I established Money Ways UK in 2000, as a small firm of Independent Financial Advisors with the focus on providing the best advice to corporate and individual clients. Providing tailored advice in clear and concise language to ensure all aspects are properly covered and fully understood.
Our locations (Head Office located in North Camp) allows us to conveniently serve North Camp, Farnborough, Cove, Aldershot, Ash, Wanborough, Fleet, Hartley Witney, Camberley, Farnham, Windsor, Weybridge, Winchester and other Surrey and Hampshire areas. Clients are invited to our offices or we offer home visits for additional flexibility.
We offer an initial meeting which is free and without any obligation.
Just give me a call on 01252-516517 to arrange an appointment, I can visit you in your home and help discuss your options.
It is never too early to start thinking about packing up and taking off to live the dream.
All it takes is a plan. Putting it off until tomorrow, will simply delay the inevitable. Remember, it is better to do something than nothing at all.
It's your journey.
The big question, is how much do you need to live a comfortable retirement? Everyone's dream is different. What you value will be different to everyone around you. But money and how you save it is the overriding factor to a more financially secure future.
Taking the first step is easier with support. As experienced retirement planning advisers, our guidance is designed to find your right way forward.
· help you work back from your retirement aspirations, calculating how much you realistically need save;
· select products that are flexible enough to adapt to your changing circumstances between now and retirement;
· find the perfect blend for your needs today, and your plans tomorrow.
The trend of people needing to save for their own future is unlikely to slow. If you think now's the right time to start planning for tomorrow, today, contact us now.
If you have lost track of your old and paid-up/preserved pension we can help track them down and find out information on them for you free of charge. Contact us by a quick phone call (01252 - 516517 )or complete the Contact Form on the right.
Mounting pressures on people to build a nest egg for retirement can sometimes force people down the wrong path. It's important you develop a total savings strategy that will reduce the risk of losing money you set aside, but equally will maximise growth. As always, it's about balance.
Parking some of your money in a pension scheme can deliver great tax breaks. As well as being tax efficient for new growth and income, you will get an extra 20% boost courtesy of our Government. Higher rate taxpayers can claim further tax relief through their tax return.
Pensions work like an investment wrapper, so are similar to an ISA. The difference is in the limits and benefits. Like any investment, you will choose which funds to invest your pension pot in. Higher returns and higher risks are likely to go hand-in-hand. However, these are long-term plans, so your pension performance should smooth out fluctuations in investments.
The downside of investing purely through a pension fund is it can restrict how and when you can access your money. Talking to a specialist retirement adviser can help you balance a pension with other more accessible investments and cash savings.
You can now invest up to 100% of your earnings, or £3,600 whichever is higher.
However, two main limits apply:
Any money your employer pays into your pension will count toward these limits.
As retirement planning specialists, we can help you assess whether your pension contributions or fund/funds will be affected by these new limits.
If you're raring to go now, the next step is to look at the different types of pension:
An individual or personal pension plan, as the name implies, is a plan that you arrange yourself, not via an employer. A good individual pension plan will give you more options, often including:
If you are your own boss or move jobs quite frequently, arranging your own pension plan is often the most flexible option.
Unlike company pension schemes, which often pick up the tab for administering and setting up the pension scheme, you will have to cover these costs. The level of charges, choice of funds, and additional benefits will differ between different product providers. Most new pension plans have charges and terms similar to Stakeholder.
The amount you pay for this type of policy usually correlates with the investments you choose. Typically, the cheaper option is select providers that invest in their own funds. If the provider offers you access to other providers' funds, the charges rise slightly. Choosing specific investments, like individual company shares, will generally be the most costly.
When you retire your pension pot, accumulated over the years, is used to purchase an annuity, which will pay you a regular income.
You may have heard about stakeholder schemes, introduced by the Government in 2001. This low-cost scheme aimed to make pensions more accessible to people that can only set aside small amounts regularly.
In reality, most individual pension plans will meet these rules whether they advertise the plan as a stakeholder or not. However, only true stakeholder plans are prevented from changing the terms and future charges.
The tax relief is the biggest benefit of pension schemes. Every £1,000 contribution will in real terms only cost you £800, as the tax man chips in the rest. Higher rate tax payers can claim back an additional 20 per-cent, giving you a £1,000 for your £600 contribution.
Another advantage is you can take out a stakeholder pension plan, even if you don't earn an income, something that individual pension plans won't allow. Grandparents and parents can even open a stakeholder pension for children, investing a maximum of £2,880 in each tax year, which is topped up to £3,600 by the Government through basic tax relief.
There are other, more specialised, types of individual pension policies available. The key is to understand clearly the charges and risks involved in each plan. As with any form of investment, seeking advice to source the most suitable option for your needs is wise.
If the opportunity to join a company pension scheme presents itself, it's usually more cost efficient to grab it. Many occupational schemes will top up contributions, as part of the benefits package, and the employer typically picks up some, or all, of the charges.
If your company employs five or more staff, they are legally required to arrange access to a pension plan for employees. In the simplest form, that could be selecting a Group personal pension, or stakeholder scheme, giving employees the opportunity to start contributing. Alternatively, they may set up occupational schemes, of which there are two types – final salary (less common today) and money purchase schemes.
The number of employees often influences the scheme chosen by companies. If your company offers you a pension, it will likely be one of three types:
A group personal pension, or group Stakeholder pension is as it sounds - a group of individual pension policies administered together.
It works exactly as if you'd selected your own personal pension plan. You own it, and if you move jobs, you can take it with you. But, they can be better value. Because your employer may be bringing bulk business to the provider, they can often negotiate a better deal than if you approached the provider directly.
Your employer will take your chosen contributions directly out of your wages and pay it straight into the policy. If your employer chooses to make a contribution, even better. Years on, these top-ups will increase the value of your overall pension pot, making you more financially comfortable.
On a practical level these work like individual pension plans. You contribute a percentage of your salary and this, combined with any employer contribution, is used to provide an income when you retire.
The difference is you do not own a pension policy yourself. Your money, with other employees is put into a large pension fund pot and your portion is earmarked for when you retire. A fund manager will be in charge of investing it. What you get out at the end will depend upon the performance of the investments selected. If you leave your employer, you will stop paying into the scheme. Over a lifetime of working, you may have several company pension schemes, which mature at retirement age.
With company schemes, you can still select the type of funds you want your portion invested in, although these are likely to be more limited than a savings investment. Overall, the charges may be lower, because your employer will often contribute towards the administration costs.
With Defined Benefit, or Final Salary schemes as their commonly known, the amount you receive when you retire is based upon the years of service and your final salary when you leave the company or retire. The calculation is normally one-sixteenth of your final salary, multiplied by the number of years you were in the scheme for.
The security element for employees is that you aren't depending on stock market conditions. The company is responsible for selecting fund investments. If the fund falls short of the amount needed to pay you your retirement income, it is up to the employer to make up the shortfall.
Poor stock market performance over the past five to ten years has highlighted to employers how much they might have to pay in these circumstances, so many have transferred over to Money Purchase occupational pensions.
There are other, more specialised, types of company pension policy available. Seek financial advice to find out the most suitable option for you.
When you leave any occupational scheme, you usually have the choice of leaving your money in the scheme, or transferring it over into another occupational or personal pension plan. If you leave within two years of starting a scheme, you can have all your contributions, minus tax relief, returned to you as a lump sum. Before deciding, you can request an estimate of the transfer value that will be available. It's vital to seek advice from a specialist before making any decision.
Suddenly, the retirement years are around the corner. You've thought things through, filled up the pension fund over the last thirty to forty years and your plans are swiftly all but a reality. Soon you'll be living off your pension. But what exactly does this mean?
When retirement time arrives, choosing what to do with your saved money requires careful thought. For many, the decision is easy – replace your work income with a pension income. It pays to choose carefully, ensuring you enjoy every penny you've invested and saved.
Whether you've got £1.5 million banked or £45,000, this is likely to be the biggest cash lump sum you've seen. But remember this. People are living longer and longer. Life expectancy is rising year on year. You might need this pot of money to stretch for another 30 years, or more. The big decisions are not over yet. You'll need to consider:
Pension Commencement Lump Sum (tax free cash)
Let's make this easier - a Pension Commencement Lump Sum (PCLS) is a complex way of saying “tax free cash”. When you reach your retirement age, currently 55, you can take up to 25% of your pension fund as a lump sum. This is tax free.
What can you use it for?
Spend it, clear the mortgage, save it or invest it. This cash injection can be a great boost to your retirement lifestyle. The only ‘off-limits' investment is you cannot put it into another pension plan.
Things to watch for
Taking a lump sum will significantly reduce the value of your pension fund. Make sure you seek some independent specialist advice to see how this will affect your future income.Annuities Open Market Option (shopping around)
Whatever you ultimately decide to do, know what your options are. Contact us by a quick phone call (01252 - 516517 )or complete the Contact Form above
Although a basic annuity, in one form or other, will be suitable for most people, there are alternative options available for those with larger funds and a willingness to take higher risks. The main two options include Investment-Linked Annuities and an Unsecured Pension.
With normal annuities, your money will be invested in Gilts. These investments pay out a fixed level of interest and, because the government issues them, they are regarded as a very low risk investment.
Investment-linked annuities, also known as ‘With-Profits' annuities, could pay you more if your investment fund performs well and exceeds the annual bonus rate on the policy. By investing in higher risk products, such as the stock market funds, your income may not be consistent. Your annuity could pay less if the fund under performs.
If security is important to you and you're depending on your pension as your sole source of income, you may find this just too big a risk to take.
Compared to conventional annuities, in theory you could potentially generate better returns with an unsecured pension. But they're unsecured for a reason – your investment could be susceptible to drops in the market. This option is for sophisticated investors who are comfortable taking risks and who could afford to lose some money.
With an unsecured pension, your income is not set for life. It remains, at least partly, invested and exposed to the stock market. There are three main types of unsecured pension:
This is an unsecured pension. It enables you to take a proportion of your fund and purchase an annuity, which gives you an income for up to five years. Meanwhile, the rest of your fund remains invested and exposed to the stock market.
The plus points
Once you have purchased your annuity, for the duration of the annuity's term, you will know what your income will be. Perfect for people who like some degree of certainty.
The many plus points of short-term annuities are also their drawback. Signing up to a set income for the duration of the annuity, will reduce the overall value of your fund. If investments in your fund under-perform, it could result in a lower income when you finally purchase an annuity.
It is also worth noting that you get much less value for money with a short-term annuity. With lifetime annuities, the people who die sooner than expected subsidise the rates for everyone else. So you get more for your money. With an annuity of five years or fewer, the subsidies are very low, consequently lowering the rates. So, you get much less for your money.
If you're unsure whether short-term annuities are right for you,
Contact us by a quick phone call (01252 - 516517 )or complete the Contact Form on the right.
Income withdrawal, also known as income drawdown or pension drawdown is an option that allows you to take a taxable income directly from the pension fund, without buying an annuity.
The plus points
This would suit people entering retirement when annuity rates are especially low. Your fund remains invested and you take money directly out of the fund, using it as income.
There is no minimum amount, which makes income withdrawal reasonably flexible. If you don't need the income, you can stop withdrawing it at any time.
·The risk is that your income could be much lower in later years than it otherwise would have been. Success depends on strong investment growth and interest rates not moving in the wrong direction.
There are limits to how much income you take in this way. From 6 April 2011, the maximum is equivalent to 100% of the income you would get from a standard annuity.
A phased retirement plan works by dividing your pension pot into a number of segments. These are then treated as lots of little schemes, each offering tax free cash as well as annuity incomes, which you can draw upon at different stages.
The plus points
The benefits of phasing in your retirement benefits, is it enables you to build up your lifetime income gradually. This is particularly useful if you aren't going to stop work altogether but are intending to wind down to retirement by taking a lower paid, or part-time position, something which is becoming increasingly common as an alternative to stopping work entirely.
Make sure you are clear on all the additional costs associated with setting up and drawing multiple smaller-pensions. The extra administration involved with phased retirement schemes will ultimately cost more. You must also be aware that leaving funds invested may not work if investment growth is poor or if interest rates move in the wrong direction. You could end up with a lower income overall.
If you're unsure whether phased retirement is right for you,
Contact us by a quick phone call (01252 - 516517) or complete the Contact Form above
There are three key reasons people choose unsecured pensions above conventional annuities:
With all unsecured pension options, you are relying on strong investment growth to maintain the amount of income available in later years. Even good investment growth might not lead to better value with an annuity if interest rates fall.
Maintaining fund value
Not only do you need to outperform inflation with each unsecured pension option, you also need to replace enough of the fund value removed to maintain a reasonable fund value. When it reaches the stage of buying a lifetime annuity, the older you are, the more you'll need to compensate for the loss in fund value, which may lead you to invest in higher risk funds. This is not a route for the faint hearted.
Unlike a lifetime annuity where once bought the job is done, unsecured pensions need regular reviews. The ongoing advice and investment performance monitoring is necessary, as you'll need this information to respond to any issues.
So much will influence what's right for your individual retirement needs. It is vital with products this complex to speak to a specialist adviser. If unsecured pensions are something you are considering, we can help. Contact us today to set up an appointment with our specialist retirement adviser.
Some older style pensions have excellent features and benefits including:
So, while some older schemes carry real benefits, there are others that do not, and they may suffer from the following disadvantages:
We are able to find out exactly what features and benefits your pension may have and advise accordingly. We just need your permission.
It may be in your interest to transfer to a more modern pension or simply leave things as they are. Either way you will have a better idea of exactly what you have and how much it will provide you in retirement. Preserved pensions can be transferred without the need to start regular contributions.
This service is provided free of charge and without obligation on your part.
We will contact the lender on your behalf to find out what you have,and explain it all to you in plain English. We are experienced Independent Financial Advisers relying on a long term relationship with our clients. We take pride in our service and many of our clients have been happy to recommend us to their friends and family; we hope that you will be able to do the same.
"A very professional and personal service. Mike was reassuring and knowledgeable when it came to advice on our finances and found the best solution that suited us. We'll certainly be recommending him to our friends!!"
"I went to Mike Daniels on a recommendation of a close friend. My situation is very complicated and distressing. Mike was amazing with not only his kind and caring nature but in his experience and willingness to try and resolve the issues at hand. He is full of ideas and solutions, very professional, knowledgeable and trustworthy. I will definitely continue to seek his advice and recommend his services with confidence."
"Would highly recommend Michael to anyone! He is very efficient & keeps you up to date with what is going on. Smooth process from start to finish. Thank you!"
"I went in to Money Ways to enquire about my pension options on the off chance. Mike greeted me with an air of confidence and welcoming and began to clearly explain pension types, risk levels and the choice of the whole market! It was the first time that I could say I understood the pension system, most surprising was the consultation was for free and yet I did not feel pressured to commit or hurried to move on. Very relaxed friendly approach to finance, I will never ask at my bank branch for financial advice again!!"
"Fantastic service. I've returned to Mike for all my financial professional services requirements. He's extremely prompt, really jovial and offers an excellent advisory service as well. You can call him anytime for advice and if you take up his services you'll get a fantastic service from him."
"We went to Mike for advice on Equity Release and knew from his wealth of knowledge and experience that we were in safe hands. He delivered a great service and sorted us out with everything we needed. The whole process was made much more comfortable and reassuring with Mike involved."
"Would like to thank Michael for all his help with our equity release, he has been very efficient, professional and knowledgeable. He is reliable and kept in touch every step of the way."
"Gave me some quick invaluable advice over the phone. Much appreciated. He is on my list of go to advisors."
"Michael offers a very professional service and provided a very detailed analysis for my requirements,. I cannot recommend Money Ways highly enough
"Highly recommended Following a recommendation I went to Mike for advice on a re-mortgage (which wasn’t a straight forward case). However I found Mike to be very professional and knowledgeable; within a week we had made an application and had it accepted. I then returned to Mike for Pension advice, again he knew his stuff and got me a great deal and dealt with all the paperwork. During both processes Mike kept me updated. I will use Mike again without hesitation if I need any further financial advice. Thank you."