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 are delighted to announce that Brunel and several of our team have been awarded two prestigious Standard certifications, demonstrating our commitment to best practice and extremely high levels of financial planning knowledge and service. Read more …
It’s a parliamentary tradition that while making the Budget speech, the Chancellor may drink whatever he wishes. Previous Chancellors have opted for whisky (Kenneth Clarke), gin and tonic (Geoffrey Howe) and even sherry and beaten egg (William Ewart Gladstone). Reflecting more sombre and health conscious times, both Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown went for water and the current Chancellor, George Osborne has followed this dour, modern tradition. Read more …
When the polls opened at 7am on Thursday 7th May, the pundits and the pollsters were as one: the only certainty was a hung parliament. It was the most difficult-to-predict election for generations. The opinion polls had the parties running neck and neck, but the Conservatives led slightly in the predicted number of seats. A rough average from the pollsters seemed to be around 290 for the Blue team, 267 for the Reds and with the Lib Dems sinking to 25 or 26. Meanwhile, UKIP looked to be struggling to achieve its leader’s predicted “handful” and north of the Border, the SNP tsunami was gathering force. Read more …