National Insurance contributions go towards things like your State Pension but they don’t count towards the costs of social care. This type of care is managed by your local authority and generally comes at a price. That is why you have to apply directly to them if you need help with paying for long-term care. Your local authority (or Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland) will first carry out a Care Needs Assessment to find out what support you need.
Last year we went over and above the call of duty in our Autumn Statement Preview: we combed the Chancellor’s Twitter feed to look for clues as to what might be in his speech. Obviously we have had to do the same this year but, sadly there has been no mention of November 25th’s Autumn Statement in his 140 character life story so far, so it looks like we’ll need to do some rather more in depth research.
Following on from our last article, ‘Learning from these 5 Bristol business successes’, we’ve found 5 more local businesses who we think are worth celebrating. We are proud to be based in the thriving city of Bristol and value the success of all businesses who contribute to our local economy.
(If you are involved in a local business or organisation with a success story then do let us know – we’d love to feature you in a future article!)
As you can imagine, we’re asked a lot of questions by clients. We are, of course, here to answer them, but it pays to be prepared! Here then are the two questions we’re asked most often, so that, if you haven’t answered them already, you can start to think about how the answer might work for you.
When can I stop work?
Deciding on a retirement date can, initially, be mainly an emotional choice. You might just feel ready to stop working, or always have had an age in mind where you no longer wanted to have to go into the office every day.
In our blog post last month, we talked about the need to look ‘beyond the numbers’, to look at what mattered to you and how financial planning is a different activity than merely organising your finances in the most appropriate and tax efficient way.
This month, we wanted to take those ideas forward a few steps and explore them a little further.
Take money as a starting point. Money is normally accepted as the driver of all things. Indeed, we are ‘financial’ planners and we help our clients with money matters.
I am old enough to remember the first crop of state sell-offs under the Thatcher government in the early 1980s. Actually, I am sufficiently old to remember the de-nationalisation of the steel
industry, but that’s another story. Now, under the first proper Conservative administration for eighteen years, it seems we are returning to the age of “tell Sid”, for those who remember the campaign to encourage us to buy shares in British Gas. Lloyds Bank shares are to be made available to private investors, with smaller potential buyers being prioritised. Popular capitalism may be on its way back.
For current clients and partners of Brunel, you’re likely to already be well aware that financial planning is not all about the numbers. For anyone new to ourselves and financial planning, however, it’s always worthwhile to revisit just what we do and how it differs from merely being ‘money organisation’.
Financial planning is designed to go ‘beyond the numbers’ to discover what it really is that you want the numbers (and, of course, money) to do for you. The important thing for us (and you) is to know where you want your money to take you.
Read more …
We were recently reminded of Linda Ellis’ poem The Dash, which you can read in full here.
The Dash talks about the life of a man who has passed away, being talked about by his friend at the funeral. The friend refers to everything that he had done and achieved during his life as being represented by ‘the dash’; the space between the two dates of birth and death on his headstone.
When sitting down to think about your financial planning, ‘success’ and ‘happiness’ are often equated with each other.
Success leads to happiness, conventional wisdom dictates; with one comes the other.
Success and happiness though are very broad ideas. The majority of people, reading the above, are likely to equate success as referring to a successful career. Happiness in your personal life is then a result of this, whether from simply being happy that you have been successful in your working life or, perhaps more likely, feeling as though your successful career has given you the funds to pursue things that make you happy.
China is proving slow to go away as a perceived problem for investors. While the shock announcement of its, admittedly modest, currency devaluation against the US dollar did not produce the mayhem in foreign exchange markets many feared, worries over the extent of the slowdown taking place in the world’s second largest economy continue to undermine sentiment. Life may have become a little calmer of late, but there remains much speculation over the extent of the Chinese slowdown.