In December 2010 the Government announced the introduction of a facility to allow unlimited pension income drawdown as long as members could satisfy a few requirements. This is referred to as ‘flexible income drawdown’ and has been available since 6 April 2011.

Keep focused on your end goals and don’t let market noise sway you

The complexity of today’s economic and global conditions, coupled with uncertainty in Europe, North America and China, have combined to create a degree of cautiousness among many investors. A long-term investment strategy could provide you with a clear advantage during uncertain times.

As much as we might not want to think about it, we are all going to die one day. Most of us know that we should write a will, but most of us never get round to it. Do you fall into this category? If the answer is ‘yes’, as the New Year approaches make writing your will your top 2014 resolution.

Providing peace of mind that your loved ones can cope financially without you

A will is an essential part of your financial planning. Not only does it set out your wishes, but, die without a will, and your estate will generally be divided according to the rules of intestacy, which may not reflect your wishes.

With the abundance of choice, how will you make the right decisions?

With so many different protection options available, making the right decision to protect your personal and financial situation can seem overwhelming. There is a plethora of protection solutions which could help ensure that a lump sum, or a replacement income, becomes available to you in the event that it is needed.

Whilst for many of us an increase in life expectancy may seem like good news, it has to be recognised that there are financial implications for those who live longer.

Few people take the time to plan for how they would meet the cost of paying for care should the need arise.

How would you pay the bills if you were sick or injured and couldn’t work?

Protecting your income should be taken very seriously, given the limited government support available. How would you pay the bills if you were sick or injured and couldn’t work? Income protection insurance, formerly known as ‘permanent health insurance’, is a financial safety net designed to help protect you, your family and your lifestyle in the event that you cannot work and cope financially due to an illness or accidental injury preventing you from working. Most of us need to work to pay the bills.

Choosing the right cover can help ease your financial pressures

You really need to find the right peace of mind when faced with the difficulty of dealing with a critical illness. Critical illness cover is a long-term insurance policy designed to pay you a tax-free lump sum on the diagnosis of certain specified life-threatening or debilitating (but not necessarily fatal) conditions, such as a heart attack, stroke, certain types/stages of cancer and multiple sclerosis. A more comprehensive policy will cover many more serious conditions, including loss of sight, permanent loss of hearing and a total and permanent disability that stops you from working. Some policies also provide cover against the loss of limbs.

Providing financial protection with cover that lasts for the rest of your life

Whole-of-life assurance policies provide financial security for people who depend on you financially. As the name suggests, whole-of-life assurance helps you protect your loved ones financially with cover that lasts for the rest of your life. This means the insurance company will have to pay out in almost every case and premiums are therefore higher than those charged on term assurance policies.

Providing a financial safety net for your loved ones

Whether you’re looking to provide a financial safety net for your loved ones, moving house or a first time buyer looking to arrange your mortgage life insurance – or simply wanting to add some cover to what you’ve already got – you’ll want to make sure you choose the right type of cover. That’s why obtaining the right advice and knowing which products to choose – including the most suitable sum assured, premium, terms and payment provisions – is essential.

Pensions have long been a highly tax-efficient way to save for retirement. If applicable to your particular situation, here are two opportunities you may wish to consider before the rules change next April.

Whatever your financial goals might be, the ultimate aim is to grow your wealth so that you can enjoy it and pass it on. As your life changes over time, it’s important to ensure that your financial objectives continue to meet your requirements.

There are many different tax-efficient ways to grow your wealth. We can help you understand the choices and make the investment decisions that are right for you. This will depend on your life priorities, your goals and your attitude to risk.

We can make sure that your plan is on track for meeting your retirement goals

Understanding how much you need to contribute towards a pension in order to produce the income you need or desire in retirement should be a key part of your financial plan. To arrive at this figure, the calculation needs to take into account any other assets you have earmarked for the long term, inflation, potential future fund growth and any state pension you are entitled to.

Achieving some peace of mind through market highs and lows

In the light of recent market volatility, it’s perhaps natural to be looking for ways to smooth out your portfolio’s returns going forward. In a fluctuating market, investing regularly – a strategy known as ‘pound-cost averaging’ – can help smooth out the effect of market changes on the value of your investment and is one way to achieve some peace of mind.

What you need to consider with less than five years to retirement

The closer you get to taking your pension, the greater the need to preserve your savings and ensure they will last all through your retirement. In addition, you’ll need to consider whether you need to make changes to your investments as you approach retirement.