Advice & Meetings Covid-19 Update

Virtual Independent Financial Advice

Although the Government has announced that non essential retail shops can start to re-open in the coming weeks, there has been no mention of our type of service, traditionally as an industry we have always worked largely on a face to face basis. Clearly we are all now working from home and continue to offer advice to both new and existing customers. However, we can enhance that service by offering virtual meetings.

For new customers we want to offer you a way of getting access to the independent financial advice you need, while keeping staff and yourself safe.

Zoom, WhatsApp & FaceTime, 

Here at Dales we want to continue our great service and are more than happy to use the latest available technology to keep in touch. Whether it be Zoom, WhatsApp or FaceTime, please just let us know and we can arrange a virtual meeting at a convenient time for you.

We will offer virtual reviews for existing clients or virtual independent financial advice, by just removing the physical meeting.

Going forward this may become the new norm, as more and more of us have used such systems over the last 10 or so weeks, to keep in touch with our relatives and loved ones.

Most of the providers have moved increasingly to accepting electronic instructions, and the need for paper has reduced even further, since the lockdown came into force.  Long term this will be beneficial from both a transactional point of view and of course for the environment.

We also realise that for many of our clients they may be in strict shielding and again we reach out to them and offer to stay in touch, you are not forgotten and we are here and will facilitate reviews and on going services in a way that suits you.

https://www.pndales.co.uk/contact-us/

or Tel: 01636 870 069

 

To ISAs or not to ISA

What is an ISA?
The dictionary term is: – “an Individual Savings Account (ISA) allows individuals to hold cash, shares and/or unit trusts tax-free on dividends, interest and capital gains.
What does this mean?
Each
tax year the Government ‘generously’ gives us a tax-free allowance on savings
held within an ISA.
In
July 2014, the Government increased this allowance to £15,000.  The Government has already announced the new
ISA allowance the coming 2015/16-tax year of
£15,240.
Growth
or income from ISAs is tax-free.  You
don’t even need to declare the income you receive on your tax return.
provided
you have not exceeded your allowance for the tax year.
What’s the difference between the different
types of ISAs?
There
are two types:
CASH ISA
A
Cash ISA works pretty much the same as any other savings accounts except the
interest earnt is tax-free.
This
type of ISA is great for someone that wants to be tax efficient, but may need
access to the cash to cover unexpected bills.
Within a Cash ISA your cash remains as cash and can therefore be removed
at any time.  You can add to your ISA but
only up to the £15,000 withdrawn
The
downside to Cash ISAs is that interest rates are still very low.  Cash is an inefficient way to save for long
term goals.
STOCKS & SHARES ISA
A
Stocks and Shares ISA invests your money in other equities such as Gilts and
Bonds to Unit Trusts and Investment Trusts and OEICS a range of stocks and
shares from government stocks and bonds to unit trust and holdings in blue-chip
companies.  It can also hold cash much
the same as a Cash ISA.
Compared
to a Cash ISA, a Stocks and Shares ISA has a higher potential return but with
it comes a greater risk and cash may not be instantly available.  The value may experience fluctuations in
accordance with the market.
A Equity
ISA should be considered as a long-term investment (3-5 years) rather than a
short-term cash holding.  Most often,
this suites people with a little more cash spare or people looking at longer
term savings or goals, as their ISA allows them to invest tax-free in the
long-term, but still leaves them with liquid assets available in case of an
emergency.
Who can open an ISA?
ISAs
are open to UK residents only (Crown Employees).  Cash ISAs can be opened from the age of 16
with Stocks and Shares ISAs from 18.
There
are special Junior ISAs available with some extra rules, if you would like more
information about Junior ISAs, please contact us.
It’s
important to note that ISAs can only be opened in an individual’s name.  They cannot be opened jointly which means
that a couple can have two ISA allowances each year.
ISA Golden Rules
1.
You can only open one ‘new’ ISA of each type
each year.
2.
You have one allowance per tax year, per person.  You can choose to place this all in a Cash
ISA or all in a Stocks and Shares ISA or you can opt to mix and match and spilt
your allowance between a Cash ISA or a Stocks and Shares ISA.
3.
If you fail to use your ISA allowance before the
end of the tax year it cannot be rolled over so once it’s gone it’s gone.
4.
If you want to switch providers for any reason,
no problem, just remember do not remove or disinvest yourself.  Once it has been removed from it’s ISA ‘wrapping’
anything that was within it looses its tax-free status.  Your new provider will do the transfer for
you, which retains the ISA status and does not effect this years’ allowance.
Should
you wish to discuss ISAs or any other element of your financial planning needs,
please call us on 01636 870 069.

Inflation: Good Times?

Inflation: Are we looking at goods times or more bad times?
With
inflation sitting at it’s lowest in a decade and half (1.5% below the Bank of
England’s target of 2%) and now finally below wage increases; are we set to see
an end to the longest economic squeeze since Victorian times?  Lets examine the evidence:
We
are already seeing a significant fall in oil prices, now approaching their lowest
since records began in 1989, and in all likelihood inflation will probably
follow.  Capital Economics have suggested
that the average household is set to benefit around £455 per year just in the
fall of oil prices alone.
We
are also likely to see a “tax cut” in other areas over the next coming months
and with low inflation and rises in wages this means our pockets are going to
be a little fuller than they have been over the last couple of years.
But
low inflation and falling prices are only good in the short term.  Over the long term, Economists have concerns
that we may see ‘bad inflation’ similar to that witnessed in the US in the
1930s when inflation continued to fall with wages following shortly
afterwards.  This kind of ‘bad inflation’
last longer, has weaker growth and therefore takes longer for the economy to
recover.
There
are already concerns that this is already starting to evidence itself in Europe
(not including the fall in oil prices), particularly in Greece.  In an attempt to prevent this, European
Central Bank is set to begin quantitative easing in the coming months and with
this carries risk and unpredictability.
So whilst
in the short term we are expecting to see cheaper prices, increases to wages
and an overall improvement in the standard of living, in the long term,
however, things are still uncertain for the time being.

Income Protection if you have to become a Carer

Income Protection if
you have to become a Carer
Most
people consider protecting their income if they become unable to work due to
their own ill health.  However, it is
estimated that 3 out of 5 people will become a Carer for a relative at some
point in their lives.  If this were to
happen to you, could your family afford for you to give up work?  In most cases, probably not!
Friends
Life have recently introduced Family Carer Benefit within their Income
Protection policies.
So
what does this mean?  If a child, spouse
or civil partner requires full-time care you could claim up to £1,500 per month
for 12 months to help cover the costs of adjusting to your new family life or
having to give up your full-time job. 
You don’t actually even have to give up working if this does not suit
you and your family.
To
find out more about Income Protection and Family Carer Benefit call us now on
01636 870 069.

One for the guys?

One for the guys 

Men, did you know that you are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer rather than suffer a heart attack or stroke?  And did you know that prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men?

According to Cancer Research statistics in 2011 41,736 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer with 10,837 deaths in 2012.  http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/cancerstats/types/prostate/
Advances in treatments and early diagnoses has led to higher survival rates with 84% of men diagnosed between 2010-2011 predicted to survive for 10 years or more but what if the worse should happen?  Does your life insurance cover early diagnoses and low-grade cancers?
More and more frequently life insurance companies are recognising the importance of early diagnoses and tweaking their policies to reflect this and make themselves stand out.  A good example is Bright Grey who have just announced an adjustment to their critical illness policy to include low grade prostate cancer.
They have decided that they will pay out 20% of your cover (up to £15,000) should you be diagnosed with a specified stage of prostate cancer.  If later, things progress for the worse and you meet their full critical illness definition, they will then pay out the full
amount of your cover.
If you would like to discuss life insurance in more detail, call one of our
Advisers on 01636 870 069.

Extra Protection for Woman

Extra protection for woman
According to Cancer Research the number of woman diagnosed with cancer has risen by 43% since 1970.  In light of this, Bright Grey has added 2 new early forms of female cancer to their list of additional conditions.
This means that should you be diagnosed with Carcinoma in-situ of the cervix uteri (requiring a hysterectomy), borderline ovarian tumour (requiring the removal of an ovary) or ductal carcinoma (an early form of breast cancer) Bright Grey will pay out 20% of your cover (maximum of £15,000).
Should this then lead on to a critical illness, as per their list, you
will then receive the full amount of cover.
If you would like more information about critical illness and how it could
protection you and your family, contact DALES on 01636 870 069.

Why poor Walt should have seen a Financial Adviser

Why poor Walt should
have seen a Financial Adviser
For those of you who haven’t seen the hit TV series Breaking Bad, the story follows Walt, a chemistry teacher who’s diagnosed with lung cancer and his radical approach to ensuring the financial security of his family on his editable demise.
If you put Walt’s money laundering, corruption, extortion and generally becoming a criminal mastermind aside, would Walt have acted differently if he had known that he would be diagnosed with lung cancer?  He probably would have.
Obviously not counting the numerous laws he’s breaking, Walt’s real predicament is that he should have seen a Financial Adviser earlier in life and had simple family income benefit policy put in place.  This would mean that whether he was diagnosed with lung cancer or suffered a fatal accident his family would have received a lump sum pay out and/or monthly income for the rest of their dependency and his whole life of crime could have been prevented.
We are a society that is very quick to assume that we will never be diagnosed with a terminal or critical illness or be involved in a fatal accident.  But if that were to happen, what would your family do?
Life insurance is not as expensive as you think considering the consequences of not ensuring the financial security of your family, should something happen.  Why not speak to a Financial Adviser today?

Are you a member of the Sandwich ….

Are you a member of the sandwich generation?
The term ‘Sandwich Generation’ typically defines people
between the ages of 45 and 60 who are caring for both elderly parents and
children.
Research conducted by Aviva in 2014 has shown that most
people are aware of becoming ‘sandwiched’ but don’t plan for things like:
·
Reducing their working hours (and income) to
care for an elderly parent.
·
Helping an elderly parent/child with
rent/mortgage payments
·
Helping out children that rely on the ‘bank on
mum and dad’ whilst in further education.
If this is something you are concerned about, contact us on
01636 870 069.

Payday Lenders

PAYDAY LENDERS – The bits they don’t tell you about
We all have times where there seems to be more month than cash but
before considering a payday loan, make sure you look at all the options…
Did you know that taking out a payday loan can have an adverse
effect on your credit score?
No? Well, lenders view payday loans negatively as an inability to responsibly
manage your finances and can imply all other forms of borrowing have been
refused.

Keep in mind, a payday loan remains on your credit score for up to
six years and will essentially limit your ability to borrow, and more
importantly your ability to get a mortgage.

Forces Help to Buy

FORCES HELP TO BUY (FHTB) Scheme

According to the website GOV.UK there is a relatively low rate of home ownership in the armed forces.  To help and encourage service men and women to get on the property ladder, move home due to reposting or change their home as family needs demand, the Ministry of Defence have introduced the Forces Help to Buy (FHTB) Scheme.
The new scheme allows members of the armed forces to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary (maximum of £25,000), interest free, as a deposit for their purchase or remortgage.
The pilot scheme, which will run for the next three years, starting today, is not designed to reduce the amount of personnel in service accommodation, this is still an option if you wish, but to aid members of the armed forces in making that leap on to the property market.
Forces Help to Buy, your route to home ownershipChief of Defense Personnel, Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory, said:
“Through our work on the new employment model and the armed forces covenant we are continually striving to make improvements to those aspects of life outside of service which we know can be adversely affected by life in service.
“In particular we are keen to address the demand for greater stability, including access to home ownership, and an improved ability to exercise choice in the way our people live their lives.
“And so it is a hugely positive step forward that we are able to introduce the Forces Help To Buy scheme today, a year ahead of our original plan.”

So who is eligible?

  • You must have completed a pre-requisite length of service.
  • You must have more than six months remaining to serve
  • Meet the right medical categories, however, extenuating medical and personal circumstances will be considered.
There are a number of different lenders that will already stated that they will accept the Forces Help To Buy Scheme as a form of deposit without being punitive.  However,as always it is important to find a lender and product that suits your overall needs.  At DALES we will search the market to find the right deal for you. Why not contact us today on 01636 870 069 to discuss how we can help or why not look at our best buy tables Mortgage Best Buys.
Philip Dales Dip PFS Certs CII (MP & ER)
Philip Dales is principal at DALES Independent Financial Advisers, based in Newark and Nottingham. He has been an adviser for over 17 years helping many clients, including those in the forces with all aspects of financial planning, and retirement. For more information on this or any other aspect of financial advice contact t: 01636 870 069.

If you would like more information on this scheme and/or obtaining a mortgage, please contact us by email at advice@pndales.co.uk or by telephone on 01636 870 069 for more information or have a look at our web site www.pndales.co.uk Please note that this article does not represent advice, and the Forces Help To Buy Scheme, may not be suitable for you. P N DALES Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.