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financial planning / 9 posts found

Don’t despair of your debt

by mike tombs
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Being in debt can be scary, and you can feel helpless. But help is at hand. The most important thing is to talk to someone. This can be your accountant, or it can be a debt charity such as StepChange. A Debt Relief Order (DRO) can help people to improve their debt situation, though it is important to understand the consequences of such action. The first DRO was approved 10 years ago in April 2009 with the aim of assisting people with small levels of assets and little surplus income deal with their debts. Since then, the Insolvency Service has [...]

Child benefit tax trap

by mike tombs
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This post is a reminder that a family claiming the weekly Child Benefit (currently, £20.70 a week for eldest or only child and £13.70 a week for additional children) may get an unwelcome tax bill if either parents’ income exceeds £50,000 during a tax year.   If either parent had income over £50,000 for the tax year 2018-19, and:   either partner received Child Benefit, or someone else received Child Benefit for a child living with you and they contribute at least an equal amount towards the child’s upkeep.   Then part or all of the Child Benefit received may [...]

Why does the UK tax year end 5th April?

by mike tombs
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A bit of history this week but with a practical outcome for 2019.   Up to 1582, Europe used the Julian calendar introduced by the Romans in 45BC. Unfortunately, the Julian calendar differed from the solar calendar by 11 ½ minutes; after 500 years this small difference meant that the Julian calendar was 10 days off the solar calendar.   To remedy this error, Pope Gregory introduced the Gregorian calendar in most of Europe under his influence, 1582. There was a notable exception, you guessed right, the British Empire. Sound familiar?   The Brits stoically maintained their use of the [...]

How do you eat an elephant?

by mike tombs
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The answer is, of course, a little bit at a time. Goal, dreams or aims are like elephants, it is far too overwhelming to have your goal as make a million pounds, but breaking that goal down into manageable bite sized pieces will make the obtaining of your goal possible, and certainly more probable. We have reached the time of year when we start to think about next year and what we want to achieve going forwards, so now is a good time to start understanding how to set out good goals, to enable you to reach your final aim. [...]

Receiving your State Pension if you live abroad

by mike tombs
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If you are about to move abroad and are already receiving a State Pension in the UK, you might like to read this article setting out some of the issues you will need to consider.   If you live part of the year abroad You must choose which country you want your pension to be paid in. You cannot be paid in one country for part of the year and another for the rest of the year. Bank accounts your pension can be paid into Your State Pension can be paid into: a bank in the country you’re living in [...]

Struggling with growth?

by mike tombs
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Trying to achieve increased growth can seem a daunting prospect, but as with most thing in business and life, once broken down it becomes clearer. There are only 4 ways to increase growth. 1.Increase the number of customers or transactions. Increase the average value of existing transactions. Increase the gross profit margin on your products and services Introduce a new product or service   So, for each of these we can come up with a strategy that may help. Firstly, increase your customers or transactions. This can be finding new customers or encouraging your existing customers to order more frequently. [...]

Why looking back is as important as looking forward

by mike tombs
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We are always being told not to look back. “Don’t look back, you are not going that way” is one saying that I come across often. However, the problem with that is this; only by looking back and seeing what happened and learning from our mistakes are we able to move forward taking with us the lessons that we have learned, so that we can do better, achieve more, increase our growth and improve our businesses. As we get towards the end of the year, it is important to reflect on the year that has passed, before you make plans [...]

Powers of attorney

by mike tombs
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There are two types of power of attorney that you can grant:   Firstly, to appoint someone you trust to make decisions about your health and wellbeing if you become incapacitated, and Secondly, to appoint someone you trust to make decisions about your finances if you cannot manage your financial affairs.   You can choose to make one type or both, but please note, there is a different process in Scotland and Northern Ireland.   A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions [...]

Powers of attorney

by mike tombs
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As we will possibly live on until our 80s, and as that may involve coping with disability of one form or another, the need for consideration of support as we get older is ever more pertinent.   Readers will no doubt have heard the term “power of attorney”, but not many, we suspect, will have made the investment and appointed someone trusted to act as their representative if they become physically or mentally unable to look after themselves in old age.   If you did become infirm and unable to make sensible decisions about your health care or finances, and [...]