Author Archive

Retirement Planning

Did you know that the average British worker has six jobs during their lifetime? And this is increasing every year with a new generation more used to moving from job-to-job?

The more employers you have during your working life, the more pension pots you will have to organise. And as a result, the more complicated retirement planning can become. For the best outcome, always speak to a financial planning expert. They will explore the best retirement plans available to you and will save you time, as well as money.

Here is a case of how I helped a client with his retirement planning.

Could Tim Retire Sooner?

Tim, aged 55, was coming to the end of his career and retirement was on the horizon. He had spent his entire working life saving for retirement. And to make the most of his family’s future, he wanted to make sure he had the best retirement plan possible. 

Sadly, both Tim’s father and brother had passed away in their mid 60’s. And these close family losses made Tim want to take action earlier. 

From numerous pension pots to ISA’s, Buy to Let portfolios to other income streams, Tim felt confused about his retirement savings. And it’s no wonder, considering the many factors affecting his retirement planning.

In total, Tim had £290K in different pension pots and had four questions about his retirement on his mind:

1. Could he afford to retire in five years time, at the age of 60?

2. Would the £290K he had provide him with enough income in five years time?

3. Was being too cautious or too adventurous with his pensions?

4. Should be contributing more to his pension?

Retirement Planning With Tim

I sat down with Tim, to discover what he wanted his life to look like after retirement. We spoke about his lifestyle, his family and what was on their bucket list. I then worked out how much he would need each month to cover the cost of living and tick off those bucket list items. 

Tim came to Assured Wealth feeling confused about how and when he could take his pension. After we worked our magic, he left us delighted with a retirement plan in place. It was a plan that meant he could retire at 58 – two years sooner than he had originally hoped to!

What Does Your Retirement Plan Look Like?

Does Tim’s situation sound familiar? If you’re based in the UK and want to discover your best retirement plan, then speak to an advisor today. Call 01925 396 122 or get in touch today.

Wife Misses Mortgage Payment Due To Husband In Coma

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) allow your loved ones to manage your affairs if you are unable due to illness, injury or loss of capacity

Meet Martin. He’s a 50-year-old married Engineer, who lives in Liverpool, North West, with his wife of over thirty years, Sally. Two years ago the worst happened, when an accident in the factory led to him being in a coma. Everyday, Sally would visit him in hope of some positive news. And in between hospital visits, she was receiving stressful calls regarding their missed mortgage repayments. She felt confused. After all, they had more than enough money in the account to cover it.

So what happened?

Not knowing the ins and outs of why the mortgage repayment hadn’t left the account, she spent days trying to manually set up a payment… with no luck. She’d been frozen out of their account. When she sought financial advice, the financial planner explained that Martin had become a ‘vulnerable person’ and was deemed to have lost the capacity to act. And by law, the Court of Protection had to freeze the accounts, including his joint account with Sally, regardless of the fact that they’ve been married for over thirty years… She thought that because of their relationship, she was automatically the Power of Attorney, she thought wrong.

Because of this, she spent even more time while Martin was unwell, meeting with her financial planner and going to the Court of Protection to apply for a Deputyship application, which would make her a Power of Attorney and therefore able to access their accounts and get their mortgage repayments back on track. This cost them £2,500 legal fees and additional fees over the never-ending 12-week period. As well as the financial cost, it also added to her stress and worry of Martin’s health.

What should they have done?

Setting up a Power of Attorney would’ve solved it all. Through meeting with a Financial Planner or an Independent Financial Adviser they could’ve planned ahead. Instead of the £2,500 (plus fees) cost, they could’ve spent £262 (including a Court Fee) and not missed a single mortgage repayment.

Have you set up a Power of Attorney? For as little as £262 you could make sure you won’t end up like Martin and Sally if the worst happens. Call Assured Wealth today or book a free meeting with one of our Financial Planners to get started. Call today: 01925 396122.

What’s More Important: The Kids or The House?

The Challenge:

Family Trust Planning to protect your loved ones

Meet 40-year-old Paul. He lives in Warrington, North West, with his wife and two children. He’s a real family man, and through careful financial planning he has ensured his family have a safe financial future. Before seeking financial advice, one of his biggest desires in life was to be mortgage free at 50. He’d done plenty of retirement planning, but hadn’t really considered the opportunities available to him before then.

After sitting with a Financial Planner at Assured Wealth, he discovered he has an even bigger dream though. It’s a dream that he had written off as an impossible challenge. To help us build a financial plan for Paul, we sat with him and asked him a direct, yet essential question:

“If you could see your financial future, what would your dream be?”

To which he answered: 

“To create more unforgettable memories with the kids on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, before they get too old.”

 Perfect. Now we knew how to develop a financial plan to make Paul’s dreams come true, and here’s how we did it…

Our Solution

We wanted to make this happen for Paul without the need for additional lending or loans, just as we do for all of our clients. So we sat with him and worked out a simple, yet life-changing mortgage calculation. His two children were 12 and 13, and he knew that turning 16 would be when their heads are turned to further education and adulthood. Before then though, through some focus on financial planning, we wanted to help him to make as many unforgettable memories, as he put it, as possible. So he took our advice, and decided to push his mortgage back four years, which meant he had enough aside to have three years worth of once-in-a-lifetime holidays with his family!

Ask yourself: What would your dreams be?

With a 10-minute chat with an Assured Wealth Financial Planner, your dreams could become in touching distance. So call us today or arrange a free meeting to get started. Call us today: 01925 396122.

Important changes to the State Pension age for men and women

Women will now start to qualify for the State Pension at the same age as men, currently set at 65. The move to equalise male and female pension ages began 25 years ago and has been gradually phased in. Your State Pension age is the earliest age you can start receiving your State Pension. It may be different to the age you can get a workplace or personal pension. 

The State Pension age has been undergoing radical changes, and more changes are planned for the future. Commencing this year, the State Pension age will increase for both men and women to reach 66 by October 2020. The Government is also planning to increase the State Pension age from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028. 


Women aged 65 on 6 November were the first to wait for as long as men. For more than 60 years, women received their pensions at the age of 60, but that has been rising ever since. The equalisation of State Pension age and future planned increases are a further prompt to women to think about how much they’ll need to save for a comfortable retirement. 

While limited progress is being made to close the gender pay gap, other factors impacting women’s ability to save adequately for retirement – including career breaks to raise a family or to care for elderly parents – aren’t going anywhere. 


The Government has made a commitment to review the State Pension age every five years. This includes
an analysis of life expectancy projections by the Government Actuary’s Department and reports from an independently led body on wider factors that should be taken into account when setting State Pension age, such as variations in life expectancy. 

From now on, men and women will see their State Pension ages go up in tandem – increasing to 66 by October 2020, and 67 by 2028. The Government has also accepted the findings of the Cridland review, which recommended that the pension age should rise further – to 68–by2039. 


Women typically earn less from their State Pension than men, as they tend to work in more lowly paid and part-time jobs and therefore pay lower National Insurance contributions. Many with part-time jobs may also miss out on auto-enrolment pensions, as they do not earn enough to qualify. 

The move to increase the State Pension age is the result of successive governments accepting that unless the qualifying age went up, the State Pension would become unaffordable. This is going to be kept under review, which means that it could change again in the future, depending on different factors, such as changes in life expectancy.. 

Need to find out more about your retirement, then book a FREE review today: 01925 396122.

Probate fees are increasing and a new death tax is starting

Assured Wealth and Estate Planning guide to the increased fee level and how forward planning can mitigate the new fees

What is probate?

When someone dies, you need to obtain the legal right to deal with their property, money and possessions, and to do so you need a grant of representation, which is commonly known as ‘probate’.

When is probate not needed?

Usually you won’t need to apply for probate if the estate does not include land, property or shares, if it is passing to a surviving spouse or civil partner because it was held in joint names or if the estate is valued at less than £5,000. However, each financial institution has its own rules and may still require a grant of probate certificate.

The new fees will apply to all applications received by the probate service on or after the date it is introduced in April 2019, irrespective of the date of death.

What is happening to probate fees?

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