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The Role of Financial Advisors in Turbulent Markets

The Role of Financial Advisors in Turbulent Markets

Financial advisors serve as indispensable guides for investors navigating through periods of market volatility. They offer invaluable support by helping investors maintain focus on their long-term goals, gain perspective, devise personalized investment strategies, rebalance portfolios, foster discipline, and facilitate access to alternative investment options.

In essence, they play a role akin to consulting a doctor when facing health issues, emphasizing the importance of seeking expert advice when making significant financial decisions. Just as self-diagnosis and self-medication can pose risks to one’s health, managing finances without professional guidance can jeopardize one’s financial well-being.

During turbulent markets, such as those witnessed during the Covid-19 pandemic, the role of financial advisors becomes even more pronounced. Here are 3 key functions I wish to focus on, which I believe they fulfill in assisting individuals manage their finances amid market volatility:  

1. Portfolio Building Guidance:
Financial advisors assist clients in constructing resilient long-term portfolios aligned with their financial  objectives. This involves ensuring that the portfolio composition adequately reflects the client’s risk-return preferences and is well-diversified across various asset classes. Through comprehensive risk profiling, advisors assess the client’s capacity and willingness to tolerate investment risk, enabling them to recommend suitable investment options capable of delivering desired returns within the client’s risk tolerance framework.

2. Provision of Expert Knowledge and Information: In a dynamic investment landscape characterized by rapid fluctuations, staying abreast of market developments can be challenging for individual investors. Financial advisors play a crucial role in providing clients with relevant information on new and existing investment products, along with insights into their benefits and risks. This equips clients to make informed portfolio decisions, empowering them to navigate market volatility from a position of strength.

3. Emotional Support During Turbulent Times: Human biases often cloud decision-making, particularly during periods of market turbulence when heightened volatility triggers panic reactions. Financial advisors not only devise comprehensive investment strategies but also offer emotional support, encouraging clients to adhere to their predetermined asset allocation and portfolio strategies. They help mitigate the influence of emotional biases, guiding clients towards rational decision-making aimed at safeguarding their
investments amidst market fluctuations.

In focusing on these three pivotal roles, it becomes evident why engaging the services of financial advisors, particularly during turbulent market conditions, is essential. By leveraging their expertise and skills, investors can make informed investment decisions, secure in the knowledge that they have a trusted partner guiding them through both favorable and challenging market environments.

At AWM, our advisors are committed to remaining at the forefront of market trends and standing alongside our
clients through every phase of their investment journey, ensuring their financial goals are pursued with
diligence and expertise.

 

Written by: Simo Mlanjeni

Date: 15 April 2024

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Financial Planning for Major Life Events: Marriage, Children, and More

Financial Planning for Major Life Events: Marriage, Children, and More

Whether you’re a young adult thinking of marriage, navigating the complexities of divorce or part of an older couple planning your retirement and legacy, financial planning is a crucial tool that can help you maintain stability and achieve your long-term aspirations.

1. Getting married
Approaching marriage with a solid financial plan ensures a smoother transition into this new phase of life. When you marry, your financial decisions will often affect your spouse, making it essential to discuss and align your financial goals, attitudes and habits.

 

Joint financial planning involves creating a shared budget, aligning on saving strategies and setting mutual financial goals. This process can include:

Establishing a joint budget that accommodates both individual needs and collective goals. Planning for short-term objectives, like a honeymoon or home purchase, and long-term goals, such as retirement or investments.

Regularly reviewing and adjusting your financial plan to ensure it remains aligned with your changing life circumstances and goals.

2. Welcoming a child
The arrival of a child is a joyous event, but it also necessitates significant adjustments to your financial planning to ensure you can comfortably provide for your family’s future. Children bring additional expenses, from day-to-day needs like food and clothing to longer-term costs such as education and healthcare.

It’s essential to adjust your budget to accommodate these new expenses. Consider setting up an education fund for your child. Regular contributions, even small ones, can grow over time and provide a substantial sum for higher education.

Opening a savings account for your child can be a great way to build a nest egg for their future, be it for education, a first car or a deposit on a house.

Ensure that your life insurance coverage is sufficient to secure your child’s future in the event of your untimely passing and consider income protection insurance to safeguard your family’s lifestyle in case you’re
unable to work due to illness or injury.

3. Dealing with divorce
Divorce can be one of life’s most challenging events, not just emotionally but financially too. Navigating this period requires a thoughtful and thorough re-evaluation of your finances to ensure a secure and stable future.

Assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage are typically divided. This process can involve splitting property, savings, pensions  and even debts. It’s essential to understand your financial rights and obligations clearly. The division of assets can significantly alter your financial landscape, impacting your lifestyle, savings and retirement plans.

Your income and expenses are likely to change. Creating a new, realistic budget is a crucial first step. It’s also wise to close joint bank and credit accounts to prevent future financial entanglements. Open individual accounts for your personal use.

4. Dealing with major life transitions
Changes in health or lifestyle can require a review of your health insurance, ensuring it covers your current needs.

Navigating life’s major events with a well-thought-out financial plan that includes estate planning and adjusting your insurance and investment strategies can provide you with the security and peace of mind to enjoy life’s journey, knowing that your financial affairs are in order.

So, if you’re facing significant life changes or want to ensure your financial plans are on track, speak to your financial adviser and they will be able to assist with this in an efficient way.

Written by: Algar Kasema

Date: 28 February 2024

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Financial Fresh Start: The road to financial wellness in 2024

Financial Fresh Start: The road to financial wellness in 2024

The start of a new year often consists of fresh beginnings and resolutions. While many focus on health and personal goals, it is equally important to focus on our financial well-being. The new year gives the opportunity to assess, revamp and assess our budgets and financial strategies.

Reflect on the past year – It is important to understand what financial strategies worked well, and what could be improved. Have a look at your spending habits and set up a monthly saving plan.

 

Set clear financial goals – In order to create and adhere to a successful financial plan, it is essential; to establish clear and achievable goals. Whether it’s saving for a dream holiday, creating an emergency fund, or paying off debt, it is important to set specific, measurable and time bound goals. This will make it easier to determine if you are on track to meet these smaller goals, which will help to meet the longer-term goals in the future.

Update your budget – In order to have achieve financial stability, you need to create a well-structured budget. Utilise online budgeting tools to streamline the process and gain a better understanding of your financial habits. This can help to identify areas in which you can cut back on spending.

Build and emergency fund – Once you have created your budget, aim to save three to sixth months’ worth of living expenses into a dedicated account that will be set aside as a safety net to provide peace of mind in the event of medical emergencies or job loss.

Debt management – If you have outstanding debts, consider creating a plan to manage and reduce them. Try to prioritise high-interest debts first and explore debt consolidation options if it makes sense for your situation. Tackling debt strategically will ease financial burdens and will eventually help to improve your credit score.

Invest wisely – Explore investment opportunities that align with your financial goals and risk tolerance. Diversify your portfolio to spread risk and maximize potential returns. Consider seeking advice from your financial adviser to ensure your investment strategy aligns with your long-term objectives.

Review your insurance coverage – Ensure that your insurance coverage, including health, life, and property insurance, meets your current needs. Life changes, such as marriage, childbirth, or a change in employment, may necessitate adjustments to your coverage to adequately protect you and your loved ones.

Stay informed – Stay informed about financial trends, investment strategies, and changes in the economy.

Kick starting the new year by reviewing your finances is a proactive step towards securing your financial future.

By reflecting on the past, setting clear goals, and implementing financial strategies, you will start to create a robust financial foundation.

Written by: Jemma Long

Date: 7 February 2024

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Estate Planning in the UK: Navigating Inheritance Tax and Wealth Transfer

Estate Planning in the UK: Navigating Inheritance Tax and Wealth Transfer

Estate planning is a crucial aspect of financial management, especially when it comes to securing your wealth for future generations. In the United Kingdom, understanding the intricacies of inheritance tax and efficient wealth transfer is essential for anyone looking to safeguard their assets. In this blog post, we will explore key considerations and strategies to navigate the complexities of estate planning in the UK.

Understanding Inheritance Tax:

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a tax on the estate of someone who has passed away.  It is crucial to comprehend how IHT works to effectively plan for the transfer of your wealth.

Currently, the standard IHT rate is 40% on the value of an estate above the nil-rate band, which stands at £325,000 (2023/24 tax year).

 

For married couples and civil partners, any unused nil-rate band can be transferred on to the surviving spouse, which may potentially double the threshold to £650,000.

Strategies to Mitigate Inheritance Tax:

  1. Lifetime Gifts: Consider making lifetime gifts to reduce the value of your estate. Certain gifts are exempt from IHT, such as those to spouses, charities, and political parties. Additionally, regular gifts from income may also be exempt, provided they do not affect your standard of living.
  2. Utilizing Allowances: Take advantage of various allowances available to minimize IHT. The annual gift allowance allows individuals to gift up to £3,000 per tax year without incurring IHT. Any unused allowance from the previous year can be carried forward, offering potential tax savings.
  3. Business and Agricultural Relief: Assets such as businesses or agricultural property may qualify for business relief or agricultural relief, respectively. This can result in a reduction of the taxable value of these assets, offering a strategic approach for those with relevant holdings.

Efficient Wealth Transfer Between Generations:

  1. Trusts: Establishing trusts can be a powerful tool for managing and distributing wealth. Trusts provide flexibility, allowing you to specify how and when assets are distributed. They can also offer potential IHT savings, especially if used in conjunction with other planning strategies.
  2. Pensions: Utilize pension planning to efficiently transfer wealth. Pensions are generally exempt from IHT, and the new rules introduced in recent years make them a valuable estate planning tool. Consider contributing to pensions and explore options like leaving unused pension funds to beneficiaries.
  3. Succession Planning for Businesses: If you own a business, succession planning is crucial. Ensure a smooth transition of your business assets to the next generation by considering options such as family partnerships, share reorganizations, or the use of family investment companies.

Conclusion:

Estate planning is a dynamic and ongoing process that requires careful consideration and professional advice. Navigating inheritance tax and efficiently transferring wealth between generations demands a strategic approach tailored to individual circumstances. By staying informed about current tax regulations, exploring available allowances, and implementing effective planning strategies, individuals can secure their financial legacy for the benefit of their loved ones.

Remember, seeking advice from financial professionals with expertise in estate planning is essential to create a customized plan that aligns with your specific goals and ensures a smooth transfer of wealth. Start your estate planning journey today to build a secure financial future for yourself and your heirs.

Written by: Greg Armstrong

Date: 4th January 2024

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A Guide to Creating and Sticking to a Budget

A Guide to Creating and Sticking to a Budget

In the fast-paced world of today, managing your finances effectively is more crucial than ever. One powerful tool at your disposal is a well-crafted budget that not only helps you track your expenses but also empowers you to achieve your financial goals. In this article, we’ll explore the step-by-step process of creating a budget and provide practical tips to help you stay committed to it.

Step 1: Assess Your Financial Situation

Before you can create a budget, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your current financial standing. Gather information on your income, expenses, debts, and savings. Take note of both fixed and variable expenses to ensure a comprehensive overview.

 

Step 2: Define Your Financial Goals

What are you aiming to achieve with your budget? Whether it’s saving for a house, paying off debt, or building an emergency fund, establishing clear financial goals will give your budget purpose and direction. This step provides the motivation needed to stay committed.

Step 3: Label Your Expenses

Divide your expenses into categories such as housing, utilities, groceries, travel expenses, and entertainment. This sorting makes it easier to identify areas where you can cut back if necessary.

Step 4: Calculate Your Income and Expenses

Compare your total monthly income to your total expenses. Ensure that your income covers your essential expenses and leaves room for savings and discretionary spending. If there’s a deficit, adjustments may be needed.

Step 5: Create a Realistic Budget

Based on your assessment, draft a budget that reflects your financial goals and aligns with your income. Be realistic about your spending limits, and allocate funds to each expense category. Prioritise essential expenses before allocating money to discretionary spending.

Step 6: Track Your Spending

Use tools such as budgeting apps or spreadsheets to monitor your spending regularly. This will help you stay accountable and identify any deviations from your budget. Adjustments can be made as needed. Some Banking apps now have spending trackers that can help you budget

Step 7: Build an Emergency Fund

Include a category in your budget for an emergency fund. Having a financial safety net can prevent unexpected expenses from derailing your budget and provide peace of mind.

Step 8: Review and Adjust Regularly

Financial situations change, and so should your budget. Regularly review your budget to ensure it aligns with your current circumstances and adjust as needed. Life events, income changes, and unexpected expenses may necessitate modifications.

Tips for Sticking to Your Budget:

  • Set Realistic Goals: Ensure your goals are achievable within your current financial situation.
  • Use Cash Envelopes: Allocate cash to specific spending categories to physically see and limit your spending.
  • Automate Savings: Set up automatic transfers to your savings account to make saving a non-negotiable habit.
  • Stay Disciplined: Remind yourself regularly of your financial goals and the importance of sticking to your budget.
  • Celebrate Milestones: Acknowledge and celebrate your financial achievements, whether it’s paying off debt or reaching a savings goal.

Creating and sticking to a budget requires commitment and discipline, but the rewards in terms of financial stability and achieving your goals are well worth the effort. By following these steps and incorporating practical tips, you can take control of your finances and pave the way for a more secure and prosperous future. Remember, it’s not just about budgeting; it’s about creating a financial roadmap tailored to your unique aspirations.

Written by: Manjinder Badyal

Date: 05/12/2023

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Understanding Different Types Of Insurance & their Benefits

How can a lifetime mortgage benefit me?

Insurance is a financial safety net that provides protection against various risks and uncertainties in day to day life. It allows you to manager the different risks and ensures that you are financially secure, should undesirable circumstances occur.

It is important to understand the various types of insure and their benefits when it comes to selecting a policy that suits your needs. After reading this you will understand the different types of insurance policies available and their advantages.

1. Life Insurance

Life Insurance is essentially a financial contract between an individual (the policy holder) and the insurance company. As part of the contract, the insurance company agrees to pay a specified sum of money to the policyholder’s beneficiaries upon the policyholder’s death.

The policyholder pays regular, agreed premiums to the insurance company in exchange for this coverage. The benefits of Life Insurance policies are that they provide financial protection for your beneficiaries by ensuring they receive a lump sum payout when you pass away which can help them to pay for funeral expenses, debts, or loss of income. If you would like to prevent the burden of your loved ones paying off the mortgage when you pass, Life Insurance may be the right protection for you.

One of the most important points to consider when looking into purchasing a life insurance policy is the cost. Premiums for life insurance policies can be expensive, especially for policies that offer substantial coverage. Some policies also have coverage limitations and exclusions. For example, suicide within the policy’s initial years may not be covered, and certain risky activities might lead to higher premiums or exclusions.

2. Critical Illness Insurance

Critical illness insurance provides you with a lump sum of money if you are diagnosed with certain illnesses or disabilities. The kinds of illnesses that are covered are usually long-term and very serious conditions such as a heart attack or stroke, loss of arms or legs, or diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. If being ill has left you out of pocket, it can be really handy to have a
large sum of money to spend on things like everyday expenses, paying off your mortgage or your medical expenses. You can use the money in any way you like, you don’t have to spend it on anything in particular. You may have other income coming in while you’re ill such as state benefits or sick pay from your employer. However, this may not cover all your needs. It’s a good idea to think about how much you would need to live on if you became seriously ill and whether you would need
some extra money to boost your income.

Before you take out critical illness insurance, make sure to check whether you already have some illness insurance combined with another insurance policy, such as a life insurance policy, or with your mortgage which covers you for serious illnesses. Also speak with your employer to see what benefits they pay out if you can’t work due to ill-health or disability.

3. Income protection Insurance

Income protection insurance pays you a regular income if you can’t work because of sickness or disability and continues until you return to paid work or you retire. Income protection insurance is also known as permanent health insurance. The amount of income you are allowed to claim will not replace the exact amount of money you were earning before you had to stop work. You can expect to receive about a half to two-thirds of your earnings before tax from your normal job. This is because some money will be taken off for the state benefits you can claim, and also the income you get from the policy is tax free. You can’t claim income protection payments straightaway if you fall ill or become disabled. You usually have to wait a minimum of four weeks but payments can start up to two years after you stop work. This is because you may not need the money straightaway as you may get sick pay from your employer or you may be able to claim statutory sick pay for up to 28 weeks after you stop work.

Before you take out an income protection insurance policy, check that you don’t already get income protection insurance through work. Some employers offer this as a benefit. You should also check to make sure you don’t have some other kind of illness insurance combined with another insurance policy or with your mortgage that covers you for serious illness. A lot of people prefer to rely on savings that they can use instead of insurance. However, you need to think very carefully about
whether you want to rely on savings. You may not be able to save enough to cover a long period of ill-health. And you may face another emergency, which would use up your savings and leave you with no cover for illness.

You should always check the terms and conditions of any insurance policy very carefully before you sign up to make sure it meets all your needs. You will need to be sure of exactly what you can claim for, when you can claim and how much you’re likely to get.

Written by: Jemma Long

Date: 14 November 2023

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Building your Financial Future: Saving for Retirement in Your 20s

Building your Financial Future: Saving for Retirement in Your 20s and 30s

Saving for retirement may not be the first thing on your mind when you’re in your 20s and 30s, but it should be. The key to achieving long-term financial security and steadily growing your wealth lies in regular investing and thoughtful planning. In this blog, we’ll explore the strategies and considerations to help you set the foundation for a comfortable retirement.

In your 20s and 30s, your primary goal is long-term capital growth. Whether you’re saving for a home or planning for retirement, several investment products can help you achieve your objectives. These include stocks and shares ISAs, Lifetime ISAs (LISA), and self-invested personal pensions (SIPP).

 

To ensure that your investments align with your long-term goals, it can be beneficial to seek guidance from experts in the field. You may find it helpful to work with a financial advisor who can provide personalised advice tailored to your unique financial situation and goals. A financial advisor can help you create a customised investment strategy that takes into account your risk tolerance, investment horizon, and desired retirement lifestyle.

With many years ahead of you before retirement, opting for less risky assets like bonds or precious metals might be overly cautious. Embrace the opportunity for growth by investing in shares of companies, also known as equities. When selecting companies to invest in, consider their industry, growth prospects, financial strength, and competitive landscape. Emerging industries often offer the best growth potential.

Picking winning companies can be challenging. Alternatively, you can invest through actively managed funds, where expert fund managers make investment decisions on your behalf, Passive investment funds, often referred to as index funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), track the performance of specific indices, such as the FTSE 100 or S&P 500. They aim to match the index’s performance and typically have lower fees. Active funds may outperform indices over the short to mid-term but come with higher fees, while passive funds offer cost-efficiency, Since these funds closely replicate their underlying benchmarks, you can expect a return that is close to that of your fund’s underlying benchmark. Consider a mix of both for your portfolio.

Don’t limit your investments to your local market. Mature economies may have limited growth prospects compared to emerging markets in regions like Asia. Consider diversifying globally investing in sectors with growth potential. Balance your portfolio by holding funds in various sectors. If you’re unsure about specific regions or themes, opt for a globally-focused fund to diversify across the world.

You don’t need a large lump sum to begin investing. With as little as £10-25 a month, you can start building your portfolio. Regular investing helps you accumulate assets over time and offers protection during market downturns. When markets are volatile, you can benefit from “pound-cost averaging” by buying more units at lower prices. Don’t panic when markets dip; they tend to recover over time. Your long-term horizon means these downturns are temporary, and investing when prices are lower can maximise your growth potential.

Saving for retirement in your 20s and 30s is a smart financial move that sets the stage for a secure future. By embracing long-term growth strategies, diversifying your investments, and committing to regular contributions, you can build a solid foundation for retirement and other financial goals. Remember, the key to financial success is to start early and stay consistent on your journey towards financial security.

Written by: James Croker

Date: 28th September 2023

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Cash Deposit Rates

Cash Deposit Rates

 

With a Bank of England base rate of 5.25% now is an excellent time to review your cash savings and ensure you are maximising interest on deposits.

Earlier this month we experienced our 5th rate hike of the year, taking us to a base rate we’ve not seen since 2008. The base rate rises are designed to manage inflation, impacting how banks price their mortgage products and savings rates. Analysts suggest higher interest rates are here for the medium term, yet we’ve seen more falls than rises in interest offered since the most recent rate rise. Given this, we suggest ensuring your money is working efficiently for you on the banking level and encourage you shop around for the best easy access, fixed rate or notice savings accounts.

 

For those with the scope for regular monthly contributions to a savings account with no capital risk, many banks and building societies are offering preferable rates for a one year fixed. Skipton Building Society will pay 7.5% per annum for a one year fixed with maximum monthly contributions of £250. This account is only available to members of the building society from before May 2023. First Direct similarly offer 7% per annum for a maximum of £300 a month, fixed for one year. This may be an interesting option for those currently overpaying to relatively cheap mortgages in today’s terms, shifting the focus towards building a pot for repayment against the fixed period ending.

If you’re looking to save for a fixed period with a lump sum instead of monthly cash, Oaknorth Bank offer 6.04% on a one year fix, Charter Savings Bank 6.02% or Atom Bank 6%. Over two years Atom Bank offer 6.05%, Aldermore and Close Brothers Savings 6%. Finally for cautious deposit holders looking longer term, five year rates peak at 5.81% at date of writing with Cynergy Bank, or 5.8% with RCI.

Alternatively if easy access is required as part of your planning we have rates of 4.80% with Oxbury bank, 4.65% in Secure Trust and 4.63% in Shawbrook. These rates are subject to change, but offer complete easy access. Should you prefer branch based offers Yorkshire Building Society offer 4.35%. None of the larger high street banks come up as strong alternatives (not in the top 25).

Savers must bear in mind that higher interest from deposits results in higher risk of income tax on interest. Basic rate tax payers have a personal savings allowance of £1,000, versus higher rate at £500 and additional rate at £0. Premium bonds or cash ISAs are an alternative way to save when deposit savings is required, and you’ve used the savings allowance elsewhere. At present we have easy access cash ISA rates of 4.33% with Shawbrook, or one year fixed at Virgin Money for 5.76%.

It is important to highlight that given the Financial Services Compensation Scheme protection limit of £85,000, you should not breach this limit with one bank or building society. Spreading deposits across multiple banks is advisable, but not always logistically manageable. Therefore for those with a large sum designated for a specific purpose (house purchase, for example), National Savings and Investments (NS&I) offer the solution. Interest is lower than the rates introduced above, but all funds up to £2,000,000 are 100% protected. NS&I offer a monthly income on their Income Bonds of 3.59% annualised or 3.65% on their saver account. Premium Bonds offer a tax free growth option with equivalent interest of 4.65% paid as prizes.

All interest rates are accurate as of date of writing: 10th August 2023 and are subject to change or product removal.

Written by: Catriona McCarron

Date: 24th August 2023

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The Impact of Taxes on Personal Finances

The Impact of Taxes on Personal Finances

 

Taxes play a pivotal role in shaping the financial landscape of individuals and households. The UK tax system is multifaceted, encompassing various forms of taxation that directly impact the disposable income, investment decisions, and overall financial health of its citizens. In this blog post, we will explore the impact of taxes on personal finances, shedding light on how they influence financial decisions and the economic well-being of individuals.

 

Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions: 

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These two are the primary sources of tax revenue for the government. Income tax is levied on an individual’s earnings, while National Insurance contributions are paid by both employees and employers to fund state benefits such as the National Health Service (NHS) and the state pension. The progressive income tax system means that higher earners pay a higher percentage of their income in tax.

Property Tax and Homeownership: In the UK, property tax comes in the form of Council Tax, which is levied on residential properties. The amount of Council Tax owed is determined by the property’s value and location. For homeowners, Council Tax can significantly impact housing expenses, affecting the overall budget. Furthermore, stamp duty land tax is imposed on property purchases above a certain threshold, influencing the housing market and potentially impacting the decision to buy or sell property.

 

Investment Decisions and Capital Gains Tax: Capital gains tax is applicable to the profit made from selling assets such as shares, real estate, and other investments. The rate of capital gains tax depends on an individual’s total taxable income and the asset type. This tax consideration can impact investment decisions, as individuals may choose to hold onto assets for longer to benefit from lower tax rates or utilise tax-efficient investment vehicles like ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) and pensions.

 

Retirement Planning and Pension Tax Relief: Retirement planning is heavily influenced by the UK’s tax system. Contributions to pension schemes receive tax relief, meaning individuals can contribute to their pensions with income before income tax is deducted. However, withdrawals from pensions during retirement are usually subject to income tax. Balancing the timing and amount of contributions and withdrawals is crucial to maximise pension benefits and minimise tax liabilities during retirement.

 

Value Added Tax (VAT) and Consumer Spending: VAT is a consumption tax levied on most goods and services. In the UK, the standard rate of VAT is applied to the majority of goods and services, while some items, such as food and children’s clothing, may be subject to a reduced rate or exempt from VAT. The cost of living and consumer spending can be directly affected by changes in VAT rates, which can influence inflation and purchasing power.

 

Tax Planning and Financial Management: Effective tax planning is essential for optimising financial management. Utilising tax-efficient investment vehicles, taking advantage of tax reliefs and allowances, and making strategic use of tax planning opportunities can all help reduce tax liabilities and improve overall financial outcomes.

 

In conclusion, taxes have a significant impact on personal finances, influencing disposable income, investment decisions, and retirement planning. Understanding the intricacies of the UK tax system and engaging in proactive tax planning can empower individuals to make informed financial choices and work towards achieving their financial goals. Seeking guidance from qualified tax professionals and financial advisors can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of taxation and creating a more secure financial future. Ultimately, with careful consideration and informed decision-making, individuals can better navigate the tax landscape and build a stronger financial foundation.

 

Written by: George Kemp

Date: 4th August 2023

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Upcoming Webinar: The basics & benefits of Annuities

On the 17th August, Claire Calder, one of our trusted Financial Advisers, will be hosting a webinar surrounding Annuities. 

Are you looking for a reliable way to secure your financial future and enjoy a steady stream of income during retirement? Annuities could be the answer you’ve been searching for. Join us for an insightful webinar as we delve into “Annuities: The Basics and Benefits.” In this webinar, we will demystify annuities, explore their advantages, and help you understand how they can play a vital role in your overall financial plan.

WHAT WILL BE COVERED:

  • What is an Annuity

  • Lifetime Annuity considerations

  • Fixed Term Annuity considerations

  • How Annuities can fit into your retirement plan

Join Catriona on the 15th of December for 45 minutes to 1 hour to get a better understanding of how the recent fiscal changes may affect your personal financial circumstance.

Please email info@ascotwm.com for any questions.

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Ascot Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 551744. Our registered office: Scotch Corner, London Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0ER. Registered in England No. 7428363. www.ascotwm.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this document was valid on 3rd February 2017. Not all the services and investments described are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax, trust and company administration services are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The services described may not be suitable for all and you should seek appropriate advice. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument by Ascot Wealth Management Limited. The information and opinions expressed herein are considered valid at publication, but are subject to change without notice and their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. © 2017 Ascot Wealth Management Ltd. Please note: This website uses cookies. To continue to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used.