More than nine million households have seen their income fall as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, according to research by comparison site GoCompare, with many concerned about job security and their ability to meet financial commitments in lockdown.
Greater flexibility around taking an income from a pension also comes with greater risk. Unlike an annuity, which will last as long as you do, there’s a danger that without the right investment and income decisions, your pension pot won’t stay the course.
Medieval accounting practices coupled with a switch to the Gregorian calendar have left us with a tax year that starts on 6 April. That date may not have quite the same cachet as 1 January, but it’s one that’s well worth remembering, as many allowances are linked to the tax year.
This 10-point checklist straddles the tax year end to remind you of the tasks you need to do before the clock strikes midnight on 5 April, and those you need to focus on in the new tax year.
Pensions automatic enrolment has changed the face of retirement savings, with more than 10 million people now paying into their workplace scheme. But as the government sets the minimum contribution level, there’s a risk many will assume they’re on course for a decent level of income in retirement.
More and more people are choosing to work on into what would ordinarily be a period of retirement: the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of over-70s in work has more than doubled over the past decade to nearly 500,000 people.
Working on in some capacity can boost your retirement income, but Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less (restless.co.uk), a job and volunteering website for the over-50s, says there are other reasons to work on beyond the customary retirement age.
Passing wealth down the generations while you are still around to see the impact it has can be very satisfying – and incredibly tax-efficient. But before parting with your cash, it’s sensible to weigh up the pros, cons and practicalities.
Taking responsibility for your financial planning is key to securing your aspirations. But a recent survey by UBS Global Wealth Management found that a significant proportion of women prefer to leave the financial planning to their husbands.
The survey found that although around three quarters of women believe financial planning is important, very few are actively engaged with their plans. In the UK, just 15% of UK women share responsibility with their partner for long-term finances such as savings, investments and retirement planning.
Finding love in later life is becoming increasingly common in the UK, with the number of over-65s tying the knot up by nearly 50% over the last decade. But while it can bring happiness and security, a new partner at this stage can also bring its fair share of financial planning headaches.
It’s four years since the introduction of pension freedoms giving retirees greater flexibility around when and how they access their retirement savings. While there is little evidence that people have blown the lot on Lamborghinis, there are some lessons to be learnt from our pension spending habits.
With the new tax year starting on 6 April, there’s still time to ensure your finances are as tax-efficient as possible. And while some allowances can be carried forwarded, with many it really is a case of use it or lose it.