Legal & General’s first ‘Deadline to the Breadline Report’ published in December last year has revealed that the average British family has just 19 days before its savings would run out if the main breadwinner is unable to work for any reason. This ”deadline to the breadline’ – the length of time the average household could last on savings following a sudden loss of income due to long term sickness, injury, critical illness or death.

Financial pressures to snowball for future generation

A generation of ‘New Centenarians’ will be forced to work well into their 70s to stay afloat, according to new research from Scottish Widows. In addition to working longer, they will face a hat-trick of financial pressures as early as their mid-twenties, with the stresses of saving for their first home, paying back their student loans and starting a retirement fund impacting on them much earlier than other generations.

Key announcements from the Chancellor at a glance

Reducing the size of your estate through increased spending or gifting

Inheritance tax (IHT) is generally payable upon death and during the life of someone where they give away assets. IHT can be reduced significantly by tax planning in advance.

This tax year you can shelter up to £11,280 from tax by investing in an Individual Savings Account (ISA). During his Autumn Statement last December, the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced plans to increase the ISA limit to £11,520 from 6 April this year.

Protecting your money from adverse market conditions

Today’s markets are as uncertain as ever. But there is one certainty – the future is coming. It may no longer be enough to simply preserve what you have today; you also have to build what you will need for tomorrow. When deciding whether to invest, it is important that any investment vehicle matches your feelings and preferences in relation to investment risk and return.

Preparing for whatever economic ups and downs might be ahead

The volatility in global markets over the past four years has tested the nerves of even the most experienced investors, making it a difficult time for individuals who rely on income from investments for some or all of their needs. The search for inflation-beating income is forcing many investors to move money out of cash accounts and into investment funds, with the aim of achieving a rising level of income.

Women need to be aware of their options to ensure they benefit from this opportunity

Women taking capped income from their pension could benefit from a significant income uplift this tax year. They may need to take action to achieve this and it is important they are aware of the potential opportunity that could exist.

Different investments have different tax treatment

If you or your partner is a non-taxpayer, make sure that you are not paying unnecessary tax on bank and savings accounts. Avoid the automatic 20 per cent tax deduction on interest by completing form R85 from your bank or product provider or reclaim it using form R40 from HM Revenue & Customs.

The right peace of mind when faced with the difficulty of dealing with a critical illness

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.

Nearly half of women rely on joint savings to fund retirement

Nearly half (43 per cent) of women are relying on joint savings with their partners to fund their retirement, according to the eighth annual Scottish Widows Women and Pensions Report. However, with one in three marriages in the UK now ending in divorce by the fifteenth anniversary [1], experts are urging women to make extra provisions for retirement, to avoid facing financial uncertainty in old age.

Now is the time you should be reviewing your financial affairs

With the end of the tax year rapidly approaching on 5 April, now is the time to focus on ways to mitigate any tax liability. To make the most of the opportunities available, if you’ve not already done so, you should start putting plans in place now. Here we look at some of the areas you may need to consider to minimise a potential tax liability.

Many working over-50s believe their home will play a significant part in funding their retirement

Over a quarter (28 per cent) of working homeowners over the age of 50 (1.9 million people [1]) plan to access the equity in their home to help fund their retirement, according to retirement specialist LV=, dubbing them the ‘HIPpies’ (Home Is Pension) generation.

Men and women will have to be treated the same when it comes to annuity rates

We have provided answers below to some of the questions asked about how from this date it may affect enhanced annuities, investment-linked annuities and fixed-term annuities.

How to make sure loved ones get your hard-earned money and not the taxman

Financial planning doesn’t end at your retirement. For most of us, protecting our savings for those we leave behind is a priority, even if it means making tough decisions today. It makes sense to plan for the future, whether it is for yourself or your business. Tailored wealth succession planning enables a smooth transition to the next generation. It also helps minimise tax liabilities.