Westside Article – October 2020

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 creating the right Trust to protect your assets and help your beneficiaries. It is important to plan ahead with confidence in order to minimise the tax burden for your family and loved ones in the future.

Many people will hold considerable investments and share portfolios that form part of their estate on death. It is possible to transfer some or all of those assets into alternative vehicles that fall outside of your estate after 2 years.  You can also retain access to the capital in case you need it. This is achieved by utilising business property relief which results in 100% relief from inheritance tax on the amount invested after a maximum of two years.

Business owners can gain business relief which makes their business exempt. However, when the business is sold, the sale proceeds are inside their estate for Inheritance Tax and 40% tax beckons. It is possible to re-invest into qualifying investments where the previous business reliefs are retained.

If your estate is valued at over £1M, as many increasingly are, then a Inheritance Tax Review is advisable.  Here’s an example of how it works:

A couple own a house worth £700K.  They also have –

ISA’s                                                £100K

Share portfolio                            £350K

Buy-To-Let houses                    £500K

Their total estate comes to £1.65M.  Assuming they have 2 Nil-rate bands of £325K each (£650K) plus a main residence nil-rate band of £175K each (£350K), it is possible for most people to pass on £1M of their estate tax free. In this example there is a £650K excess taxed at 40% so the tax bill would be £260K.

If the above clients transferred their existing share portfolio of £350K into an exempt asset, it would reduce their Inheritance Tax bill by £140K and they would still have control of their money, be able to access it at any time and receive a stable return.

More and more people are seeing the increase in house prices pushing their estate values higher and higher. The Government raise billions each year from people sleep walking into higher and higher taxes. It is time to act now.

Call us on 0114 235 3500 or email us at advice@hamnettwealth.com for a free consultation to find out how we can help you.  Our recommendations will take into account all of your investments, retirement and protection strategies so that your estate planning fits your goals.

You can read this month’s Westside online at https://www.rmcmedia.co.uk/magazines/westside/

Pension Awareness Week 2020

Next week sees the return of the annual Pension Awareness Week and this year the roadshows have gone virtual.  The annual campaign takes place around the official UK Pension Awareness Day on 15th September.  The five-day virtual event offers you the chance to have your questions answered and the website will feature a range of videos, blogs, tips and other useful and practical resources. For more information, please visit: https://pensionawarenessday.com/

If you would like pension advice, Hamnett Wealth Management are your local Independent Financial Advisers.  We can 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’re operating as normal but can also offer appointments by telephone or Facetime, Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Please call 0114 235 3500 to arrange a free review meeting or visit www.hamnettwealth.com

Over £30 million lost through pension scams

Pension savers are being warned to watch out for scams as over £30 million has been lost to pension scammers in just three years.

Information released by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and The Pension Regulator (TPR) reveals that a total of £30,857,329 has been lost to pension scammers since 2017. The full article can be read online at www.moneyfacts.co.uk

In 2019, the Pensions Transfer Gold Standard was launched. This is a voluntary code of good practice for safeguarded and defined benefit pension transfer advice, based around a set of nine principles. Full details at: https://www.thepfs.org/about-us/initiatives/the-pension-transfer-gold-standard/

Firms are required to adopt and promote the principles so consumers can better understand and find good advice, and be confident they are dealing with a firm that goes beyond the minimum requirements.

Hamnett Wealth Management have adopted the Pension Transfer Gold Standard. For more information, please visit https://www.hamnettwealth.com/retirement.html or call us on 0114 235 3500.

Lockdown Pressure Impacts Relationships

Just over 1,000 online divorce applications were lodged in the first week of lockdown.  Figures from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) saw 1,001 web petitions filed between March 23rd and March 31st alone. With statistics for the rest of lockdown not yet available, it is feared that there will be a huge surge in couples deciding to separate.  

Going through a separation or divorce is a difficult and daunting time and it can feel overwhelming with everything that has to be considered.  It is vitally important to think about how the breakdown of a relationship affects any assets, estate and, most importantly, any children.

There will be areas that need dealing with immediately to maintain stability such as bills and mortgage payments. However, once these are taken care of, it is time to look longer-term and seek advice from a professional Independent Financial Adviser.

Hamnett Wealth Management specialises in this area and we can discuss the best way to split assets for separating couples and consider the tax and legal consequences. We are an accredited member of Resolution, an organisation of 6,500 family lawyers and other professionals in England and Wales, who believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law matters.

Find out more about how we can help by giving us a call on 0114 235 3500 or email us at advice@hamnettwealth.com.

Fraud Prevention

Financial scams are a growing problem, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, and predominantly affect the older generation, with the average age of a victim being 75. 

Whilst a lot of these scams occur via the internet, it’s important to remember that not all fraud relies on sophisticated technology. Sometimes a simple deception can separate you from your money.

If you suspect that someone is pretending to be from Hamnett Wealth Management, stop all communications (hang up/don’t answer the email) and call us via a known number you have. Don’t worry – if the person who got in touch with you is indeed from Hamnett Wealth, they won’t mind if you call them back on our main office number.

Remember that fraudsters may contact you by telephone, email, SMS or text, letter or direct you to a website. These may look legitimate, with similar sounding names to a bank or financial institution.

By adding official-looking logos, banking registration details and company numbers, they give the impression that everything is right. If you’re not sure, call the head office switchboard, and never use numbers supplied by the person that you’re suspicious of.

Hamnett Wealth Management will never request personal details or other sensitive information via email. We will never request you to click on a link to access your account.  Looking after your security is a fundamental part of our business.

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.

For more advice on fraud prevention, visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

For more information on SOLLA, visit www.societyoflaterlifeadvisers.co.uk

Westside Article – July 2020

We hope all Westside readers are keeping well during this difficult time. The affect of Covid-19 is still being felt world-wide and financial markets have been volatile, as you would expect in times of uncertainty, with many sectors and funds being adversely impacted.

At Hamnett Wealth Management, our investment philosophy has always been to look to the long term.  We have never attempted to predict the immediate path of the stock markets and we are not about to start now.  Over the last 30 years, we have witnessed several global crises. Each one different from the last. However, what we have learnt from all of them is to keep calm and endure.

There will be those of you who want to ‘do something’ but often the best, and hardest, option is to do nothing. Whilst uncertainty can create anxiety, don’t be tempted to make any rash decisions.  We are in constant contact with the fund management groups and the over-riding sentiment that we are hearing is that Covid-19 will have an impact on all businesses – some more than others.   Therefore we are currently looking at the possibilities and focusing on those companies that can weather this storm and will continue to adjust our portfolios over time.

                                                             ——————–

We are pleased to welcome a new Advisor to the team, Erica Dietsch.  Erica is an extremely experienced Financial Advisor who has worked with individuals and small businesses on all aspects of financial planning. 

Erica said: “I am looking forward to joining the Hamnett Wealth team. When the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance to help Jonathan and Phil grow the business. I have always admired the way that they operate and how they have built a loyal base of clients who rely on them for managing their finances.  They both share my passion for providing clear, concise and transparent independent financial advice.”

Jonathan Rowley, Director of Hamnett Wealth, said: “I have known Erica both personally and professionally for many years. When we needed to expand the team, I knew that Erica would be the ideal person to help us grow our advice capabilities.  Erica is well known to many in Sheffield, having worked for the last 12 years at a local firm of Chartered Accountants. Erica has a very personable approach and I am sure she will fit into the existing team well.”

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.

You can read this month’s Westside online at https://www.rmcmedia.co.uk/magazines/westside/

Summary of Today’s Budget Announcement

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced a package to kickstart the economy’s recovery, pledging to “protect, support and create jobs” and get pubs and restaurants “bustling again”. Here is our summary of the main points of today’s mini-budget:

Housing market
Effective immediately, an emergency stamp duty holiday has been unveiled to help revive the property market. Homebuyers will be temporarily exempt from paying the tax for the first £500,000 of any property price, saving them an average of £4,500 and up to £15,000. This will run until the end of March 2021.

Jobs and training
With the furlough scheme ending in October, it was announced that Businesses will be paid a £1,000 job retention bonus for every furloughed worker that is brought back and employed until the end of January 2021.

A new £2bn Kickstart Scheme will create subsidised jobs for unemployed young people and employers will be able to offer a six-month placement for people aged between 16-24.

£111m will be invested to triple the number of traineeships with businesses offered a £1,000 per trainee payment.

For the next six months, the Government will pay businesses up to £2,000 for every new apprentice under 25. It will also pay £1,500 for every new apprentice above 25 hired.

Environment
Homeowners can benefit from £2bn of grants to pay to make their houses more energy efficient. Vouchers worth up to £5,000 will be issued while poorer households could get up to £10,000 to make the upgrades, such as loft and wall insulation.

Up to £40m will be provided for a Green Jobs Challenge Fund to create 5,000 jobs at environmental charities and public authorities.

Hospitality
VAT on food, non-alcoholic drinks, accommodation and attractions has been cut from 20% to 5%.

Every Briton will be given an “eat out to help out” discount. Meals eaten at any participating business Monday to Wednesday in the month of August will be 50% off at up to £10 per head.

Obviously, first and foremost, we want to avoid a second spike in Covid-19 infections but we think that today’s announcement is a welcome boost, both for businesses and the country as a whole.

For more information on today’s budget, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-treasury

Team Changes

We have appointed Erica Dietsch to the team and announced the retirement of Advisor Louise Gower.

Erica is an experienced financial advisor who has previously worked for mutual societies and banks.  She specialises in advising clients in Equity Release, Investments, Pensions, Trusts and Inheritance Tax Planning.

Erica also sits on the Committee for both the Sheffield Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and the Sheffield Life and Pensions Society.

Erica said: “I am looking forward to joining the Hamnett Wealth team. When the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance to help Jonathan and Phil grow the business. I have always admired the way that they operate and how they have built a loyal base of clients who rely on them for managing their finances.  They both share my passion for providing clear, concise and transparent independent financial advice.”

Jonathan Rowley, Director and Chartered Independent Financial Advisor, said: “I have known Erica both personally and professionally for many years. When we needed to expand the team, I knew that Erica would be the ideal person to help us grow our advice capabilities.  Erica is well known to many in Sheffield, having worked for the last 12 years at a local firm of Chartered Accountants. Erica has a very personable approach and I am sure she will fit into the existing team well.”

Louise Gower, who joined the team 11 years ago, has announced her retirement.  Louise was an accredited member of Resolution, specialising in Pensions and Divorce, and also worked as a pension transfer specialist. She is now looking forward to enjoying time with her family and playing more golf at Abbeydale Golf Club.

Phil Smith, Director of Hamnett Wealth said: “Jonathan and I, along with the whole team, would like to thank Louise for all her hard work, dedication to her role and friendship over the years. She has always looked after our clients so well and we wish Louise all the best for the future.”

In the Summertime…

This week we hope you are able to enjoy the beautiful weather we’re currently having.  Summer is definitely the time when we all like to unwind and, as lockdown eases, maybe plan a break away.  It’s also a great time to think ahead about how you can have more leisure time in the future. Ensuring your financial matters are in order now may help you feel more relaxed about the future. 

Here are Hamnett Wealth Management’s top 3 financial matters to tackle this summer:

1. Take control of your pension arrangements

Whether you’re looking to set up a pension, save money on annual management charges or to reduce fees on expensive pension plans, make sure you review your current pension arrangements to see whether they are likely to help you achieve your retirement goals.

2. Review your investments

With fast changing global events affecting markets, it is imperative that your portfolio and pensions are strategically invested to profit from uncertainty and protect yourself from market shocks.

3. Question your current financial advisor

Do you know what they are 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

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.

Keep Calm and Endure

The affect of Covid-19 is still being felt world-wide and financial markets have been volatile, as you would expect in times of uncertainty, with many sectors and funds being adversely impacted.

At Hamnett Wealth Management, our investment philosophy has always been to look to the long term.  We have never attempted to predict the immediate path of the stock markets and we are not about to start now.  Over the last 30 years, we have witnessed several global crises. Each one different from the last. However, what we have learnt from all of them is to keep calm and endure.

There will be those of you who want to ‘do something’ but often the best, and hardest, option is to do nothing. Whilst uncertainty can create anxiety, don’t be tempted to make any rash decisions.  We are in constant contact with the fund management groups and the over-riding sentiment that we are hearing is that Covid-19 will have an impact on all businesses – some more than others.   Therefore we are currently looking at the possibilities and focusing on those companies that can weather this storm and will continue to adjust our portfolios over time.

For help and impartial advice during this time, you could do the following:

Contact the Pension Advisory Service to discuss your situation – www.pensionadvisoryservice.org.uk

If you’re aged 55 or over, you could have a Pension Wise guidance session to fully understand your options – www.pensionwise.gov.uk

Talk with the money guidance experts at the Money Advice Service – www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

There are plenty of free sites to visit where you can increase your understanding of pensions savings and investments. These sites all offer guidance which should not be misunderstood for advice.

If you would then like to have a chat with an independent financial advisor and get personalised financial advice, 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.