As Kodak’s recent slide into bankruptcy suggested, the camera-film business has known better days. This week, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) delivered the final insult to celluloid by removing charges for processing colour films from the shopping basket of goods it uses to measure inflation. iPads are in; Kodachrome is out. Fair enough, you might think. Elsewhere, however; there was a distinctly retro feeling to some of the items that the ONS tossed into its basket, which now includes cans of stout, nanny fees and trade union subscriptions. What next? Based on recent trends, analysts are looking for the ONS to include Spangles, Austin Allegros and space hoppers in future revisions!
Late last year, HM Treasury announced that subscription limits for Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) from April 2012 will increase to £11,280. Half of this amount can be saved in cash. Junior ISAs (JISAs) are now also available from 1 November with a limit of £3,600 for each eligible child per year, as part of the Government’s commitment to encourage saving for children.
With the new tax year just about to start, you may want to think about using this valuable tax efficient investment vehicle. Fortunately, many of the deposit providers reserve their best rates for just this type of plan. If you need instant access to the funds then Marks and Spencer’s Money are offering a rate of 3% gross per annum on their advantage cash ISA option. If you are prepared to lock up the fund for a period of time, then Birmingham Midshires are offering a rate of 4.05% gross for their 2 year fixed rate Cash ISA.
These are Britain's 60 and 70 year-olds and have been described in a new piece of research as the luckiest generation alive.
Born to a nation of heroes, following victory after the Second World War, this generation has lived through more than six decades of peace, prosperity and technological innovation.
This research has shown exactly why this generation is classed as the luckiest on the planet. It was in 1957 Prime Minister Harold Macmillan told the British people that most of them had “never had it so good".
For those people who can count themselves amongst Generation V, these words turned out to be very true. This generation grew up with Elvis and the Beatles , the Swinging Sixties, and the birth of Colour Television. They benefited from the booming housing market of the '80's and the research has shown in the early part of the first decade of the 21st Century they actually held 80% of the UK’s wealth.
Proving that age is not an issue for this generation almost half describe themselves as ‘younger than my years’ and less than 1% think of themselves as ‘old’. This generation is not only fit in mind, but in body too. Nearly half of Generation V regularly undertake physical exercise three times a week - more than the recommended average for people of their age.
As part of the generation which has seen NASA put men on the moon and the invention of smaller and smarter mobile phones, the members of Generation V are certainly not shy of new technology. Many of them are as active online as much as they are offline. Generation V spend a great deal of time, and money, on the internet.
Keeping up to date with modern society and trends is also very important to them with 40% having an active Facebook account and almost 30% using Skype to communicate with friends and family.
However it is the power of the grey pound which sums up the positivity and ambition of Generation V. One fifth is still working but for most, this is the time in life to enjoy the fruits of their labour, and many of them they certainly are! They indulge themselves by dining out and going to the theatre, going on holidays often two or three times per year, and making improvements to their homes.
Long may it continue!
This could be the account in which you store your rainy day funds or money simply there for an emergency. Whatever it's use it tends to be the place where you keep savings which you are not prepared to tie up for any period such as a notice type account or even a longer term fixed rate bond.
This is traditionally the place where you receive the lowest of interest rates but it does not have to be this way. A little shopping around can find easy access accounts with a slightly higher rate of interest. With inflation starting to fall slightly it is very important to make sure you do all you can to try and preserve the real value of your money over the longer term.
With this in mind we have taken a look at some of the best easy access accounts out there at present.
Allied Irish are offering an easy access reward account with interest payable annually. This offering has a very generous 3% gross per annum and the account can be managed by post or telephone.
If you would prefer to receive your interest more regularly then ING offer their account which pays montlhy interest at a rate of 2.90% gross per annum. This account can be managed online or by telephone.
Finally, are you looking for a more tax efficient offering? Then Virgin 's Easy Access Cash eISA is currently paying in interest rate of 2.85% per annum.
As always I hope this information is useful to you - if there is a specific area that you would like us to comment on then don't hesitate to let us know.
Its aim is to improve service levels, transparency and ensure the interests of financial advisers and their clients are in line.
For the Financial Services Authority, the industry regulator, RDR is about establishing a “resilient, effective and attractive retail investment market that consumers can have confidence in and trust, at a time when they need more help and advice than ever with their retirement and investment planning”.
The good news for clients of RIS is that we have been working this way for many years. Our business is geared to providing excellent levels of client service, our remuneration is completely transparent and both Pat and Steve are already qualified to the standard which will required by the industry from next year.
Following on from our extremely successful ‘7 Essential Steps for Everyone Facing Retirement’ seminar the message from this seminar is "Don't go into retirement ill prepared".
We want to help take the worry and guesswork out of planning for retirement by holding this free seminar about the options available at retirement.
At the seminar you will learn:
- What options are available to you at retirement
- How to cut through the pension jargon
- See if you could boost your retirement income at no extra cost
- The importance of keeping your options open throughout your retirement to handle any unforeseen expenses that may occur
- How to find out what the State will pay you and when
- The value of independent advice at this crucial time
Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment. If you know of someone else who may benefit from this informal but informative event, please feel free to pass on the details.
One of the resounding sentiments to come from the research is how many of you would be prepared to refer our services to a friend, relative or colleague.
At RIS many of our clients are referred by friends and colleagues and this is our preferred method of conducting business.
This type of client endorsement is very valuable to us and to show our appreciation we want to ensure this loyalty is rewarded. With this in mind, we wanted to inform you of our referral scheme.
For each person that is referred to us by you who then goes on to become a client in their own right, we will give you the choice of a luxury gift. It is just as our way of saying thank you. This could be a meal at a beautiful restaurant, a luxury hamper or even gift vouchers, the choice is yours.
Many of you have said how keen you would be to support us and we wanted to remind you that if you do then that support is well rewarded.
One answer, according to commentators, would be to raid the higher rate tax relief on pension contributions - there have been several stories to that effect in the Financial Times and elsewhere. Of course, this has been threatened many times in the past. But this time could be different.
For a start there are people in the Coalition Government - the Lib Dems - who favour the policy. And discussions about the possibility of abolishing higher rate tax relief have been reported as taking place at the highest levels. The practicalities have been an inhibiting factor in the past, but now the legislators know exactly how to do it from their recent experience under the previous occupants of Downing Street. What's more, it would look as if we really were "all in it together".
Of course, there would be a lot of squealing - and quite right too. Yet what is the alternative political home for those who don't like the idea? It is unlikely that most would be tempted into voting for Mr Miliband. David Cameron and George Osborne can blame Clegg and co. And there's no getting away from the fact that it would raise billions.
So the Budget really could contain some major surprises this year - and pensions tax relief might only be one of them.
Here at RIS we will be watching the budget closely to see what impact it has on our clients. Shortly afterwards we will be issuing a budget summary newsletter detailing how we think this affects you.
Most of our clients have spent many years growing their wealth through property and investments and we are proud to have played our part in helping them to achieve their goals.
However we find that most people fail to consider how they can protect that wealth both for themselves and for future generations. Maybe you have never considered how easy it could be for your wealth to be quickly eroded by the cost of residential nursing care or inheritance tax.
If you have children from a previous marriage, you may want to ensure that some of your wealth will eventually pass to your own children. This may also be the case if your spouse decided to remarry after your death.
Once your wealth passes to the next generation it could be at risk from more threats;
- If one of your children has a shaky marriage which ends in separation and divorce, then your wealth could find its way into the hands of your ex-son or daughter-in-law.
- Your wealth could be taken by creditors if your children cannot repay their personal or business debts.
- In an extreme case it may even be life threatening to give a large sum of money to a beneficiary who is addicted to drink or drugs.
However, the good news is that we have developed a solution for our clients who have the foresight and desire to protect their property and investments from these risks.
This solution would allow you to leave a Family Legacy Fund to help future generations with their education, buying a house and retirement planning.
Obviously you will want to know more, so we have prepared a factsheet which is freely available on request.