Investment Management & Retirement Planning

When I first met Sheila she had numerous investments, savings and pension plans spread across a wide range of financial institutions. The portfolio was proving hard to keep track of, administer and manage.

We recommended amalgamating the pension plans onto a single platform. This meant the monies could be managed much more efficiently and geared to maximising Sheila’s income at retirement and beyond.

We also addressed Sheila's Inheritance Tax liability both for her sons’ future benefit and her own peace of mind.

The result was less paperwork, greater investment diversification, reduced capital risk and a higher, more tax efficient income.

Options at Retirement

Alan approached me for advice regarding his pension fund, built up through Legal & General. Being independent, we could consider the full range of products available from the entire marketplace. We examined a number of options, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative. It became clear that Alan wished to maximise the regular income produced by his pension fund whilst looking for guarantees on the level of payment being made.

Choosing the right annuity is crucial, since it’s not possible to amend once it’s started. Alan had some health issues and his wife was a regular smoker, so we recommended an Enhanced Annuity. This offered more favourable rates than any other pension product based on their circumstances, underlining the importance of considering all options before you make any final and lasting decisions.

Pensions & Divorce

Rebecca contacted me to discuss her options regarding the pension sharing order she’d been awarded in her divorce settlement. She was considering amalgamating all the pension holdings concerned into a single plan, then re-starting regular contributions once she had a clearer idea of her income and expenditure.

We looked at her existing policies in terms of charging structures, corporate stability, service standards, flexibility, performance and fund choice. Based on our assessment we recommended transferring all the pension funds onto a platform, giving access to a vastly improved range of asset classes and fund managers. This provided increased diversification and the opportunity to increase her income at retirement.

The divorce settlement also provided her with a monthly maintenance payment. To protect this in the event of her ex-husband's death we suggested putting in place a life assurance policy.

Inheritance Tax Planning, Trusts & Long Term Care

Rosalind's parents were longstanding clients of ours. Both required round-the-clock care in their own home from two live-in carers. Rosalind came to us for advice on funding the considerable costs involved.

Some years earlier, they had placed a large proportion of their investments in a family trust for Inheritance Tax planning purposes. The remainder of their funds outside of the trust were now being exhausted by their care costs. Rosalind was the beneficiary of the trust, so we recommended that she took an income to cover the shortfall. We also advised her on applying to Social Services for financial support.

Our estate planning meant the capital in the trusts could not be included in the Social Services’ assessment process, so Rosalind's parents were able to stay in their own home. It also ensured that Rosalind was able to inherit the property, as well as the investments held in trust, in full.

Funding Solution for Long Term Care Costs

These clients held Power of Attorney for an elderly friend living in a nursing home. Her care costs were being met by her pension income and the bank interest from the sale proceeds of her property. However, there was a shortfall of over £9,000 a year, which was steadily eating into her funds.

After we’d carefully explained all the possible solutions, my clients decided to use the bulk of the remaining money to buy a Purchased Life Annuity in their friend’s name. This ensured a guaranteed income that more than covered the shortfall. Owing to the lady's age, the monthly payments were deemed a repayment of capital only, so were exempt from income tax.

This guaranteed that her quality of care was maintained throughout her lifetime. We also structured the plan so that the original capital invested, minus the total amount of gross income received, was paid out to her beneficiaries on her passing.

Latest Blog Articles

A road map for investing in uncertain times

Like everyone, we have been stunned by the events in Ukraine. These are difficult andRead more

“Noise” blocking – good for your portfolio

It’s easy to feel bombarded by the constant cycle of negative news headlines or ‘noise’,Read more