Posted by: WealthIFA | October 14, 2011

Financial News Update we 14/01/2011

Good morning, I hope you are well and have had a good week?

There is a lot of grey cloud around at the moment and I am not talking about the weather…

A number of articles are again this week talking about inflationary pressures, annuity rates and the general doom & gloom – it’s enough to make you want to shut the doors and windows until it is safe to come out?

But who “decides” that it is safe?

Now I am not denying that it is challenging out there, but is it not better to address issues rather than hope they will go away – after all, how long do you wait for this to happen and what of the consequences should circumstances change?

On the care fees front alone, we certainly see a regular number of new clients attending seminars as they initially try to establish their options and this has to be the first step for anyone – if you see an adviser for the first time it is unlikely (most of the time) that he or she will be able to make any firm recommendation at that stage, it is something that will take a little more time and perhaps input on your part.

The potential reward though, should be one of a more (financially) secure future for those involved – something that most will aspire to.

Whilst care fees are probably high on the agenda, for those affected, inheritance tax is usually not far behind – simply for the fact you can’t leave a legacy if it’s all been used to fund care fees…

This week sees a number of articles around inheritance tax with different approaches considered and I have certainly seen an increase recently in the number of enquiries relating to inheritance tax as people investigate their options on what they can as well as cannot do to avoid inheritance tax on their estate.

As with most things though, regular reviews should be considered to make sure both your plans and your understanding are up to date and still relevant.

An interesting conversation last night with a lady who had a policy that would, as she told me, “…pay the inheritance tax…”.

Now without looking in detail at the policy (which was not to hand), I could not confirm or deny this but as I explained to her, if it were a life insurance policy (as it sounded) the proceeds would need to be paid via trust otherwise they simply add to the estate and, therefore, the inheritance tax liability.

The issue is further compounded as usually, the estate proceeds are not available until the inheritance tax has been paid – a real catch 22 situation for some executors!

This policy was also over 20 years old so I did suggest it should be reviewed as it may even be surplus to requirements now?

Away from the more negative aspects of the weeks news, a great story about “Ursula” who was 109 this week –I do love it when I come across these articles, here is a lady with more than a century’s worth of experience, memories and advice – what a fantastic age to reach!

There is also a short video about claiming attendance allowance from Age UK that will hopefully encourage others to investigate their own benefit entitlements.

Please do let me know if you have spotted any articles of interest or if you have any newsworthy stories about yourself or your firm?

Have a great weekend!

This Week …

Estate Planning

Inheritance tax and why you should plan ahead http://bit.ly/qAwCjD
STEP: Growing number of testators leave digital legacy http://bit.ly/qVnv0z
Can we swap houses with our son? http://bit.ly/qLaiuS
Don’t give too much money to the taxman http://ind.pn/pO5SRf

Long Term Care

Bank of Ireland lends £9.5m to McGoff care homes: http://bit.ly/n63nax
Tough care home regulations proposed: http://bit.ly/ramFgz
Ursula 109 And Feeling Fine! http://bit.ly/oUFDfX
Video: How Age UK helped me claim Attendance Allowance http://bit.ly/pMIWj3

Retirement

QE2 will damage pensions by pushing inflation up and interest rates down: http://bit.ly/pglag4
How to boost your pension income by 30pc: http://bit.ly/q1CTTL
‘Think twice’ before consolidating pensions: http://bit.ly/qJx6ef
Pensions savaged in 97 days of stock market chaos and rising inflation: http://bit.ly/r5vaDG
Ministers delay state pension rise to 66 to help women http://bbc.in/pUNbim

Investments

Savings safety net: £4m ad campaign misses target http://bbc.in/q7YAPC
HMRC targets HSBC Swiss accounts http://bbc.in/ppgJG6

Regards
Kieron

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