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01480 869466
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Raising money for the Angels Foundation


We’re delighted to say our team raised £1,100 for our Charity of the Year, The Angels Foundation, helping families across Huntingdonshire.

A huge thank you to our Social Committee for their fundraising efforts over 2023!

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Preparing for Tax Year End: Maximise Your Savings


With taxation rates in the UK being so high, it’s important to take advantage of the many allowances you could be eligible for ahead of tax year end.

There are straightforward steps you can take to make sure you’re not overpaying more than you should be:

Personal Savings Allowance – the impact of higher interest

For investors, 2023 ended up being a good year, with real growth happening in November and December. With interest rates going up, those with a decent amount in the bank may now see a tax bill.

Through the Personal Savings Allowance, the first £1000 (or £500 if you’re a higher-rate taxpayer) of any income from interest is tax-free. That means any interest income over that threshold is subject to tax.

For example, if you are a basic tax rate payer with £20,000 in a savings account at a 5% interest rate, this gives you an annual interest income of £1000. Your entire Personal Savings Allowance has been used up. A higher interest rate may increase your income interest, but may also increase your tax bill.

Dividends: Reduction in allowances

The Dividends Allowance – the amount you can receive in dividends before paying tax – has reduced for this financial year, from £2000 to just £1000. It will reduce again to £500 in the 2024-25 tax year. This means that you could be paying more tax on your dividends.

However, dividend income from assets held in ISAs continue to remain tax-free.

Capital Gains Tax

The Capital Gains Tax Allowance (CGT) for 2023-24 is £6000, a significant reduction from £12,300 in the previous tax year. It is paid on the gain when you sell, for example, a second home, or a personal possession over £6000 that isn’t a car.

However, if you held funds in an ISA, you don’t pay Capital Gains Tax on the gains you make.

Furthermore, the amount of CGT you pay is linked to your income. Increasing pension contributions reduces your taxable income, which may change your tax band and the rate of Capital Gains Tax you are charged.

Rent a Room Relief

If you rent out a room in your home, you can earn up to £7,500 per year tax-free (halved if you share the income with a partner, for example).

This exemption is automatic – if you don’t earn above this threshold, you won’t need to do anything.

ISA Allowance

Using an Individual Savings Account (ISA), you can save funds and not need to pay tax on cash, interest, income or capital gains from investments, as well as offering flexible access to your savings.

You can save up to £20,000 per year within an ISA tax-free. However, if you don’t use up your ISA allowance by the end of each tax year, it is gone, and can’t be carried forward.

How pension contributions can provide tax relief

The examples above demonstrate some tax implications you may face. However, you can benefit from tax relief to help offset this via your pension. This kind of tax relief exists because the government wants to incentivise people to save for their retirement.

By paying into your pension, you can help reduce the amount of tax you pay, increase your savings for the future and ensure you don’t lose certain entitlements.

If you earn over £100,000, your tax-free Personal Allowance starts to taper, and reaches zero if your income exceeds £125,140. However, by paying more of your salary into a pension, your final amount of adjusted net income is reduced. If it is reduced to under £100,000, you maintain your Personal Allowance.

Increasing your pension contributions can also ensure you don’t lose out on certain entitlements. For example, if you earn over £50,000, the amount of Child Benefit entitlement you receive reduces in the form of a ‘tax charge’. By reducing your net income through pension contributions to under £50,000, this charge will be avoided.

The level of tax relief available varies depending on how your pension works, or the rate of income tax you pay. It’s very important to ensure your pension is set up correctly, and that you are aware of any restrictions in place. A Chartered financial planner can help you with this.

Conclusion

There are many more forms of tax to be mindful of in the UK, and if you ask me, it’s far more complicated than it needs to be.

If a tax is due, there are allowances and reliefs you can take advantage of to mitigate your final bill. I would also recommend reviewing if your funds should be shared with a spouse or partner, or remain in the individual’s name – a financial planner can support you with these decisions.

If you find yourself paying a tax, stop and think: could some or all of it be avoided?

If you would like to speak with one of our pension experts, message us or call us on 01480 869466 for a free initial, no obligation chat.

Future fees may apply. Registered and regulated by the FCA No. 526604.

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Letters to Santa 2023


Are you looking forward to Christmas? Do you or a family member want to write a letter to Santa?

Our friends, the Elves of the North Pole, have left a postbox at our Kimbolton office for you to post your letters to Santa. All you need to do is:

  • Download and print the ‘Letter to Santa’ template here >
  • Write your letter – don’t forget to include your return address!
  • Post it to Santa at the postbox location at: Beacon Wealth Management, The Old Chapel, Thrapston Road, Kimbolton, PE28 0HW
  • The Elves will collect your letter and deliver it straight to Santa! You don’t need a stamp!
  • You’ll then receive your reply from Santa in the post.

Hurry though, the postbox is only here until Friday 15th December 2023– the Elves will be busy helping Santa after that date!

Download the Letter to Santa Template >

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Priory Centre, St Neots


At Beacon, we are proud supporters of the arts and recently supported a production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by VAMPS, an amateur dramatic society based in St Neots, running from 9-12 November 2023. Formed in 1961, the group stages a popular musical or variety show each Spring and Autumn, and is a staple of the local arts scene.

Tony Larkins – MD of Beacon Wealth Management – test drives Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in St Neots city centre!

 

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Charity Quiz for The Property Angels Foundation


We recently hosted a Charity Quiz and Raffle in aid of the The Property Angels Foundation, our Charity of the Year for 2023. The evening raised a total of £764, which will go towards the charity’s vital work supporting families across Huntingdonshire.
Congratulations to the quiz winners and to all those who won raffle prizes!
A big thank you is in order for to The Anchor Pub and Restaurant for hosting the night, and another big thank you and to all the businesses that donated wonderful raffle prizes!
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Kimbolton Fireworks 2023


Fireworks at Kimbolton Castle 2023

We were very proud to once again sponsor the fantastic annual Fireworks display at Kimbolton Castle, organised by the Kimbolton School Parents Association.

Each and every year this display brings over 9,000 people to Kimbolton to enjoy one of the very best displays in the region by the brilliant Titanium Fireworks, who themselves have ties to Kimbolton.

Congratulations and well done Lily, our competition winner in collaboration with Black Cat Radio, who won the chance to go up on stage and start the display!

Thank you again to all the teams who worked so hard to put the night together, and to Funk Odyssey for their fantastic performance too.

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Beacon has been selected for the Top 100 for New Model Adviser 2023


We are very proud to announce that Beacon Wealth Management has been honoured with the Citywire New Model Adviser Top 100 award for 2023. This marks the eleventh consecutive time we have received this recognition, and is testament to the hard work of our staff and the care we take with our clients.

“We want to highlight how some of the best firms in the country are thinking about offering value to clients,” explained Charles Walmsley, Editor of Citywire. “Whether it is changes to fees and disclosure in light of the consumer duty or the adoption of artificial intelligence, all these firms have interesting stories about how they are delivering financial advice in 2023.”

Citywire said of Beacon Wealth Management:

“Like all advice businesses, Beacon Wealth Management has been grappling with the FCA’s consumer duty this year. The firm has introduced three new service levels, with fresh terms for each one. In order to improve and confirm client understanding, the firm has changed its suitability reports; a new feature checks that clients understand the fees they pay and the service they can expect.

The firm, which is co-owned by managing director Tony Larkins and his wife Karen, plays an active role in the local community. As well as sponsoring events including Kimbolton’s fireworks and a local cricket match, Beacon raised £11,492 for Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice.”

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What Defines You?


Your upbringing and circumstances are not what define you. It’s your choices and the decisions you make that define who you are.

There are circumstances early on in life that shape you, from where you grow up and go to school, to the friends, partners, further education, and jobs you have that shape you in later life.
Life may not always be easy but each action, reaction, or non-action helps to define you as the person you are now.
Your actions and circumstances have got you this far, but where will life take you in the future?

When planning for your retirement, just like the rest of your life, it’s determined by a series of decisions and actions. Some things will be out of your control. By the time you retire, the State Income amount will likely not be enough for what you need.

Therefore, you’ll need to take action to secure the pension fund that suits your lifestyle, whether that be from pension contributions, investment decisions, savings, or property portfolios. You must also decide on things such as long-term care costs, your Will, Power of Attorney, and Inheritance Tax planning (if required).

Preparing for the future isn’t something you have to do alone, however. Our expert financial planners have the most up-to-date advice to create a bespoke plan tailored to your needs now, and what you want for your future.

At Beacon, we work around you with virtual or face-to-face meetings, whichever suits you best. Plus, you can access your plan every step of the way using our online portal.
Whether you want to travel the world or finally sit back and relax, knowing that your loved ones are taken care of, the perfect plan is waiting for you.
Start planning for your retirement now, so that you can focus on living the life you want and being the person you want to be.

If you would like to speak with one of our pension experts, please call us on 01480 869466 For a free initial, no obligation chat.

Future fees may apply.

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Wealthy Concerns


Surprisingly, interest rates didn’t rise in September, with a vote being 5:4 to keep them as they are. Inflation remains a concern for everyone, no matter their financial situation, it has seen a fall and I predict October will see another big fall. Things aren’t fixed overnight and for those with low to average levels of income given the current economic situation, it’s likely that money is extremely tight and savings depleted.

The same is now true of those who would ordinarily consider themselves financially comfortable. Their income, whilst still sufficient, perhaps doesn’t leave as much at the end of the month, and dipping into savings is becoming more frequent than before.

Individuals who perhaps consider themselves as ‘wealthy’ or fall into the high-net-worth category aren’t exempt from economic hardship either. The impact on investment returns has been a blow to those using them to provide extra or total income.

So where does this leave future incomes? Despite no one being able to predict the future with total certainty, it now looks as if we may have reached the top of the rising interest rates, and inflation and mortgage rates are slowly coming down.

Pensions are a hot topic right now, especially for those with large pensions that need immediate action. In April this year, the Government changed lifetime allowances (LTA’s).

From April 2024, the LTA will be abolished. The amount you can take from your pension tax-free won’t change, because it’s capped. However, there’s a strong possibility that new Governments could reintroduce the LTA, so the window for action may be quite small.

Hopefully, the stock markets will start improving soon, but it could still be worth reviewing your funds now. They should be reviewed regularly anyway, not just at review time.

If you have a large pension, speak to one of our Chartered and Certified experts to find out what protections are in place and explore your best options.

Due to the various nuances that can lead to poor decision-making, some with no possible reversal, it’s always better to seek the help of professionals rather than tackle it alone.

Please call our experts on 01480 869466 or email us at info@beaconwealth.co.uk for a free initial, no obligation chat.

Fees may apply. Registered and regulated by the FCA No. 526604.

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How Much Time Do You Have?


How fast would you travel if you had one hour to travel 60 miles? Answer: 60mph
How fast would you need to travel if you left 10 minutes later? Answer: 72mph
How fast would you need to travel if you left 20 minutes later? Answer: 90mph
How much would you save into a pension if you started now? Answer: Well, that depends on your retirement plans…

According to the Pension and Savings Lifetime Association there are three categories for pension income: minimum, moderate, and comfortable.

Since your pension fund is designed to be your income for when you retire, having a clear savings plan is always the best option. The sooner you start saving into your pension, the longer it has to grow. The better the plan, the more achievable it is.

Not everybody knows exactly when they will retire and that’s okay. The starting point should be to figure out how much you want to retire on. Then look at your current situation, and create a plan to realistically achieve this goal.

Hopefully, you have pension funds already, and know whether or not you are on track. Remember, the investment strategy of five years ago is different to now, so it’s possible that your plans may need to change.

It’s important to review whether you’re in the right pension and/or right funds, and to see if your funds have been affected by the past few years’ lack of growth. If you’re unsure if your pension is on track to achieve your goals or have questions you don’t know the answers to don’t panic. This is what a financial adviser is for.

For some, meeting with a financial adviser may be outside their comfort zone. This may be down to various reasons, but your financial adviser is not here to judge.

They will help you to make the most appropriate decisions for your pension and will assist you on your journey to retirement.

If you would like to speak with one of our pension experts, please call us on 01480 869466 For a free initial, no obligation chat.

Future fees may apply.

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