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Playing the Inheritance Tax Numbers Game

Posted by in Finance

The dust (some are saying “gold dust”) had hardly settled on the Chancellor’s budget and pension revolution before the Prime Minister decided he needed to share some of the credit and limelight. The Tory pair are light years away from the battles and animosity that existed between No 10 and 11 Downing Street when Labour’s Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were in office. But politics is all about perception. After last week’s Budget, George Osborne was hailed as the architect of ending years of annuity torture, and a future British Prime Minister! So nobody should have been surprised this week when the current Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced his...

The Power of Your Pension

Posted by in Finance

No-one predicted the pensioners’ windfall that emerged from George Osborne’s Budget speech this week. In a stroke, the Chancellor has changed the aspirations of those approaching retirement by eliminating the annuity trap. The removal of the need to buy an annuity with your pension pot, plus the raising of the ISA annual limit to £15,000, the introduction of a new pension bond and even the raising of the maximum amount of Premium Bonds that can be individually held from £30,000 to £50,000 over the next two years, hands a long-awaited lifeline to the most penalised group since the 2008 financial crisis – SAVERS! This transformation is also great news...

Use or Lose Your Tax Allowances

Posted by in Finance

That’s the instruction repeatedly bellowed out by rugby referees, like France’s Romain Poite, in charge last Sunday when England’s victory over Wales at Twickenham brought the home side its first Triple Crown for 11 years. “Use it – or lose it” is the warning to the side with the ball to get on with the game. Failure to do so means the opposition gets possession. The same warning should be ringing loud and clear for all of us as the end of the tax year approaches. Use your tax allowances and breaks by April 5th – or most, like the £11,520 ISA allowance, are gone forever. Wednesday’s (March 19th)...

Beware of “Boiler Room” Scams

Posted by in Finance

Could you cope with losing your life savings overnight to a mystery voice at the end of a telephone? One of the UK’s top policemen has revealed the devastation and embarrassment of “boiler-room” fraud. How normally careful and sensible investors of a certain age, after a lifetime of frugal behaviour, are lured into scam investments on the advice of a stranger – and end up losing thousands, ten of thousands or hundreds of thousands of pounds. If ever there was a reason for seeking financial advice from an expert, this has to be it. Find someone you can trust – and meet; someone with a long-term local involvement, or...

Twelve Top Tips for Plymouth Property Buyers

Posted by in Home and Property

For Plymouth property buyers, finding a new home is well known to be one of the most stressful activities that we can embark upon. There are many potential pitfalls. However a bit of knowledge sensibly applied can make the whole process much easier and safer. Follow my twelve top tips for property buying success in Plymouth or anywhere else in the UK. 1. Arrange to Have a Full, Detailed Survey Carried Out Don’t go for the basic Homebuyers Survey and Valuation (HSV) as this is very limited, and is only intended to assess if the property is worth the selling price and to pick up any obvious problems. With a basic...

Swedish Interior Design Brings Beautiful Sound Proofing

Posted by in Home and Property

Take a look at these remarkably beautiful sound absorbing tiles from Swedish design studio Form Us With Love. There’s a classic European style to these environmentally friendly panels that could make you feel like you have your own Nordic Noir home. Called BAUX  Träullit, they form part of their interior design brand BAUX. The tiles are made of wood wool, cement and water. Styled with an elegant palette of muted colours, they create a moisture-resistant material which is remakably acoustically absorbent. We think interior designers will love them. The designers tells us: “BAUX is founded on the belief that building materials should be both surprisingly functional and remarkably beautiful”. They...

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