Sequence risk: how to avoid damaging your retirement

| Savings & Investments | No Comments

Focusing on cash is not a good idea when building long-term savings. In 2021, interest rates are so low that even a 1.7% fixed-rate savings account with a High street bank fails to beat the 2% target rate of inflation set by the Bank of England (BoE). The stock market offers the chance of producing far better returns…

How do investment platforms work?

| Savings & Investments | No Comments

Where do you go if you want to invest in stocks, funds and other assets (e.g. commodities or even cryptocurrencies)? Similar to a food supermarket, in 2021 a range of investment platforms exist to offer these kinds of opportunities to people. However, they come in many forms and involve different…

Why tax planning matters

| Tax Planning | No Comments

Taxes have the potential to significantly erode your wealth and investment returns if you do not manage them effectively. We all have a duty to contribute to society, but nobody’s family or own finances should suffer from needless tax erosion. In this article, our financial planning team here at Elmfield…

Should I defer my state pension?

| Pensions | No Comments

The age from which you can start accessing your state pension depends largely on your age, but in 2021 this is set at 66 for both men and women (expected to rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028). However, you are not required to start claiming your state pension at the point when you qualify to receive it…

How to mitigate inheritance tax in 2021-22

| Tax Planning | No Comments

When you have spent decades saving, building wealth and paying taxes along the way, it is very natural to feel that you have a right to decide what happens to your wealth after you die. This is why inheritance tax is sometimes called the UK’s “most hated tax” – or the “death tax”…

Should I invest in cryptocurrency?

| Savings & Investments | No Comments

Many investors have been intrigued by cryptocurrencies since their emergence in 2009 (when Bitcoin was created). Since COVID-19 swept the world in 2020, however, they have become even more interesting as investors have sought strong returns outside of the stock markets…

The gender pension gap: what women need to know

| Pensions | No Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many undesirable outcomes. One that is less well publicised is the impact on UK women in retirement. According to the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the pandemic could lead many women to save less into pensions. This, in turn, may result in women…

The benefits of business financial planning

| Business Planning | No Comments

Financial planning has clear benefits for an individual. It helps you craft a strong retirement plan, establish financial protection for your family and maximises your take-home income through tax mitigation strategies. Yet there are also compelling reasons for business owners and directors to consider a…

Finances: how to think for the long term

| Financial Planning | No Comments

Steve Jobs once said: “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” This grates with our digital culture where we expect everything to happen now, or quickly. Yet the greatest monuments, companies and life stories have involved building over the long term – repeating efforts day after day…

5 reasons to update your will

| Wills & Estate Planning | No Comments

Interest in making a will seems to peak during crises. In April 2020, for instance, wills saw a 682% increase in interest as the first COVID-19 lockdown was imposed. Later in the year, wills interest soared again as the media reported on Boris Johnson’s admission to intensive care. Yet despite events over the last 18 months, many British people still do not have a will.

Under-30s guide: how to plan for retirement

| Pensions | No Comments

It may feel too soon to start thinking about retirement in your 30s. After all, you are barely half way through your career and other financial goals can seem much more pressing – e.g. saving for a property deposit. Yet your 20s and 30s are a great time to consider retirement plans due to one crucial advantage…

4 investment asset classes explained

| Savings & Investments | No Comments

Many people are interested in investing, but are not fully aware of the range of investment types they could commit their money to. Even experienced investors can benefit from a deeper grasp of how these operate and compliment a portfolio. Below, our team here at Elmfield Financial Planning in Padiham, Burnley…

Avoid this common pension tax trap

| Pensions | No Comments

Many people like the idea of drawing from their pension from the age of 55 (or 57 from 2028, when the rules change). Perhaps you envisage continuing to work – albeit with fewer hours – whilst supplementing your income using funds from your pension pot. This can work for some people, yet drawing early…

How to protect against serious life events

| Protection | No Comments

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder of our own vulnerability. Here in the UK, after so many years of peace and a rising standard of living for many people, it has been easy for lots of us to forget that life can be frail. How can you prepare your household finances to weather the worst, even as you plan…

Using equity release to open cash from property

| Financial Planning | No Comments

It is common for people to assume that they can only access cash from their property if they sell it or downsize. There is, however, another option – equity release, which allows homeowners to access a lump sum from your property’s value whilst continuing to live in it. This can sound ideal and certainly is a…

Should I pay off my mortgage using savings?

| Savings & Investments | No Comments

From a young age we are taught that “debt is bad”. As such, we should seek to stay away from it as much as possible – or clear it quickly. Although this is a good principle for personal loans and credit card debts, it often becomes confusing when people look to get onto the property ladder. For most people, this will involve…

Make the best from your 2021-22 allowances

| Tax Planning | No Comments

At the time of writing, the 5th April deadline marking the end of the 2020-21 financial year has now passed. Hopefully, you made the most of your allowances, since doing so can save you £100s (maybe £1,000s) in unnecessary taxes – thus putting money back into your pocket. If you did not, however, then all is not lost…

Should you spend investments before your pension?

| Financial Planning | No Comments

As a person approaches retirement it is common for them to have a wide range of investments, pensions and savings. These might include capital in ISAs (individual savings accounts), SIPPs (self-invested personal pensions), regular savings, various defined contribution pension pots and maybe even a…

Possible taxes rise in 2021: how you can prepare

| Tax Planning | No Comments

COVID-19 has hugely damaged the UK economy, adding over £400bn in public debt over a 12 month period. For some time now, many commentators have anticipated the announcement of tax rises to help address this. One of the big surprises of March 2021, therefore, was that these failed to materialise…

Why making a Will beats dying Intestate

| Wills & Estate Planning | No Comments

Intuitively, most of us know that it is best to have a Will in place for an estate plan. Yet what are the concrete benefits of doing so? How, exactly, is it better than doing nothing? Below, our team at Elmfield Financial Planning in Padiham, Burnley, Lancashire answer by specifying how the UK’s rules work. We hope you…