

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