Wednesday, 23 October 2013

To Retire or Not to Retire? – that is the question

·  Life expectancy at birth in England and Wales in 2009-2011 was 78.7 years for boys and 82.6 years for girls.* 
· The chance of surviving from birth to age 85 has more than doubled for men over the last three decades from 14% in 1980-82 to 38% in 2009-2011.*

*Source: ONS Website

Recent trends in UK life expectancy are well documented with both male and female ages steadily rising. Whilst this is good news for us all, the recent rises have been coupled with low gilt yields. Which if your approaching retirement is not so good news, as the result has been a continual downward pressure on the annuity income that can be achieved from pension funds.

Whilst this sounds ‘all doom and gloom’ for pension savings, there have been dramatic changes in pension legislation and various innovative options being made to those have or are approaching retirement, including the removal of the requirement to buy a pension. It is possibly now more important than ever to shop around for the best rates and consider all the options available, as with us all living longer a decision made today for the wrong reasons today could have lasting implications.    

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Why you should make a Will

Making a Will is the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death. If you have not made a valid Will, your property will pass according to the Law of Intestacy. This may not be what you would have wished. In any event it is likely to take longer to finalise than if you had made a Will.

During this time your beneficiaries may not be able to draw any money from your estate. It can mean arguments and distress for relatives. Making a Will lets your loved ones know that you cared enough to ‘sort things out’ in advance.

If you are a single person you will want your estate divided amongst friends, relatives and charities of your choosing and in the proportions you want.

If you are married, do not assume ‘my other half will get everything’. Brothers and sisters or parents may have a claim. Often your children have a right to part of your estate. If you are living as a couple but not officially married, you may be treated as a single person and a surviving partner may get nothing at all. One thing you can be certain of - there will be argument and dispute at a time when the family should be coping with the loss of a loved one.

Find out who inherits under the Rules of Intestacy:

If you are a parent, you should consider who would look after your children in the event of your death.

This is particularly important in the case of one parent families or unmarried parents living together. A valid Will nominating guardians is invaluable in such cases. If no one knows what you would have wanted, the Court will decide on the future of your children, and the result may not be what you would have wished.

If you are retired, you maybe made a Will a long time ago. It probably needs updating to include additional grandchildren and you may wish to review the beneficiaries and/or your nomination of executors.


Monday, 7 October 2013

Key Man Assurance - What would happen to your business if . . .

What would happen to your business if.... 

As a business owner you will have worked hard to build your business over the years and whilst you may have established and continue to maintain suitable cover for tangible assets such the business premises. The most important assets within your business often remain uninsured, that is, those individuals who drive the business forward and produce the income that makes the business viable. 

Business is often built upon individuals and the need to establish life cover for key individuals is a common over-sight, often seen as a luxurious extra for the well-off rather than a must have to protect the business. We see it as the latter, an essential in protecting the business revenue streams against the worst scenarios. Cover can be set at a level so to cover lost revenue, recruitment and training costs and can be established for a yearly review or for longer periods, such as until the life assured retires. Which ever term opted for or the amount insured, for a relatively small monthly outlay (that could attract tax relief) your business continuity is protected and if the worst case happens the business can continue. 

To discuss your options please call (01932) 830664.