The risks of late estate planning

Imagine you are named as the executor and a beneficiary of your wife’s wealthy aunt. You learn that she is suffering from terminal cancer and has ‘a very impaired lifespan’. What do you do? This is what happened in the case of Nader and others v Revenue & Customs. The executor/beneficiary, a Dr Nader, decided…

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Unmarried couples lack the rights of married couples

Two recent events have shone different lights on the government’s view of unmarried couples.    As the graph shows, marriage has been drifting out of fashion for close to 50 years. There are now over 3.3 million unmarried couples in the UK, of which nearly half have children. In spite of this major social change,…

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The Budget: an end to austerity?

The 2018 Budget – delivered on a Monday for the first time since 1962 – produced a number of surprises, not least some high-profile ‘giveaways’. Announcements in the Budget included: A £650 increase in the personal allowance to £12,500 for 2019/20, the level originally pencilled in for 2020/21. A £3,650 increase in the higher rate…

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More people working past 65

Do you want to work into your old age? Do you fancy working past 65? The trend of rising employment levels is not limited to working-age people, according to the latest employment statistics from the Office for National Statistics. The data reveals a growing number of people have working beyond what is still often thought of…

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Tax reform – taking a different view

Proposed tax reform would target FAANS companies

Tax reform has raised its head as a leading think tank has proposed a radical shake up of the UK tax system. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) is a centre-left think tank that has a long history of influencing Labour Party policy. So, its ideas on tax reform published in the final report…

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Losing interest in cash ISAs

The appeal of the cash ISA is waning

The popularity of cash ISAs is continuing to wane, according to new statistics from HMRC. With inflation persistently above interest rates, it’s not hard to imagine why. The bank of England recently increased the interest rate to 0.75%,but inflation was 2.7% in August 2018. This means, if you are holding cash in an ISA or…

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2018 Budget – trick or treat? Chancellor calls budget for late October

Chancellor Philip Hammond sets a late October date for the 2018 Budget

The 2018 Budget has been set for Monday 29 October, setting a deadline for speculation and proposals. Mr Hammond, however, has indicated that he won’t end the long spell of austerity measures, despite improving public finances. Proposals raised by think tanks and professional bodies include overhauls of income and inheritance tax, ‘pension tax relief simplification’,…

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Life expectancy slows

Life expectancy continues to rise in the UK

A paper published in August by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) casts new light on old age and life expectancy in the UK. Life expectancy has been increasing in the UK for a long time, as our graph shows. In 1980, the average life expectancy at birth was 70.6 years for a man and…

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The record S&P 500 bull run

Bull market

The US stock market set a new record for the longest-ever bull market in August.   Wednesday 22 August 2019 saw the S&P 500 drop – by less than 0.1% – after 3,453 days, making it the longest-ever bull run (a period of rising share prices) for the index, which is used by professional investors’…

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Life expectancy – slowing down our old age

Life expectancy continues to rise in the UK

A paper published in August by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) casts new light on old age and life expectancy in the UK. Life expectancy has been increasing in the UK for a long time, as our graph shows. In 1980, the average life expectancy at birth was 70.6 years for a man and…

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