What’s happening out there in the international financial markets? How will these changes affect you and your family? What new products are coming on the market? Are they any good? How do existing products really work?  Keep up with my financial advice based blog.

Are you a British expat? How to maintain your UK state pension

Did you know that you can top up your state pension whilst living abroad? 

The State Pension changed on 6 April 2016. If you reach State Pension age on or after that date you’ll get the new Single Tier State Pension, under the new rules. The new State Pension is designed to be simpler than the old Basic State Pension system.

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Thinking of transferring your pension? How will your transfer value be calculated?

Members of final salary pension schemes who have not yet retired can generally give up their pension rights under the scheme in exchange for a lump sum. This lump sum may then be flexibly accessed, following the introduction of Flexi-access drawdown. Note that transfers are only permitted before your retirement date. If you are already receiving a defined benefits pension you can’t get a transfer value.

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Would you take a slice of the pie?

A Pension Increase Exchange (PIE) exercise involves offering defined benefit (DB) scheme members the choice of exchanging future annual increases on their pensions in retirement, for a one-off immediate uplift. 

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Inheritance tax in a nutshell

Inheritance Tax or IHT as it is better known, is a tax paid on your estate. This includes property, money (including investments and cash in the bank), possessions and also life insurance policies if they are not put into trust.

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Take the long view

If you were fully invested in the stock market for all of 2017, You’re probably smiling right now. The S&P 500, which is often used as an indicator of how the market’s doing, finished the year up around 19 %. But how long can this really last?

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