Retirement Planning is a key concern for most individuals. The pensions area is particularly fast-changing and complex, and must be treated with care. Retirement decisions are one of the longest-term commitments that an individual will make and should at retirement represent a major asset. A Personal Pension, either stakeholder based or otherwise, is essentially a long-term tax-efficient savings policy. Individual Savings Accounts are tax-free savings schemes that can be used as a pension top up, or just as a medium term nest egg.
Saving for retirement is one thing, but deciding what to do with your fund at retirement is another. Annuities are the traditional route for converting capital into a guaranteed lifetime income, but economic factors have been moving against annuities in recent years. For some investors a drawdown facility, which helps to preserve the value of the fund through market-linked exposure, may be the best advice.
The innovative nature of leading advisers like Dickson, and forward-looking annuity providers, is best illustrated by the many and varied forms of retirement income provision now available, for example phased income, with-profits, investment-linked annuities and drawdown. Emerging solutions such as enhanced and impaired life annuities for individuals with adverse medical conditions can often provide a higher income than generally available in the market. All options require careful appraisal by an expert adviser.
Medium Term Savings plans can be used either separately or collectively in a wide range of personal financial planning applications including School Fees and Inheritance Tax Planning, Mortgage Repayment and/or Income Generation. Regular premium products (e.g. Unit Trust and ISAs) are available for steady saving and single premium products (e.g. Bonds) are available for savers with a lump sum to invest.
Short Term Savings such as National Savings and high interest bank and building society accounts are also available and have an important part to play in making the most of a client’s investment portfolio.
Protection products provide important financial security for an individual or family in the event of illness or death. Life Assurance policies provide a lump sum at death, Family Income Benefit policies provide an income at death, and Critical Illness policies provide a lump sum on the diagnosis of a 'critical illness event'.
Health Insurance is particularly important to the self-employed who may have limited entitlement to state benefits. Income Protection Policies can provide a tax free income for policyholders who are unable to work due to long term ill health. Private Medical Insurance is also valuable for the self-employed and senior executive/directors.
Mortgages are available in all shapes and sizes and must be chosen with care. There are many types (e.g. fixed, capped, discounted) and many methods of repayment (e.g. capital & interest, endowment, pension, interest only). Security for borrowers can be provided by Life Assurance products. Payment Protection Plans are available to pay the mortgage for a limited period in the event of accident, sickness or redundancy.
If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact us