Category Archives:

Advice

New FCA website: ScamSmart

It is estimated that £1.2bn is lost to Investment Fraud each year, so in response the FCA website has created a specific site giving details of scams with warnings: ScamSmart

Latest scams include emails appearing to be from companies such as Pay Pal and Apple indicating there is a problem with your account, or that a purchase has been made using your details. You are then directed to a site to confirm these details and are requested to enter your bank/card details.

This is a scam – no company will ask you to confirm your bank or card details in full online. If you’re suspicious, contact the payment provider or store and your bank immediately.

What is Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

If you’re married or in a civil partnership, you may have assumed that your spouse would automatically be able to deal with your bank accounts and pensions, and make decisions about your healthcare, if you lose the ability to do so. This is not the case. Without a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), they won’t have the authority.

The difference between the types of power of attorney are what they cover – financial or health and welfare. The options available depend on where you live.

England & Wales

Clients can have one or both types of LPA

A property and financial LPA

Allows someone to manage all financial affairs, for example control and managing bank and savings accounts, tax affairs, and buying and selling investments or property.

Health and Welfare LPA

Allows someone to make decisions about health, care and welfare for example, what medical treatment is given or whether a care home is an option.

Scotland

Again there are two types of LPA

A Continuing Power of Attorney allows control of financial affairs and Welfare Power of Attorney manages care and welfare.

Northern Ireland

Has only an Enduring Power of Attorney that allows management of financial affairs, there is no provision for decision making in respect of health and welfare.

Age UK gives further comprehensive information on LPA’s.

Fraudulent Activity

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Information from investment providers indicates that fraudulent attacks which use spoofed or hacked customer e-mails to pass withdrawal instructions through investment advisers are continuing to occur.

The fraudulent instructions appear to be sent from a genuine customer’s email address, which may have been hacked or ‘spoofed’ by the fraudsters. If the initial request is successful, the suspects have been known to attempt additional transfers, often to a number of different accounts.

The potential for this to harm customers is significant and Rossmore Financial Services has instigated procedures to ensure that customers are protected from any fraudulent activity.

These procedures will require Rossmore clients to go through various processes should they wish to withdraw funds that are designed to protect both the client and Rossmore from any fraudulent activity, so as a client you are asked to consider this if your request for withdrawal of funds be questioned.

State Pension changes from 2016

It’s a new year which means the State Pension rules are changing – again. Stay on the money with our clear, factual guide from Government, available to download here.

DWP 1 - CURRENT State Pension scheme-Jan 2015

Worried about you retirement benefits, either from the State, or you own arrangements? Talk to Rossmore Financial.

 

 

Average cost of raising a child in Britain rises to £230,000

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The average cost of raising a child has risen by almost £2,000 over the last year to around £230,000, according to a think-tank.

The new figures, compiled by the Centre of Economic and Business Research (CEBR), show the cost of bringing up a child to 21 years old has increased by 63% since 2003, when the index was first calculated.

The increase means the price of having children has risen 50% faster than inflation over that period.

Parents on average spend £74,319 on education over the whole of a child’s upbringing – a figure which includes costs like uniforms, school lunches, and university fees. Private school fees were not included in the index.

Most families also faced a huge bill for childcare, with an average bill per child of £67,500 over the 21-year period.

Out of all the costs examined by the report, only clothing has become cheaper over the last decade or more. Other costs examined include pocket money, toys, and holidays.

The figures were compiled by the think-tank on behalf of the insurer LV=.

“Having children has never been more expensive and, with costs such as childcare and education continuing to rise, for many families across the UK this is set to remain a pressure point,” said Myles Rix, managing director at the insurance company.

Childcare is a major expense for parentsLondon-based families spent the most on childcare but paid a smaller proportion of their income overall because of higher salaries in the capital.

Last year research from the Child Poverty Action Group and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that the costs involved in raising children are increasing far faster than wages, leaving many parents struggling.

That report found the cost of raising a child was £164.19 a week, while lone parents had to pay more at £184.50 a week due to higher childcare costs.

At the time of that report’s release, Donald Hirsch, director of the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University, said:

“This evidence shows unequivocally that families have found it progressively harder to make ends meet.

“The forecast increase in wages in the next few years should help, but may not reverse this trend for the worst-off working families. This is because the support they get from the state will continue to decline in real terms.”

Source: The Independent 

Over 40s being ‘frozen out’ of home loans

Home buyers over the age of 40 are increasingly being “frozen out” of mortgages , the industry is warning.

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New rules mean that lenders are now restricting loans to anyone who will still be paying off their mortgage by the time they retire.

And yet many people cannot afford to buy a home until they are 40 or even 50, say some of the largest lenders.

Under a standard 25 year term, a 45 year-old borrower would be 70 before the loan was paid off.

The new rules – known as the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) – were introduced by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in April this year, to make sure that borrowers could afford to pay back what they borrow.

‘Extinction’

But a group of 24 banks and building societies, including Nationwide, Barclays and Santander, says the rules are preventing lenders offering mortgages to anyone who will retire before the loan is repaid.

They say the issue is “causing real concern”.

Some lenders have already imposed maximum age limits for borrowers, as they cannot be certain what their income will be in retirement.

“To avoid a situation where regulation brings about the extinction of mortgage terms that stretch into retirement, we need clarity and confirmation about where the boundaries of responsible lending truly lie,” said Peter Williams, the executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).

IMLA – which represents the 24 lenders – wants the FCA to tackle the issue in its review of MMR early in 2015.

Source: BBC NEWS 

State Benefits – Where Do I Stand?

Austerity measures in the UK include some of the biggest cuts in state spending since World War II. This together with the current welfare reforms, means state benefits are being eroded and could mean serious financial pressure for many if they suffer a critical illness, injury, long term sickness or the loss of a loved one. We believe this highlights the need more than ever, to protect your financial health, as state benefits may not be enough to live on. Talk to Rossmore Financial Services to check your own position, to ensure that you could maintain your preferred standard of living should the worst happen.

2014 research shows that people in the UK have on average, a 26 day deadline and then the money runs out. Do you know what state benefits you could have to rely on? If you’re unsure, download your State Benefits Guide from one of Rossmore’s protection partners, Legal & General. 

Analyzing financial data

Majority of consumers see value of financial advice

Financial advisor

More than half of consumers believe they would benefit from seeking financial advice, according to a report out October 28th.

The research from unbiased.co.uk found that 52% of Brits think they would benefit from seeking whole of market financial advice.

This sentiment is especially strong among the younger generations, with only 6% of people in their 30s saying they do not think they would benefit at all from receiving advice.

Private pensions, mortgages and stocks and shares ISAs top the nation’s wish-list of areas they would like help on from a financial adviser, with the UK’s 20 and 30 somethings placing mortgages as the number one area they would consider seeking advice for.

For the ‘at retirement’ generation (60-69 year olds), annuity purchases topped the list.

Despite concerns over the impact of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) on the demand for advice, unbiased.co.uk, which lists details of over 25,000 advisers on its online ‘find an adviser’ search, has seen a strong demand for whole of market advice since the start of 2013.

The website has reported an 18% increase in visitors to its ‘find an adviser’ search, year on year.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk, said: “Our research has brought to light the fact that consumers see a clear benefit in seeking whole of market advice, which is a really encouraging sign. Most people wouldn’t consider fixing their car or doing legal work for their house purchase without professional help, so why should finances be any different?”

Unbiased.co.uk has re-vamped its ‘find an adviser’ checklist to help consumers find the right adviser for their needs.

Barrett added: “A qualified expert can help you make the right choices on some of the most important decisions of your life, can save you time and money and can give you confidence that your finances are being looked after well.

“Like all other professional services financial advice will cost you money but the ongoing benefits outweigh the cost. Each of us has different financial priorities and a chat with an adviser using our checklist can be the first step in helping you identify the ‘right’ financial adviser to tackle your finances.”

If you would like our tailor-fit financial advice, contact us. 

Source: IFA Online