Monday, 26 November 2018

A Pension is for Life not just for Retirement . . .

As independent financial advisers we will be the first to emphasise that securing your own financial wellbeing when you stop working for whatever reason is a fundamental part of financial planning. However, for those individuals who are in the fortunate position of regularly saving an adequate sum for their own retirement and still have some surplus income, other goals and “nice to haves” become apparent.

For parents, that will likely take the form of a home, education and a financial “leg-up” as a young adult for their children.

The beauty of planning ahead is the earlier the plan is put in place, the bigger the goal that has the potential to be achieved.

The high cost of higher education

University tuition fees loom large in the minds of parents and young people alike and with the current maximum fee of £9,250 per annum in England and Wales this can add up to a substantial sum over three years when also factoring in living costs. Students are graduating with an average debt of c. £51,000.

For the majority of parents it may be a bridge too far to pay for even one child to leave higher education debt-free. What might be possible is to build up a pot of money that can substantially reduce the amount of debt that a young adult graduates with.

A £250 per month pension contribution in a parent’s own name over 22 years could build up, in today’s money a c. £140,000 pension fund. £35,000 of this could be taken as a tax-free lump sum and careful planning could allow the drawing of (in today’s money) c. £12,500 a year tax-efficiently. This could go a long way to paying off student debt.

A foot on the ladder

University isn’t for every young person and the funds built up may be a useful contribution to a house deposit or professional or trade qualification costs.

Parental control can be important. Whilst a Junior ISA is an alternative well worth considering, 80% of parents have said that they do not want to tell their children that the money exists. You can choose how much and when you are gifting capital to your children.

The added benefit is that this forward planning has the potential to provide a legacy decades after you made the decision to help your children who may still be in nappies.


At Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd we believe that very long term plans can make even the biggest goals achievable and ensuring that your children embarking on adulthood have a helping hand is one of the biggest and most rewarding.

For more information please do not hesitate to contact the team at Ward Williams Financial Services Ltd on 01932 830664 or by email on

 Photo credit:

Monday, 19 November 2018

Personal tax changes - allowance and basic rate band increases

At the Budget, the Chancellor announced that increases to the personal allowance and basic rate band for 2019/20.

The personal allowance is currently £11,850. The personal allowance for 2019/20 will be £12,500. Also for 2019/20, the basic rate band will be increased to £37,500 so that the threshold at which the 40% band applies is £50,000 for those who are entitled to the full personal allowance. The additional rate of tax of 45% will remain payable on taxable income above £150,000.

The government had pledged to raise the thresholds to these levels by 2020/21.

Internet link: GOV.UK income tax

Photo credit: rawpixel

Monday, 12 November 2018

Charity Halloween Cake Bake

On Monday 29th October 2018 we held a Charity Halloween Cake Bake in aid of our sponsored charity, Surrey Wildlife Trust, at our offices in Weybridge, Uxbridge and Sunninghill.

We received some astounding savoury and sweet entries including two spider and cobweb cakes, a graveyard, eyeball cake pops, a mummified sausage pie and even a green unicorn with a witch’s hat! All the entries were judged using strict criteria and after a tough marking session, the winner from each office received a prize!

We would like to say a massive Thank You to all the Ward Williams employees who made such an effort and baked that wonderful array of Halloween treats.  We thought the whole spread looked remarkable and we are so grateful for all the energy, time and resources that they put into their creations.  Thank you also to everyone who bought the cakes – you were all very generous.

The day was enjoyed by bakers and tasters alike and we managed to raise £126.95 which, we have donated to the fantastic Surrey Wildlife Trust to help support all of the amazing work that they do.

If you would like to donate to the Surrey Wildlife Trust, you can do so by clicking here.