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Why might you need to speak to us?

 

Our experience tells us that people have various reasons for getting in touch with Financial Planners and as a result it is almost impossible to describe our typical client. Whether you are worried about your standard of living in your later years, or need to save for your children’s education, we can help you to ease your worries and meet your goals.

 

Concerned about your standard of living in later years?

 

There is no doubt, that we are living longer, in fact statistics from Public Health England show that in 2016, a 65-year-old had a life expectancy of a further 19 years for men, and 21 years for women. This creates a significant problem for the state as the number of people drawing State Pensions increases, and adds to the pressure on those contributing through National Insurance towards it. Recent changes to the age at which this can be drawn helps this position, but the stark reality is that we cannot simply meander into later life and trust the State to look after us.

 

Even if you’re eligible for the full State Pension of £164.35 per week for the tax year 2018-19, this is far below what most people say they hope to retire on, and if you consider that to provide that sort of income for yourself, you would typically need a pot of around £160,000. With this in mind you can see why it is never too early to start planning for your income requirements in later life.

 

Despite so called “pensions simplification” introduced as far back as 2006, the world of retirement savings is still as complicated as ever. We pride ourselves on being completely up to date with all of the complicated rules and regulations which attach to this area, and are “Pension Transfer Specialists” which allows us to advise on all aspects of retirement planning.

 

Worried what would happen to your family if you were to die, or get seriously ill?

 

If you’ve ever had this concern, then you are probably in need of a conversation with us to understand what options are available to you. If you haven’t, then answering the following two questions may mean that you do.

 

• Would my dependants be financially stable on their own in making certain payments, such as the mortgage or daily expenses?

• Would my death have a financial impact on my children or partner?

 

But t’s not just early death which should worry you, an accident or illness which prevents you from working can have just as serious an impact on you and your family, and is often just as easy to protect against financially. We will help you to understand all of the options and which are the most appropriate to your individual circumstances.

 

Keen to leave a meaningful legacy to your family?

 

It’s a painful truth that the taxman is often the biggest benefactor of a deceased person’s estate, indeed after Cilla Black’s death in 2015, the £6m Inheritance tax paid by her estate was twice what each of her three sons received individually. It’s not just the mega-rich who are caught by Inheritance tax, but the good news is that although the rules are incredibly complex, careful planning throughout your life can reduce or eradicate the pain of losing hard earned funds to unnecessary tax. Even something as simple as writing a will can significantly help, because if you die without a will, your estate is divided out according to a pre-set formula and you have no say over who gets what and how much tax is payable. We can either work with your existing will writing professional to ensure that it fits your plan, or introduce you to a specialist who we trust to cater for your needs.

 

Anxious about the security of your savings or that they are not growing quickly enough?

 

You may well be missing out on returns because you are concerned about volatile stockmarkets. Did you know that over the last 90 years, stockmarkets have tended to fall by more than 10% roughly every 11 months, by 15% every 2 years, by 20% around every 4 years, and by 30% every 10 years? (Source: optionalpha.com) On that basis it is understandable to have concerns, but you must also bear in mind that shares historically have delivered the highest returns, and therefore should always to be considered in any long term financial plan.

 

Seeing your savings reduce as a result of stockmarket falls isn’t the only risk which you face as an investor, inflation has a significant impact on long term savings as well. Did you know that an inflation rate of only 3%, just slightly more than the current Government target, more than halves the spending power of your money over 25 years? This could have a huge impact on your lifestyle, or a material reduction in the value of the assets passed to your survivors.

 

Helping you to understand the risks as well as the opportunities of investing is a core part of our service, as well as showing you ways of minimising the risk of losing your hard-earned capital. We always build the effects of inflation into our planning, to ensure that you at least maintain the spending power of your money, at all times in the most tax efficient way possible. Remember that the value of your investment and any income from it may go down as well as up. You may not get back the original amount you invested.

 

Heard about “pensions freedoms” and wondered what they mean to you?

 

On April 6th 2015, savers were given unprecedented freedom to access and spend their pensions as they wished. It was the biggest shake-up in the retirement rules for a century. The Chancellor’s pension revolution was hailed as the end of the scandal of savers being given annuities which turned their pension pot into an income for life, that paid poorly or were inappropriate. No longer would pensioners see their nest eggs go straight into the pockets of insurers when they died.

 

But these changes thrust a huge amount of responsibility onto retirees and left many people confused. Essentially, where once there was no choice at retirement, suddenly there were a number of options.

 

Unfortunately, a side-effect of these freedoms is the possibility of running out of money completely and so while useful, they also need careful planning to avoid disaster in the future. You should also bear in mind that most Defined Benefit, or “Final Salary” pension schemes do not have these flexibilities built into them. We can help you to assess whether the flexibility offered by pensions freedoms would be useful in your retirement planning.

 

Want a second opinion?

 

How many times have you started a DIY job at home, and half-way through wished that you’d called in an expert at the start? We find that many people who come to us, do so because they are unsure whether what they have arranged for themselves is REALLY the most appropriate thing for their circumstances, and whether someone with more knowledge and experience could improve on it. The internet can be a financial jungle, and the risk of falling prey to a scam, or simply buying an investment or insurance product which doesn’t meet your needs is huge.

 

We are always happy to give you our considered view on what you already have, along with our thoughts on what else you should be considering in building a holistic financial plan.

 

Put us to the test!

 

 

 

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Stonebridge Financial Management Ltd, Company number 06583576, registered at Oak House, Castletown, Farndon, Cheshire, CH3 6PF, is an appointed representative of pi financial ltd, Company Number 3556277.   pi financial ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Stonebridge Financial Management FCA Number 506586.

 

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