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Handy Guides

 

Inflation: the silent destroyer of wealth

Recently I was on holiday in Devon, and I got a shock when my daughter went to buy ice creams and a 99 flake cost £3! It got me thinking about the power of inflation.

I believe inflation is the silent killer everyone ignores when they’re looking at their finances. It’s like the sugar in our diets; a little is OK but over time a lot of it is a real killer.

July 19, 2019
 
 
 
 
Pensions

How much should you be saving in your pension?

Running out of money in retirement is a scary thought, as we age we feel more fragile and venerable, a secure income during our retirement years gives us peace of mind, but comes at a price.  The security provided by the defined benefit pensions offered by many larger employers has gone and the responsibility to secure our retirement income has been left to us to sort out.

June 21, 2019
 
 
 
 

How much value does a financial planner really add?

Vanguard’s Adviser Alpha survey is an annual report produced by one of the world’s largest and most respected fund management companies. Their latest survey used real-world data to try and quantify the benefits of using a financial adviser or planner – the returns on top of your returns, if you will. It makes for interesting reading.

May 17, 2019
 
 
 
 

Interest-only mortgage mess? Don’t Panic!

An interest-only or endowment mortgage is one where you pay only the interest and not the mortgage balance itself. There are over 1.6m interest-only or part-interest mortgages in the marketplace. If you’ve got one, your biggest concern is: how are you going to pay it back? Don’t panic, just make sure you have a strategy in place.

April 19, 2019
 
 
 
 
 

Holiday money blues? Not with these tips

We work hard all year to be able to enjoy our holidays, so making every penny count helps you get the most from your trip. Now, however, is the time to start planning your summer holiday money if you want to keep your costs down. Warren shares his top 10 tips on making your money go further when you’re heading overseas.

March 18, 2019
 
 
 

Year end tax planning checklist for individuals

There’s less than a month to go until the end of the 2018/19 tax year. However, there’s still time to consider some last-minute tax planning to maximise the use of an individual’s allowances, reliefs and exemptions for the current tax year. Some of these will be lost if not used before the tax year end. This year end tax planning checklist covers the main planning opportunities available to UK resident individuals and will hopefully help to inspire action to reduce tax for 2018/19 and 2019/20.

March 8, 2019
 
 
 

Your ‘House of Wealth’ needs solid financial foundations

Several years ago, I worked with a group of people to create a model called the House of Wealth: a graphical representation of your financial planning.  The foundations of the house include all the basics everyone should consider having in place to safeguard their (and their families’) future, we never know what’s around the corner.

There are eight elements to the foundations in total: three are essential (an emergency cash reserve, a will and a lasting power of attorney), and five are optional. They’re very important for some people, but unnecessary for others.

March 4, 2019
 
 
 
Staying on track with The Money Plan

Getting your year on financial track

Around 10% of the year has already flown by – but that means there’s still 90% of it left to make your mark on 2019 and take control of your finances. If you resolved to do just that, but January wasn’t your month for whatever reason, then it’s time to be resilient, set a strategy, focus on your outcome and take consistent steps towards it.

February 8, 2019
 
 
 

Lifelong lessons from pocket money

We don’t receive financial education at school, so teaching children about money starts at home. That can seem scary if you’re not good with money yourself, but with a simple pocket money system you can easily show your children strategies which help them learn and grow their own money management skills.

February 1, 2019
 
 
 

Say goodbye to your credit card debt

It’s that time of year when credit card statements loom large – and for many, that means worries about their finances. Recent research showed that people take on average until May to pay off their Christmas. Follow my steps to say goodbye to your credit card debt.

January 17, 2019
 
 
 
 
 
 

Making a tax efficient difference with our gifts

Many of us will gift to charitable causes regularly throughout the year, using Gift Aid or Payroll Giving, but fewer of use appreciate how this works, we purely give from the goodness of our hearts to help others less fortunate. Find out how it works and how it can save you money on your tax.

December 7, 2018
 
 
 

Enjoy your Christmas – and the New Year too

Christmas is one of those times of year where sensible people do some silly things. We might have been good all year when it comes to our health, diet or money, but then the jingle bells come on the radio and the streets are decorated with magic, and we forget everything and overindulge!

November 30, 2018
 
 
 

The Path to Happiness

For many, we feel we need something to make us happy, a new job, a new relationship, more money.  The fact is, although we may like having these things, they won’t make us happy.  We can decide to be happy with them, or without them because our happiness will not come from the outside, our happiness will only come from within.

November 9, 2018
 
 
 
 
 
Money management for kids

I’ll Help you to Save Scheme

The government have just launched a new savings scheme called “Help to Save”.  It allows you to save upto £50 a month over four years (up to a maximum of £2,400) and receive a 50p bonus for every £1 you save. Find out more about the benefits on this scheme along with how you open an account.

October 19, 2018
 
 
 
Pension freedom Q&A

Bank of Mum and Dad? Put Yourself First

Parents helping out their children (and grandchildren) financially is a tricky topic because it’s so caught up in emotion and love that it’s not always easy to make sensible decisions. I have two kids and I love them dearly – but there’s a reason it tells you on the airplane safety briefing to put your own mask on first before you help your children. In the same way, financial support for your family is a case of secure yourself first.

October 15, 2018
 
 
 
 
 

Financial planning is for everyone, not just the wealthy

When you think of financial planning, what comes to mind? Boring discussions on pensions, wealthy individuals hiding their money off-shore to save tax? Neither could be further from the truth. Financial planning is used by millions of people worldwide; people just like you. It follows a structured processes, with the planner working with clients to…

September 28, 2018