Although there appears to be a lot to know about pensions, for the majority of savers it is possible to look on them as quite a simple product. Essentially you are saving in a very tax efficient way, in order to build up as big a pot as you can, which you can then use in a number of ways in your later life.

You don’t have to wait until you are aged over 65 to have access to your savings either. In most cases you can have full access from the age of 55 and you usually don’t even have to retire to do so.

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    Building Your Retirement Pot

    Retirement can seem a lifetime away especially when you’re young, however the sooner savings are started the better retirement will be. The more you can save, and the longer you can do so, the bigger your pot is likely to be. Regular monthly premiums and lump sums can be contributed, and even your employer can pay in. Best of all though is the tax relief given, to encourage you do so.

    The Government gives tax relief of at least 20% on all premiums, (more if you are a higher rate tax payer) and you can even get tax relief on annual premiums up to £3,600 a year if you don’t work and pay no tax at all. So someone contributing £100 to a private pension only actually pays £80 and the other £20 is paid directly into the pension in the form of tax relief; nothing else has to be done.

    Additional tax advantages also allow the fund to grow free of Capital Gains Tax and Income Tax so a pension is a really efficient place to save.

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    How Is My Money Invested?

    Many things will determine this and your adviser will discuss with you everything that should be considered. This would include your own attitude to risk, your capacity for loss and the probable term. However other factors that might influence where your pension fund is invested could include the plans you have for the fund when you retire; any other pensions you hold; and what other savings and investments you have in place.

    Most pension plans provide a variety of investment options and we as advisers take great care to make sure you fully understand the investment risks involved. As you get closer to your retirement age, you may want to reduce the risk that you take with your pension investment, especially if your aim is to buy an annuity. A sudden downturn in the market may affect your pension fund and reduce its value, so in the time approaching retirement it is important to review your pension and circumstances regularly with your adviser.

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    I have a number of pensions, is that OK?

    Yes it is, but it may not be the best thing for you. Many people have more than one pension, and if you have changed jobs frequently you may have several. All these pensions will have different charges, different investments and possibly different retirement dates. We can advise you on each one, show you where your money is invested, and discuss this with you.

    Often it is better to consolidate these pensions, perhaps into one contract. This could save you money, simplify your planning (only one statement) and make managing your pension investment a lot more…well… manageable.

Essentially pensions are tax free pots of money that you can gain access to in a variety of ways from the age of 55, and they should form the most important part of your savings for retirement. With the flexibility and accessibility that the new Pension Freedoms have provided, and the generous tax advantages still available, pensions are great places to save. Plus, you can also have up to 25% of your fund tax free when you retire … marvellous!

Financial Planning Products & Services

Here’s short descriptions of financial planning services offered complete with links to pages with greater content.

  1. Retirement Planning

    Retirement can seem a lifetime away especially when you’re young. It now seems more and more likely that we will have to rely on ourselves to provide the income we will need rather than the state, so it makes sense to start saving as soon possible.

    Our job is to make pensions simple for you. Simple to understand, and simple to appreciate.

    Building your pension savings

    Pensions are, of course, designed to enable you to save sufficient money to live comfortably after you have retired from work. We can show you how much your current plans will give you (if you have any), and then show you what you can do if it isn’t going to be enough. Simple!

    Read more…

  2. Retirement Income Options

    Start Planning Now!

    Within the last 5 years of your working life it is extremely important that you regularly review your pension arrangements.

    Firstly, have you enough money saved in your pension? You still have time to increase your payments or contribute single premiums to build up your fund and improve your pension, and of course benefit from the tax relief added to your plan.

    Secondly it is extremely important to make sure your money is invested with the degree of risk you are comfortable with. The nearer to retirement you are the more secure your investment strategy should be, as you don’t want the prospect of retirement spoilt by a sudden downturn in the stock markets.

    Find out more…

  3. Wealth Platform

    How can it help?

    The Wealth Management System allows your adviser to invest your money across all of the different asset classes using the top performing funds in all sectors of the market. You will benefit from being able to switch easily and cost effectively between funds and fund managers, all with limited and straightforward paperwork and administration, all at no additional cost.

    The service is designed to meet individual needs wherever you are in the financial planning cycle, whether your objectives are to create wealth, preserve wealth or to transfer wealth. Over 2200 investment funds are available with some of the most popular fund managers in the market.

    We have readymade and risk rated portfolios instantly accessible, enabling your adviser to invest your money with the degree of risk you are happy to take.

    Our flexible investment and pension contracts have no initial charges or exit penalties, and we can arrange your own client view giving you access to all your investment valuations in one place.

    Read more here…

  4. Savings & Investment

    Whether your intention is to save regularly for a specific purpose or to grow the money you have already accumulated, structured savings and investment advice will help you achieve your aims and goals.

    We don’t sell plans or policies, we provide you with good quality, independent investment advice to help your money grow. We will provide guidance on investment strategy, liquidity, portfolio construction, risk profiling and tax efficiency. Whilst all this may sound confusing, our experienced financial advisers will explain and guide you through all the various stages and options to tailor the right investment plan for you.

    Read more…

  5. Equity Release

    Popular Reasons for Releasing Equity

    There are no restrictions relating to what the funds can be spent on. You can spend the money on yourself; your home; your family; in fact anything at all. Here are some other popular reasons to release equity:

    Paying off debt or clearing your mortgage; home improvements; a special holiday or car;
    helping your children; improving your lifestyle and general financial peace of mind.

    Who might qualify for Equity Release?

    Most Equity Release schemes require that the participants be over the age of 55, and any outstanding mortgage or secured loans must be paid off beforehand, or when the funds are released.

    Find out more…

  6. Protection

    Unfortunately life is not as predictable as we might like. Bereavement, major illness, accidents and unemployment can easily threaten our financial security. Correctly planned, cost effective insurance cover can often mitigate these problems when they arise.

    More information here…

  7. Wills

    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 for, but in any event, it is likely to take longer to finalise your affairs 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 you cared enough to ‘sort things out’ in advance.

    More information here…

How Do We Work?

Our commitment is to provide our clients with personal face to face advice, and an ongoing first class service.

We believe that face to face personal discussions are extremely important in fully understanding your needs. As such out initial meeting is at our expense, and without obligation or time restraint. During our discussions we will encourage you to talk about yourselves, your concerns, aims and objectives, and at the end of the meeting we should have a clear idea of what is important to you, and how best we might help.

We want our clients to remain our clients, and we feel that the ongoing service we provide is second to none. Don’t take our word for it though, take a look at the Testimonials from our valued clients and see what they think.