New figures this week have shown that the rate of unemployment in the UK is falling, yet pay is still stagnating and failing to keep up with inflation. At the same time, many large businesses have announced job cuts meaning wages continue to be squeezed as companies cut costs.
Annuities are retirement products that guarantee you with a regular income after you retire.
You choose a provider, pick an appropriate annuity to suit your needs and, in exchange for some or all of your pension savings, the annuity provides income until you die.
The use of annuities has declined markedly in recent years, with figures from the Association of British Insurers suggesting sales have fallen by as much as 80% since 2014.
Research from the Financial Conduct Authority reflects this trend, with year-on-year annuity sales down 16% in the six months to April 2017.
This is partly due to the fact that, following former chancellor George Osborne’s introduction of pension reforms in 2015, people now have more options when it comes to planning their retirement.
However, are annuities still a viable retirement planning option to consider in 2017?
The amount of money being saved into Cash ISA Savings has dropped by a third, according to HMRC.
Official figures show that during the tax year of 2016 to 2017, the amount of money invested into cash ISA’s fell by just over £19.5 billion to £39.2 billion.
There was also a fall in the number of new cash ISA accounts being opened, with just over 1.6 million fewer accounts being taken out in the last financial tax year as the number fell to just over 8.5 million in total.
Working parents with children aged three & four years old can now claim 30 hours of free childcare each week.
The new scheme doubles the previous childcare entitlement of 15 hours free childcare and is funded for 38 weeks to coincide with school term time.
In total, an estimated 390,000 eligible working families can save on average of £5,000 per year on childcare costs under the plans.
Dying without a valid will… How intestacy rules can affect your beneficiaries…
It’s easy to assume your property and possessions will automatically go to loved ones when you die, but in reality, this is seldom the case.
Thousands of people die every year without making a will, without properly drafting one or where the execution of the will fails to meet certain legal requirements.
This results in a situation known as intestacy, where usually a family member picks up the pieces and takes on the often strenuous task of processing your estate.
If you die without making a valid will, your estate – including all your money, property and possessions will be divided according to the law and not your wishes. Those laws differ slightly between the countries in the UK, although the principles are similar.
A.I. has been firmly on the agenda in the world of finance. At a recent conference, the Product Editor of Wired magazine was unimpressed with today’s early options like Amazon’s Alexa. But in five years from now, it is expected that this technology will be pervasive and “conversational A.I.” will be the way we help with our finances. Until then, an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) is still your best bet, and even in the near future, we do not expect to see many people using a robot to make choices about their family’s financial future!