ANNUAL ALLOWANCE EXCESS

The Annual Allowance Charge

Arguably the most dreadful bit of recent pension changes is the annual allowance charge. This arises for anyone that contributes more than the annual allowance towards pensions during a tax year. To most people £40,000 a year into pensions is a lot of money so on the surface this is nothing short of yet another raid on higher-earners.

The annual allowance is really £40,000 or 100% of your earned income, whichever is lower. However, if your income is over £150,000 then the allowance reduces gradually down to £10,000 for anyone earning £210,000 or more, this is termed the Tapered Annual Allowance. Just for some context anyone earning over £150,000 has lost their personal allowance (income before any tax is paid) and pays a tax rate of 45% on income above £150,000.

Excessive Tax? Not Enough Voters

You can exceed the annual allowance in various ways – the amount for those investing money to build a pension is straight-forward. If you and your employer pay more than your annual allowance into pensions, you suffer an income tax charge on the excess at 45%. Easy, maybe not fair, but easy.

However, if you are a member of a good old-fashioned final salary (defined benefit) pension, well it’s a little more complex. The annual allowance is not calculated based upon how much you paid into a scheme, but on how much your pension improved by. So if you had a pay rise… this makes life more complex. If your pension increased by more than £2,500 a year (which admittedly is a very good pension for another year of employment) then you are likely to exceed the annual allowance of £40,000. If you have the minimum annual allowance as a high earner, then your pension only needs to improve by probably £527 – £625 a year.

£561m Extra Tax

This all became the new norm from the 2015/16 tax year. HMRC collected £179m in extra tax revenue as a result. However, this has now jumped massively as the reality sinks home for many high earners, rising to £561m for 2016/17.

Some people can get their employer pension scheme to pay the “fine” (tax) most cannot. In 2016/17 only 2,340 people achieved this which accounted for £44m (8%) of the tax however the clear majority had to pay up themselves – all 16,590 of those that realised!

I might call this a disincentive to save for your retirement, or daylight robbery…. Take your pick, but fair and sensible is most certainly is not.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

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ANNUAL ALLOWANCE EXCESS2018-10-02T16:42:39+00:00

DOCTOR, DOCTOR… IN THE TELEGRAPH

TODAY’S BLOG

DOCTOR DOCTOR… IN THE TELEGRAPH

You may have come across my details in a piece in The Telegraph on Monday 10 September 2018 by financial journalist Laura Miller. Laura outlines a problem that is being observed in hospitals around the UK, in that some doctors are in the ludicrous position of effectively being forced to reduce their available hours due to the additional taxes that they will suffer for additional income. This has the inevitable potential to create longer waiting lists.

Before we go any further, let me say that Laura asked me to check some sums from a Consultant doctor who was making the point about the annual allowance excess taxes. I have made no secret of the fact that I believe the tapered annual allowance is an utterly stupid Government policy. It isn’t the first and of course will not be the last.

THIS IS GOING TO HURT

My only concern is that some may interpret the information as “greedy doctors worry about tax and so work less”. So I wish to make one point crystal clear. I have advised medics for over 25 years. I have met hundreds of them. I have never, NEVER, not even once met one that was motivated by money as a career choice. The early career of a junior doctor is particularly traumatic and frankly the NHS and Department of Health should be ashamed of the working pressures and timetables that they put them under. If you need any convincing, simply have a look at Adam Kay’s Book – “This is Going To Hurt”. Yet the system continues, because it is always under strain and there are not enough doctors to do the work within “normal” working hours or shifts.

DOCTORS EARNINGS

It is true that some doctors can earn very good incomes. The £10,000 annual allowance only applies to those with income over £210,000 – which is a lot of money by most standards. However, these are people that are highly skilled and at the top of their profession, have given way more than their pound of flesh and are constantly scrutinised for errors and lambasted by politicians and media whenever it suits. For the record, this is not Laura’s intent.

The rather ludicrous rules also impact any doctor whose pension income improves by more than £2,106 in a year. This too would push them over the standard annual allowance and potentially suffer excess tax charges. The tax charge is treated effectively as income tax at the highest rate, despite the fact that the pension has not actually been paid to them, conceivably might never be paid to them if they were to die before retirement. In essence a tax on future, yet to be received income. This sort of rise in pension benefit could come from something as innocuous as moving up the grades, or perhaps for impressive work in the form of Clinical Excellence Awards – or even returning to a full-time post.

HEARING PROBLEM

This is all to do with the way in which the Annual Allowance is calculated for those in final salary schemes. I wrote to the previous Chancellor, twice, without reply on this subject when he presided over the introduced rules. Perhaps Laura will have more success.

Suffice to say this is a complex piece of pension planning, a headache that neither the doctor, nor the NHS really should have to waste time on. Yet my advice is to all doctors is to request a Pension Annual Savings Statement as well as their Total Rewards Statement and ensure all payslips are carefully retained – as well as information about any and every form of income they receive from all possible sources. This is more unpaid work, increased stress and bureaucracy to satisfy some utterly numpty thinking at HM Treasury…. Nothing new in that though is there.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

Our free powerful new Finance & Tax app.
To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

DOCTOR, DOCTOR… IN THE TELEGRAPH2018-10-10T16:44:32+00:00

THREE DECADES OF RETIREMENT

Three Decades of Retirement

Three decades of retirement is the prospect that many people face if you believe that longevity is improving in general. That’s three decades to live off your investments, pensions and savings combined with any other forms of income from your State Pension and perhaps an employer’s final salary (defined benefit) pension which typically begin payments at 60, 65 or 67.

Three decades is a long time, with a lot of living to be done. To put this into perspective, it is now 2018, 30 years ago was 1988, which frankly does not seem that long ago does it? You remember 1988. It was the year the SDP merged with the Liberals, Margaret Thatcher became the longest serving PM and Comic Relief was launched. Nurses went on strike over pay. Red Nose Day raised £15m within a month the £1 note became obsolete and the Chancellor of the day Nigel Lawson cut the basic rate of tax to just 25%.

If you are into your sport, well Liverpool were beaten in the FA Cup final by Wimbledon. Graeme Hick scored a record 405 runs in a county match. Sandy Lyle won the US Masters. “Gaza” became the first £2m footballer moving from Newcastle to Spurs. The Seoul Olympics saw Team GB win 5 gold medals (hockey, swimming, rowing, shooting and sailing).

Released in 1987, Faith was the top selling album of 1988.

Another year, just like any other…

As with every year, it had its share of horror and disaster, Piper Alpha, Pan Am 103 exploding over Lockerbie, killing 207 people and a train crash at Clapham Junction killed 35 people. Edwina Currie managed to create an egg crisis. British films released included “Buster”, “A Fish Called Wanda” and “A Handful of Dust”. Michael Douglas won best actor for his role in “Wall Street” ad “The Last Emperor” picked up a stack of awards. Kylie Minogue started her pop career with “I Should Be So Lucky” (she was) and life was “Perfect” for Fairground Attraction. I was one of 80,000 at Wembley for the “Free Nelson Mandela Concert” and his 70th birthday. He was still imprisoned (not released until 1990).

Then and Now

If you are over the age of 40 this may jog a few memories of 30 years ago. The UK population was   about 56m today its about 66.5m. There were about 55,000 first-time graduates, now the number is around 414,000. The Bank of England’s base rate began 1988 at 8.37% but ended at 12.87% (yesterday the Bank increased the rate from 0.50% to 0.75% and some got worried). The FTSE100 closed the year at 1,793 yesterday it closed at 7,575 and that excludes all income from dividends over 30 years. A 10-year UK Government Bond paid about 9.79% in 1988, today around 1.23%. In short equities have gone up, Bonds have gone down. £100 in 1988 would need to be £260.44 in 2018 simply to be “worth” the same because of inflation. That’s an average rate of about 3.24%, in short, the value of your pound has more than halved.

Multiple Choices, Make them Count

This is history, a version of it. If you are now in your mid 40s or older, this is time spent. Who knows how long any of us have left but making the most of life and getting our money to last, whatever it brings is the prospect that you face. We work with clients taking a long-term perspective of life and money. We regularly review progress and make adjustments to ensure that your financial planning remains on course. Change is the constant that we all live with, but many investment principles are timeless, knowing what to adjust is probably more important than knowing you need to.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

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THREE DECADES OF RETIREMENT2018-09-25T09:58:19+00:00

FREEDOM BRINGS RESPONSIBILITY

Freedom Brings Responsibility

I hope that you are aware that since April 2015 pensions have had considerable improvements. Rather than having to buy an annuity anyone with a pension can simply take income from age 55 however they want (note that this age is gradually rising to be within 10 years of your State Pension Age which you can check here). As income it is taxable, but your pension fund has the benefit of 25% of anything “crystallised” being tax free. This you may remember, concerned some that there would be a rush on Lamborghini’s… which didn’t materialise. Mind you at £270,000 for a new Aventador, you would need to withdraw around double that to be able to pay the net price.

Many of you have been accessing your pensions under these new conditions. According to the latest HMRC data in Q2 (April to end June) of 2018 the number of individuals to whom payments were made reached 264,000. A total of £2,269m was paid out to them. The system has now been in place for 3 years and the value of all payments is now nearly £20,000m (some would say that’s £20bn).

Gone in 0-60 Seconds?

The basic caveat is that once your pension fund is spent, well… its gone. There have been many mistakes made – particularly in terms of taking too much money out and paying tax unnecessarily. As the income from the pension is assessed as income, those that believe that they can simply have their money are right, but invariably forget that the amount means that they must pay 40% or 45% income tax. Clever, or rather sensible planning can keep tax at 20% or less.

The Government and HMRC are probably rather pleased with this, it means that they are taking way more tax than they would have done, particularly as many of those drawing money from pensions are doing so before they are even retired.

Tax First, Ask Questions Later

HMRC also apply their own brand of logic, which is tax first, ask questions later. In other words, you must reclaim tax when too much has been taken. Despite lobbying by financial advisers and the pension industry generally, HMRC aren’t budging on changing their approach, claiming that people are better off paying too much than too little and then having to find money to pay their tax. Since the start of pension freedoms this “over-taxing” has amounted to more than £280m. So hardly a surprise that they won’t budge. Of course, this ought to be reclaimed… but therein lies the problem of theory and practice and in any event the Office of Tax Simplification recently warned that pension freedom withdrawals are poorly understood… one might be forgiven for wondering what on earth the OTS achieve.

To put your mind at ease, you need to complete the snappy titled “P55”to reclaim overpaid tax on your flexible pension. You can find the form here.

Here’s a video of an Aventador being tested by Autocar… no need to form a queue.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

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FREEDOM BRINGS RESPONSIBILITY2018-09-25T10:22:31+00:00

Public Sector Pay Rise

Public Sector Pay Rise

The Treasury announced yesterday that various people will be getting an increase in their salaries. This is due to come into effect in October 2018. This is heralded as the biggest public sector pay rise in quite some time, which is probably the case, but that is largely due to the fact that most have had their salaries frozen or pegged below inflation as a result of the austerity measures. Remember that austerity was brought in to reduce the amount of overspending (spending exceeds income) each year.

Anyway, whatever your political persuasion, finally around a million people will be taking home a larger salary… or will they? Well most probably will. However some higher earners are more likely to be exposed to the problems of the annual allowance. This is now about pensions, but directly impacts income.

Since the start of the 2016/17 tax year, the annual allowance has become more complex. Those earning over £150,000 in all forms of income (rent, earnings, savings interest etc) have a reduced annual allowance (the amount that they can put into a pension). The standard annual allowance is now £40,000 but this is “tapered” down to just £10,000 at a rate of £1 for every £2  over £150,000. There will be some, perhaps many that say, something to the effect “you have lots of money, so what if you cannot pay more into your pension”.

NHS Pension, Teachers Pension and similar..

These big State pensions were (and still are) brilliant for most people. You get a guaranteed income for life, that rises broadly in-line with inflation. Its based as a proportion of how long you are an employee and member of the pension and your final salary. The original NHS pension was a 1/80th scheme. You work say 36 years (24 to age 60) and suppose you are a top of your game NHS Consultant, earning around £120,000 from work with the NHS, then you would expect 36/80 (45%) of your final salary (hence the term) for life. That’s £54,000 a year in this example.

However, all these schemes became too expensive, successive Governments mucked up the calculations, getting members to contribute more to the pension and also changing the terms. Moving the goalpost further to 65 and then later to the State Pension Age (SPA). They also changed the rate at which the pension builds up from 1/80 and removed the lump sum as standard.

So what?

Well, if you are a high earner or have other sources of income that push you over £150,000 you start to have a reduced annual allowance. As no Government in recent history has been truly keen on simplicity or transparency, matters get complicated. So despite the term “annual allowance” this only applies to investment based pensions, not Final Salary (sometimes called Defined Benefit) pensions. No. These have a different sum. I won’t go into great detail, but in essence, the calculation looks at how much your pension has increased by over the course of the tax year. So just suppose you are in the old NHS scheme still (if over 50 that is entirely possible). You earn say £110,000 from the NHS and have Private Practice which adds considerably more. Your pension increased by 1/80th or £1,375. The way you work out your annual allowance “value” is this figure x16 and then add the increase in the lump sum value. So that makes £26,125.

OK, it isn’t quite this simple – you actually calculate the opening and closing values of your total pension, make an allowance for the Government approved rate of inflation, subtract one from the other and hey presto, there is your “pension growth”. So now that you have a pay rise half way through the tax year (October)… your final salary will be higher on 5th April, so will the sums.

Exceeding the Annual Allowance?

Well, if you do, you can use up any unused allowances from the 3 prior tax years. If not, any amount above your tapered annual allowance, or even standard one, will be taxed at your highest rate of tax. So you pay tax on money you have not had… quite a lot. This has got more financially engaged Consultants wondering if they should stay in the scheme at all. Kerboom…

Oh and just for good measure, you are responsible for reporting your excess to HMRC under self assessment rules. Naturally this really requires lots of advice and this is one area where data is needed. So all those payslips you’ve been keeping are needed. All the Total Rewards Statements (NHS) are needed and to keep the theme going, if you are in the NHS, you really ought to request a Pension Annual Savings Statement (PASS)… which you will need every year going forwards, or until the rules change.

So yes, you have a pay rise….

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

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Public Sector Pay Rise2018-07-24T16:46:11+00:00

The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles 2

What a summer we have been having! Should we ever get any rain again, or you wish to sit in a dark airconditioned room, you may enjoy The Incredibles 2. I appreciate that not everyone is able to cope with animation (a clue is if you refer to it as a cartoon). However as with most Pixar movies, this is yet another example of great story-telling.

“The Incredibles 2”, follows on immediately from where the highly acclaimed Brad Bird 2004 predecessor ended. In many ways this is the story of a typical family, juggling work and home-life, day care and homework, yet the Parr family are all super-heroes. Unfortunately, due to the social cost of repairing infrastructure, superheroes are illegal, so are all in hiding, despite their life saving efforts, many have had to live undercover, retired but with a deep sense of missed opportunity.

Given the amount of thought involved in your typical Pixar movie, it is perhaps quite deliberate that the villain in the linking sequence between the movies is “The Underminer”. Someone to remove the confidence on which you stand. This may have rather wider social commentary, but for many people, confidence is built over time in many ways. One way is perhaps being rather good, becoming an expert in your field over the years – in your career. Yet many find that retirement brings this to an abrupt end, requiring an adjustment to a life of the long weekend

Skill Deployment

In the original movie, Mr Incredible, struggles with “retirement” and spends his time listening to police radio chatter, so that he can quietly help fight crime. Admittedly, Mr Incredible isn’t of the typical retirement age, but he does portray the rather foolish thinking, that after years of accumulating skill and expertise, this suddenly becomes irrelevant as a more important number takes precedence.

Those that transition best into retirement are often (nor always) those that have a variety of interests outside of their work, where they have already acquired skills and perhaps a network of people. Retiring gradually can help with this process. So, for those planning retirement, give some thought to building your social assets outside of work. To consider a more gradual retirement, if this is possible. Importantly this will naturally impact your income (and spending) so ensure that you have discussed how to draw income from your portfolio in a tax effective manner.

Elastigirl

In the movie, Mr Incredible must adapt, for him, this means adapting to family life, enabling his wife (Elastigirl) to walk in the spotlight and do the dangerous stuff. Elastigirl is arguably the embodiment of someone that can adapt. Importantly, no one, not even superheroes possess all the required skills. Teamwork and partnership are at the heart of the story, given the shape of a family as they attempt to change the prescribed rules for their lives. So, as you reflect on how you want your life to be, getting the right advice to help you achieve your goals is vital.

Here’s the trailer. It’s a fun film, not as good as its predecessor, but worth the ticket price. The villain is called Screenslaver, which is apt in many ways.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

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The Incredibles 22018-07-23T11:19:29+00:00

Book Club

Book Club

Book Club is a present-day check-in of life as an older woman in 2018. Four female friends of “retirement age” meet regularly at their own private book club, taking turns to select a book for discussion. Vivian (Jane Fonda) encourages them to study “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Thus, begins a diet of mixed reactions to the book which inspires or encourages each of them to rediscover their “mojo”. This movie had the potential to explore and expose this apparently mysterious type of individual, the media invisible sixty-plus (some may argue forty-plus) female of the species. It also had the potential to be very funny.

There has been a welcome increase in the number of films released and aimed at the more mature market. Whilst it is possible to find many examples of films that include people over the age of 55, there are not that many by comparison. Hollywood and the world media at large are enchanted by youthful looks. A more healthy and realistic approach to representation in all forms is a welcome relief to a diet of heroes, fast cars and bullets. Perhaps I am too reductionist, but you know what I mean.

Pleasantville 1998 (had more to say 20 years ago)

Granted there are some funny moments, but the movie fell short, still concluding that fulfilment is only found through a man. Whilst I might agree that a form of fulfilment comes through a deep relatonship (for billions of people) it is not true for all. It is evidently not the case that only a man can make anyone else “fulfilled”. Neither do most women have the economic advantages that certainly three of these four have. The character of Diane is arguably the most perplexing, her husband died relatively recently and her overly concerned daughters Jill (Silverstone) and Adrianne (Aselton) want to move her out of  her beautiful Santa Monica and into their own renovated slip-free basement in “Pleasantville” because they fear she is too frail.. which stretches belief for many reasons. It is Diane that is swept off her feet by the alluring, just happens to be fabulously wealthy, Mitchell…. The portrayal of such neurotic daughters and their incredulity about their mother do not aid the female cause and are utterly unnecessary within the story.

LA LA Land

It’s not simply women that are stereo-typed. Most of us men don’t own a plane, don’t look like Don Johnson (Arthur) or Andy Garcia (Mitchell) either, and most of us cannot compensate by being half-decent mechanics or even vaguely passable dancers. Perhaps its my gender bias the felt that the male story-line crisis was more thoughtful. That said, I frankly did not understand the plot purpose of Federal Judge Sharon’s ex-husband Tom (Ed Begley who is 69) announcing his engagement to Cheryl (Mircea Monroe who is 36) whilst celebrating their son’s engagement.  Surely this was a set up for comedic gags that never materialised.

The truth is that this is a very LA centric group of women. There are 4 good actresses – Diane Keaton (72) plays Diane, Jane Fonda (Vivian) is 80, Candice Bergen (Sharon) is 72 and Mary Steenburgen (Carol) is 65. Yet all still must conform to the Hollywood image in a way that their male counterparts simply do not. This movie did nothing other than play it safe.

Every Stage

What on earth can we apply to financial planning? … well, for starters, life is for living and anything alive changes, be that through personal growth, death, sickness, divorce or any number of reasons. We can plan so much, hopefully few clients reach retirement and have a crisis of identity, but there is no sugar-coating the reality that this is a major life adjustment. In practice, most would be wise to consider the transition into retirement is likely to take adjustment – a 2 year adjustment would not seem unreasonable.

We can certainly help and plan for financial independence and the maintenance of dignity, by having sufficient resources or sufficient adjustments to lifestyle. These are hard truths, we are all aging, no amount of cosmetic surgery can alter the reality, merely the appearance of it. The greatest value is surely ensuring that you are living life on your own terms whenever possible. A great financial plan will provide you with the structure and financial architecture to ensure yours come to fruition. Money can offer freedom, but some will never live it.

Its fine as a “Rom-com” but falls way short of an address to Hollywood in the age of #MeToo, which is a pity. Here’s the trailer, but be warned – if you watch it, you have seen the film.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Email me to get in touch
Book Club2018-06-21T14:54:08+00:00

What We Cannot Measure

What We Cannot Measure

Financial scams are sadly all too common, we cannot measure how much we save clients by helping them to avoid the many thieves, scammers and general loathsome low-lifes that are keen to part you from your money. Yet that is arguably one of the most significant aspects of my work – helping clients to avoid making mistakes, or at the very least, making fewer of them.

I had to admit to living in a bit of bubble within my sector. When I started as an adviser (1991) I thought most of them were crooks and little of my early experience of helping people get out of rubbish rip-off arrangements altered my opinion. Admittedly for a more complex set of reasons, I was acutely aware that when I turned up to events, my car was one of the “worst” in the car park. Others were doing much better… and frankly I thought I knew why.

Skip forward quite a few years and my opinion changed dramatically as a result of being part of the institute of Financial Planning (IFP) who are now the CISI. The people I met there were open, genuinely keen to help each other do a better job for our clients and were adamant that clients must be put first. This is the bubble that I have been in for quite a long time now. I forget, (because I tend not to come across them) that there are still a lot of horrid individuals who would raffle their family.

The Ark Scam

I have followed the Ark scam with some exasperation, these scams impact our regulatory fees (which rise as a result). In many senses they feel like rewarding failure, but I do appreciate that it’s not an easy job to stop every scam. However this morning I saw a tweet from a decent-minded adviser I know about a post from another. It is the very shocking and desperately disappointing story of Sue Flood’s experience with Ark and her pension. She has been failed miserably.

I would encourage you to read the item on Henry Tapper’s blog page. It is a verbatim script of her account of things from a meeting yesterday. I wish it were very different.

All I can say is that it is about time that some justice was provided to these 500 or so victims. The authorities responsible should wake up and get on with resolutions and bringing the crooks into the safety of prison.

It is this sort of stuff that we help clients avoid. There is a lot of it out there. Frankly Bitcoin is another and most of the rubbish that is covered in the press is decidedly bad for your wealth. Sue did just about as much as anyone could be reasonably expected to do, she checked out her adviser and everything seemed fine. As an industry (we still are) we have collectively failed many, many people like this.

Here is the link to the article.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

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What We Cannot Measure2018-05-25T10:29:13+00:00

The Leisure Seeker

The Leisure Seeker

Those that are not retired have many rather cliched ideas about retirement. Invariably these involve lots of leisure, cruises, golf and gardening. Most of the retired people I work with often voice that they are busier than ever, its simply that they don’t have to turn up for paid work.

The Leisure Seeker is a gentle movie about the Spencer’s, John (Donald Sutherland) and Ella (Helen Mirren) who decide to take one last once in a lifetime trip together in their recreational vehicle, a leisure cruiser. Their adult children are left confounded at what they perceive to be irresponsibility, given that John is clearly suffering from signs of dementia.

Memory Lane

The couple take a trip down memory lane, with mixed results. Johns dementia creates a scenario where his confusion about who, where and when he is, leads him to expose some deeply buried secrets. He is also paranoid that Ella is having an affair with Dan Coleman, who he believes is the secret motivation for their trip together.

The cruel irony of John’s dementia means that he is not even aware of the loving nature of their trip, a special excursion to Hemingway’s house in Key West, John’s literary hero, of whom he has recounted many insights to his English students throughout his career.

How does it End?

Any good financial planner will inevitably address the question of your life expectancy. All planners work on the basis of attempting to ensure that your money lasts just a little longer than you do. Naturally, this is educated guesswork and requires regular reviews. However, we also need to be mindful of the difficulty of an ending of a life. Simplifying arrangements where sensible to do so, without ruining years of sensible investment strategies and estate planning.

The film exposes the need to discuss these issues with someone trusted, certainly it would make sense for your planner to have an idea or awareness of your intentions, as it would be for your family, though the emotional dynamic of family relationships makes such a conversation problematic and rich material for drama.

The truth is that all of us face an ending, it’s simply a question of how, why and when. Here is the trailer for the film, which being small, is now reaching the end of its run in selective cinemas.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

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The Leisure Seeker2018-05-15T12:11:04+00:00

Good news for Equitable

Good News for Equitable Life

There is finally some good news for anyone that is still alive and has an Equitable Life policy. The company that came under serious financial and legal pressure some years ago having attempted to reverse its promises, is now planning to provide an additional payment to policyholders.  The Equitable has built up some reserves and now intends to distribute these to policyholders, all to be approved at the AGM on 31 May.

There is no news about how much, simply that there will be some payment, which is nothing to do with compensation (for which there was a report in 2008 for it to be “speedy”). The company closed to new business in December 2000, so your policy will be at least 17 years old. Equitable will be writing to policyholders in due course. It would seem likely that this only relates to people with holdings in their “with-profits” fund.

Good news for Equitable2018-03-05T16:38:57+00:00