A new feature starts on the blog today, which sees Sibbalds Financial Services (our sister company to Sibbalds Chartered Accountants), answer any questions which we have been sent in from people wanting some free advice regarding their finances. The questions and answers can be seen below.
My wife and I have a number of investments with our bank and are getting frustrated with how little communication I receive from them. The only time I ever seem to get any contact is when they know we might have further money to potentially invest!
Is there a better service available from an Independent Adviser?
A: At Sibbalds Financial Services Limited, we pride ourselves on regularly reviewing our client’s investments. We understand the long term value to our business of developing a clear, long term relationship with our clients. This is based on regular communication and meetings.
We are always available for clients to contact us with any concerns they may have at any time. It is important for clients to know we guide them through both good and bad economic times.
I took out Life Insurance three years ago when I was a smoker. Since smoking has been banned in most public places I have finally managed to give up. Will I now be able to get this insurance cheaper?
A: Most Life Insurance companies have a minimum period of 12 months of non-smoking before they will re-classify you as a non-smoker. Once you have made it through that period a simple test may be required and you would be able to benefit from up to 58% lower premiums.
As we deal with all insurance companies we would be able to find you the most competitive premium at that time, but remember that you must have stopped smoking for at least 12 months.
I have been contacted by a company offering to cash in my pension even though I am only 53. Is this a good idea?
A: You may have heard of schemes where ‘pension loans’ or cash incentives are offered to members of a pension scheme in return for ‘cashing in’ their pension savings. This activity is known as ‘pension liberation fraud’ and it is on the increase in the UK.
Accessing your pension before age 55 can result in an ‘unauthorised payment’ which can attract significant tax charges and penalties. On top of administration fees, total charges can amount to more than half of the amount transferred. Additionally, taking money early means individuals will receive less pension and be worse off in retirement.
Things to look out for:
- Being approached unexpectedly by phone or via text message
- Pushy people who claim they are advisers but often aren’t properly qualified or registered, claiming to be able to help you access your pension early.
- Companies that offer a ‘loan’ ‘saving advance’ or ‘cashback’ from your pension.
- Any reference to ‘loopholes’, overseas investments, creative or new investment techniques.
If you are under 55 and have been approached by such companies and have concerns then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Alternatively if you are 55 or over and are considering taking retirement benefits, then here at Sibbalds Financial Services you can be assured that we will provide a personal and professional service alongside a detailed unbiased analysis of your current pension contracts. We will consider your individual attitude to investment risk, your personal situation, health and lifestyle and recommend the best course of action that meets your exact requirements.
Taking pension benefits is a critical decision in your life which requires serious consideration and fore thought, as very often these decisions are irreversible.
If you have a question which you would like to feature on the page, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org including your name and a contact number or alternatively, please leave your questions for us below.