Inheritance Tax Planning
Much can be achieved by careful planning and drafting of Wills, and the ability to transfer the unused portion of a nil rate band between spouses or civil partners. This has greatly improved the Inheritance Tax position for many people. However, for those with larger estates, alternative planning solutions are still required and we are experienced in advising on some less widely known opportunities to reduce the impact of IHT.
We will assess how we can minimise your tax liability whilst maximising what you are able to pass on to your loved ones.
Financial planning is more important now than ever
What is the value of financial advice?
June Market Commentary
For the second month in a row, we went back to the previous months’ Commentary before we wrote a word. How did we leave April in this rapidly changing world?
Could this be a trial run for retirement?
We are certainly living through strange times. But for some of us it is stranger than for others. As the saying goes – we are all in the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat.
How does inheritance tax work?
We’ve all heard of inheritance tax. But do you understand how it works?
Case Study: Securing the future of a self-employed barrister
5 reasons why you should choose a cruise holiday
How to spend your inheritance wisely
How to ditch your daily coffee fix and boost your savings
How much is your average weekly household spending?
Pension changes you may have missed in The Budget
There was scarcely a mention of the ‘P’ word in October’s Budget speech (believe us, we were listening closely for it!). Instead, Hammond used the Budget speech as an opportunity to unveil his ‘rabbit in the hat’ changes to income tax thresholds, an increase in NHS mental health funding and a ban on future PFI contracts.
Financial planners sponsor fan favourite on his return to Sheffield Sharks
Banner Jones Wealth Management is backing the Sheffield Sharks by sponsoring fan favourite Dirk Williams on his return to the team.
Long Read: What’s a better way to help my grandchildren through university?
As autumn approaches many students are preparing to start university for the first time. For most, this will mean leaving the place they grew up in behind as they embark on a life far from their home comforts. This will bring with it plenty of new academic opportunities, and likely many late night takeaways too.
The rise of ‘staycation’ buy-to-lets
Since the Brexit vote, ‘staycations’ have become increasingly popular. This is unsurprising – for many people, going to the bureau de change has become an uncomfortable experience of seeing their hard-earned pounds transformed into a pitiful equivalent of euros or US dollars.
How to best help your grandchildren financially
Being a grandparent is an exciting time of life. You get all the enjoyment of doing fun activities with your grandchildren but can hand them back at the end of the day. Part of that pleasure is knowing that you can help them financially. Often you’re at a stage of your life where you’re comfortably off and in a position where you want to give a helping hand to the next generation.
War Bonds: WWI and Britain’s brush with bankruptcy.
Before World War One, Britain was undoubtedly the global economic superpower – a role now played by the USA and soon to be filled by China. However, the war had a crippling effect on the British economy and is widely considered to be the start of Britain’s gradual decline from the global superpower it once was.
The end of LISA? Time to get your lifetime ISA before it disappears?
The new girl on the block, in terms of saving products, seems like she may not actually be around for much longer. LISA, or the lifetime ISA, is being threatened with abolition by a Treasury committee, having only been on the market for 16 months.
Interest rate rise: What does this mean?
The Bank of England has raised interest rates from 0.5% to 0.75%, only the second rise in a decade. Currently, interest rates stand at their highest since March 2009 and reflect what the Bank of England perceive as a general pick-up in the economy.
Are you keeping track of your pension pot?
Can we make inheritance tax simpler?
Why the experts say people need financial advisers
With the array of online tools and self-help resources available, it can be tempting to try and take your finances into your own hands from time to time. For some people, that’s the way to handle it but for the vast majority, getting advice tailored precisely for you from a qualified professional is the best approach.
Four factors to be aware of with your R&D Claim
If your business is working on innovative projects within science and technology, whether your projects are successful or not, you may be able to claim research and development corporation tax relief. With the opportunity to deduct up to an extra 130% of your qualifying costs from your yearly profit, on top of your normal 100% deduction, R&D relief is definitely something to utilise to its full potential. If your company is loss making, you’re able to claim a tax credit worth up to 14.5% of the surrenderable loss.
Small change to small fortune – how car boot sales can prove lucrative
When it comes to a robust investment plan, rooting around for hidden treasure at car boot sales can’t really be held up as particularly reliable. However, there are plenty of examples of people picking up bargains from a car boot which have gone on to make them a considerable profit once their true value has been realised.
Over 60s are jumping off the property ladder. Here’s why…
In 2007, there were 254,000 older people living in private rented accommodation. According to research by the Centre for Ageing Better, over the last decade that figure has skyrocketed to 414,000. If things continue the way they’re going, they estimate that over a third of those over 60 will be privately renting by 2040.
Cutting through the noise – how does a financial adviser help?
‘Stock market closing at an all time high’; ‘The bubble’s burst’; ‘The stock market is crashing’; ‘Shares have gone through the roof – how could they go any higher?’; ‘House prices plummet by 30%’; ‘UK economy in weakest growth’; ‘The end is near for the bear market’; ‘Stocks dangerously close to unique kind of bull market’; ‘Not seen such market volatility since the 1987 crash’; ‘Warnings of market correction ahead’.
Why it pays to retire early
Sound financial planning is not only good for your bank account – it could actually improve your life expectancy. If you’re reading this then you probably don’t need to be convinced of the benefits of looking after your money, but here’s another reason to add to the list.
Four things to look out for in the new tax year
With a new tax year come changes to tax and benefits. But just as it’s important to know what changes are being made, it’s equally, if not more important, to actually understand how the change affect you or your business, or if it even has an impact on you at all. Here are four of the key changes to look out for at the start of the 2018/19 tax year and how to work out whether or not you need to do anything.
March Market Commentary (archived)
“The first month of 2018 was a good one for the major stock markets which we cover in this Bulletin. We report on 12 markets and 11 of them made gains in January – in some cases, spectacular gains, which many investors would regard as more than adequate for a full year.”
Time in the market, not timing the markets
With markets around the world continuing to prove unpredictable as momentous financial and political events continue to unfold, it’s perhaps not a surprise that investors are increasingly concerned about when the ‘best time’ for them to invest might be. Many of these people will decide to hold off on making an investment, choosing to keep their money out of the markets in order to see what happens.
What does Open Banking mean regarding your personal data?
For many years, bank customers have been secure in the knowledge that their financial information, including their spending habits and levels of debt, are only available to them and their bank. However, thanks to a new ‘Open Banking’ regime, this is now set to change.
The Topics You Need To Talk About With Your Parents
Talking about money with your parents can be difficult. However, these conversations can also be some of the most important ones you will have with those you love. It doesn’t need to be a full examination of their financial records, as you clearly don’t want to overstep any boundaries or cause offence. But there are also questions you need to ask to ensure your parents have prepared for the next stage of their lives, as well as helping you to know about any areas where you might need to provide support in the future, as early as possible. Here are five important questions you should be asking:
Who Owns Your Bank?
Following the financial crisis of 2008 when a number of big British banks came close to collapsing, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) was strengthened by the government. As such, the FSCS 100% guarantees the first £85,000 of a person’s cash savings per banking licence in total, including interest. This means that a couple with a joint account holding up to £170,000 will have every penny of this covered.
Millennials on target to enjoy inheritance boom but not until they’re 61
A recent report has revealed that millennials are set to benefit from an ‘inheritance boom’ bigger than that experienced by any other generation in the post-war period. The Resolution Foundation, the think-tank which carried out the research, defined millennials as people currently aged between 17 and 35, and found that those within this age bracket will be left record amounts of wealth by their ‘baby boomer’ parents and grandparents.
Will it really improve my retirement if I increase my pension contributions by 1% – or should I just enjoy the money now?
When retirement is decades away, it’s understandable that many people near the start of their working lives don’t give a lot of thought to exactly how much of a difference the amount they pay into their pension will make when they finally come round to needing it. Increasing your pension contribution by 1% might sound so small as to be insignificant, making it tempting to choose to enjoy more of your hard-earned money today rather than putting a little more of it away for years to come. But is that really the case? What difference would putting an extra 1% into your pension actually make?
How to avoid the mid-life savings crisis
Recent research has revealed that almost one in five people (18%) in their 50s and 60s are failing to save anything towards their retirement thanks to the rising cost of living and stalling wage growth. Described as a ‘mid-life savings crisis’, it means that millions of people close to retirement age are unaware of how much they will need to pay into their pension pot in order to live comfortably once they finish working.
What exactly is Mifid II and what does it mean for the ordinary investor?
If you’re an investor, it’s likely that you’ll have heard discussions or read reports around the arrival of Mifid II. It’s just as likely that you won’t have had much idea of what Mifid II is or how it might affect you and your investments.
How to track down a ‘zombie’ Child Trust Fund
Launched by the Labour government in 2005, Child Trust Funds (CTFs) were given to every child born on or after 1st September 2002 until just over nine years later at the start of 2011. CTFs were then replaced by Junior ISAs (JISAs) at the start of the austerity period. However, recent research has revealed that around 900,000 CTFs have since become ‘zombie’ accounts, lost and forgotten about in the intervening years.
Getting the best deal on a cruise to beat those winter blues!
There are those that believe I am well positioned to write this article, and they may be right!
4 steps to stop inflation eating your savings!
Planning ahead for Christmas…
We may be weeks away from Christmas, but the ever-expanding festive fare already available in every high street shop and supermarket provides a daily reminder that Xmas is just around the corner. Whilst it might still feel too soon for you to begin thinking about your arrangements for the Yuletide season, there are definite benefits to getting your Christmas plans in order nice and early. Here are our top tips to help you get your festive finances in order before you open your first advent calendar window.
UK government to toughen stance against online VAT fraud
The government’s Public Accounts Committee criticised HMRC last month for their undue cautiousness in pursuing ‘fraudsters’ who fail to pay VAT when selling goods online. Whilst major online marketplace sites Amazon and eBay have said they are working together with HMRC to tackle the issue, the companies are also currently raking in extra profit, with an estimated £1.5 billion lost from the tax not being charged on sales made in the UK by third-party sellers.
Millennials leading the way in saving for retirement
Recent data suggests that younger generations are on track to save more than their parents and grandparents, despite their earnings on average being considerably lower. Part of the reason for this is time: simply put, young people have more years ahead of them than older generations until they retire, meaning that any money they put away now has more time to grow.
What are the risks behind the Bitcoin boom?
September saw crypto-currency Bitcoin cross the $5,000 threshold on CoinDesk’s price index for the first time, the equivalent of £3,862. Whilst its value has since dipped, trading at $4,367.35 (£3,349.74) at the time of writing, the increase has led to the total value of publicly traded crypto-currencies to more than $176 billion.
Millions may miss out on pension pay out
A recent study by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has suggested that people who have saved into defined benefit (DB) pension schemes have only a 50/50 chance of receiving the payouts they are expecting, resulting in millions missing out on the retirement income promised to them. The pressure on some employers to meet their pension obligations has increased significantly, with well-publicised cases of pension collapse including that of BHS once again highlighting the concerns surrounding the future of workplace pensions.
Three lessons about retirement from those who have already retired
Retirement is undoubtedly the section of your life which receives the largest amount of planning for most people, with much of your working life spent ensuring you can live where and how you want once you’ve retired. However, as with all plans, there are always going to be aspects of your retirement which don’t end up quite how you’d expected, and a few you might not have even considered until you’ve actually given up work. Here are a few key lessons learned by those enjoying retirement already:
Rock bands and royalties
The Insolvency Service has given Dipak Rao, the former accountant of Deep Purple, an eleven-year ban from serving as a director. The ban follows the revelation that he had misappropriated a minimum of £2 million from the companies who held responsibility for controlling the copyright over many of the rock band’s hit songs.
Don’t get caught out by the lifetime allowance rule change
The total tax paid by those exceeding their lifetime pension allowance amounted to £36 million in 2014/15, climbing steeply from £20 million in 2014/15 and equating to an 80% rise. The figure has climbed in recent years from £12 million in 2012/13 to £19 million in 2013/14 and up again to £20 million in the following year. The increased revenue has been generated through more stringent rules introduced last year regarding the lifetime allowance (LTA), the highest amount of money a person is allowed to save in their pension pot and benefit from tax relief at their marginal rate.
Do you know how much your pension pot is worth?
Recent research from Royal London has found that around five million people in the UK have ‘forgotten’ pension pots from final salary schemes of former employers. What’s more, many of these deferred members of defined benefit funds don’t know how much a lump sum pay out of this accumulated pension would be worth, thanks to a lack of communication from the provider of their old scheme. As people who transfer their pension pot are offered an average lump sum of between £158,000 and £190,000 – around 25-30 times the annual value of their pension – the collective amount held in these forgotten pots could reach a total of up to £800 billion.
Save in summer: Book for winter
Whilst there’s something to be said for seeking out a last-minute holiday to make the most of the summer months, the arguments for booking in advance are fairly difficult to deny. Not only could you end up saving yourself up to 25% on the price of travel and accommodation, thanks to time-limited discounts, you’ll also have the opportunity to save towards your spending money and may even be able to split the cost of your holiday by paying in instalments.
Time not material goods raises happiness
A new study has found that paying to free up your time is linked to increasing your level of happiness. Individuals taking part in a psychological experiment said that they felt happier when using $40 (around £30) to save themselves time rather than buying material goods.
What does the nil rate band really mean for me?
Changes to inheritance tax (IHT) came in earlier this year, affecting the allowance for those wanting to pass on their home to members of the family. But as the changes are being rolled out over the next few years up to the 2020/21 financial year, it can be hard to know if and how the changes will affect you.
A real life example of a discretionary trust in operation
Earlier this year, an extended civil restraint order (ECRO) made in 2015 against Rupert Jolyon St John Webster was renewed for a further two years. Rupert Webster believes his lawful share of property that had belonged to his grandparents, Antony and Valerie Webster, has been denied to him.
People who get financial advice are £40k better off
A recent study has revealed that people who seek the advice from an independent financial adviser (IFA) are on average £40,000 better off than those who don’t do this. The research has come from leading think-tank the International Longevity Centre, who have stated that both the ‘affluent’ group – wealthier people more likely to own their own homes and have degree-level education – and the ‘just getting by’ group – less wealthy people likely to be living in rented accommodation and have lower levels of education – benefit similarly from the financial advice they seek.
Could the Buy-to-Let tax changes be the next pension crisis?
The National Landlords Association (NLA) has warned that the next pension crisis could be created by the impact of changes to the way buy-to-let properties are taxed, as many individuals are becoming increasingly reliant on funding their retirement through income generated by property.
Will interest rates ever rise?
The deputy governor of the Bank of England has stated that the bank should not be tempted to increase interest rates due to “imponderables” within the UK economy. The comments from Ben Broadbent, an ally of the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), were published in an interview in mid-July and have suggested that any chance of borrowing costs rising soon are incredibly slim.
Top tips to save money on your holiday
Summer has officially arrived, although don’t say it too loudly or you might scare the sun away again. With summer comes holidays, whether it’s a trip away you booked months ago or a last-minute deal you just can’t resist. But just because you’re treating yourself to a well-earned break doesn’t mean that you need to resign yourself to a less-than-healthy bank balance when you get home. Here are a few of our top tips to help make sure your pennies go as far as possible at every stage of your summer holiday.
Putting the glamour back into air travel!
Once upon a time, commercial air travel was one of the ultimate luxuries reserved for the rich, famous and powerful, primarily because of the expense involved in doing so. The world where that was true now feels like one from a very long time ago, with ever-advancing technology making flying cheaper and easier and the rise of budget airlines making catching a plane something that everyone can enjoy – or not, as the case may be. With flight delays and cancellations a common occurrence, heightened security measures leading to longer waiting times to board, and incidents such as the violent removal of a passenger from a United Airlines flight in April this year, commercial air travel has not only lost its glamour, but is now something many passengers are coming to dread.
The companies that have seen magical profits from Harry Potter!
On 26th June 1997, the first edition of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone – the first in what would become a series of seven novels written by J. K. Rowling about the boy wizard – was released in the UK. Twenty years on, Potter is one of the hottest literary franchises around with more than 450 million copies of the books sold in 79 different languages worldwide. There’s no doubt that Harry Potter has been a source of considerable profits for many, but who have been the biggest winners in this game of financial Quidditch over the past two decades?
How much should you really be saving for retirement?
Retirement should be the time in your life where you’re able to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour throughout your working life. However, simply paying into your savings or a pension for when you retire might not allow you to do this if you’re not putting enough away. But what does “enough” look like? Here are a few questions to consider to help you get started.
Why retirement is worrying millennials and what steps they are taking
What does the current political climate mean for your savings and investments?
Whilst the country takes in the latest developments in the ongoing saga that is contemporary British politics, one question that many will be looking for answers to, is how the result of the general election is likely to affect them financially. It’s inevitable that savings and shares will be impacted upon in some way by Theresa May’s failure to convert her confidence in April into a larger majority in June and the resultant Conservative/DUP deal, as well as the wider ramifications the election outcome might have for the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
Is uncertainty becoming the new norm? (archived)
No matter how often we might have heard soundbites such as ‘strong and stable’ and ‘Brexit means Brexit’ which are intended to reassure us, it seems that every major political event of the past twelve months has delivered an unexpected result and an uncertain future. June’s general election was no different: Theresa May began streets ahead in the polls, and ended up scoring a political own goal in reducing the parliamentary majority she intended to increase, resulting in a hung parliament. You might expect the business world’s reaction to reflect the apparent turmoil in Westminster, but it’s relatively muted response perhaps suggests that those in business now see uncertainty as something to simply accept as part of daily life.
What’s Happening With Final Salary Pension Schemes?
Defined benefit (DB), sometimes also known as Final Salary pension schemes continue to be a hot topic in the business and financial worlds as an increasing number of people seek to transfer their pensions from a DB scheme. Recent figures suggest that more than four out of five (83%) of financial advisers in the UK have seen an increased demand for such transfers over the last twelve months, with over half (54%) describing it as a ‘significant increase’. Additionally, 71% of UK advisers said they expected the demand to increase further over the coming year.
Bill to the Bank of Mum and Dad could reach £6.5bn
Top tips for retiring successfully
Your retirement should be something you look forward to: a time when you can reward yourself for the years of hard work you’ve put into your career, your family and anything else you’ve spent time and effort on throughout your life. But retiring successfully can be trickier than it might first seem. So, whether you’re looking to leave the world of work behind in the near future or have already done so, read on to find out our top tips for a fulfilling retirement.
What impact will the election period have on my pension and ISAs?
The market reaction to Theresa May’s decision to call a snap general election to take place on 8th June was, thankfully, relatively minor. After reaching a record high in March 2017, the FTSE 100 dropped by 3% following the Prime Minister’s surprise announcement last month. Compared to the negative reactions experienced following both the 2012 Eurozone crisis and the Chinese economy concerns at the start of 2016, this was reasonably slight.
How will your spending habits change in retirement?
It will come as a surprise to nobody that retirement is one of the biggest lifestyle changes you’ll ever experience. But as your priorities shift and the free time available to you increases, what you might not be as aware of is the way in which your spending habits are likely to alter too.
What could be the best way to provide for your grandchildren?
With both property prices and the cost of living continuing to rise, as well as low interest rates making it difficult to save, the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ is increasingly becoming a partnership with the ‘Bank of Gran and Grandad’. If you have grandchildren, it’s only natural that you’ll want to provide for them in some way as you move towards your retirement years. But what’s the best way of supporting the younger members of your family in the long term as well as the short term?
4 Things to do Before The End of The Tax Year
The next generation’s need for planning may be even greater than our own
Research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found that people born during the 1980s are now half as wealthy as those born in the 1970s were at the same stage in their lives.
Despite news headlines, many are still struggling to save for the future
Would you be happy renting in retirement?
Depending on when you purchased your house, and with house prices seeing a rise of 30% in the past decade, owning outright is becoming more difficult to achieve for some.
Despite consistent positive savings messages, many are still struggling to save for the future
A recent report has found that a significant number of people aged 35 to 44 are still struggling to save anything for the longer term, and are only just affording to pay for their present circumstances.
Is working part of your retirement plan?
A recent study has found that more people aged over 65 are continuing to work after they officially retire.
Britain Takes Back Control. Or Does It?
The ‘money-gap’ generation
A recent survey has revealed that employees from all across the age spectrum have considerable gaps in their financial knowledge.
Need to Sort out Your Finances?
Around 50% of us make a New Year’s Resolution to 'sort out the finances’ but for most of us it's more of a wish than a firm commitment to take action. Looking at the January appointments we’ve had with wealth management clients here are the topics that we’ve discussed most often. If you’re determined to sort out your finances, these may give you some food for thought.