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?

Things we don’t like to talk about:101 – An extra helping for the Overweight



Eat more, Drink more and Smoke: My advice for those looking to maximise their pension….

If you’re Overweight, Smoke, have high blood pressure or
other health issues, for once it’s a good thing, you might qualify for extra income from
your pension in retirement potentially up to 40% more!
According to the Association of British Insurers 1 in every
2 people who retire could qualify for an enhanced annuity. Which means they
could be losing out on extra income in their retirement by selecting a pension
from their existing supplier when they retire.

The Technical Bit

WHAT IS AN ANNUITY?

Usually* when we retire we have to buy a product called an
annuity, in simple terms this is where you give your pension savings to a
company and they promise to pay you an income for the remainder of your life.
We don’t like to talk about it, but this income is based on
statistics for life expectancy, and the healthier that you are the less money
you’ll get. The one time in your life that someone will say “Smoking is good for you” is when you
come to take your pension, the same is true of being overweight.
There are additional options that you can add such as an
income for your spouse if you die, or if you want your income to increase with
inflation each year. The starting income is based on the simple idea of a
guaranteed level income for the rest of your life and each option you choose
reduces the amount they will pay.  

OPEN MARKET OPTION – YOUR RIGHT TO SHOP AROUND

Clearly you can suppose that different companies might want
to compete against each other to get your pension pot, by offering higher
incomes. In 1978 the government introduced the right to shop around for your
annuity, but unfortunately the statistics show that about 60% of people still
don’t shop around, a process referred to as using “Open Market Option” By
shopping around most people can typically get around 10 to 20% more income,
which rises to around 40% more if they qualify for enhancement.
Open Market Option is very simple, all you need do is
contact an Independent Financial Adviser, and they can check which options you
want and find out who will give you the most income. An independent financial
adviser can also see if you would qualify for enhanced annuities, statistically
almost 70% of retirees would have qualified. That’s a huge amount of money lost
each year, simply because of a lack of knowledge.
DALES Independent Financial Advisers, are independent financial
advisers in Newark and Nottingham and can offer Independent retirement advice
on taking your pension. Why not call DALES today to see how much more pension
income you could get, through Open Market Option?
T: 0333 772 9607, T: 0115 832 0265 (Nottingham) or T:01636
87 00 69 (Newark). E: advice@pndales.co.uk.
*Until 6th April 2011 everyone was forced to buy
an annuity by the age of 75, now there is an alternative, but it involves risk
and is not suitable for most people, for most people buying a “pension” when
they retire is still going to be in effectively mandatory as the alternatives
are unsuitable. Interestingly this is something that is in the news today, as
the Pension minister Steve Webb speaking at the party conference, admitted that
there are concerns that annuities may not be the right product for people in
retirement and said the government needed to tackle the issue.
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 16
years helping many clients with all aspects of financial planning, and
retirement. For more information on this or any other aspect of financial
advice contact t: 0333 772 9607.

Things we don’t want to talk about 101 – Funeral Plan Advice


Things we don’t want to talk about: 101 – Funeral Plan Advice
A client of Dales Independent Financial Advisers recently asked for some advice on a funeral plan. It made me think about my own experience a few years ago on the death of my Farther in Law, what is available, what are the benefits and who needs to consider such a plan.
First things first: just how much does it cost to die in the UK these days?

On average it costs anywhere between £2500–£5000, depending upon either, where you live or how basic the funeral is. From my personal experience, for the most basic funeral in the south of England with no wake, no trimmings and no limousine it cost us around £5000, two years ago. In the Midlands, i.e. Newark or Nottingham for the same funeral you may expect to pay around £2500. Adding a limousine, a small room for the wake, and you would expect to pay closer to the £5000 mark.
Who pays for the funeral?
In the first instance the deceased estate is responsible for the cost. The cost of the funeral, is the first call on the estate (this means that before anyone else can get their inheritance or costs, the funeral director gets they’re money), however probate will still need to be granted to make the payment. Therefore, as probate can take some time the next of kin will be expected to make payment to the funeral director before probate has been granted.
If the deceased has insufficient resources to pay for the funeral from the estate, it is the responsibility of the next of kin to pay for the funeral.
Can you get any help with funeral costs?
The simple answer is, if you have any money probably not. Similarly, if the estate of the deceased has any money no probably not either.
However, if you have no savings, and are claiming income support or similar benefits you may be able to claim some help as an interim payment for the funeral, until the estate’s funds are released, if the estate has sufficient money you will have to pay the council back once probate is granted.
The only situation where the local council would be expected to pay the full costs of the funeral is where the deceased has no next of kin, with sufficient funds, and no assets, or personal belongings that may be sold to cover the costs of the funeral.
It is important to point out that if the next of kin have sufficient funds to cover the cost of the funeral, then the council will not be liable for the funeral, you will have to pay, even if the estate has insufficient funds to reimburse you.
In my mind this means that most people will have to pay for their own funeral, or their next of kin will be expected to. With this in mind many people over 50 start to consider the issue.
Covering the cost of the funeral
There are a number of ways to consider how one pays for your own funeral: You could leave sufficient funds in a savings account. The main disadvantage is that the funds will not be accessible by your family until after probate has been granted. Consider for a moment whether or not, your son or daughter may have as much as £5,000 in a savings account to cover the cost until the estate is released.
Some people consider life insurance (assurance), this can be an inefficient method, as a lump sum is insured not the cost of the funeral, as we discuss later the cost of funerals keeps increasing, therefore the lump sum may not cover the cost in the future.
Notwithstanding that – if you do use this method please take advice on placing the policy in trust, otherwise you may not have alleviated the issue of access to the funds on death.
The other method and probably the best is a pre paid funeral plan.

Funeral plans: how do they work and why should I get one?
Most funeral plans are a way of pre-paying for your funeral, with some you can select various options e.g. you could elect to cover limousine high. Most cover the cost of a cremation, but again you could elect to cover the cost of burial. The basic premiss is that they guarantee to cover the cost of the funeral. This makes a lot of financial sense, the price of a funeral has gone up considerably over the years, between 2004 and 2009, the rate of increase has been higher than inflation or savings account interest at 7.32% per year. (source|: Mintel). Usually the money you have paid is held in trust for you, this puts the value of the plan outside of your estate, so there is no Inheritance tax issues or indeed probate requirements. Therefore, your nearest and dearest can access the funds straightaway.
Funeral Plans: Where Can I Get One?
There a number of suppliers available, some may have restrictions on what funeral director you can use and some may have limited guarantees or options, the point is that it is important to get the plan that best suits your needs.
Traditionally these plans are something one buys without any real advice, most people who buy one go through a local funeral director, and are not aware that you can get independent advice on which funeral plan is best for you.
Dales Independent Financial Advisers can help you chose the right funeral plan for your circumstances. Although the sale of funeral plans are not regulated by the Financial Services Authority, they have issued guidance on funeral plans. We use this guidance, consider your circumstance and requirements, then review the market and find the plan best suited to your situation.
For more advice on Funeral Plans contact Philip Dales Cert PFS Cert CII MP at Dales Independent Financial Advisers: advice@pndales.co.uk. We have offices in both Nottingham and Newark, and would be happy to discuss your situation in more detail.
Call us today to discuss your requirements. Nottingham: 0115 832 0265 or Newark: 01636 87 00 69 or email advice@pndales.co.uk or look at our website www.dalesindependentfinancialadvice.co.uk
The Financial Services Authority do not regulate Funeral Plan advice.