The later you leave it, the more limited your options will be

Successful planning is dependent on getting the foundations right, and it is most effective when it is conducted early. The later you leave it, the more limited your options will be. Current rules mean that the survivor of a marriage or registered civil partnership can benefit from up to double the Inheritance Tax threshold – 650,000 in the current tax year, in addition to the entitlement to the full spouse relief.

Is it time to evaluate your estate?

We can help you evaluate the size of your estate—which could include assets such as property, pensions, shares and personal property—and identify the opportunities that will help you avoid or reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax your family will have to pay on your estate and enable you to preserve wealth for your dependants if the worst comes to the worst.

Perhaps not quite the ‘voluntary’ tax it was once considered

Effective estate planning is about getting the right balance between maintaining access to your money when you need it and saving tax. This is because, in general, the more tax-efficient a solution is, the less access you have to your assets. Safeguarding your own financial future is very important and giving too much away could put this at risk.

The countdown clock is ticking– will you be ready?

It is estimated that potentially over 360,000[1] people could be affected by the new pensions lifetime allowance (LTA) changes, according to HM Revenue & Customs (20 March 2013). If you are one of these people, you will need to act fast, and we recommend that you contact us immediately or you could miss out on the opportunity to protect yourself from an unnecessary tax charge.

ADDITIONAL INCOME PROTECTION

If you have a partner or other dependants, such as children, you might want to think about additional retirement income protection. With income protection, your named dependants could get some or all of your retirement income if you die, either as regular payments over a period of time or as a one-off lump sum.

VALUABLE OPTIONS THAT ALLOW YOU TO TAILOR THE INCOME YOU NEED

In the UK, there are basically two types of annuity:

- pension annuities (compulsory purchase)

- purchased life annuities (voluntary purchase)

AN IMPORTANT ONE-OFF DECISION THAT HAS LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES IF YOU GET IT WRONG

If you save through a private personal pension, when you approach retirement age you’ll have to decide what to do with the pension fund you have built up. If applicable to you, one option is to buy an annuity. It’s important to find an annuity that suits you and provides the best deal because, after your property, an annuity is probably the biggest purchase you will ever make.

THOUSANDS OF PENSION SAVERS COULD BE IMPACTED UNLESS THEY ACT SWIFTLY

If you are making high levels of pension contributions you will need to obtain professional financial advice to make sure that you know whether you will be affected by the impending new lifetime allowance (LTA) limit changes. Thousands of pension savers could be impacted by the forthcoming changes unless they act swiftly.

TO AFFORD THE LIFESTYLE YOU WANT WHEN YOU RETIRE, YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT TODAY

It may be tempting to say, ‘But retirement is a long way off’, yet it’s never too early to start investing in order to protect your future. To afford the lifestyle you want when you retire, you need to do something about it today. You now have a much greater choice when it comes to how and when to take retirement benefits from pensions since the pension simplification rules were introduced.

A REGULAR PAYMENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT THAT YOU RECEIVE WHEN YOU REACH STATE PENSION AGE

The basic State Pension is a regular payment from the Government that you receive when you reach State Pension age. To receive it you must have paid or been credited with National Insurance contributions.

THE SOONER YOU START SAVING FOR YOUR RETIREMENT, THE MORE SECURE YOUR FUTURE WILL BE Saving for your retirement may not seem important when you’re starting out. But the sooner you start saving for your retirement the more secure your future will be.

HAVE YOU GIVEN FULL CONSIDERATION TO YOUR LONG-TERM PENSION INVESTMENT STRATEGY?

Retirement planning involves thinking about your plans for the future now – that means investing your money with the aim of maximising its value ready for when you retire. Careful financial planning, the right mix of assets and starting sooner rather than later could all help lead to the retirement you are looking for. Many years ago the traditional view of saving for retirement was to simply put your money into a pension, with few decisions to make in the run-up to your retirement date and no choice over how the pension was taken.

MAKING SUFFICIENT FINANCIAL PREPARATIONS FOR THE FUTURE

Retirement savings have plummeted among those aged 55-64 over the past year as the cost of living continues to rise, according to Aviva’s latest Real Retirement Report.

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR GOLDEN YEARS NO MATTER WHAT YOUR CURRENT STAGE OF LIFE

Retirement may seem a long way off for you at the moment but that doesn’t mean you should forget about it. Consider our tips, which could help you increase your retirement income – no matter what your current stage of life – and pursue the retirement you envisage.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH INCOME TO PROVIDE FOR YOUR NEEDS IN THE FUTURE

Sooner or later we will retire, and the decisions we make today are the ones that will determine the standard of living we will enjoy in the future. If you are approaching your retirement there are some very important choices you need to make that will determine how much income you live on once retired.