9
Sep
2021

National Insurance and Dividend Tax rise as government suspends State Pension triple lock

This week, the government has made two major policy announcements that are likely to directly affect your finances. A much-anticipated National Insurance rise will result in an increased burden on workers including, for the first time, those above State Pension Age. In addition, the government has suspended the State Pension triple lock, meaning that pensioners will receive a much more modest increase than anticipated. Read on for everything you need to know about these policy changes. The new “health and social care levy” will push up National Insurance bills by 1.25% Despite a clear commitment in their last election manifesto not to raise taxes, the government has unveiled a 1.25% hike in National Insurance contributions from April 2022. This is...
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23
Aug
2021

How to protect your retirement income from inflation

For many years, high inflation has been treated like a historical relic from the 70s and 80s that no one was worried about anymore. A quick glimpse at this chart shows the relative stability we’ve enjoyed for the best part of three decades. In fact, we’ve probably enjoyed the longest run of sustained low inflation since the period between the defeat of Napoleon in 1815 and the start of World War I. Annual inflation rates from 1960 to 2020. Source – Macrotrends.net Yet memories of high inflation as the nemesis of many government and individual financial plans are strong in many people’s minds – which explains the recent concerns around rising inflation as global economies emerge from lockdown. In June...
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23
Aug
2021

8 practical tips to help you manage your time effectively so you can enjoy the future you deserve

It might sound a strange source for an illustrative quote, but a line from Avengers: Endgame set me thinking recently. Amid all the action and turmoil, as two sides battled for – as far as I could tell – control of the universe, one of the lead characters came out with the line: “No amount of money ever bought a second of time”. Time is our most valuable commodity and, unlike money, it’s finite. We can’t create more of it so we should be looking to make the most of the time we do have. We tend to envy the young and tell them how lucky they are because they have their lives ahead of them. As you get older,...
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26
Jul
2021

Why it’s important to separate a want from a need when it comes to financial advice

Have you ever wondered why some shops are laid out in the way they are? For example, think of your local garden centre. All the things you “want” will be near the entrance – barbeques, and garden chairs, together with cute stuff like ornamental garden gnomes. That’s the stuff to catch your eye and open your wallet. The things you actually “need” will be at the back. Lawnmowers and hedge trimmers – boring, utilitarian items that aren’t particularly exciting or eye-catching, but you can’t get by without them. When it comes to financial planning, human nature suggests you’ll focus on your “wants”. But sometimes the less exciting things are necessary, so read on to find out how working with a...
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15
Jul
2021

10 big “don’ts” when it comes to investing your money

We are constantly bombarded with investment advice. You only have to read the financial pages to see a whole series of investment information. The consumer “money” sections are always full of suggestions as to how you should invest your money. So, for balance, I thought I’d turn that on its head and put a list together for you of investment “don’ts”. Because, as with many activities, sometimes what you don’t do can be as equally important as what you do. Here are 10 big don’ts when it comes to managing your investments. 1. Don’t worry about other people Your investment strategy is all about you. After all, it’s your money and your future you’re investing for. So don’t worry about...
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24
Jun
2021

10 key financial questions you should be able to answer

Successful personal financial planning can often come down to self-awareness and being prepared to challenge yourself. Only you will have the detailed insight into your own finances, how you spend money, and what your financial priorities are. It’s therefore important to be honest with yourself so you can change any bad habits and give yourself the best possible chance of financial success and being able to live comfortably. Here are ten questions I think you should be able to answer. 1. Have you got a financial plan? If you don’t already have a financial plan in place, then putting one together should be one of your key priorities. A recent study by Aegon found that relatively few people had made...
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