The financial advantages of saying ‘I do’

The financial advantages of saying ‘I do’

A marriage or civil partnership can be a beautiful union of minds and hearts, but there’s no reason why it should end there. There can also be financial benefits to being with your partner, and one of these is the Marriage Allowance. In the 2018-19 tax year, the Marriage Allowance lets you transfer up to £1,190 of your Personal Allowance to your partner, meaning a tax reduction of up to £238, as long as you meet a few requirements.

Warren Buffett runs a website… for your kids!

Warren Buffett runs a website… for your kids!

As one of the most successful investors of all time and currently the third richest person in the world with a net worth of over $88 billion, it’s likely that you’ll know Warren Buffett’s name. You might even have visited his website at WarrenBuffett.com, perhaps giving particular attention to the page entitled ‘Warren’s 10 Ways To Get Rich’. What you might not know, however, is that Buffett has another website – one which is aimed not at you, but at your children and grandchildren.

Highlights from the Lonely Planet ‘Best in Travel 2018’ – ready to rewrite your bucket list?

Highlights from the Lonely Planet ‘Best in Travel 2018’ – ready to rewrite your bucket list?

We all have bucket lists of one form or another and high up on a lot of people’s lists are various travel experiences. Travel allows us to experience other cultures, other climates, to meet new people and generally broaden our horizons. Especially now that you are in or approaching retirement and you have time to make your travel ambitions a reality.

Tips for keeping your books in order in 2018

Tips for keeping your books in order in 2018

Whether you’re someone who prides themselves on having their accounts in order every year, or you’ve just had yet another last-minute scramble to submit your tax return before the deadline at the end of January, the start of a new calendar year is a great time to review your books and ensure they’re all in order for the twelve months ahead. Here are our top four tips for 2018 in terms of your accounts, ensuring your bottom line is secure and most likely giving it a bit of a boost too.

Retirees embracing technology

Retirees embracing technology

You’ve lived a full and rewarding life, settled down, had a family, and are now reaping the benefits of working hard and investing in your future. But has the world got smaller since back when you first began to make your mark? Now, through using social media on your tablet or smartphone, you can find that schoolfriend that emigrated halfway across the world or have a video chat with your grandchildren even though they live some distance away, or perhaps you use your smartphone or tablet to manage your portfolio while you are on the go.

The topics you need to be talking about with your parents

The topics you need to be talking about with your parents

Talking about money with your parents can be difficult. However, these conversations can also be some of the most important ones you will have with those you love. It doesn’t need to be a full examination of their financial records, as you clearly don’t want to overstep any boundaries or cause offence. But there are also questions you need to ask to ensure your parents have prepared for the next stage of their lives, as well as helping you to know about any areas where you might need to provide support in the future, as early as possible. Here are five important questions you should be asking:

Help to Buy ISA – how have they done?

Help to Buy ISA – how have they done?

Recent government statistics have revealed that the Help to Buy ISA scheme is helping first-time buyers to get on the property ladder three years earlier than they otherwise would. The result has been calculated by looking at the average age of first-time buyers both with and without the ISAs. On average, those who use the ISA to buy their first home are three years younger than those who do not, with the median age of those using the Help to Buy ISA being 27.

Who owns your bank?

Who owns your bank?

Following the financial crisis of 2008 when a number of big British banks came close to collapsing, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) was strengthened by the government. As such, the FSCS 100% guarantees the first £85,000 of a person’s cash savings per banking licence in total, including interest. This means that a couple with a joint account holding up to £170,000 will have every penny of this covered.

How can you tell if your accountant is embracing the future?

How can you tell if your accountant is embracing the future?

When choosing an accountant, there are obvious factors that you’ll take into consideration. Of course you’ll want someone who is completely trustworthy and highly competent, but one area you may not think of straight away is whether your accountant is someone whose methods are stuck in the past. A good accountancy firm will be open to adapting their practices in order to keep up with modern business practices. Here’s a rundown of five things to look out in an accountant who is ready for the world of tomorrow.

Where did house prices increase and decrease the fastest in the UK in 2017?

Where did house prices increase and decrease the fastest in the UK in 2017?

Research into the housing market throughout 2017 has revealed the areas of the UK where property prices increased and decreased the most last year. Cheltenham in Gloucestershire was the place where prices grew at the fastest pace, with the average price of £313,150 marking a 13% rise – nearly five times the UK average increase of 2.7%. At the other end of the scale was the Scottish town of Perth, where prices dropped by 5.3% to make the average property price tag £180,687.

Property scam – a cautionary tale

Property scam – a cautionary tale

It’s a troubling norm of today’s society that most people will have heard a horror story about property fraud from a family member, a colleague from work or simply reading online. Importantly, these stories need to be kept in perspective: remember, the tales of properties being rented and sold without any noteworthy problems are the ones people usually don’t bother sharing! However, it’s also worth taking heed of the negative experiences of others to ensure you do everything you can to avoid falling into similar traps.

Planning ahead for Christmas ...

Planning ahead for Christmas ...

We may only be in November but the ever-expanding festive fare already available in every high street shop and supermarket provides a daily reminder that Christmas is just around the corner. Whilst it might still feel too soon for you to begin thinking about your arrangements for the Yuletide season, there are definite benefits to getting your Christmas plans in order nice and early.

Power of Attorney – the case for and against

Power of Attorney – the case for and against

Setting up a trusted family member or friend with a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) ensures that someone else is able to make important decisions for you when you’re no longer in a position to be able to make them for yourself. But this in itself is always going to be a key decision in your life, so it’s important to consider the benefits and risks before going ahead with giving another person the authority LPA unlocks. 

What does the first interest rate rise in ten years mean for you?

What does the first interest rate rise in ten years mean for you?

After months of speculation, the Bank of England finally raised interest rates in the UK for the first time in over a decade. The increase from 0.25% to 0.5% might seem small, especially when you consider that the last time the interest rate was increased in July 2007 it was up to 5.75%, but the fact that interest rates are going up at all after more than ten years at rock bottom is significant.

The UK drops in the buy-to-let rankings

The UK drops in the buy-to-let rankings

The UK has fallen ten places in the rankings of Europe’s best countries for property investment. The list is created by payments firm WorldFirst, which ranks the average available yields on buy-to-let investments measured by rent as a percentage of property value. The recent tax changes for buy-to-let investors have seen average yields in Britain fall 19% over twelve months, and has led to the UK falling from 15th place in 2016 to 25th this year.