Going Green – A look at Property Energy Efficiency

Going Green - A look at Property Energy Efficiency

The Squeeze of the cost of energy prices is felt throughout every home. The soaring rise in energy bills will leave many feeling the pinch. Coupled with the rise in inflation and the current cost of living crisis, there is nowhere to escape. 

Every pound counts and saving where you can is necessary with energy prices predicted to rise further this year. Households are being encouraged to save money by improving energy efficiency. Improving the energy efficiency of your home is the best long term solution to reducing energy bills.  

The mortgage market is doing its part to encourage this and this is how.

Green Mortgages - Go Green and Save!!!

The government set into motion their plans to reduce the carbon emissions by 75-80% of current levels by 2035. Housing is responsible for roughly 14% of the UK’s total emissions.

Regulations to building more energy efficient homes to reduce housing emissions have been put in place by the UK government. Existing homes can play a part too. According to the Climate Change committee, 19 million properties have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) less than “C”. 

Mortgage providers have launched “Green Mortgage Products” which incentivise properties with A & B, by introducing lower interest rates than those available for standard EPC rated properties. This is to persuade homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient. 

Energy Performance Certificates are an assessment of how well your property uses and retains energy. The improvements to your homes energy efficiency can save you in energy bills and in mortgage interest payments.

On rates currently available, an EPC rating of A or B would get you a residential green mortgage product rate over five years of 2.56% at 60% loan to value (LTV) versus the standard mortgage product rates which would be 2.67%  for the equivalent LTV. This means someone on a green mortgage interest product will pay 3.09% less interest on their mortgage over that same five year period. This is a saving of thousands over the medium to long term.

As long as your property Energy Performance Certificate is A or B you qualify for a green mortgage.  

Green Mortgages for Buy To Lets (BTL)

Investment BTL properties can also qualify for green mortgage products. The additional benefits of energy efficiency in these properties can extend beyond the lower mortgage interest rates you would qualify for. Energy efficiency properties raise the value of the property and can mean more rent can be charged by the landlord. The tenants would in turn also save on energy bills. 

Many investors have seen to use this as a strategy to increase their property portfolio value by improving low energy efficient BTLs in order to increase the value of the property and be able to charge higher rents and in turn increase their rental yields.

Government help

The government estimates the cost of improving your property to an energy rating of “C” to be around £4,700.  Residential homeowners and landlords on tighter budgets may not have the cash to make the improvements needed to obtain a high enough EPC rating to allow them to switch to a green loan. 

The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that the fourth and final phase of the Government’s Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme will go ahead. The new ECO grant scheme will run over 4 years, and end in March 2026. Like before, ECO grants will be available to improve the energy efficiency of the UK homes that need it most. The grants are funded by energy suppliers.

In this scheme, ECO grants will focus on a property’s EPC to ensure the home can gain maximum benefit from any energy efficiency measure installed. The aim of the ECO is to help UK homes achieve an EPC rating of at least a C.

Energy Efficiency Improvements to your home

Making your home more energy efficient is not just about installing the most expensive solar panels. The aim is to create all-round home energy efficiency, from roof and windows to walls to heating. Small improvements to the home can count to the overall energy efficiency of your home.

  • Double glazing windows
  • Installing cavity wall 
  • Loft insulation
  • Draught-proofing windows and doors 
  • Installing pipes and tanks 
  • Installing condensing boiler
  • Reducing water usage
  • Energy efficient glazing
  • Installing low-energy usage light bulbs 
  • Energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems
  • Water heaters (natural gas, propane or oil

The government encourages you to use TrustMark registered company for improvements. Making upgrades to take advantage of requirements to make the properties more energy efficient which will raise the value of your property.

Contact us for advice on your mortgage needs. We deal with a variety of advice services in the mortgage market. We can help you too!

Written by: Nwabisa Janda

16 June 2022

Ascot Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 551744. Our registered office: Scotch Corner, London Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0ER. Registered in England No. 7428363. www.ascotwm.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this document was valid on 3rd February 2017. Not all the services and investments described are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax, trust and company administration services are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The services described may not be suitable for all and you should seek appropriate advice. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument by Ascot Wealth Management Limited. The information and opinions expressed herein are considered valid at publication, but are subject to change without notice and their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. © 2017 Ascot Wealth Management Ltd. Please note: This website uses cookies. To continue to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. 

The Cost OF Living Crisis

The Current Cost Of Living Crisis

UK Inflation has hit a 30 year high of 6.2% in February 2022, the highest since 1992 when inflation reached 7.1%. Although Rishi Sunak’s OBR predicted inflation to average 7.4% this year, analysts speculate inflation could rise to 8.1% during 2022, meaning companies will likely reflect the increased costs of materials on consumers via more price hikes.

Pleasingly, unemployment has fallen to 3.9%, but real regular pay fell by 1% – the biggest fall for eight years. Given this, it is a vital time to think about inflation proofing personal finances and budgeting on a tighter annual income.

Energy Bills

The chancellor announced that there will be 0% VAT for energy efficient improvements which means that you could see a price drop of £1,000 for a solar panel installation. Although this may be a nice discount Mr Sunak did not mention anything about the most prominent illustration of the ‘cost of living crisis’ we’re up against, the rising energy bills.

Energy costs are expected to rise at least 14 times faster than wages in 2022. Trades Union Congress (TUC) expects gas and electricity to go up an average of 54%, with an expectation that the energy price cap will be £1,500 by October 2022. TUC have called on government officials to reduce household costs by introducing windfall tax on energy firms, offering rapid home insulation programmes and giving a boost to universal credit. With such movements likely to be slowly explored, it is important to consider how personal finances can be managed to assist the increased costs of living for all households, but especially lower income households.

Households can save on energy costs by considering some of the following:

  • Have structured products linked to different indexes. For example, the FTSE 100, Euro Stoxx or the S&P 500.
  • Use different counter parties. By doing this, if the counter-party does default, then you don’t lose the money held in all your plans. While it is important for a counter-party to have a good credit rating, this is not regularly updated. Therefore we also look at credit default swap pricing which gives a real time indication of the reliability of the counter-party.
  • Vary the type of plan. This can be done through choosing between deposit, income or kick out plans. It can also be done through choosing between types of kick out plans.

Whilst the market for shopping around between energy providers has diminished greatly, it is always worthwhile using comparison sites to compare your existing deals and ensure you are using smart meters correctly.

Tax Planning

For those who work from home, it is important to remember the working from home tax credits that can be claimed via self-assessment to help cover the costs of home office use. Whilst this £312 tax relief won’t combat the increased costs of using electricity at home, it will take some of the edge off!

However, if you claimed the working from home tax relief in 2020/21 or 2021/22 and have since returned to the office, it is important to check your tax code to ensure this has been removed. This will avoid the risk of receiving a liability at the end of the tax year. As a reminder, a ‘standard’ tax code for a full personal allowance should be 1257L for 2021/22 and 2022/23.

Asides from checking your tax code, you may also have employer benefits worth exploring to reduce your monthly costs. For example:

  • Ensure pension contributions are set up as salary sacrifice. This will save you the 12% national insurance tax or £12 for every £100 you save, unavoidable via net pay or personal contributions.
  • Think about your benefits in kind. If you no longer use the C02 heavy company car on the driveway, can a more environmental and cost effective vehicle be used to reduce your earnings and thus tax due?
  • Maximise company benefits – consider the use of corporate gym packages, cycle to work schemes and life assurance in place of this being a personal cost.

Fixing your Mortgage

Usually the biggest household cost is rent or mortgage repayments. With interest rates on the rise, this is a good time to review variable rate mortgages, especially those with no early repayment charges. At present mortgage rates of 1.5% are still available for borrowers with a sub 50% loan to value. We’d suggest looking into your existing mortgage six months before the end of your term, as we do not expect these low borrowing rates to continue into 2023.

Savings

The Bank of England has recently announced their third rate rise since December 2021, with current rates at 0.75%. This is to try and combat soaring inflation, which the MPC target to be 2%. The recent rate rise of 0.25% will not drastically improve family finances, but it is set to try and dampen demand whilst not draining the UK economy.

High-street banks are reportedly offering interest rates sub the Bank of England base rate, despite illustrating record years for mortgage interest received. Therefore, this is an important time for savers to increase family finances by shopping around for different savings rates.

For those looking to start saving, Cambridge Building Society are offering 5% on its extra reward savers account, with deposits of £250 a month for 12 months. During this period savers will gain an additional £81.58 in interest.

For those with larger sums to save, Aldermore are offering 0.6% on easy access, with Paragon offering 0.8% with £10,000 savings or more. If a notice account suits you, Investec offer a 32 day notice account with 1.1% annual interest.

In recent research from Paragon, over 75% of personal savings earn a rate of 0.1% or less, which given the UK savings reached £1.7 trillion according to the Bank of England, shows there is a significant amount more interest savers could be achieving.

Importantly we’d always encourage savings to ensure they have full FSCS protection with their bank or building society before depositing funds. Current FSCS limits are £85,000 per person per deposit taker.

Please contact us if you need any advice on tax planning, savings rates or mortgage offers given the cost of living crisis identified.

Written by: Catriona McCarron

31 March 2022

Ascot Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 551744. Our registered office: Scotch Corner, London Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0ER. Registered in England No. 7428363. www.ascotwm.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this document was valid on 3rd February 2017. Not all the services and investments described are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax, trust and company administration services are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The services described may not be suitable for all and you should seek appropriate advice. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument by Ascot Wealth Management Limited. The information and opinions expressed herein are considered valid at publication, but are subject to change without notice and their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. © 2017 Ascot Wealth Management Ltd. Please note: This website uses cookies. To continue to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. 

In Light Of Women’s Day

In Light Of Women's Day

“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.”

International Women’s day was first celebrated in 1910 during an International Socialist Women’s conference in Denmark. The main purpose of this day is for women to bring awareness to the gender inequalities that still exist across the world, but to also celebrate how far they have come.

So, what does international women’s day mean today? The theme for international women’s day in 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, meaning that we need to give women the opportunity to be included and lead the conversations around global and national laws and policies. It follows the idea that the sooner everyone from diverse backgrounds and experiences are able to get involved, the sooner we will be able to reach a solution.

Decline of the Dave’s

Believe it or not, for the past two years there have been more fund managers called Dave than the total amount of women in the role. However, this year there has been a major breakthrough, with female fund managers totalling 11%, compared to 3% of Dave’s. One of the reasons for this advance is thought to be the ability to work from home. Women are no longer being forced to choose between progressing in their career and being available to help with their families.

Invest Like a Woman

In the past 5 years, there have been an increasing number of women seeking financial advice. Although previously women were seen to take on less risk with their investments (potentially due to the fact they were more likely to be steered towards more conservative, low risk/low growth options) they are now changing this narrative and taking their finances into their own hands. They want to be less dependent on their husbands/partners in terms of money for their future, and want to build and maintain financial security of their own. This will have huge benefits for women as they are already at a disadvantage; women live longer than men but statistically earn less, meaning they need to find ways to make their money last longer.

Closing the Gap

There is lots of research pointing towards the benefits of businesses actively pursuing a commitment to gender diversity, as companies with greater gender diversity perform better. Mckinsey’s research has shown that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform less diverse teams on profitability. Financial services need diversity to generate fresh ideas and perspectives, and to lead in establishing new trends. To achieve gender equality in finance, the financial services industry must do more to help women join companies, stay in their jobs and have the opportunity to be promoted to leadership roles.

Written by: Jemma Long

08 March 2022

Ascot Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 551744. Our registered office: Scotch Corner, London Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0ER. Registered in England No. 7428363. www.ascotwm.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this document was valid on 3rd February 2017. Not all the services and investments described are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax, trust and company administration services are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The services described may not be suitable for all and you should seek appropriate advice. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument by Ascot Wealth Management Limited. The information and opinions expressed herein are considered valid at publication, but are subject to change without notice and their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. © 2017 Ascot Wealth Management Ltd. Please note: This website uses cookies. To continue to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. 

Predictable income in an uncertain world

Predictable income in an uncertain world

Savers and Investors are currently facing double headwinds. With inflation running at a 30 year high, deposit accounts are a complete non-starter if looking for real returns after inflation. However, current market volatility may make some investors nervous about investing in the financial markets at the current time. So, is there a way to generate real returns in the current climate with relative security? The simple answer, is yes. Asset backed lending.

What is Asset Backed Lending?

The concept of asset backed lending is simple. Traditional lending involves you depositing capital at a bank, the bank  finding opportunities that earn THEM money and then lending it out to them. Ascot Wealth Management are able to advise on opportunities where you lend directly to the lender, cutting out the bank and generating you far greater potential returns than is possible from bank bonds. What makes these particularly great for a large variety of clients, is the degree of asset backing. We have loans that clients currently hold that earn 9.52% per annum and the amount lent is equal to 50% of the security backing the loan (Loan to Value, LTV). In basic terms, this would mean that the value of the underlying security (often property) to halve before capital is at risk.

Who Will Benefit?

Lending principally appeals to 3 main client types; those in or near retirement, Higher Net Worth (HNW) clients & clients with Inheritance Tax (IHT) considerations. Retirement age clients particularly value the contracted interest payments while retaining the capital value of their portfolios, unlike annuities & defined benefit pensions. HNW clients benefit from the diversification of their portfolio beyond traditional, more volatile asset classes. Finally, those concerned about taxation at later life may be able to benefit from removal of IHT concerns through possible lending through a Business Relief (BR) qualifying entity.

What Are My Options?

At Ascot Wealth Management, we advise asset backed lending via 3 methods.

1 – We work via our sourcing partners to discover lending opportunities, backed by either property and/or a charge on business assets, which pass our lending criteria.

The opportunities then pass through our due diligence process, which typically involves analysis of the valuation report(s), report on title, analysis of borrower accounts, site visits and comparison with similar assets in order to check the validity of provided analysis.

If we are then happy to recommend the opportunity, we recommend each one individually to you, whereby we outline:

  • The total loan amount
  • Interest Rate offered
  • Loan Term
  • Value of the asset backing
  • Reason for lending
  • Exit Plan

2 – If the first option feels too administration intense, Ascot Wealth Management are able to offer a discretionary management service whereby we allocate your capital in to loans that have passed our due diligence processes.

The loans that we allocate your capital in to are the same as those advised in option one, we just remove the need to respond quickly to first-come-first-served opportunities so that we ensure that you are allocated to these opportunities.

3 – We manage a client-owned limited company that is dedicated to lending to asset backed opportunities and Small & Medium Businesses. This company is able the operate across many more sources simultaneously; this reduces the time spent in between lending opportunities whereby returned capital is spent idle. Furthermore, all of the administration is handled by the company management, thereby minimising your administrative burden. Through the dedicated management of this approach, last year the portfolio generated a return of over 7%.

Summary

In summary, no matter what your situation, Ascot Wealth Management could have a solution for your needs that can involve asset backed lending and help you reduce or eliminate the headwinds of inflation and market volatility.

Contact us today to see how we can help your needs.

Written by: Sam Hallet

25 February 2022

Please note that these types of products are not suitable for all clients and that this should not be taken as personal advice. All investments can go up and down in value and therefore you could get back less than you invest. Past performance is not a guide to the future.

Ascot Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 551744. Our registered office: Scotch Corner, London Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0ER. Registered in England No. 7428363. www.ascotwm.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this document was valid on 3rd February 2017. Not all the services and investments described are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax, trust and company administration services are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The services described may not be suitable for all and you should seek appropriate advice. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument by Ascot Wealth Management Limited. The information and opinions expressed herein are considered valid at publication, but are subject to change without notice and their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. © 2017 Ascot Wealth Management Ltd. Please note: This website uses cookies. To continue to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. 

Positive returns in negative markets. Is it possible?

Positive returns in negative markets, is it possible?

The current market climate is volatile. Equity market returns over the past year are close to zero, with any gains in 2021 lost over December and January. So, how are we able to generate returns of over 7% for our clients when faced with high market volatility?

Structured Products

AWM are well versed in the research and advice of Structured Products. At the most basic level, these contracts derive their returns from prescribed conditions on an underlying asset or index  (such as the FTSE 100). At present, plans are available with up to 13.25% return per annum and products that generate a return even if the underlying falls by up to 40%. This can all be attained while having complete capital protection (up to £85,000 per counterparty) if investing in a deposit plan.

Who Will Benefit?

2 popular types of clients who would benefit from Structured Products are those in retirement (or nearing retirement) and high-net worth clients. A large reason for this is the degree of market protection offered in the plans. There are currently plans on offer that require the market to fall by more than 40% at the end of the contract before your capital is at risk due to market movements. As a result, clients can be more certain about the value of their portfolio in this volatile environment.

What Are The Different options?

Structured products either pay out their returns based on the value of the contract at certain dates (capital growth) or as income throughout the plan. Income plans are particularly popular with retirees. Unlike annuities, income plans allow retirees the possibility to receive an income while retaining the benefit of maintaining the capital value of their accumulated pension. While capital growth plans tend to have higher return potential and are therefore popular with clients who have utilised all of their annual allowances due to the differences in taxation.

Plans can either pay out returns at the end of the contract or mature early (Kick-Out). Kick out plans tend to be the most popular type of plan as they are the most likely product to generate a return. This is because they have opportunities during the plan length to mature early with positive returns, rather than risk market conditions at a later point. The increased likelihood of positive growth makes these particularly popular with clients.

Is Now A Good Time For Structured Products?

So, why is now a particularly good time to invest in structured products? Volatility feeds in to how Structured Product is “priced” by the counter parties. When volatility increases, so does the potential returns written in to the contracts. Furthermore, as central bank interest rates are increasing, this tends to feed in to the interest charged between banks (and therefore the capital at risk structured products). As both of these factors are high or increasing in the immediate future, Structured Products are proving to be a popular method of defined returns with a degree of capital protection.

How Can We Help?

Portfolio diversification and a degree of certainty can help investors gain positive returns in flat or negative markets. There are certain ways in which investors should aim to diversify their structured product portfolio. This is done by looking at features of the plans:

  • Have structured products linked to different indexes. For example, the FTSE 100, Euro Stoxx or the S&P 500.
  • Use different counter parties. By doing this, if the counter-party does default, then you don’t lose the money held in all your plans. While it is important for a counter-party to have a good credit rating, this is not regularly updated. Therefore we also look at credit default swap pricing which gives a real time indication of the reliability of the counter-party.
  • Vary the type of plan. This can be done through choosing between deposit, income or kick out plans. It can also be done through choosing between types of kick out plans.

At Ascot Wealth Management we can look at your risk appetite and financial aims to choose the Structured Products best suited to you. We will  do the research to find the best return rates in the market for the products we would recommend and help you fully understand your investments.

Written by: Alice Frost

14 February 2022

Ascot Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 551744. Our registered office: Scotch Corner, London Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0ER. Registered in England No. 7428363. www.ascotwm.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this document was valid on 3rd February 2017. Not all the services and investments described are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax, trust and company administration services are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The services described may not be suitable for all and you should seek appropriate advice. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument by Ascot Wealth Management Limited. The information and opinions expressed herein are considered valid at publication, but are subject to change without notice and their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. © 2017 Ascot Wealth Management Ltd. Please note: This website uses cookies. To continue to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. 

Your child turned 18 – What happens to their Child Trust Fund now?

Your child turned 18 - What happens to their Child Trust Fund now?

This month will see the first Child Trust Funds (CTFs) turn 18 and thus reaching maturity. This means that many 18-year olds, some of whom will be heading off to university, others potentially embarking on a gap year, are about to receive full, legal entitlement over their plans.

For those lucky enough to be born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011 they were enrolled in a CTF, which has since been replaced with a Junior ISA (JISA). The CTF was set up by the government to kickstart good saving habits, with every account credited with up to £500.  Around 25% of these were automatically set up by HMRC if parents did not set up the account before the child’s first birthday. This has meant that there are currently 6 million young people across the UK with a CTF, however, research suggests that at least 1 million of them have either lost track or are not aware that they have one registered to their name. This means that you/your child could have a pot worth £1,000, or potentially even more if parents added additional contributions. If you think your child was entitled to a CTF they can track it here

What happens now?

If the legal owner does nothing then;

  • If it’s in a stocks & shares (investment) CTF, it’ll be converted to an adult stocks & shares ISA.
  • If it’s in a cash CTF, it’ll be converted to an adult cash ISA.

What can I do with the cash? 

As stated above, if the legal owner leaves the CTF as is, it will convert in to one of two ISAs. Ultimately the proceeds of the CTF are up to the decision of the legal owner. Here we suggest some options. 

  1. Put it towards a first home 

Consider opening a Lifetime ISA account. This is a special tax-free savings account which gives you a 25% bonus on up to £4,000 saved a year (so a max £1,000/year bonus). You can then use this towards buying your first home.

  1. Invest it for a future need.

As the CTF will automatically transfer into an ISA, consider making this a Stocks and Shares ISA and investing it

  1. Move it to a savings account. 

If you wish to access the funds within two years, place the funds into an instant access cash savings account. 

If you wish to discuss the best option regarding the proceeds of a Child Trust Fund, please contact your adviser. 

For expert advice book your free, no-obligation meeting today. 

Did you miss out on the Child Trust Fund? Why not open a Junior ISA for a loved one? You can start with as little as £10 a month. Junior ISAs attract no tax on the earnings up and you are now eligible to save up to £9,000 per year they are a great vehicle to start your young one’s savings journey. Contact your adviser today. 

Source: BBC

Ascot Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 551744. Our registered office: Scotch Corner, London Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0ER. Registered in England No. 7428363. www.ascotwm.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this document was valid on 3rd February 2017. Not all the services and investments described are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax, trust and company administration services are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The services described may not be suitable for all and you should seek appropriate advice. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument by Ascot Wealth Management Limited. The information and opinions expressed herein are considered valid at publication, but are subject to change without notice and their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. © 2017 Ascot Wealth Management Ltd. Please note: This website uses cookies. To continue to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. 

Stamp Duty Holiday – Not just an under £500k thing!

Stamp Duty Holiday - Not just an under £500k thing!

As you may have already heard, the government has temporarily increased the stamp duty threshold to £500,000 for property purchases in England and Northern Ireland, until 31 March 2021. In other words, there will be no stamp duty charged on properties costing up to £500,000.

Some good news – statistics show that the average stamp duty bill will fall by £4,500 and nearly 90% of people will benefit by paying no stamp duty at all as a result of the stamp duty holiday. This holiday is not just applicable for purchases under £500,000. If you, for example, purchase a property for £600,000 you will only pay stamp duty on the portion above £500,000, so in this scenario £100,000. 

Not only that, but those looking to purchase a buy-to-let or second home/investment property will also benefit from this payment holiday. Only 3% stamp duty is due for properties up to £500,000 (previously £125,000). So with depressed price levels vs last year, record-low borrowing costs, ability to use retirement income and a stamp duty holiday, has there been a better time for a long term property investment with a mortgage?

We have 2 in-house brokers who together with your financial adviser will help you decide if this is a good option for you. Contact us today for an obligation-free quote.

This is only for purchases that complete before 31st March 2021.

The full table is shown below.

Ascot Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 551744. Our registered office: Scotch Corner, London Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0ER. Registered in England No. 7428363. www.ascotwm.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this document was valid on 3rd February 2017. Not all the services and investments described are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax, trust and company administration services are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The services described may not be suitable for all and you should seek appropriate advice. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument by Ascot Wealth Management Limited. The information and opinions expressed herein are considered valid at publication, but are subject to change without notice and their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. © 2017 Ascot Wealth Management Ltd. Please note: This website uses cookies. To continue to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. 

Have you claimed for the second self-employed support grant?

Have you claimed for the second self-employed support grant?

For those whose trade has been affected by the Coronavirus can now apply for the second wave of support from the government. The new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will pay up to £6,750 and will be the final hand-out for those whose business has been affected due to the Coronavirus.
 
Businesses that have traded for all three years with profits no more than £50,000 are eligible for the scheme.
 
The claims window is initially open for a four-day period but anyone who thinks they may be eligible and hasn’t been contacted by HMRC has until October to make a claim.
The first grant in May saw £7.8billion in taxable grants claimed by 2.7million people.
 
To apply, this time around you will need to confirm your business has been affected by the virus since July 14. If you think you are eligible and have not been contacted by the HMRC, you can go online which will tell you if you are eligible. Click the button below to be redirected to the website.

Ascot Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 551744. Our registered office: Scotch Corner, London Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0ER. Registered in England No. 7428363. www.ascotwm.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this document was valid on 3rd February 2017. Not all the services and investments described are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax, trust and company administration services are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The services described may not be suitable for all and you should seek appropriate advice. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument by Ascot Wealth Management Limited. The information and opinions expressed herein are considered valid at publication, but are subject to change without notice and their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. © 2017 Ascot Wealth Management Ltd. Please note: This website uses cookies. To continue to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. 

The Importance of a Will

The Importance of a Will

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Lets Address the elephant in the room, Wills. Its never an easy topic but an important one to have. Having a conversation with your partner and family about these difficult topics is important because losing someone, especially a spouse or partner, can have a huge impact on your finances for months or even years to come if you’re not prepared for it.

Throughout your life, you accumulate assets, things, savings, pensions and you may want to pass them down to your loved ones or charities close to your heart. So many people don’t know the importance of a Will before it’s too late and how factors such as Inheritance Tax make this process even more difficult to grasp. Here are a few points to help with getting your head around the importance of having your Will.these difficultIts never an easy 

Making sure you have the correct Executors and Guardians:

Executors are the people you choose to be responsible for making sure the wishes in your will are carried out. If you have children under the age of 18 (16 in Scotland), you can use your will to appoint guardians for them.

Pass on Property you own

If you own a home or a buy to let property, you can leave it in your will to whoever you like.

Leave gifts to people

Many people like to pass on items they own of sentimental value.  If you have a will, you can leave specific items you own to people you’d like to inherit them. You can also say who should inherit if any of the people you leave money or gifts to die before you.

Provide for stepchildren and unmarried partners

Unmarried partners and stepchildren won’t automatically inherit from you.  Instead, they would have to go to court to make a claim, which can be both emotionally and financially costly. So, if you would like to pass anything on to them, it’s important you put this in your will.

What should happen to your pets?

You can leave your pet to someone under your will and you can include instructions on how they should be cared for in a letter of wishes. You may also want to leave the person you choose some money to help cover the costs of caring for your pet. Alternatively, there are animal charities that will care for and try to re-home your pet.

Leave instructions about your online accounts

In this day and age, everything is done online. It’s important to think about what should happen to your online accounts, from emails and photographs to online bank accounts. This information should definitely be passed on to avoid your loved ones from not being able to access your documents or any required information. However, this should be a side note in your will as a will could potentially become a public document when you pass on.

Leave money to charity

You can leave a cash sum, particular item or a share of everything you own to a charity. This has potential IHT benefits and should certainly be looked at when creating/editing your Will.

Pass on your business and any foreign assets

This can get complicated and it’s important to get legal or professional assistance when adding this type of information into a Will. We can certainly assist with this.

Minimise the inheritance tax bill

This is where we can really help you. If your estate is large enough to worry about IHT. There are many things to factor in so contact us for advice.

Your pension and your will

You cannot leave someone your pension in your will. Instead, you need to make sure you’ve taken the right steps to ensure your pension(s) go to the people you want them to. There are many things to consider when it comes to passing on your pension. We can provide you with the best possible outcome for your individual circumstance.

Adding a letter of wishes

This document is not legally binding and does not have to be formally written by an expert. Essentially, it’s a note that sits alongside your will and provides guidance to your executors. One of the benefits of writing one is that you can update and change it without affecting your will.

Ascot Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 551744. Our registered office: Scotch Corner, London Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0ER. Registered in England No. 7428363. www.ascotwm.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this document was valid on 3rd February 2017. Not all the services and investments described are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax, trust and company administration services are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The services described may not be suitable for all and you should seek appropriate advice. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument by Ascot Wealth Management Limited. The information and opinions expressed herein are considered valid at publication, but are subject to change without notice and their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. © 2017 Ascot Wealth Management Ltd. Please note: This website uses cookies. To continue to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. 

Tapered pension annual allowance: what changed after the 2020 Budget?

Tapered pension annual allowance: what changed after the 2020 Budget?

Firstly: What is tapered annual allowance?

Let’s begin by understanding the annual allowance. This is the maximum you can save in your pension schemes each year. For the 2020/21 tax year the annual allowance is £40,000, but if you have a high income your annual allowance may be lower than £40,000. This is called a tapered annual allowance. 

Tapered annual allowance rules are applied when your level of income within the tax year exceeds the Threshold income limit and the Adjusted income limit

What is ‘threshold income’?

Threshold income is all of your earnings (not just your salary) and includes gains on investments. Foreign earnings do not count towards threshold income as they are not taxed in the UK.

What is ‘adjusted income’?

Adjusted income is all of your earnings which are subject to UK Income Tax, including all pension contributions paid by you and by your employer. The difference between ‘threshold income’ and ‘adjusted income’ is that the former excludes pension contributions but the latter includes all pension contributions.

So, what are the recent changes?

The Government has announced a significant increase to the threshold income and adjusted income limits that are used to work out the tapered annual allowance.

From 6 April 2020, you will have a reduced (‘tapered’) annual allowance if:

  • your threshold income is over £200,000 (this was previously £110,000)   and
  • your adjusted income is over £240,000 (this was previously £150,000)

How does the tapered annual allowance affect my pension savings?

If you are subject to the tapered annual allowance, for every £2 your adjusted income goes over £240,000, your annual allowance for that year reduces by £1. From 6 April 2020 this reduces all the way to a £4,000 annual allowance (which has recently been lowered from £10,000).

What’s the Next Step?

If you have concerns about your pension annual allowances or would like to speak to someone about your pensions or other investments, we’re here to help you. You can either phone us directly or click below to book a meeting with one of our professional advisers.

Ascot Wealth Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority reference 551744. Our registered office: Scotch Corner, London Road, Sunningdale, Ascot, Berkshire, SL5 0ER. Registered in England No. 7428363. www.ascotwm.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this document was valid on 3rd February 2017. Not all the services and investments described are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Tax, trust and company administration services are not authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The services described may not be suitable for all and you should seek appropriate advice. This document is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the purpose or sale of any financial instrument by Ascot Wealth Management Limited. The information and opinions expressed herein are considered valid at publication, but are subject to change without notice and their accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. No part of this document may be reproduced in any manner without prior permission. © 2017 Ascot Wealth Management Ltd. Please note: This website uses cookies. To continue to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used.