Every little helps; Severn Bridge tolls halved and more news for the region from the 2016 Budget

Whilst it may not have made national headlines, there was good news for the local region from the March 2016 Budget.

Though it won’t quite pay for our retirements or suddenly mean we can all splash out on overseas holidays, a 50% reduction in a tax is always welcome! In this case, the ‘tax’ is the toll charge on the Severn crossings, which is currently used to pay for the cost of constructing the crossings. In 2018, the cost will have been repaid and the bridges will revert to public ownership.

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Use it or lose it time for your ISA

As the end of the financial year draws ever closer, it’s important not to forget about any ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) you have and any remaining payments that you’re allowed to make. The maximum allowance for ISAs for the 2015/16 financial year is £15,240, so it’s important that you invest any funds that you have left to pay into your ISA as close to that amount as possible, as soon as you can. Read more …

Retirement ‘class of 2016’ owe less than last year’s

The amount of money owed by those planning to retire over the course of the next 12 months has fallen for the fourth year in row, according to the latest research by Prudential. This year’s retirees who still have debts owe an average of £18,800, a fall of £3,000 or 14% from last year and a drop of nearly £20,000 since 2012 when the average amount owed was £38,200. However, despite the continued fall in average debts, Prudential’s unique research into the financial plans and aspirations of people planning to retire in the year ahead – the Class of 2016 – shows that the proportion of retirees in debt remains stubbornly high. Read more …

Budget 2016 Overview

Introduction

It was famously said that ‘all roads lead to Rome.’ In British politics, all speeches currently lead to the EU Referendum. George Osborne’s Budget speech, delivered on Wednesday March 16th, was no exception.

More than ever, the Chancellor was seeking to balance politics and economics as he rose to speak. On the politics front, there were a good many restive backbenchers behind him who had already put paid (at least for now) to the Chancellor’s widely-trailed intentions to reform tax relief on pension contributions. There was also an electorate to convince – and the Chancellor’s own political ambitions. Make no mistake, if the ‘Leave’ camp wins the EU referendum, George Osborne’s chances of succeeding David Cameron in the inevitable leadership battle are almost non-existent.

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Vote Results: What is the most important financial planning activity for you in 2016?

In January, we took the opportunity to run a survey to ask you what the most important financial planning activity was for you in 2016. Thank you very much to all who participated.

First and foremost, feedback showed that it is very difficult to narrow down your financial planning priorities to just one choice!

If you remember, we ran both a Twitter poll and a survey through our regular email communications with you.

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5 more Bristol business successes

As a business based in Bristol, we delight in the diversity and vibrancy of all the great enterprises to be found in our city. Following on from our previous articles, we’ve highlighted another five businesses to celebrate what they contribute to the local economy. If you’ve not yet come across them, why not check them out.

(P.S. if you are involved with a local business or organisation with a success story then do let us know – we would love to feature you here in a future article!)

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When the why becomes important enough, the how becomes easy

When you set financial planning priorities, it will be because they are exactly that: your priority at that given time.

If you are a Brunel client then you’ll know that we’ll work with you to set a route by which you can arrive at your financial planning priority in good time, through the most streamlined method available, without encountering undue risk.

What gets talked about less in financial planning is that your priorities can and will change. What happens then?

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New year, new vote: What’s the most important financial planning activity for you in 2016?

We’re always interested in hearing from our clients (and from those of you who are not yet clients) and so, to kick off 2016, we thought we’d see if you can narrow down your financial planning priorities to just one choice!

Of course, if you are already a client, then we will likely have already discussed your plans with you, but we’re looking for your answers to this poll anyway to get a very informal, ‘state of the nation’ view on what most people are planning towards in 2016.

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Top ten Christmas reads for business owners

If you’re a business owner with a bit more time than usual over the Christmas period, why not try one of these great titles?

Or if people struggle to know what to buy you as ‘the business owner who has everything’, why not drop a few hints – there’s still time!

At this time of year bestseller lists abound so we thought we’d make our own list and share just a few of our favourite business titles; some published this year, some from a few years ago but all with some great insights into how you can perform better in the world of work.

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Presents that are for life not just for Christmas

The Big Day is fast approaching.

Have you done all your shopping or are you tearing your hair out for inspiration? Maybe there are people on your list that are just really difficult to buy for?

If you feel it’s a waste of money when you grab yet another bumper pack of socks, or a book you know they’ll never read or a DVD they’ll never watch, then don’t despair – we’ve come up with some really alternative experiences, which will hopefully fit the bill.

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Brunel Capital Partners is a sister company of Pilgrim Financial Planning