Tax year end planning 2019 - top 10 checklist

Posted: Feb 14, 2019

With the end of the tax year just around the corner, it’s time to check you are making the most of your tax reliefs and allowances to save for a brighter future. There’s a lot to think about.

We’ve created a checklist of our top 10 planning opportunities to explore, together with the key information you may need to make these a reality. 

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A seasonal bonus for pensions?

Posted: Feb 14, 2019

The tax year end can focus the mind. Particularly with regard to pension funding - if allowances are not used now, they may be lost forever.  But where can you find the ‘cash’ to top-up your pension?

One solution may be to use any year-end bonus payments.

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Griffins feature in national guide of top rated financial advisers

Posted: Feb 25, 2019

The Times published a guide this weekend in conjunction with VouchedFor to help individuals seeking professional financial advice.  VouchedFor is often described as TripAdvisor for professionals and allows people to see real reviews of financial advisers (as well as mortgage advisers, solicitors and accountants).  This guide includes a directory of top-rated financial advisers from the UK, and we are delighted that two of our advisers are featured in this directory.

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Reap the rewards of regular savings

Posted: Mar 14, 2019

Saving regularly can be a painless way to accumulate funds, particularly if this money is taken automatically each pay day. Set aside£100 each month, and you will have squirrelled away £1,200 after one year, or £6,000 after five years. Trying to find a lump sum of this size to invest can prove more challenging, without a bonus, bequest or some other windfall.

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Building your assets with infrastructure funds

Posted: Mar 14, 2019

Infrastructure funds are one of the less well-known types of investment, but they can offer options for those looking to diversify their portfolio.

Infrastructure funds offer investors the opportunity to put their money into funds for large physical assets, for example transport, energy, communications or commercial property.

These funds provide access to markets that are not closely linked to the values of most other bonds and shares, with less value fluctuations. They can also be attractive if you’re looking to generate an income from your investments.

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Planning for the 100-year life

Posted: Mar 14, 2019

It may sound fanciful, but a 100-year lifespan is well within the bounds of probability. That could have profound implications for your retirement planning.

While the average 70-year-old man now has a 4.1% chance of reaching his 100th birthday, an average 40-year-old woman has a 13.8% chance of becoming 100. Many more will reach over 90.

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The child benefit tax trap

Posted: Mar 14, 2019

Around 1.4 million families now lose some or all of their child benefit because one of the parents earns over £50,000 a year.

As soon as one partner earns over £50,000, child benefit is gradually withdrawn via a tax charge, and once earnings exceed £60,000 the whole benefit is lost.

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Ringing the changes of the new tax year

Posted: Mar 14, 2019

The tax year 2018/19 ends on Friday 5 April, which means it is time to start planning for the new tax year and tie up the loose ends of the old one.

Planning for the new tax year is now affected by the shift of the Budget schedule to autumn. The result is that changes announced in October, or in Scotland’s December Budget, have now passed into legislation in time the new tax year arrives.

So, what does 2019/20 hold in store?

A higher personal allowance

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Self-employed pensions boost

Posted: Mar 14, 2019

The Chancellor has abandoned plans to abolish class 2 national insurance contributions (NICs).

Those registered as self-employed pay class 2 NICs if their profits are more than £6,365 a year in 2019/20. Then if profits exceed £8,632, they also have to pay class 4 NICs. Typically, these NICs are paid through the self-assessment system.

The planned abolition of class 2 NICs was proposed as a means of simplifying the tax system. But there were concerns it would push up pension costs for the self-employed, particularly those on lower incomes.

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Just in case: protecting against income cuts

Posted: Mar 14, 2019

You may assume you’ll never need it, but if you experience redundancy or illness, you may become eligible for universal credit. The government is slowly rolling out the new single payment designed to replace six existing state benefits.

Universal credit is expected to be adopted nationwide by 2023. However, there has been controversy about the changes, and delays to implementation. Universal credit replaces the following benefits:

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