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Bow out with Dignity

Just like making a will, or inheritance tax planning, funeral planning should be an important part of the financial planning process for anyone age 50 and over.

In light of the ageing population and the increasing cost of funerals in the UK, the demand and market for funeral plans is expected to grow considerably. It may surprise you to hear that a cremation funeral currently costs on average £2,733. Worse yet, these costs are expected to more than double over the next 5 years.

As part of the services offered by RIS we would like to introduce The Dignity Pre-Paid Funeral plan. This covers funeral costs and fixes those costs at the current market rate, which protects against any future increases. It is a fixed price plan and includes the services necessary for a cremation funeral.

Introducing the Retirement Expert

RIS are delighted to announce that several local publications have invited us to be their featured "Retirement Expert"

This will involve answering questions from readers on all aspects of pensions, investments and current legislation every month.

Take a sneak preview of our first article below

Do I pay tax on my State pension?

Possibly – any pension that you receive from the State (including the basic Old Age Pension) counts towards your taxable income but you will only pay tax on it if your total income is more than your Personal Allowance.

However if there is any tax due on your State pension it is never deducted from the State pension itself – instead it will be deducted from any other pensions that you may receive or, if you don’t receive any other pensions or income, then you will have to pay the tax separately after the end of each tax year.

Changing Retirement Market

Not sure if anyone read The Times at the weekend but I would like to draw your attention to an excellent article published on Saturday 4th December. The article focuses on the changing retirement market and related issues – a key summary is below but I’ve attached the full article for your to read – some interesting stuff.

Age 75 consultation paper - Important Update

HM Treasury has, today, published a summary of the responses to the Consultation paper on removing the requirement to annuitise by age 75, together with draft legislation for further consultation, defining more clearly and with greater certainty the proposed rules. Below is our interpretation of the changes, which are correct as at 9 December 2010. The key changes: Most of the changes below will take effect from 6th April 2011, and include, in brief:

And we think we’ve got it bad!

I recently spent a few days in Spain, down near the Portuguese border, on a stretch of coastline called the Costa de la Luz - you may not have heard of it as there aren’t many ex-pats that far down.

It’s where the Spanish go on holiday and I can thoroughly recommend it.

However what struck me was how hard hit the Spanish have been by the recession, particularly in relation to property and unemployment.

If ever you wanted a reason why not to buy property abroad as an investment just take a trip there – there are literally thousands of incomplete properties, even more completed but empty properties which have been up for sale for so long that grass and weeds are growing up through the patios.

The sharing of marriage...

The old man placed an order for one hamburger, French fries and a drink. 

He unwrapped the plain hamburger and carefully cut it in half, placing one half in front of his wife
. 

He then carefully counted out the French fries, dividing them into two piles and neatly placed one pile in front of his wife.
 

He took a sip of the drink, his wife took a sip and then set the cup down between them . As he began to eat his few bites of hamburger, the people around them were looking over and whispering.
 

WILL’ you marry me?

Well the news is awash with news of the engagement and upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. There is little as polarising as views concerning our monarchy and a royal wedding is sure to generate much heated debate between the various commentators who love to dissect this type of thing.

There is a whiff of the eighties about all of this. Sweeping Tory cuts, civil unrest, a royal wedding... I am almost ashamed to admit it but I am old enough to have a sense of deja-vu about current events.

We do live in a different world now though and all of us are feeling the effects of these straightened times in one way or another. There will doubtless be those who decry the enormous cost to the taxpayer of a lavish wedding. By the same token there will be those that think a right royal knees-up is just what the country needs – a fairy-tale wedding and a bit of feel good factor to the whole thing.

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