Posts Tagged ‘retirement plan’

Have You Discussed Your Family’s Finances?

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Have You Discussed Your Family's Finances-

Whilst it is easy to be naïve about the eventuality of old age, retirement is an inevitability for everyone.

If you wish to avoid paying high levels of tax and ensure your finances are correctly distributed among the members of your family retirement planning is a crucial step that should not be overlooked.

Even for those who understand the importance of pension planning, research has suggested that as many as 20% of couples over the age of 40 have never discussed their pensions with 49% have no idea about the level of retirement income they can expect once they stop working.

Why is it Important to Discuss Family Finances?

These figures are worrying, especially since families have become increasingly interdependent. Furthermore with the recent shake up to personal and state pensions (new pension freedoms were announced in 2014 and a new flat rate state pension will come into force this April) there is even more reason to discuss your plans for later life to ensure your partner and family receive the correct inheritance once you pass.

Despite these changes to pensions however, research also suggests that there is a reluctance for couples to visit a financial adviser to discuss retirement planning, with nearly two thirds having never met with one as a couple.

What Has Changed in Retirement Planning?

Traditionally retirement planning has focused on the needs of an individual, or a couple. However as families become increasingly interdependent, the situation has become more complicated as people need to factor in siblings, adult children or even parents into their financial plans.

Why Should You Discuss Your Will with Your Family?

One of the key areas that can cause confusion, or even disagreements following the death of a loved one is the Will. By speaking to a financial adviser to draw up a Will, and then discussing your intentions beforehand you will decrease the chance of upsetting arguments when it comes to distributing your estate after you are gone.

For those who have not set up a Will then it is time to stop putting it off. As many as 84% of 18-34 year olds and more surprisingly as many as 35% of over 55s are thought to not have a Will in the UK.

If you pass away without a Will you are considered to have died Intestate and specific rules apply. These rules changed on 1st October 2014 with the main beneficiary of these changes being your surviving spouse/civil partner.

Consider the Tax Implications of Inheritance

If you are planning to leave an inheritance to members of your family it is important to consider the most tax efficient way to do this to ensure that your loved ones do not lose much of your gift.

It can also be a good idea to consider the requirements of your children or younger generations. Attitudes to inheritance have changed in recent years with some younger relatives preferring their older family members fully enjoying retirement rather than struggling in order to leave something behind.

For those already at retirement, you may have already had the all-important family discussion and come to the conclusion that your family will not require as much in inheritance as you originally thought. This information could change your attitude to retirement, perhaps making you consider equity release or other retirement options.

Discuss Your Finances with Family and Advisers

It is understandable that you find the discussion of finances after your death a difficult subject to approach with your spouse, partner or family. However understanding the intentions of those around you is incredibly important.

Coupled with this you should seek professional financial advice from someone who can help you plan both your retirement and passing to ensure your money and assets are properly taken care of.

If you are wishing to speak to someone about pensions, retirement or financial planning please do not hesitate to contact Maxim Wealth Management today on 0141 764 0040 (Glasgow) or 0203 841 9941 (London). Alternatively you can fill in our Contact Form and one of our team will get back to you.

5 Tips to Help You Save for Retirement

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

5 Tips for Saving for RetirementAdjusting to retirement is a big change. Not having a job to go to every day after doing so for many years requires a complete lifestyle change, which you may or may not be prepared for, both mentally and emotionally.

The financial implications can be also seem daunting however with good planning, your sunset years can be comfortable and enjoyable.

By following the right preparation and advice you can make saving for your retirement easier. Here’s five areas you should consider to help you make the right plans in regard to saving for life after your working years.

1) Understand the new pension rules

If you have invested in a pension scheme, you have the freedom to decide how to take your pension. However, there are tax implications which many people do not understand. Typically, up to 25% of personal pension can be taken out without paying any taxes for those aged 55 years and above. The rest of it is taxable. Because pension income is put together with other income in the tax year the income is received and the total is taxed accordingly. This means that taking out a large sum could come with an equally large tax bill.

If your income is above a given bracket this could also cause personal allowance to be lost. To counter this you may benefit from spreading withdrawals over more than one tax year to benefit from tax allowances.

2) Pass on your tax benefits efficiently

The law enables you to pass on your pension upon your passing. This used to be subject to taxes of up to 55% if you had started withdrawing and the balance had been paid out as a lump sum. The rules changed and made it possible to pass on more of your pension upon your passing and in some cases, tax free.

For those who pass away before the age of 75, no income tax is paid when beneficiaries make withdrawals. After this age, withdrawals are taxed as income. Typically, pensions are exempt from inheritance tax. However, the rules vary depending on personal circumstances.

3) Two is better than one when it comes to tax allowances

Spouses as well as registered civil partners can transfer assets to each other without paying taxes. If one of you pays more taxes, it makes financial sense to spread or even them as a couple by transferring investments to save taxes on the one who pays less taxes. Also, a new Marriage Allowance has been introduced where it is possible to transfer 10% of personal allowance between partners to bring down the joint tax bill.

4) Taking all the shelter you can will also make a difference

There are a number of tax shelters available. The best known is the Individual Savings Account (ISA) that does not attract Capital Gains Tax or any other tax on income. Income from ISAs does not need to be declared making them ideal for generating additional, tax-free income for retirement. It is important to understand that an ISA is not in itself an investment but a way to shelter your savings and investments from tax.

You can withdraw from you ISA when you need to and they have no upper age limit. Individuals can put a maximum of £15,240 in an ISA for the current tax year (2015/16) and allowances can now be divided between different ISAs such as Stock and Shares ISAs and Cash ISAs as per an investor’s choosing.

5) Maximize on tax allowances

There are other changes that have been made that will be implemented this year where there will be added tax-free allowances for cash interest and income from shares or dividends. Some retirees may be paying thousands of pounds in taxes that they perhaps shouldn’t be. The changes have been confusing for some and unfortunately this has led to some not being able to take advantage of all the tax-free allowances they can get.

Speak to a Financial Adviser About Your Retirement Today

Sitting down with a professional financial adviser could have a major impact on your tax bill and improve the quality of your life in retirement. A pension adviser will be able to look at every aspect of your pension and help you understand how to make the most of these changes.

Maxim Wealth Management offers independent financial advice on pensions, retirement, equity release and other aspects of personal finance management. Contact us today to discuss your pension and let us help create the best possible retirement plan.

Can you afford to spend 1/3 of your life in retirement?

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Life expectancy in the UK is rising

It has long been accepted that improvements in medicine, lifestyle and an understanding of the effects which habits such as smoking can have on our health means life expectancy is increasing. Future generations will enjoy much longer and healthier lives on average than their predecessors.

Figures released in April 2011 by the Department of Work & Pensions help illustrate rather exactly what this means. These figures suggest, of the under 16s already alive today, over a quarter are going to reach the age of 100 – and already, the average new-born female is going to live to over 90.

As Steve Webb, Minister for Pensions, commented at the time, this means that millions of people will spend over a third of their life in retirement.  But, as the DWP were quick to point out, this news also coincides with a period during which pension savings are in serious decline.

A population with increasing life expectancy is putting our welfare system under significant pressure as more people need not only pension income but also healthcare, incapacity support and help within the home.   When the time comes for you to retire you can expect that your State Pension will provide little more than a safety cushion. If your retirement plans include holidays, visiting relatives and treating yourself on occasion, then its time to take control of your savings and start building up a retirement fund of your own.

Call us today on 0141 764 0040 and our professionally trained financial advisers can talk you through your retirement planning options.

Retirement Planning

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

When it comes to retirement planning, time is one of the most important assets you have to save for retirement.

It takes a long time to build up the investments needed to provide a comfortable retirement income and the sooner you start retirement planning and saving, the better.  Even putting a small amount away on a regular basis, if done long term, can make a difference.  Both occupational or company pension schemes and personal pensions are tax-efficient.

Your contributions to company pension schemes are deducted from pay before tax is calculated and for contributions to personal schemes, tax you have paid before you make your contribution is reclaimed for you by your provider.  In to each type of plan you can contribute up to £3,600, 100% of your net relevant earnings or £50,000 (for tax year 2011/12), whichever is the greater and you can then use your personal income tax allowances before calculating the tax you pay when that pension finally pays out.

If you work for more than one employer, a financial adviser can help you check your previous company schemes and work out what you are entitled to.  Your retirement planning might also include individual savings accounts (ISAs) which are tax-efficient ‘wrappers’ all profits earned on investments held inside them are paid out to you free of further tax.  The amount of money you can invest in an ISA is also subject to limits (£10,680, tax year 2011/12), but it is worth getting into the habit early.

If you think you could benefit from retirement planning we’d be happy to offer our services.  But don’t delay because the longer you put off planning for your retirement the less retirement income you’ll have.  Call us now on 0141 764 0040 and let’s see if you can help.  Contact Us.

Is NEST best for your business?

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

NEST, the National Employment Savings Trust launches in 2012.

All employers will be forced to set up a Company Pension Scheme for their employees or auto-enrol their employees into the new NEST pension scheme. Group personal pension schemes (GPPs) have emerged as one potential solution which could help employers keep control of what pension benefits are offered to different individuals.

NEST pension or GPPs?

The main attraction of GPPs is their simplicity. The employer passes contributions straight from payroll to the provider and this is then invested as per the employee’s instructions. Through a group scheme, each employee has their own plan so they benefit directly (and only) from their own contributions and can also decide how this is invested. Contributions benefit from tax relief at the employee’s highest rate and employers can also make contributions to top this up.

This not only helps the employee but also the company tax bill – and can also reduce national insurance contributions. In addition, an employer contribution of at least 3% (which will be phased in between 2012 and 2016) is a requirement demanded by the NEST rules. Note, however, the rules are still being finalised, so may be subject to change.

Finally, at the end of the employment, employees simply take their sub-plan with them and keep contributing themselves. This reduces the need for employers to administer retained benefits and also helps the employee keep their career pension savings in one place.

If you think your business would benefit from a group personal pension scheme rather than being forced to meet the requirement of NEST, our dedicated Corporate Pensions Advisor would be happy to help talk you through the pros and cons.  Call now on 0141 764 0040.

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