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Useful Guides

Essential Reading

The following reports have been carefully prepared to give you a clear and concise easy to read overview of various important topics.

Business succession planning

What happens to a business if its owner or co-owner dies or falls seriously ill? Much will depend on the type of business – sole trader, partnership or limited company – but unless there has been some advance planning, the chances are that there will be disruption, arguments and the strong possibility that all or part of the business will end up in the wrong hands.

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You and yours – estate planning

Estate planning is usually not a subject that attracts immediate attention. It requires you to consider what will happen when your life is over, hardly something most of us rush to contemplate. Consequently, estate planning often becomes, and all too often remains, a do-it-tomorrow task. Then it could suddenly become all important… or it might be too late. After all, accidents do happen.

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Pensions and tax planning for high earners

If you feel you’re paying more and more tax, you are not alone. Around one-sixth of income tax payers are taxed at the higher or additional rate, but they pay about half of all tax. This tax burden for higher earners is deliberate government policy as the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015 made obvious: “The richest 20% of households will be paying a greater proportion of taxes in 2019/20 than in 2010/11 as a result of government policy.”

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Living abroad – the main tax rules

While the thought of going abroad to work or retire may be exciting, the months
prior to departure may be highly stressful. Finding somewhere to live in your chosen country, arranging the necessary visas and booking a suitable removal firm are just some of the issues you are likely to have to deal with.

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Investing for income when you retire

There comes a time when you stop working for your money and put your money to work for you. For most people, that is retirement. The decisions you make then could have repercussions for the rest of your life, and recently there have been some major changes to the choices you can make with your pensions. Your retirement could turn out to last considerably longer than you think, as the table below shows.

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The key stages of financial planning

Financial planning has witnessed significant change, so it is not surprising that most people are vague about what financial planners actually do. The aim of this Guide is to explain the process in general terms and what financial planning can achieve for you. Some of the important recent changes to pensions and ISAs have made the need for financial planning even more crucial.

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Pensions freedom – drawing from your pension

The changes revealed a little over two years ago in the 2014 Budget were described by some retirement planning experts as a pensions revolution. The radical proposals came as a surprise and were designed to alter the retirement landscape by breaking the link between pensions and annuities.

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The taxation of investments

The taxation of investments has never been a simple matter. In recent years it has become more complex as successive governments have chosen to tax different sources of investment income in different ways, mostly with the aim of adding to the Exchequer’s coffers.

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Financial protection – for you and your family

Life and health insurance protection underpins most good financial planning. These types of insurance can ensure that if the worst should happen, the right amount of money will reach the right hands at the right time.

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Investing for children

Most parents want to help their children financially, whether it is making sure there is enough money for their education or helping them to buy a property. An early objective may well be to help children understand the value and importance of money.

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Investment planning and asset allocation

Investment planning is now more of a science, rather than an art. Technology, ever increasing investment opportunities and stricter regulation have all encouraged the more scientific approach. But has your investment strategy kept pace?

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Making the most of ISAs

When Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) first appeared in 1999 as a replacement for PEPs and TESSAs, they were a relatively straightforward offering.

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Taxation of property

Buy-to-let has been an attractive proposition over recent years for anyone who has been able to raise the necessary deposit. Given a prolonged period of low borrowing costs and generally rising property values this is hardly surprising. There has also been a perceived dearth of good alternatives, with low savings rates and restrictions on the amount that can be saved into a pension.

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