The risks of late estate planning

Imagine you are named as the executor and a beneficiary of your wife’s wealthy aunt. You learn that she is suffering from terminal cancer and has ‘a very impaired lifespan’. What do you do? This is what happened in the … Continue reading

Unmarried couples lack the rights of married couples

Two recent events have shone different lights on the government’s view of unmarried couples. As the graph shows, marriage has been drifting out of fashion for close to 50 years. There are now over 3.3 million unmarried couples in the … Continue reading

State pension sees rise thanks to the triple lock

A 2.6% rise in the single tier state pension was announced in the 2018 Budget. The increase to the single tier state pension, and its predecessor the basic state pension, will apply from next April. Other state pensions, such as … Continue reading

Inflation eating into the value of savings

Inflation still outpaces nearly all available deposit rates. Source: ONS, Bank of England At the end of September, the US bank, Goldman Sachs, launched a new online easy-access savings account in the UK under the name of Marcus. It has … Continue reading

The Budget: an end to austerity?

The 2018 Budget – delivered on a Monday for the first time since 1962 – produced a number of surprises, not least some high-profile ‘giveaways’. Announcements in the Budget included: A £650 increase in the personal allowance to £12,500 for … Continue reading

2018: The story so far

The third quarter of 2018 showed mixed results for global stock markets. Index 2018 Change FTSE 100 -0.7% FTSE All-Share -0.5% Dow Jones Industrial +7.0% Standard & Poor’s 500 +9.0% Nikkei 225 +6.0% Euro Stoxx 50 (€) -3.0% Shanghai Composite … Continue reading

Tax Tables 2019/20

2019/20 Tax Tables Click the image to download PDF.

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Budget 2018

In a longer than usual Budget speech, and in a slightly more jocular than usual mood, the Chancellor laid out the government’s vision for post-Brexit Britain. With a raft of measures aimed at shoring up businesses, infrastructure and the health … Continue reading

More people working past 65

Do you fancy working once you have reached age 65? The trend of rising employment levels is not limited to working-age people, according to the latest employment statistics from the Office for National Statistics. Source: ONS 11/9/2018 The data reveals … Continue reading

Losing interest in cash ISAs

The popularity of cash ISAs is continuing to wane, according to new statistics from HMRC. With inflation persistently above interest rates, it’s not hard to imagine why. The bank of England recently increased the interest rate to 0.75%, but inflation … Continue reading

Trick or treat? The Chancellor calls the 2018 Budget for late October

The 2018 Budget has been set for Monday 29 October, setting a deadline for speculation and proposals. Mr Hammond, however, has indicated that he won’t end the long spell of austerity measures, despite improving public finances. Proposals raised by think … Continue reading

Slowing down our old age

A paper published in August by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) casts new light on life expectancies in the UK. Source: Office for National Statistics Life expectancy has been increasing in the UK for a long time, as the … Continue reading

Record inheritance tax revenues ahead of simplification review

2017/18 produced record inheritance tax (IHT) receipts according to HMRC data published in July. The latest release of the annual statistics revealed IHT produced £5.228 billion for the Exchequer in 2017/18, an increase of two thirds over just five years. … Continue reading

The record S&P 500 bull run

The US stock market set a new record for the longest-ever bull market in August. S&P 500 Index Performance Wednesday 22 August 2018 saw the S&P 500 drop – by less than 0.1% – after 3,453 days, making it the … Continue reading