Annuities

Deciding on the right annuity, or no annuity

Annuities can be very complicated and it is important for you to understand all your choices in order to maximise your income, as once a decision is made it cannot normally be changed.

Many people don't realise that you can take your pension away from the company that built it up and shop around for the best annuity. Just accepting the offer you receive from your pension provider can be an expensive mistake. With our help, you could receive a higher level of income.

There are four main things to consider regarding an annuity:

  • Your health
  • Obtaining the best rate
  • Inflation
  • Your funds after your death

Do you have any health or lifestyle factors which could enhance the annuity rate you receive. Do you want a higher income now, accepting the eroding effects of inflation? Or are you prepared to take a much lower income initially, which then increases each year to combat inflation? Perhaps you would like to have an income without purchasing an annuity, thereby preserving your funds for your beneficiaries. Or you may just want to access your tax-free cash.

If you have a pension fund of over £250,000, we recommend a meeting to make sure you receive the right advice.

Protection

How well protected is your wealth?

How would your family manage if you were to die now or become seriously ill? Along with their obvious emotional distress in losing a loved one, your dependents could face a sudden negative change in their financial position - unless you have planned for such an event, so that their needs are provided for.

If you have children, have you made provisions for their care, education and financial security?

We consider the tax implications

Blackstone Moregate will provide a full analysis to determine whether your provisions are sufficient, and identify any shortfalls. We can then either re-align existing arrangements to maximise their efficiency, or if necessary, put in place new arrangements. Just as important is what trust provisions you arrange to ensure that the funds go to the right people in the most effective and tax-efficient manner.

Inheritance Tax Planning

Where there's a will...

Estate planning is about much more than passing on money when you die. It's about leaving a legacy and financial legacy and financial security for your family and taking care of the next generation.

Inheritance tax is currently charged at a flat rate of 40% on the value of your estate which exceeds your personal allowance (also called the nil rate band). This is currently £325,000 per person. The residence nil rate band is an additional allowance of £175,000 per person for passing on the family home, which may also apply to your estate.

However, there are plenty of ways to reduce your tax exposure through proper advice and planning. Some people hold back because they are worried about running out of money in later life. We can show you how much money you will need to maintain your lifestyle, while taking into account other potential expenses such as long-term care.

Whether you need a will (a good place to start), or other advice on inheritance tax planning, we would be delighted to help you.

Investments & Savings

Successful investing

Whilst the world of investing is constantly changing, some basic principles continue to hold true. For example, before we can help you, we must understand your attitude to risk, your circumstances, your existing investments, your views and objectives. We believe that every investor is unique, and the advice we give you will be tailored to your individual needs. Once we understand you and your goals, we perform an analysis to find the appropriate investment vehicle, so that we can take full advantage of any tax break or relief. We take great care in allocating your assets and diversifying your portfolio, ensuring that we match the right investments for growth and/or income to your needs.

Keeping an eye on your investments

Constant monitoring is essential to the future success of your investments, and we will always review and reflect the changes in the markets and your personal circumstances in your portfolio. Our industry-leading software enables us to give real time information and to respond quickly to change.

Fresh thinking that helps you succeed

We have in place a thorough investment research process, which is regularly reviewed in order to seek out funds and investments that we believe will perform. We will also think outside the box and bring to your attention alternative investment asset classes and opportunities when we think they will benefit you.

Pensions and Divorce

Your pension`s true value

Going through a divorce can be a stressful and life-changing transition. It can affect important parts of your life including your home, job and your family’s wellbeing. These aspects will often have financial implications from mortgages to savings and pensions arrangements. We work with you to ensure you get a fair settlement, enabling you to live the rest of your life with financial confidence.

In view of this, Blackstone Moregate offer you a unique service. We have in-house pensions and divorce specialists who works with a qualified actuarial service to ensure that any pensions in a divorce settlement are carefully and appropriately valued. Our service provides you with practical advice and will also assist in the implementation of any pension sharing order.

Pensions

Your retirement should not be left to chance

In recent years there have been a raft of changes in Government legislation which have revolutionised pensions. While the changes are welcome the increased choice also brings a level of complexity that warrants high quality advice.

We pride ourselves on demystifying pensions as they can be a very tax efficient and useful part of your overall financial planning. We ensure you know what the limits are for funding, including the Annual Allowance and the Lifetime Allowance, how your contributions can help you reduce your tax liability or even when not to use pensions at all.

Careful management of your pension is also critical. Too often we meet clients who have not regularly reviewed their pension charges, fund performance, asset allocation and suitability. With over 30 years of pension knowledge, skills and application our review of your pensions will ensure they are best placed to provide the retirement you desire.

Mortgages

Finding a mortgage to suit your present and future goals

If you are buying a new property, you naturally need to consider how much you can afford to put down as the deposit. Many lenders will look at this amount to determine the rate they are prepared to offer you.

You also need to be aware of any arrangement and set up fees that can make the mortgage a lot more expensive than the headline ratemay indicate.

When remortgaging, it is important to take into account the fees incurred in moving lender as well as some of the mortgage options available beyond interest-only and repayment mortgages. In particular we are finding an increasing number of clients interested in offset mortgages. These can be a good idea because they can be repaid much more quickly than standard mortgages.

Blackstone Moregate can help you find a mortgage that suits your current situation and your long-term plans.