Time to get wrapped up? How to shelter income and capital gains
For long-term investors, Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) are a very tax-efficient wrapper that can hold cash savings as well as investments in stocks and shares. Savvy investors are also able to shelter income and capital gains.
The limit on how much can be saved in an ISA each year has doubled since 2009; you can add up to £15,240 to an ISA in the 2016/17 tax year. Cash that you withdraw from a flexible ISA can be replaced during the same tax year without counting towards your annual ISA allowance, which is known as ‘ISA flexibility’. What sets ISAs apart from other savings and investment accounts is that any interest on cash savings, gains from investments or income from dividends are tax-efficient, and you don’t have to declare ISAs on your tax return.
Facing new challenges at every turn to meet long-term objectives
We are now living in a more uncertain world. As correlations between asset classes rise, the right strategy is crucial to preserve capital when markets are falling.
In addition, the result of the European Union (EU) referendum came as a shock to financial markets, and there is likely to be fallout from this historic event for some time. Many investors are now facing new challenges at every turn. So what can you do to manage your investments in current markets?
How the lifetime allowance reduction could impact on your retirement savings
The Government has introduced comprehensive reforms to the pension rules over the previous few years. One important change, which may have been overlooked by some savers, is the reduction of the lifetime allowance that applies to pension savings. The lifetime allowance is the total amount you can hold within all your pensions without incurring an additional tax charge when you extract money from the pot.
The Government has indicated that this allowance will increase each year in line with inflation (CPI) but only from 6 April 2018. It was reduced from £1.25m down to £1m from 6 April 2016. If you have more than £1m in your pension pot or are likely to do so at retirement, you can apply to protect it against reductions to the lifetime allowance.
Do you have a financial plan in place to help protect your home?
Taking out a mortgage is the biggest financial commitment many of us will ever make, and having a financial plan in place will help protect your home in the event that you can’t work due to illness or ill health, or even your premature death.
No life cover
So it’s concerning to see that half (50%) of the UK’s mortgage holders have no life cover in place, meaning that 8.2 million people are leaving themselves and their families financially exposed if the unforeseen were to happen.
Start thinking about preparing for any big events as soon as you can
None of us know exactly what life’s got in store for us, but we know that there are a handful of major events that we’re quite likely to encounter at some stage. These include some of the great milestones of life, such as buying a property, getting married, starting a family, buying a holiday home or planning for retirement.
It’s essential to start thinking about preparing for any big events as soon as you can. Often this means saving for major expenses that may not yet be in sight but which we know are awaiting us just over the horizon.