Ask your adviser – Part 1

Financial Planning, Equity release

At Planned Departure, we believe in empowering people by educating and guiding them about life planning and legacy.

With this in mind, I am beginning to write a new series. The idea is to empower people to ask the right questions when going for financial advise. My notes are simple and easy to understand. I have tried not to use jargons unless absolutely necessary. Please send me your feedback, likes or dislikes.

What is “Equity Release”?

It is a financial arrangement / contract by which you can sell a part or whole of your house / property and still remain to stay in that house / property without paying any rent. You will however pay all other expenses relating to the house / property. In this process, you can receive cash upfront or as a monthly pension for as long as you are alive. After your death, the part or whole of your house / property is legally transferred to the other party in the contract. This other party is usually an insurance company.

Please ask the following questions for an informed decision making.

1. What is the type of arrangement he/she is proposing?

  • E.g. Lifetime mortgage
  • Interest only mortgage
  • Home reversion
  • Shared appreciation mortgage
  • Home Income plan
  • UK Equity release schemes

2. What is the

  • Valuation of your property on which you are signing the contract
  • LTV (Loan to Value) of the mortgage (to ascertain amount of Equity being released)
  • Amount of annuity being purchased (if you are opting for monthly pensions)
  • Interest rate levied (for upfront cash receipts)

Please remember that

  • You will have the right to live there as long as you are alive and also be responsible for all costs associated with the property.
  • If you have chosen to take upfront cash, you can use it as you wish. Perhaps, go for a World Tour?
  • You can also refinance in the years to come, if interest rates fall drastically.
  • You are reducing or completely eliminating the possibility of your family inheriting your asset after you have died, especially if the appreciation of your asset is slower than the rate of interest on your contract.

Note: Please do not treat this as financial advice.

State Pension changes in 2016 – can I top up my pension?

Financial Planning, Retirement planning
Retirement Planing

We, at Planned Departure believe that planning is a continuous process and legacy is just a part of it.  An important part of planning is taking care of pensions. Recently, there has been some changes in the State Pension. In this post our adviser partner Mr. Richard Hawkings explains what this initiative is and how it will affect individuals.

A new initiative allows people who reach the state pension age before April 2016, to top up their pension. This includes those that are already drawing the state pension. The Government is allowing retirees to buy extra state pension by paying so-called Class 3A voluntary National Insurance contributions between October 2015 and April 2017.

How will it help?

This will help people reaching state pension age before April 2016 who will not receive the new flat-rate state pension.

Some retirees will be better off under the new system (e.g. women and the self-employed) and the top-up will allow pensioners retiring before that date, and who may feel that they are missing out, a chance to build up a higher future state pension income. Among those who probably won’t achieve the equivalent of the flat-rate state pension of around £151, and will be interested in the top-ups, are people who’ve had career breaks and not paid NI for the full number of years and women bringing up children who’ve missed out on the additional state pension.

How much extra will be paid?

How much you’ll pay for the extra state pension will depend on your age, with the cost falling as your age increases and your life expectancy falls. The maximum extra pension you can buy is £25 per week, thus:

– At age 65 increasing your pension by £1 per week will cost £890, or £22,250 for an extra £25 per week;
– At 70, the cost is £779 for an extra £1 per week, or £19,475 for £25 per week;
– At 75, the cost is £674 for an extra £1 per week, or £16,850 for £25 per week;
– At 80, the cost is £544 for an extra £1 per week, or £13,600 for £25 per week.

How to make an extra purchase?

Making the extra pension purchase can be done either online or by telephone, using a one-off direct debit, online banking transfer or by sending a cheque. Your weekly state pension will increase with immediate effect, although there’s a 90-day ‘cooling-off’ period, during which you can change your mind and get your money refunded, less any payments you’ve already received.

Get in touch with Richard Now

Sources: http://www.which.co.uk (Article: 2015/10/10)

NOTE: Please do not treat this as financial advice.

About the Author:

Financial Adviser , Financial Planner
Richard Hawkings

 

I have been a Lifestyle Financial Planner / Independent Financial Adviser since 1998. My role is to help clients identify, achieve and maintain their desired lifestyle, without the fear of running out of money, whatever happens ! I help clients and businesses plan their future with regards to their Pensions, Investments, Life cover, Shareholder Protection, Keyman cover, Workplace Pensions.