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How will you divide your wealth? 

There is no easy way to say it – anticipating ones death is an uncomfortable topic. Yet it is often worth pushing past the initial discomfort to pursue the potential rewards of effective wealth transfer planning. There are three places your assets can go at your death: to your family and friends, to charity or to the government in the form of taxes.

Almost half of all Baby Boomers say they have enough personal wealth that they can afford to gift some of it away during their lifetime, new research shows[1]. The figures, collected by YouGov show that 48% of Baby Boomers say they could afford to give money to family members before they die. Less than a third (29%) ruled it out, and 26% say they are unsure.

Larger one-off wealth transfers

Of those who say they can afford to make lifetime gifts, 40% say they would favour multiple small gifts and a third (33%) would prefer larger one-off wealth transfers. A further 30% are unsure which would better suit their needs.

Despite the large number of people who estimate they can afford to pass some of their savings and assets to family members, government statistics suggest only between 31% to 39% of people aged 50-69 have ever given a financial gift. And just a small minority appear to have a plan for regular annual gifting, with just 15% of 50-59-year-olds having gifted in the last two years.

Intergenerational financial advice

The statistics reveal the importance of wealth transfer planning and lifetime gifting advice. It is estimated that around £5.5trn of intergenerational wealth transfers will occur over the next 30 years[2]. An effective plan can lessen the likelihood of family conflict, reduce estate costs, reduce taxes and preserve wealth.

Obtaining professional intergenerational financial advice will increasingly become a key part of financial planning for the Baby Boomer generation. This generation has accrued significant personal wealth, having benefitted from rising house prices, stock market growth and the higher prevalence of generous pension schemes, and they want to give younger generations a financial boost.

Lifeline for some younger people

In contrast, younger generations often find themselves facing high house prices and the need to make significant personal contributions to their Defined Contribution pensions in order to secure a decent retirement fund.

Gifting between the generations will increasingly become a lifeline for some younger people as they struggle to get on the housing ladder, pay for school fees and deal with the ever-increasing expenses of living.

Careful balancing act to figure out

Passing on wealth to the next generation is one of the most important yet challenging aspects of financial planning. Its vital that helping the younger generations doesnt come at the expense of your own retirement funds and so there is a careful balancing act to figure out if you can afford it. If you can afford to gift, its vitally important to consider the various Inheritance Tax and gifting rules.

Despite this, there is still a clear gifting gapbetween the number of people who can afford to gift and those who actually have a lifetime gifting plan in place. Gifting is a great way to help you make the most of your financial assets and enjoy seeing your life savings helping your children and grandchildren.

Wealth transfer planning process

Establishing who gets what, how they get it, and when they get it, are, as a general rule, personal matters. But these decisions can have significant financial implications. Life events, as well as market and regulatory factors, can impact the wealth transfer planning process. Therefore, it is important for your wealth transfer plan to remain flexible and be revisited and adjusted periodically. Please contact us on +356 2157 6666 or email info@lawsonsequity.com to discuss your plans.

Source data:

[1] Research commissioned by Quilter and undertaken by YouGov Plc, an independent research agency. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size is 1,544 UK adults, comprised of 529 Baby Boomers, 501 Generation Xers and 514 Millennials. Fieldwork was undertaken between 07/07/2020 – 08/07/2020. The survey was carried out online.

[2] Passing on the pounds – The rise of the UKs inheritance economy. Published May 2019. Author: Kings Court Trust

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change.

The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested

Lawsons Equity Limited is a company registered in Malta with company number C49564 and Licenced by the Malta Financial Services Authority as Enrolled Insurance Brokers under the Insurance Intermediaries Act 2006, and to provide Investment Services under the Investment Services Act, 1994. Lawsons Equity Ltd have passported their services across the EU. To see a full list of countries click here

In the United Kingdom, Lawsons Equity Limited is deemed authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website.

How secure is the future of your family or business?

Projecting ourselves into the future to see whats around the next bend is not an easy thing to do

Given the current situation during this difficult and unsettling time with coronavirus (COVID-19), its important to think about how secure your familys or businessfuture would be in the event that you were no longer around. Understandably, we would rather not think of the time when were no longer around, but this crisis has highlighted the importance of protecting the things that really matter – like our loved ones, home, lifestyle and business – in case the unexpected happens.

The outbreak of the coronavirus may mean you have concerns about your life insurance and whether youre covered. If you have life insurance to provide for those left behind, or to cover business loans after your death, its important to keep paying the premiums, even if youre tempted to put it on hold to cut costs. You could lose your cover and may struggle to find the same level of cover if you start another policy later on.

Full replacement value

For many of us, projecting ourselves into the future to see whats around the next bend is not an easy thing to do. However, without thinking, we insure our cars, homes and even our mobile phones – so it goes without saying that you should also be insured for your full replacement value to ensure that your loved ones and business are financially catered for in the event of your unexpected death. Making sure that you have the correct type and level of life insurance in place will help you to financially protect them.

Life insurance provides a safety net. Ultimately, it offers reassurance that your family and business would be protected financially should the worst happen. We never know what life has in store for us, as weve seen in recent weeks with the outbreak of COVID-19, so its important to get the right life insurance policy.

A good place to start is asking yourself three questions: What do I need to protect? How much cover do I need? How long will I need the cover for?

Ask yourself

Who are your financial dependents – your husband or wife, registered civil partner, children, brother, sister, or parents?
What kind of financial support does your family have now?
What kind of financial support will your family need in the future?
What kind of costs will need to be covered, such as household bills, living expenses, mortgage payments, educational costs, debts or loans, or funeral costs?
What amount of outstanding business loans do I have now?

Financial safety net

It may be the case that not everyone needs life insurance. However, if your spouse and children, partner, or other relatives or business depend on you to cover the mortgage, other living and lifestyle expenses, or business loans, then it will be something you should consider. Putting in place the correct level of life insurance will make sure theyre taken care of financially.

Thats why obtaining the right professional financial advice and knowing which products to choose – including the most suitable sum assured, premium, terms and payment provisions – is essential.

No one-size-fits-all solution

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and the amount of cover – as well as how long it lasts for – will vary from person to person. Even if you consider that currently you have sufficient life insurance, you may probably need more later on if your circumstances change. If you dont update your policy as key events happen throughout your life, you may risk being seriously under-insured.

As you reach different stages in your life, the need for protection will inevitably change. How much life insurance you need really depends on your circumstances – for example, whether youve had a mortgage, youre single or have children, or you have business loans that you are liable to pay.

Dont leave it to chance

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, some insurers are restricting cover for new applicants and have introduced new questions to their application forms. This has been done in order to establish and manage the insurance risks it poses. Planning for a time when youre no longer around may seem daunting, but it doesnt have to be.

Dont leave it to chance – speak to Lawsons Equity on +356 2157 6666 or email info@lawsonsequity.com for further information.

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change.

The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested

Lawsons Equity Limited is a company registered in Malta with company number C49564 and Licenced by the Malta Financial Services Authority as Enrolled Insurance Brokers under the Insurance Intermediaries Act 2006, and to provide Investment Services under the Investment Services Act, 1994.

Lawsons Equity Ltd have passported their services across the EU. To see a full list of countries click here

In the United Kingdom, Lawsons Equity Limited is deemed authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website.

More over 55s forced to dip into their pension pot

Understanding the different ways you can use your pension money

An increasing number of pension savers have started to withdraw funds after many pressed pause at the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The number of people taking only a tax-free lump sum has increased by 55%. Worryingly, the number of people withdrawing all of their pension in one lump sum increased by 94%.

Complex tax rules around pension pot withdrawals

Once you reach age 55 you can now access your pension pot. You can take some or all of it, to use as you need, or leave it so that it has the potential to continue to grow. In September 2019 the Government confirmed it would legislate to enact proposals to increase the minimum access age from 55 to 57 in 2028[1].

Due to COVID-19, many peoples incomes have been significantly reduced and so taking money out of their pension pot seemed like a quick cash-flow solution. But there are complex tax rules around pension withdrawals so people should be aware of the potential consequences.

Needing money after a change in circumstances 

While a tax-free lump sum can be withdrawn from a pension without incurring any tax liability, any balance withdrawn is subject to income tax. The number of people buying a guaranteed income for life (annuity) increased by 41%.

The increase in withdrawals is due to a combination of factors, including some people returning to withdraw after pausing earlier last year due to stock market volatility and some people needing the money after a change in circumstances.

Factors weighing on pension savers minds 

Data from August and September last year showed withdrawal levels got closer to levels seen in 2019 but many pension savers still resisted the urge to access their pension pots in the face of continued financial uncertainty. When you take your pension, some will be tax-free but the rest will be taxed. You need to be aware that tax depends on your circumstances, which can change in the future.

Stock market volatility, coronavirus (COVID-19) and employment prospects are just some of the factors weighing on pension saversminds when considering taking money out of their pension pot. Everyone is different and it is important to find the right solution for your circumstances.

Top 5 things to consider before withdrawing money from your pension pot:

1. Pensions freedoms: 

Familiarise yourself with the pensions freedoms so you are aware of your options. You can now do a lot more with your pension pot than previously. Everyone is different and it is important to find the right solution for your circumstances. What risks are you willing to take?

2. Saving requirements: 

Consider the amount of money you will need each month to maintain your lifestyle. Ask yourself: How much might I need? How much might I get? Do I still have a mortgage to pay off? What other sources of income do I have, and do I need my pension to keep up with inflation? Could I consider working for longer? Do I want to have annual holidays?

3. Costs later in retirement:

Think about costs later in your retirement. What will your living costs be in the future? Care needs are not a subject we are comfortable thinking about but it is important to have conversations about it with your family, as well as Powers of Attorney, Wills and inheritance.

4. Health and life expectancy:

We often vastly underestimate this, but evidence shows we are mostly living longer, with a growing variation in healthy life expectancy. If you have a partner, do you need to provide for them financially after you die, or are you relying on them?

Time to talk to us?

Few of us may expect to give up work altogether in our 50s. But a growing number of us are dipping into our pension before retirement age.Before we get into the different ways you could withdraw money, theres some more general things to think about first. Try asking yourself the following questions: How long will I need my money to last? How long do I want to keep working? How much tax might I pay? Could my health and lifestyle affect what I get? How much do I want to leave behind?

Whether you have plans to retire completely or want to scale down your work hours, there are now more options than ever to choose from when thinking about making your savings work for you. If you are considering accessing your pension it is essential that you receive professional financial guidance to enable you to make an informed decision. If you get it wrong you could end up with a  large tax bill. To discuss your situation or to find out more, please speak to Lawson’s Equity on +356 2157 6666 or email info@lawsonsequity.com for further information.

Source data:

[1] https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-08-28/81494

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change.

The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested

Lawsons Equity Limited is a company registered in Malta with company number C49564 and Licenced by the Malta Financial Services Authority as Enrolled Insurance Brokers under the Insurance Intermediaries Act 2006, and to provide Investment Services under the Investment Services Act, 1994. Lawsons Equity Ltd have passported their services across the EU. To see a full list of countries click here

In the United Kingdom, Lawsons Equity Limited is deemed authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authoritys website.

Have you prepared for the unexpected?

One in eight homebuyers don’t discuss their protection needs

 
Buying a property is usually the biggest financial responsibility many of us will take on in our lifetime, and it’s an obvious moment to pause and think about our protection needs.
The most common types of mortgage protection typically consists of mortgage life insurance with critical illness cover and mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI). Nobody wants to run into financial difficulty, but homeowners should have provision to continue paying their mortgage if something happens to their main source of income.

Older homebuyers the most exposed

Relying on savings isn’t viable for many and certainly isn’t good for financial resilience. However, one in eight (13%) homebuyers who purchased their mortgage via a mortgage broker did not discuss their protection needs, according to new research [1], with older homebuyers the most exposed, with the potential for the higher risk of health issues impacting their income.
The majority (76%) of homeowners discussed protection products during their initial session, with life insurance being the most commonly purchased product (57%), followed by critical illness (36%) and income protection (31%).

More likely to suffer from health concerns

However, more than one in ten (13%) did not discuss protection at all, rising to a fifth (20%) of those aged 55 and above– despite this age group being more likely to suffer from health concerns. More than one in four homebuyers who did discuss protection did not go on to make a purchase (28%), leaving them unprotected as a result.
Of these, 25% rejected the opportunity to take out cover because they felt they couldn’t afford the premiums, as the overall cost of buying a home was already expensive. A slightly smaller proportion (19%) felt they could not afford the cost as the mortgage itself was costly.

Didn’t see the value in protection products

Nearly a quarter (23%) didn’t see the value in protection products, while 18% thought they would never need them. One in seven (14%) intended to purchase protection through a different route but never got around to it.
Alarmingly, two in five homeowners (42%) could only cover essential bills for up to two months if their household lost its primary income, and a further 30% could only extend to six months. Adequate financial protection is therefore vital to ensure households can keep up their mortgage payments and retain possession of their home should they unexpectedly lose their income.

Are you prepared for life’s unexpected events?

When life becomes unpredictable, we can help you protect against financial hardship. When you need it most, having the right protection in place will provide you with that important financial breathing space. To review your current protection requirements or to find out more, please speak to Lawson’s Equity on +356 2157 6666 or email info@lawsonsequity.com for further information.
Source data:
[1] Canada Life 10 December 2019
Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change.
The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested
Lawsons Equity Limited is a company registered in Malta with company number C49564 and Licenced by the Malta Financial Services Authority as Enrolled Insurance Brokers under the Insurance Intermediaries Act 2006, and to provide Investment Services under the Investment Services Act, 1994. Lawsons Equity Ltd have passported their services across the EU. To see a full list of countries click here
In the United Kingdom, Lawsons Equity Limited is deemed authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website.

5 Healthy Financial Habits You Shouldn’t Ignore

How to get your finances in order to make more of your money

Do you feel like your financial life has been turned upside down during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? Or, has the start of the new year focused you on getting your finances in order to make more of your money? Whatever the answer is, it’s important to adopt healthy financial habits.

But just as bad habits can get you into financial trouble, good habits can help keep you out of it –and help you spend wisely, save well and, most importantly, reach your biggest financial goals faster.

To help kick-start this process, we’ve put together five habits for you to consider.

Pay yourself first

Before you pay any bills, develop a habit of paying yourself first. That means saving and investing a portion of your earnings before you do anything else with your money. In the book The Richest Man in Babylon, written by George S. Clason, the parables are told by a fictional Babylonian character called Arkad, a poor scribe who became the richest man in Babylon. How did he achieve this? By following the first law of wealth: ‘Save at least 10% of everything you earn first and do not confuse your necessary expenses with your desires.’

It’s great to start somewhere – saving something is better than nothing. The important thing is that you’re building a new habit around making some of your hard-earned money work for you, as opposed to someone else. After you’ve paid yourself, the rest of your earnings can then be used to pay bills and purchase the things you need.

Spending less than you earn

The problem is that if you routinely spend more than you earn, you could be building up more and more debt. In many cases, that may mean turning to a credit card and not paying off the balance each month, leaving you with potentially exorbitant fees and interest rates that can take years to pay off. When considering spending on something you want – always ask yourself if you genuinely need it.

Emotions should not affect your financial decisions

For many people, money habits are tied to emotions and how we feel. It’s easy to fall into the trap of spending money when we’re disappointed, or angry, or even happy. While emotions are important, they aren’t helpful when it comes to making financial decisions. Develop a habit of taking your time and making level-headed, rational decisions about money rather than allowing spending, saving and investing habits to be dictated by the way you’re feeling at a moment in time.

Control your debt

Debt is not necessarily always a negative, in some cases debt can be a positive stepping stone to help get you closer to a more prosperous future. For example, although a mortgage is a form of debt, purchasing a home could be a necessity for you. Similarly, borrowing money to enhance your education could allow you to get a better paid job. You might even be borrowing money to set up a business.

On the other hand, using credit cards, for example, to cover extra spending is generally considered a bad use of debt, as the repayment terms and interest payments can often be onerous as well as expensive if it’s not paid back on time.

It’s generally considered good practice to avoid carrying a credit card balance over from one month to the next, as over the longer term this can often become very expensive, very quickly.

Speak to your professional financial adviser

When it comes to managing your money, planning to build wealth, securing your future, and, above all else, drawing up an effective plan for fulfilling your objectives, talk to us.

We will provide a wealth of knowledge, qualifications and experience that is difficult or impossible to achieve yourself.

Perhaps the main benefit, more so than any other, is the chance for relaxation. You can properly relax, safe in the knowledge that we are taking care of a wide range of challenges and questions that you would otherwise have to deal with. And if you do have any questions or concerns, you know you can easily contact us to get answers in a timely manner.

How to build new habits into your daily life

  • Know your why – what’s your reason for making the changes?
  • Set realistic, measurable goals that are achievable
  • Break up bigger goals into smaller actions
  • Don’t make too many changes at once
  • Use rewards as a motivator (within reason) to treat yourself once you meet your goals

Soon enough, these good habits will become hard to break.

Need help developing better financial habits in 2021?

Making the right decisions now can bring peace of mind by offering a clearer future for you and your family. Together, we’ll create a wealth plan that goes beyond simply finances, taking care of what really matters in every aspect of your life. To discuss your situation click here to schedule a no obligation initial consultation with one of our financial advisors.

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from, taxation are subject to change.

The value of investments and income from them may go down. You may not get back the original amount invested

Lawsons Equity Limited is a company registered in Malta with company number C49564 and Licenced by the Malta Financial Services Authority as Enrolled Insurance Brokers under the Insurance Intermediaries Act 2006, and to provide Investment Services under the Investment Services Act, 1994.

Lawsons Equity Ltd have passported their services across the EU. To see a full list of countries click here

In the United Kingdom, Lawsons Equity Limited is deemed authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website.

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