Covid-19: An update from Hamnett Wealth Management

We hope this blog post finds you, your family and friends well, healthy and safe. During this unsettling time, our main priority is keeping our staff, our clients and everyone’s family safe and protected. 

We are following all the guidance and advice that the Government and Public Health England are giving. The whole Hamnett Wealth team are now working from home and managing to hold appointments via the telephone or video links.   

As well as the daily worry of what is happening in the world, we also understand how stressful it can be for our clients when the stock market valuations fall so dramatically in such a short space of time.  That is why we believe that it is imperative to invest across a wide range of different asset classes, thereby reducing the volatility in the event of a downturn.  We also need to accept that there are going to be short term problems in the market.

However, we are confident that once the pandemic plays out,  the markets will respond quickly. The world will certainly look a different place from now on and the Government is looking to ensure that they can look after the nation in the short term.  They have done lots of things to support businesses so far, and yesterday announced a support package for the self-employed.  Full details of all the Government support available can be found at www.businesssupport.gov.uk

It’s important to remember that when the financial landscape changes, to not respond would be a missed opportunity. We recommend you seek advice from a professional Independent Financial Adviser to review your investments and ensure that your current financial plan is still working for you now and will continue to do so in the future. 

Please contact us on 0114 235 3500 for a free initial review meeting which we can do over the telephone or via video link.

Budget 2020

Today Rishi Sunak shared the first budget since December’s General Election and his first since taking over as Chancellor from Sajid Javid in February. With the opening of the budget focused on the Coronavirus, we look at the other main points that may impact your finances:

  • Pensions tax breaks for higher earners are to be made more generous from April. The income threshold at which tax relief on pension contributions starts to shrink will rise from £110,000 to £200,000.
  • The bank base rate has been cut from 0.75 per cent to 0.25 per cent, reducing borrowing costs to the lowest level in history. This will reduce mortgage repayments for homeowners on tracker and variable-rate mortgages. Fixed rate mortgage repayments will remain the same. Overdraft and credit card lending rates are also set to remain the same.
  • The national insurance threshold will be raised from £8,632 to £9,500 from next month.
  • The lifetime limit on entrepreneur relief will be reduced from £10m to £1m.
  • Annual capital gains tax allowance for individuals will rise from £12,000 to £12,300 in 2020-21. The exemption for trustees will be £6,150.
  • The amount that families can save into a Junior Isa or child trust fund will more than double in 2020-21, from £4,368 to £9,000.

For more information on todays budget, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/budget-2020-tax-related-documents

Whenever changes are announced, it can be a good time to review your financial situation. If you’d like to speak with one of our advisers about what this budget might mean for you, please call us on 0114 235 3500.

March sees the return of Free Wills Month

March 2020 sees the return of Free Wills Month. This event brings together a group of well-respected charities to offer members of the public aged 55 and over the opportunity to have their simple Wills written or updated free of charge by using participating solicitors in selected locations around England, Wales and Scotland.

Wills are an essential part of any financial plan, as they dictate how you wish for your assets to be divided upon your passing.

They are increasingly important if you have dependents who rely on you financially, or if you wish to leave assets to those outside your immediate family. A Will can also be a good way to limit the burden of Inheritance Tax that may be left after you’re gone.

An up to date Will written by a solicitor ensures your wishes are respected. It also avoids difficult decisions and legal complications for your loved ones. Free Wills Month allows you to provide for family and friends and leave a gift to your chosen charities too.

To take part in Free Wills Month please visit https://freewillsmonth.org.uk to register. You will then get access to the details of your local participating law firms.

We know that no matter how large or how modest, everyone has an estate and that you will want to control how it is administered to the people or organisations you care most about. Hamnett Wealth Management offers impartial estate planning advice that can help you plan ahead with confidence in order to minimise the tax burden for your family and loved ones in the future. We can also help you to create the right Trust to protect your assets and help your beneficiaries. Call us now on 0114 235 3500 for a free consultation where we can assess your needs and explain how we can help.



Self-employment and Pensions

The Guardian recently featured a useful article on how to sort out your pension if you are self-employed.

Most of the UK’s 5 million self-employed workers are not saving for their retirements. Should they take out a long-term savings plan? Do they buy to let? Or continue to invest in their business. The article considers all of the options available.

You can read the article in full here: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/jan/11/self-employed-what-to-do-about-pensions

Hamnett Wealth Management 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 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.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all! The start of a New Year is the time when we all resolve to change something – whether it’s to lose weight or join a gym – but what about ensuring our finances are fit and healthy? At Hamnett Wealth Management, we think now is the ideal time to review your existing financial arrangements. Here are our 3 suggested resolutions for 2020:

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.

Maximise your tax-free saving allowances – The 5th of April is just around the corner – the date by which you should have finalised any tax-efficient savings plans and pension issues. If you have money to save, but have yet to use up your ISA allowance, make sure you take advantage of this tax-free form of investment. Equally, ensure you’re making the most of allowances on your pension contributions to cut your tax bill.

Review your investments – Volatility has been high and with fast changing political events affecting markets, it is imperative that your portfolio and pensions are strategically invested to profit from uncertainty and protect yourself from market shocks.

Hamnett Wealth Management offer unbiased, expert financial planning advice. Our professional, qualified Independent Financial Advisers take time to understand your specific requirements, aims and financial objectives to ensure your future is secure. We work with you to produce your very own bespoke financial plan. Our commitment to service also means that we will regularly review your financial plan to ensure it is continually working for you.

Take control of your financial future today with Hamnett Wealth Management. We offer a free initial face-to-face consultation where we will assess your needs and explain how we can help. Call us now on: 0114 235 3500 or email us at: advice@hamnettwealth.com

End of Year Review

This is our last blog post of 2019 and what a year it has been!  We have celebrated our 30th anniversary, launched our new website, supported various charitable events and, of course, continued to provide unbiased, reliable and trusted personal financial and investment advice to all of our clients. 

Looking further afield, we’ve had a prorogued Parliament, the country feels divided, there is slow economic growth and the result of the recent General Election means that Brexit will happen.

Whilst uncertainty has created anxiety, our advice has remained the same throughout the year –  Brace for Brexit but don’t be tempted to make any rash decisions. It’s important to remember that when the financial landscape changes, to not respond would be a missed opportunity.  It is important to maximise your tax free savings, utilise all of your allowances and ensure your investments are positioned for 2020 and beyond. 

We suggest taking some time over the festive period to ask yourself the following questions:

1.Are you maximising your tax free saving allowances?

If you’ve money to save, but haven’t used up your ISA allowance, make sure you take advantage of this tax-free form of investment.  Equally, ensure you’re making the most of allowances on your pension contributions to cut your tax bill.

2.  Are you in 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, review your current pension arrangements to see if they’re likely to help you achieve your retirement goals.

3. When was the last time you reviewed your investments?

Markets have been volatile over the last 12 months. With fast changing political events affecting markets, it‘s imperative that your portfolio and pensions are strategically invested to profit from uncertainty and protect yourself from market shocks.

4. Are you prepared for the future?

Safeguard against unexpected future events spoiling your final wishes by setting up a trust alongside your will.  Trusts come in a variety of forms and can help lower potential inheritance tax bills as well as give extra guarantees  that loved ones will be looked after. Appoint a lasting power of attorney so loved ones can act in accordance with your best interests and wishes as they are now.  There are two different lasting powers of attorney to consider – one to look after your health and the other your finances.

If you would like to review your finances, are unsure of how your portfolio is performing, are concerned that you are paying too much for a poor service or just want a second opinion, please call us on 0114 235 3500 for a free initial meeting. We can then review your current plans and discuss how we can help.

Hamnett Wealth Management would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our clients, professional connections and social media followers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Our office closes at 5pm on Friday 20th December.  It is open 10am – 3pm on Monday 30th December  and reopens fully at 9.30am on Thursday 2nd January 2020. 

Britain’s Great Pension Crisis

We wanted to use today’s blog post to highlight a television programme – Britain’s Great Pension Crisis – which is due to air on Channel 5 tonight (4th December) at 9.15pm.

Do you know when you want to retire? Do you know how much money is in your pension fund? Do you know how much you should be putting in there each month?

If these questions strike fear into your heart then, according to the Guardian TV Guide, this is the programme for you.

Journalist Michael Buerk takes one couple as his guinea pigs and explores how they are sleepwalking into a penniless retirement and reveals what they can do to make sure they are look after. A wake-up call to start saving.

Definitely sounds like it is worth a watch!

Talk Money, Talk Pensions Week

This week is ‘Talk Money, Talk Pensions Week’ (18-22 November 2019) and marks an annual celebration of the work thousands of organisations are doing to help people manage their money and pensions and build financial wellbeing.

Talk Money, Talk Pensions Week is a great opportunity to join, start or lead the conversation.  It’s for anyone, or any organisation, working to help people deal better with money matters, or any organisation that wants to learn more about financial wellbeing and what it might mean for them.

Financial wellbeing is about people feeling secure and in control – knowing that not only are they able to manage day-to-day and deal with the unexpected, but that they are also building towards a healthy financial future.

A financially healthy nation is not only good for individuals, but also for communities, business and the economy.

Through the week, people are encouraged to take action to improve their financial wellbeing of those around them – whether through accessing free debt advice, saving regularly, seeking out financial education or relying less on credit for everyday spending.

If you’d like to have a conversation with us about your financial future, please call us on 0114 235 3500. 

To find out more about Talk Money, Talk Pensions Week and join in the conversation, please visit:  https://maps.org.uk/talk-money-talk-pensions-week-2019/

HMRC pays back £535m wrongly claimed on pension withdrawals

We posted this story yesterday over on our Twitter account (www.twitter.com/hamnettwealth) but we also wanted to share it on our blog as it’s a common occurrence.

The story, featured on This is Money, stated that new figures from HMRC reveal that, in the three months to September 30th, it had to pay back £54m that was wrongly claimed on pension withdrawals.

It is the highest quarterly figure since pension freedoms were introduced in 2015 and it means that HMRC has now had to repay £535million after applying ’emergency tax’ to pension withdrawals.

You can read this story in full at: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-7653283/amp/HMRC-overtaxing-pensioners-record-rate.html?__twitter_impression=true

It’s worth checking to make sure that you haven’t been over taxed on your pensions withdrawals.

Hamnett Wealth Management 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 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.

Retirement and Me Series

The Daily Express is currently running a weekly series called ‘Retirement and Me’ which looks at how people are spending – or plan to spend – their time and money following retirement.

Articles include how one woman tops up her very small pension income, starting a business at 61 and how the state pension age rise affected one couple.

You can read this week’s feature here https://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/1192597/retirement-age-pension-uk-state and you’ll also find links to the previous articles.

If you would like help planning your retirement, Hamnett Wealth Management 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 to arrange a free consultation.