What’s Important to You?

When we are asked about what is important to us, our priorities will be driven by our past experiences, our present position, or a mixture of the two. Knowing what matters and why is an important part of planning for your future.

So, when do you want this future to become a reality? Are you looking to retire at 45 and travel the world or are you happy to work till you are 65 so you’re mortgage-free and secured enough to help your children in the future? If you don’t have a specific time frame in mind, another approach is to ask yourself, what kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? How do you want to be remembered and by whom?

There are some useful concepts and actions that may be helpful to consider as part of that process. Ines Uwiteto, Private Client Manager at 7IM, has shared her thoughts on this matter:

What’s important to you? | Private clients | 7IM

Whatever stage of life you are at, we offer unbiased expert pension and retirement planning advice. Our professional, qualified Independent Financial Advisers will look at whether your current pension arrangements are likely to help you achieve your retirement goals. If not, we will recommend actions to take and the likely effect of them in order to secure your financial future.

We ensure that you fully understand all of your numerous retirement options and that you don’t have to take the first offer from your existing pension provider. There is nearly always better value to be had from the open market when considering annuities and the new flexible pension option should also be fully considered.

Our impartial advice takes into account all of this as well as the latest retirement and pension legislation, including the new limits on lifetime allowances. If necessary, we will also recommend any steps you can take to limit your tax liabilities.

We can also review all of your existing arrangements and look at the performance of the underlying funds, the charges being levied and assess the projected income at your chosen retirement date.

Call us now on 0114 235 3500 or email us at: advice@hamnettwealth.com to arrange a free consultation.

Choose to invest in green and ethical funds

Money is powerful and we can use it to shape the companies and businesses that do well in today’s society. We can influence our economies every day with what we buy and where we buy products from.  Whether it’s cutting back on meat and dairy, or switching to a green energy company, people are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their impact on the environment. However, most people are unaware that they are typically propping up the fossil fuels industry through their workplace pension.

According to a recent article in the Guardian, each year the average UK pension pot finances 23 tonnes of COemissions through the businesses it invests in – the equivalent of running nine family cars each year or burning 1,100 coal fires annually.  You can read the full article on the Guardian website: Do you want your pension to invest in companies harming the planet? | Pensions | The Guardian

Ethical investments are moving into the mainstream marketplace. Putting your money where your morals are is on the increase. When you choose to invest in green and ethical funds, there is a choice of funds that can be used to fit your individual requirements. The majority of families that we deal with use our portfolios which have worked well. The risk of these funds changes depending on the risk each individual wishes to take and the funds are monitored on a 6-monthly basis. These portfolios can be used for ISAs, onshore and offshore bonds and pensions.

Our service is very focused on the individual so we can set up bespoke investment solutions to suit you. We are a member of the Ethical Investment Association which means we’re committed to increasing access to green and ethical investment advice. 

Interested in finding out more? Please give us a call on 0114 235 3500 or email us at advice@hamnettwealth.com for more information.

How much do you need for a happy retirement?

New research revealed today states that couples typically need £26k a year and single people need £19k a year to have a comfortable retirement.  This amount would cover essential bills plus regular short-haul holidays, leisure activities, alcohol and charity donations.

In order to achieve this, a couple would have to save private pensions worth £154,700 between them whilst an individual would need to build a pot worth £192,290 according to the study by consumer group Which?

You can read more about the study at This is Money: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-9640827/Couples-need-26k-single-people-19k-year-happy-retirement.html  It’s worth bearing in mind that this model overlooks issues such as care costs and declining homeownership.

There are several ways that you can look to boost your pension:

• Check for missing funds: The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that there could be 1.6m lost pension pots, containing a total of £19.4bn. The government offers a scheme to track down lost pensions at: gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details.

• Make use of pension freedoms: From the age of 55 you can do what you want with your retirement savings: you can draw an income, buy an annuity, take a cash lump sum or a combination of these options. Making the best use of a mixed approach to your retirement income could boost your income, and an adviser can help with this.

• Inform your pension provider: If you are considering delaying your retirement, tell your workplace pension provider in plenty of time. This will prevent your pension moving into lower-risk assets and missing out on further opportunities for growth.

There are plenty of free resources out there that can help you plan for retirement. For example, you can speak to the government-backed free guidance service Pension Wise about any concerns. You can find out what you are on track to receive from the state pension, and when it will be paid, by using the government’s online forecast tool at: gov.uk/check-state-pension.

Whatever stage of life you are at, Hammett Wealth Management offers unbiased expert pension and retirement planning advice. Our professional, qualified Independent Financial Advisers will look at whether your current pension arrangements are likely to help you achieve your retirement goals. If not, we will recommend actions to take and the likely effect of them in order to secure your financial future.

We ensure that you fully understand all of your numerous retirement options and that you don’t have to take the first offer from your existing pension provider. There is nearly always better value to be had from the open market when considering annuities and the new flexible pension option should also be fully considered. Our impartial advice takes into account all of this as well as the latest retirement and pension legislation, including the new limits on lifetime allowances. If necessary, we will also recommend any steps you can take to limit your tax liabilities.

We can also review all of your existing arrangements and look at the performance of the underlying funds, the charges being levied and assess the projected income at your chosen retirement date.

Please call us on 0114 235 3500 for a free initial meeting. Our office is operating as normal but we can also offer appointments by telephone or Facetime, Microsoft teams & Zoom.

Dementia Action Week 17th – 23rd May

Led by Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia Action Week is a national event that sees the public coming together to take action to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. The word ‘dementia’ describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. As dementia progresses, there may come a time when the person will struggle to manage their finances and affairs.  You can find more information about the help and support available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/finances/.

Hamnett Wealth Management are working towards becoming a dementia-friendly business. All of our staff have completed online training that covered three key areas – people, processes and places. 

We have also committed to the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce Charter which sets out how professionals are expected to work with customers in vulnerable circumstances. You can find out more about the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce at: www.fvtaskforce.co.uk

Our Director Jonathan Rowley is also a SOLLA Accredited Later Life Adviser.  SOLLA (Society of Later Life Advisers) helps people in finding trusted accredited financial advisers who understand financial needs in later life.  For more information on SOLLA, please visit their website: www.societyoflaterlifeadvisers.co.uk.

Few of us think about the possibility of long-term care, never mind having the resources to pay for it. By taking appropriate action now, you and your family can face the future with peace of mind. Long-term care planning gives you choice, flexibility and dignity when care is needed. It protects the assets of your family, ensures stability for the future and can protect against future potential fee increases.  We know all the issues involved in this delicate subject and our professional, qualified and Independent Financial Advisers can provide workable solutions to the problems of long-term care funding and the preservation of the remaining estate.

We are specialists in structuring your affairs so that your assets are protected and more of your money passes down to your family members and beneficiaries. We can also provide you with expert impartial advice on wills, trusts and protecting your assets, including your property.  Some areas of finance can be complex but we always speak in plain English and explain everything comprehensively. We encourage clients to ask as many questions as they need to until they are comfortable and able to make an informed decision.

Our office is operating as normal but we can also offer appointments in the comfort of your own home, by telephone or by Facetime, Microsoft teams and Zoom. Please call us on 0114 235 3500 to arrange a free initial meeting. 

Westside Article – June 2021

The recent Budget was one of tax pain largely deferred. Mr. Sunak was never going to introduce significant tax increases as economic recovery is the priority.  The proposals of most interest were:

  • The addition of £70 to the personal allowance and £200 increase in the basic rate band, in line with indexation requirements.  However, after 2021/22, the personal allowance and higher rate threshold (outside Scotland) will be frozen for four tax years.
  • The inheritance tax nil rate band, the pensions lifetime allowance and the capital gains tax annual exemption will all be frozen at their current levels for the next five tax years.

These freezes, along with rising property prices across the UK, mean that investment values are growing, putting more people at risk of falling into the inheritance tax net.  The Government raises billions each year from people sleepwalking into higher and higher taxes.   It is time to act.  No matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and you will want to control how it is administered to the people or organisations you care most about.   There are lots of points to consider such as making a will, appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney or nominating a pension beneficiary.  It is important to plan ahead with confidence in order to minimise the tax burden for your family and loved ones in the future. 

The world has never seen as much coordinated stimulus as in the past nine months.  This sets the stage for a strong economic recovery across the world in 2021.  Markets have already put COVID-19 behind them and have been largely positive since January. Biden wasted no time in unveiling a $1.9 trillion stimulus package and the UK has announced more measures to protect badly affected businesses. Companies know that the end is in sight and they also know that consumers are itching to spend as soon as they can.  However, returns on bank and building society accounts are falling to a minimum and interest rates and inflation are picking up.  All of this suggests now is the time for a financial review so that you are ready for the recovery.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, financial scams have been a growing problem, particularly affecting the older generation with the average age of a victim being 75.  The need for trusted, independent advice has never been greater.  Hamnett Wealth’s Director, Jonathan Rowley, is a SOLLA accredited Independent Financial Adviser. SOLLA is a not-for-profit organisation founded to make sure older people and their families get the very best advice when it comes to financial planning for later life. SOLLA members keep up-to-date with the fast-moving world of financial fraud and can help to spot the signs of scams. They are dedicated to providing the right advice and with a full understanding of the issues affecting older people and their families. Hamnett Wealth Management has also committed to the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce Charter which aims to promote a greater understanding of vulnerability, encourage appropriate behaviours and establish good practice amongst personal finance professionals in respect of people who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.

Hamnett Wealth Management offers a free consultation where you can gain an independent and professional second opinion on your financial arrangements. Do you know what your current advisor is charging you in fees?  Recent press reports have highlighted several cases of people moving their portfolios and pensions from a certain provider because they have been subjected to high fees, poor service and a lack of transparency.  Maybe you’ve lost touch with your financial advisor, are unsure of how your portfolio is performing or are looking to minimise the fees you are paying – our Advisors can review your finances and look at alternate ways for you to get a good return on your savings and pensions. We keep our costs to a minimum and because we are independent, we don’t need to worry about shareholders.  We can then pass these savings onto our clients, meaning that our fees are cheaper than the large corporate companies.

Our office is operating as normal but we can also offer appointments in the comfort of your own home, by telephone or by Facetime, Microsoft teams and Zoom. Please call us on 0114 235 3500 to arrange a free initial meeting. 

This article appears on page 27 of the June issue of Westside magazine. You can read the magazine online at Westside | RMC Media.

Dying Matters Awareness Week 10th – 16th May 2021

Dying Matters Awareness Week, running from 10 – 16 May, is a chance for individuals and organisations to open up the conversation around dying, death and bereavement. This year focuses on the importance of being in a good place to die.

Dying Matters want people of all ages to be in a good place when they die – physically, emotionally and with the right care in place. Getting there means having some important conversations and taking some careful decisions. You can join in the conversation on social media by sharing your story on social media using the hashtags #InAGoodPlace and #DMAW21. Alternatively, visit the campaign website, Dying Matters, for more information and resources.

During the awareness week, there will be daily themes, including financial, to explore what it means to be in a good place, and how you and your loved ones can plan for the end of life.

At Hamnett Wealth, we can help you answer this question on a practical level by assisting you with long-term care planning, wills and protecting your assets.

By taking appropriate action now, you and your family can face the future with peace of mind.  Long-term care planning gives you choice, flexibility and dignity when care is needed. It protects the assets of your family, ensures stability for the future and can protect against future potential fee increases.

To talk to us about long-term care planning, wills and protecting your assets, please call 0114 235 3500.

Stress Awareness Month April 2021 – Regain Connection, Certainty and Control

Stress Awareness Month has been held every April, since 1992, to increase public awareness about both the causes and cures of our modern stress epidemic. Despite this running for 29 years, we have got a long way to go. According to the Mental Health Foundation, 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.

Millions of us around the UK are experiencing high levels of stress and it is damaging our health. Stress is one of the great public health challenges of our time, but it still isn’t being taken as seriously as physical health concerns. Stress is a significant factor in mental health problems including anxiety and depression. It is also linked to physical health problems like heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia and digestive problems. Individually we need to understand what is causing us personal stress and learn what steps we can take to reduce it for ourselves and those around us.

The theme for Stress Awareness Month 2021 is ‘Regaining Connectivity, Certainty and Control’.  The Stress Management Society recently collaborated with Huawei to conduct a study on stress, gathering data from 2000 British adults. The research identified that 65% of people in the UK have felt more stressed since the COVID-19 restrictions began in March 2020.  The three key causes for concern are feelings of disconnection, uncertainty and a worrying loss of control.

This year the Stress Management Society will be hosting a 30 Day Challenge to encourage you to pick one action each for your Physical, Mental and Emotional Well-being to carry out every day.  It takes 30 days to turn actions into habits, which is why this is a month-long programme.  The 30-day challenge will maximise your chances of turning useful knowledge and techniques into positive behavioural change.

Hamnett Wealth Management could help you reduce your financial worries by working with you to plan for your future financial situation. We are passionate about making sure your finances are in good shape. We provide a bespoke personal financial planning service. Our extensive portfolio of advice covers areas from pensions to inheritance matters and tax-efficient investments. We are Chartered Independent Financial Advisors (IFAs) and are not restricted in any way. We are dedicated to building long-lasting relationships to help you secure your future.

To find out more about stress awareness and take a look at the fantastic resources available to help, please visit:  https://www.stress.org.uk/stressawarenessmonth/

Hamnett Wealth Management Commits to the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce Charter

Hamnett Wealth Management has committed to the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce Charter.

A newly created independent and inclusive representative body covering the personal finance sector, the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce is supported by the Personal Finance Society.  Its ultimate purpose is to promote a greater understanding of vulnerability, encourage appropriate behaviours and establish good practice amongst personal finance professionals in respect of people who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.

At the heart of the initiative is a Charter which underpins the work of the Taskforce and sets out how professionals who commit to it, such as Hamnett Wealth Management, are expected to work with customers in vulnerable circumstances.

Jonathan Rowley, Director of Hamnett Wealth Management, said:  “Signing up to the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce Chater means that people can be confident we will use our best endeavours to provide them with a service that recognises their unique circumstances and delivers the same outcomes that they would expect if they were not in vulnerable circumstances.”

Advisers, financial planners and firms who adopt the Charter agree to abide by nine commitments:

1. Making advice easier to understand

2. Placing your interests above all else

3. Understanding how your circumstances might make you vulnerable

4. Not making assumptions about you

5. Not labeling you

6. Dealing with you sensitively

7. Adapting processes and

8. Ensuring staff are knowledgeable and appropriately trained

9. Taking appropriate action if you are in harm’s way

Jonathan continues: “Vulnerability is something that can affect us all; through unexpected events such as illness, loss of employment, divorce or even the sudden acquisition of wealth through inheritance or a lottery win.  While some health issues can lead to permanent vulnerability, fortunately in most cases it is a temporary phenomenon. But when it happens, you need to be assured that the professionals who support you fully understand its consequences and how best to continue to provide the highest quality service in these changed circumstances.”

You can find out more about the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce at: www.fvtaskforce.co.uk

Retirement – How Covid made people put plans on hold

A recent article in the Guardian Money section looked at how the pandemic has made many people reaching the state pension age reassess their future. For many on the verge of retirement, Covid-19 has had a financial impact.

In 2021 about 680,000 Britons will reach state pension age, according to the Office for National Statistics, but the coronavirus means many are having to think again about when, or even if, they can stop work. Research by the Interactive Investor website indicates one in five people aged 60-65 believe they will need to delay retirement. Its Great British Retirement Survey of 12,000 adults also revealed about one in four feared they would never be able to retire. You can read the article in full at: ‘I can’t possibly afford it’: how Covid has dashed retirement dreams | Retirement planning | The Guardian

How to boost your pension

• Check for missing funds: The Department for Work and Pensions estimates that there could be 1.6m lost pension pots, containing a total of £19.4bn. The government offers a scheme to track down lost pensions at: gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details.

• Make use of pension freedoms: From the age of 55 you can do what you want with your retirement savings: you can draw an income, buy an annuity, take a cash lump sum or a combination of these options. Making the best use of a mixed approach to your retirement income could boost your income, and an adviser can help with this.

• Inform your pension provider: If you are considering delaying your retirement, tell your workplace pension provider in plenty of time. This will prevent your pension moving into lower-risk assets and missing out on further opportunities for growth.

There are plenty of free resources out there that can help you plan for retirement. For example, you can speak to the government-backed free guidance service Pension Wise about any concerns. You can find out what you are on track to receive from the state pension, and when it will be paid, by using the government’s online forecast tool at: gov.uk/check-state-pension.

Whatever stage of life you are at, Hammett Wealth Management offers unbiased expert pension and retirement planning advice. Our professional, qualified Independent Financial Advisers will look at whether your current pension arrangements are likely to help you achieve your retirement goals. If not, we will recommend actions to take and the likely effect of them in order to secure your financial future.

We ensure that you fully understand all of your numerous retirement options and that you don’t have to take the first offer from your existing pension provider. There is nearly always better value to be had from the open market when considering annuities and the new flexible pension option should also be fully considered. Our impartial advice takes into account all of this as well as the latest retirement and pension legislation, including the new limits on lifetime allowances. If necessary, we will also recommend any steps you can take to limit your tax liabilities.

We can also review all of your existing arrangements and look at the performance of the underlying funds, the charges being levied and assess the projected income at your chosen retirement date.

Please call us on 0114 235 3500 for a free initial meeting. Our office is operating as normal but we can also offer appointments by telephone or Facetime, Microsoft teams & Zoom.

Spring Budget 2021

It is less than a year since Rishi Sunak presented his first budget, after having been in the role of Chancellor for less than a month.  His despatch box premiere featured an allocation of £12bn towards mitigating the impact of Covid-19.  Ironically, on the same day as Mr. Sunak revealed that boost to spending, the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a pandemic.  Total expenditure on dealing with the pandemic is now estimated to be around £300bn.

The March 2020 Budget was what should have emerged in the Autumn of the previous year, before being deferred because of the General Election.  The March 2021 Budget is the result of a similar delay.  Last September the Chancellor decided that the uncertainties created by the pandemic meant it wisest that he waited until Spring 2021 to present the Budget.  Since then, Mr Sunak has been kept busy announcing extensions to the various Covid-19 support schemes introduced in 2020.  Whether the Chancellor feels the economic outlook today is much clearer than six months ago is a moot point.

One financial aspect which has been painfully clear for some time is that the government’s finances have been fundamentally changed by the pandemic.  A year ago, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast that the government would borrow around £55bn in 2020/21.  Twelve months later its estimate has risen to £400bn.  The coming year, 2021/22, should see borrowing more than halve according to the OBR, but the deficit is still projected to be running at over £160bn – more than three times the figure of just two years ago.

Dealing with this level of borrowing is probably not what Mr. Sunak signed up for when he moved into 11 Downing Street.  He now has to deal with total government debt of about £2,100bn, equal to the UK economic output for the year.  The last time debt was as high was in the early 1960s, when the UK was still in the business of paying down the bills incurred in World War II.

Despite the lake of red ink, Mr. Sunak was never going to introduce significant tax increases in this Budget.  For a start, nearly all economists, regardless of political hue, were saying that economic recovery was the priority and sorting out the debt could wait.  Secondly, Mr. Sunak’s boss, Boris Johnson, cannot even bring himself to mention the A-word (austerity) which would ruin his ‘leveling up’ agenda.  As a result, the Budget was one of tax pain largely deferred.

The proposals of most interest were:

The addition of £70 to the personal allowance and £200 increase in the basic rate band, in line with indexation requirements.  However, after 2021/22, the personal allowance and higher rate threshold (outside Scotland) will be frozen for four tax years.

The inheritance tax nil rate band, the pensions lifetime allowance and the capital gains tax annual exemption will all be frozen at their current levels for the next five tax years.

For companies with profits of over £250,000, in April 2023 the rate of corporation tax will jump by 6% to 25%.  A new smaller companies’ rate of 19% for companies with profits of up to £50,000 will be introduced at the same time.

A new ‘super-deduction· 130% first-year allowance will be introduced for companies investing in plant and machinery between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2023.

The temporary £500,000 0% band for stamp duty land tax will continue to apply for residential property purchases up to 30 June 2021. The band will then be halved for the following three months before reverting to its original £125,000 level from 1 October.

The coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS – furlough scheme) and the self-employed income support scheme will be extended to September, albeit with reductions in the final three months of their life.

The business rates holiday for retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses will also be extended. Until June 2021 100% relief will apply and thereafter reduced (and capped) 66% relief will operate until the end of March 2022.

12 Quick Tax Tips

1.           Don’t waste your (or your partner’s) £12,570 personal allowance in 2021 /22.

2.           Don’t forget the personal savings allowance, reducing tax on interest earned.

3.           Don’t ignore the dividend allowance, eliminating tax on £2,000 of dividends.

4.           Don’t dismiss National Insurance contributions – they are really a tax at up to 25.8%.

5.           Think marginal tax rates – the system now creates 60% (and higher) marginal rates.

6.           ISAs should normally be your first port of call for investments and then deposits.

7.           Even if you are eligible for a LISA. you still might find a pension is a better choice.

8.           Tax on capital gains is usually lower and paid later than tax on investment income.

9.           Trusts can save inheritance tax but suffer the highest rates of CGT and income tax.

10.         File your tax return on time to avoid penalties and the taxman’s attention.

11.         If you are entitled to a company car, going hybrid or electric could slash your tax bill.

12.         Don’t assume HMRC won’t know automatic information exchange is now widespread.

If you need further information on how you will be affected personally, you are strongly recommended to consult your financial adviser. If you would like one of our Advisors to review your finances, are unsure of how your portfolio is performing, or want to look at alternate ways to get a good return on your savings and pensions, please call us on 0114 235 3500 for a free initial meeting.

Our office is operating as normal but we can also offer appointments by telephone or Facetime, Microsoft teams & Zoom.