Tag Archive for: financial advice

Retirement Planning: Are you avoiding the conversation?

By Dom Richmond, Head of Financial Services at Cullimore Dutton

I spend a lot of my time advising couples on their retirement planning.

Sometimes, couples arrive for their first meeting having given the subject plenty of thought and agree as to how they would like their later years to pan out.

It doesn’t follow that they have the means to fulfil their retirement dreams, but at least they have a joint plan.

But more often than you would think, couples have spent years avoiding the subject of retirement and what emerges at their first session with me or one of my colleagues can come as a surprise to one or both partners.

In fact, it is often the case that couples have invested more time in choosing their pet dog than how they would like to live between the ages of 65 and 90.

This can be as simple as one partner telling me that they would like to spend a few months of the year living abroad, only for the other partner to reveal that they would never countenance this because they would miss their social life at home.

The difference between getting your financial planning right for retirement or failing to plan can be stark.

People often make assumptions that they will be able to enjoy a certain lifestyle upon retirement, but that can be fraught with danger.

Clients will come to us for the first time at different ages, but commonly they will be in their 50s.

We will always spend time at the first meeting trying to understand what their retirement aspirations are and how they will be able to achieve these, whether that is from savings, pensions, property or other assets.

Our team has a range of tools that enable us to model what a couple’s retirement will look like based on the various elements outlined above. These are the same for most clients.

Sometimes, we will start the conversation about the ‘R-word’ at the first meeting and then ask our clients to do a little bit of homework before returning for the next meeting. Occasionally, if it is a clear a couple are not on the same page regarding the kind of retirement they want, we will have separate discussions and then bring the couple back again to try and find common ground.

Our job is to help our clients put in place the right financial plan for them, one that is aspirational but achievable and that will enable them, at the right point, to enjoy the retirement that they want.

Every client’s retirement plan is different due to their means and also how they want to spend their later years. Some clients want to be able to enjoy multiple holidays abroad, while others prefer to be more UK based but have the financial freedom to be able to travel across the country seeing their children and grandchildren.

If you would like a free initial consultation with a member of the Financial Services team simply click on the “Speak to Our Experts” button on this page, call us on 01244 729 073 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk

Please note: This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.

Dominic Richmond

Five life events when you should seek financial advice

Even if you’re usually comfortable managing your own finances, there are many circumstances and life-changing events when expert financial advice could make a huge difference to your finances.

In the article we look at some examples of when you should seriously consider seeking independent financial advice.

1. Thinking of or planning for retirement
Retirement is a significant life event. It’s a crucial turning point for your finances so it is worthwhile taking some time to focus more on your pension.

Your retirement is unique to you, so even if you’re financially savvy, it may prove beneficial to access professional advice when dealing with something as complicated as accessing your pension.

You may have lots of different pension pots which can make it much harder to plan for retirement. Often, it is easier and clearer to consolidate your pensions.

This is not something to rush into though and it is vital to know what you hold, where it is invested and any hidden benefits and guarantees you may give up by transferring. There may also be exit charges on some pensions.

We can review all your pensions and produce a tailored plan based on your retirement goals. We’ll also help you avoid the pitfalls and make the most of any historic benefits you may not be aware of.

2. Bereavement
Losing a loved one is hard enough. It can be even harder if you must then deal with their finances or if your financial situation changes as a result.

When dealing with a bereavement, support from a trusted financial professional can be of great comfort.
If you’re not sure what to do with any assets you’ve inherited, we can review your situation and give personal recommendations on:

  • Understanding your new financial situation
  • Making the most of what your loved ones left you
  • Ensuring any investments match your needs and goals
  • Dealing with inheritance tax and making the most of your allowances

3. Estate planning
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “nothing is certain except death and taxes”, so the last thing you want is for your loved ones to struggle to unravel your finances and wishes when you pass away.

Talking to an adviser could make things easier for you, and clearer for your family. By taking financial advice alongside legal advice, you can make sure that your finances line up with any legal arrangements detailed in your Will.

We can also provide advice on your inheritance tax status. It’s a complicated area, but we can help you navigate the rules, and you could leave more behind for the ones you love.

4. Divorce
A divorce is a significant life event which could see your finances change dramatically.

We can support you during divorce proceedings by explaining the various financial assets on the table. Being informed means you’ll have a clearer picture of what you’ve got and what you’re giving up.

We’ll be able to help you rebuild your finances afterwards. Your budget, needs and goals are all likely to have changed, and we can help you create a financial plan that ties everything together.

5. Property sale proceeds
You may have chosen to downsize or maybe considering the sale of a rental property to gain more liquidity. It can be difficult to decide what to do with the residual funds if you do not have any immediate plans.

We can discuss your goals and provide advice around the options available to you. We can ensure that these funds are invested well, working hard for you and are well managed.

Within Cullimore Dutton our Financial Services team work closely with our legal teams including Family Law, Property and Wills &Probate to provide a bespoke, convenient and comprehensive service.

For a free initial consultation to discuss how we may be able to help you plan your finances for the future simply click on the “Speak to Our Experts” button on this page, call us on 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk

Please note: This article is provided for information only and must not be considered as financial advice. We always recommend that you seek independent financial advice before making any financial decisions.

Levels, bases of and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change and their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you have invested.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Taxation advice.

 

 

Dominic Richmond

Retirement: The cost of living or existing crisis?

We’re all well acquainted with the cost-of-living crisis by now. Whether it’s filling up the car or your shopping trolley, the cost of the basics has rocketed lately with inflation levels higher than any seen in my lifetime.

The interesting part is that inflation is a year-on-year measure so for example your bottle of milk may have risen by circa 27% in the past 12 months compared with this time last year.

Will the price ever go back down now we’re used to paying it? Even if inflation on your milk is zero over the next 12 months, you’ll still be paying the inflated price this time next year. Then there’s energy, when we will see stability in the energy market is anyone’s guess. Will we see a return to “normal” living costs?

My question is this: Based on your current pension planning, would your retirement be best described as “on the beach” or “on the breadline” or do you simply not know?

State pension: The full new State Pension (35 years National Insurance contributions) is currently £185.15 per week (£9,627.80 per annum). This is due for a 10.1% uplift next tax year due to the triple lock which is good news. That said, if you feel that the triple lock will be retained in the long term, you’re more optimistic than I.

Final Salary/Defined Benefit pensions: These pensions also have an element of inflation proofing built in but again I wouldn’t be holding my breath waiting for good news on the future generosity of these schemes whether they be public or private sector.

Defined contribution pensions: How much will you have saved in your pot by the time you retire? The main variables here are how much do you wish to spend per year from your pot and how long will you live? Of course, the latter is a bit of a tricky one which only further demonstrates the need to plan as early as possible to reduce the chance of running out of money.

The amount of income needed in retirement of course varies greatly from person to person depending on their circumstances and lifestyle. This is all without potential care costs of course but that’s a subject for another day. I think that one thing is for sure though, minimizing your reliance on the future generosity of the State is definitely a wise move.

It’s never too early or too late to get a plan in place for your finances, so, If you’re keen to get into a more informed position regarding your retirement and how the future may look, it may be worth speaking to our expert team to review your current pensions/retirement savings.

For a free initial consultation to discuss how we may be able to help you plan your finances for the future  simply click on the “Speak to Our Experts” button on this page, call us on 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk

Please note: This article is provided for information only and must not be considered as financial advice. We always recommend that you seek independent financial advice before making any financial decisions.

Levels, bases of and reliefs from taxation may be subject to change and their value depends on the individual circumstances of the investor.

The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you have invested.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate Taxation advice.

Helping families plan for the future

We are helping families to plan for the future by investing in the number of solicitors on our team who are STEP qualified.

STEP members are specialists in inheritance and succession planning and can draft wills and trusts, administer estates, act as trustees and advise families on how best to structure their finances to ensure compliance and preserve their assets for future generations.

We are delighted that Alexandra Chambers, a solicitor in our Wills & Trusts team, has recently qualified as a STEP practitioner.

Alexandra, who joined Cullimore Dutton in May last year, said: “The STEP diploma is highly regarded by both the profession and clients alike. My STEP qualification has enhanced my technical knowledge of Trusts and Estates and allows me to give my clients the best possible service.

“I was thrilled to be invited to the STEP annual dinner by the STEP committee as a high achiever guest for the marks achieved on my diploma.  All my hard work had paid off and I had a wonderful evening celebrating.

“I’m now looking forward to using my expertise to help provide the best possible advice to my clients.”

Alexandra is one of four fully qualified Trust & Estate practitioners at the firm.

The Mini-Budget: What did it mean?

It has been quite a week since the Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng delivered his so-called Mini-Budget.

While some of the measures were broadly welcomed, they were completely overshadowed by the response to the announcement that the 45% top rate of tax would be scrapped, benefiting only those earning more than £150,000 a year.

Overall, the package of measures unveiled by the new Chancellor amounted to the biggest tax-cutting package since 1972.

Following a turbulent few days, the Government had to beat a hasty retreat, leaving the 45% rate of tax as it is to avoid it “distracting” from the wider objective of growing the UK economy.

The initial reaction of the markets to the U-turn were mildly favourable, but this was from a low base with sterling having fallen to its lowest ever level against the US dollar and bonds and equities also falling sharply in the immediate aftermath of the Mini-Budget.

By way of a reminder, the key announcements included:

Personal tax

There is to be a cut in the basic rate of tax from 20% to 19% which means a tax cut for over 31 million of us. The 45% rate of income tax remains the same following the backlash over the decision to scrap it.

Corporation Tax

The proposed increase in Corporation Tax to 25% has also been abandoned in a move to attract investment into the UK.

Energy

The Energy Bill Relief Scheme is to support all non-domestic customers, a move to mirror the Energy Price Guarantee that is available to households.

Investment Zones

New Investment Zones have been created, including Cheshire West and Chester Council, in a bid to accelerate growth in these recently identified areas.

IR35

Rules introduced in 2017 and 2021 for how contractors are engaged are to be relaxed with responsibility resting with the company which hires an individual.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

This is to be increased from £125,000 to £250,000 with first time buyers benefitting from an increase to £425,000.

 

Growing the economy by taking bold steps in how we are taxed is at the heart of the Government’s plans.

What is clear is that the financial landscape for us all, whether employed, self-employed or business owners is changing.

Now, more than ever, the need to take financial planning guidance is critical to ensure that our goals are achieved, our tax managed professionally and our money works as hard as it possibly can.

At Cullimore Dutton we aim to Change Lives by working with clients to support them in everything they want to achieve at every step of the journey. If you would like to speak someone from our specialist finance and estate team, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01244 729073.