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Are Pension Freedoms working for or against you?

The Saturday Telegraph money section had an article on Saturday that suggested that there was a mismatch between Pension Freedoms and the “Lifestyling” features in the bulk of Stakeholder and Stakeholder-friendly personal and group pensions currently available. (See the original article at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/11685944/Pension-freedom-flaw-750000-savers-lose-9pc-in-four-months.html). Until Pension Freedom day, the assumption at retirement for the majority of new pensioners was an annuity….

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Pension Freedom Experiences

George Osborne has confirmed to Parliament that about 60,000 people have withdrawn about £1billion of pension funds since April. (http://citywire.co.uk/new-model-adviser/news/pension-freedoms-savers-withdraw-1bn-under-new-rules/a821132?ref=new-model-adviser-latest-news-list). It is still early days, so whether this is good or bad is impossible to tell. The mainstream press has been commenting, almost always suggesting that the pension freedoms are not working as there appear to be a significant number…

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Sorting out after a death

I received an email from a friend and a client who had not long ago lost their remaining parent. The funeral is later this week, but the executors, my friend and his sister, are trying to get everything done in a hurry as the equity release mortgage is costing over £400 per month in additional interest. The first thing is…

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Why do I need protection cover?

Many people’s first contact with a financial adviser is a discussion about protection insurance, usually as part of a mortgage transaction. Rarely, parents send their recently employed offspring to us to try and get them to save or get protected before something goes wrong, although this is a trend I would like to encourage. Protection insurance is all about using…

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The cyber fraud that might steal your property money

Although many people have heard of e-mail based money scams, some of the more sophisticated scams are not common knowledge, although IT security professionals have been warning about them for years. An article in the Saturday Telegraph, (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/mortgages/11605010/Fraudsters-hacked-emails-to-my-solicitor-and-stole-340000-from-my-property-sale.html), gave horrifying details of a property transaction gone wrong, when the proceeds of a £340,000 London flat sale were transferred to fraudsters…

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Post Election Thoughts

Now the election is over and the results declared, it seems a good moment to ponder whether anything has changed. We still have a fractionally right of centre government with a stated mandate of fiscal responsibility but a huge public sector borrowing requirement. We have minimal inflation and minimal interest returns on cash and a Stock Market not too far…

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Pension Warnings

There have been a number of advertisements in the Press from the Financial Conduct Authority, (FCA), emphasising that properly regulated financial advisers will not cold call potential new clients. The potential cost of pension fraud to individuals is extremely high, with a recent article in the Daily Mail, (04/05/2015, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3066637/Suicides-four-victims-pension-fund-scam-Dozens-marriages-said-collapsed-families-lose-homes-scandal.html), suggesting that the cost goes far beyond money, including suicides,…

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The Undiscovered Value of Small Pension Pots

Not too many years ago, the usual general advice if you had lots of small pension pots was to consolidate them into one before eventually taking the pots and buying an annuity. Today, I would suggest that unless there were good, pressing reasons to do so, you might be better off leaving them well alone. Financial advisers are under a…

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Just who am I dealing with?

There has been a lot in the press recently about avoiding being scammed, the most recent article I have seen was in the Telegraph on Saturday, (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/11544344/How-rogue-financial-advisers-in-Spain-stung-British-pensioners-for-millions.html). This article raises a few issues that need to be considered more carefully. Not all investments are created equally, so far as compensation is concerned if things go wrong. If the company is…

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Should I try Buy-to-Let as an investment?

Now that Pension Freedom day has passed, a significant number of people who have delayed retirement until now have their tax free cash and ‘freed’ pension pots burning a hole in their pockets. Leaving the cash in a bank account has a minimal return, so some sort of investment is almost compulsory. The mainstream press and I include programmes on…

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