The unexpected death of a spouse can lead to considerable financial problems if the surviving partner is not fully aware of the state of the family’s finances. All too often, couples do not fully discuss the implications of the death of a spouse or partner, and this can create additional stress that could easily have been avoided. So it’s worth taking some time out to consider the following areas of your family’s finances.
Working out how to make adequate financial provision for retirement is one of the most important financial decisions most of us will ever face. However, it can be a daunting topic, and the options may seem overwhelming. Over the past year, there has been a seismic change to the retirement landscape with the introduction of the Government’s ‘pension freedoms’.
Almost one third of retired people were still carrying debt at the point they gave up full-time work according to research from YouGov and Old Mutual Wealth. The findings showed that the average amount of debt held at the point of retirement is £34,500; however, 19% of people had debts of over £50,000, and almost one in ten had debts of over £100,000.
Your Will tells everyone what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you die (all these things together are called your ‘estate’). If you don’t leave a Will, the law decides how your estate is passed on – and this may not be in line with your wishes.
More than a third (34%) of over-55s plan to continue working past what would previously have been considered their retirement age of 65, according to figures released from Scottish Widows think tank the Centre for the Modern Family.
If you want the freedom to manage your own investments that will enable you to achieve your retirement goals, a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) could be an option for you to consider. A SIPP is a pension ‘wrapper’ that holds investments until you retire and start to draw a retirement income. It is a type of personal pension and works in a similar way to a standard personal pension. The main difference is that with a SIPP, you have more flexibility with the investments you can choose.
In August, the Chinese Government attempted to stimulate the economy by devaluing its currency (the Renminbi) and suspending trading on many stocks. The effect of this caused a tsunami throughout both Chinese and global markets, followed by significant falls in global stock markets, including the S&P in the US and the FTSE in the UK. On 24 August, the day many in the media called ‘Black Monday’, the Chinese market was down by 8%, UK markets fell by over 4.5% and the US by over 3.5%, with the FTSE falling below 6,000 on 22 September.
With Christmas just round the corner, making an investment for your children or grandchildren is a great way to give them a financial start in life, long after the festivities are over. Even small amounts can really add up if you save regularly from a child’s birth, and there are many ways to invest on behalf of a child.
Three years have passed since the introduction of auto enrolment, and employees are really starting to reap the benefits of workplace pension savings. New research has revealed that employer contributions are crucial to boosting pension savings for over half (54%) of those enrolled in a defined contribution pension scheme in the UK.