Category Archive Retirement Planning

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Setting and achieving financial goals

Get your finances ready for the new yearNow we are into 2018, how many people actually made new year resolutions? You may think this can be too woolly, especially when you make some and never achieve them. It is different in financial services, especially when done through MAP.

Let us start with possibly your main goal – pensions. If you sit down with a MAP adviser and tell them what you would like to achieve and by what date, they could tell you if this was feasible or not. They will be more than prepared to work through things with you to set logical goals, and then work with you over the period concerned to reach them.

Let’s say for example, you would like to get £20k per year in pensions. If we deduct the basic DWP pension of £8,100 per year at age 65, you would only need to get £11,900 per year from any personal pension.

Using very conservative growth rates would give us an indication of how much you would need to save every month to achieve your target. More importantly, when we reviewed your pension at regular intervals, we would keep you updated as to how you stand in terms of achieving your target. Our existing clients find it very helpful when we put things down simplistically like this – finances that are then easy to understand.

If you are saving to repay a mortgage, or maybe even save up enough for a deposit for house purchase, MAP can keep you updated at regular intervals, and also where you are in percentage terms of achieving your targets/goals.

We have seen a lot of people saving money and they just haven’t a clue as to whether they are putting away the right amount or not. And if it’s not, by the time some people realise it, it’s far too late.

Why not put us to the test? Tell us what you would like to save for, how much and for what date, and we will guide you accordingly. We are happy to offer that helping hand, and once we have done this, and with our investment process, we are then happy and willing to work with you to achieve your goals. Moreover, we keep it all in simple language.

For further information on any aspect of financial advice and how MAP may be able to assist you, please contact us on 0345 241 1808 or email us at: enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Links to external sites are for information only and do not constitute endorsement.  Always obtain independent professional advice for your own particular situation.  Money Advice & Planning Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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Pension Tax Free Cash

Saving for retirementOne thing which has not changed for a long time is the tax free cash (TFC) which someone can take from their personal pension.

For a long time, the maximum has been 25% of the value of the fund at the time of taking it. The earliest age you can take this is age 55, and because of the pension freedoms brought in by George Osborne (when he was Chancellor), this has never been easier.

All that needs to be done is to transfer the personal pension into what is called drawdown (basically another type of pension contract). Then, the 25% (or anything less than that) can be withdrawn.

What we sometimes do when planning a client’s retirement is transfer all of their pensions into drawdown, and then they can extract the 25% TFC at that time. In many cases, a client may not need the cash straight away, but for ease of use later, we normally extract the TFC and put this to a General Investment Account (GIA). This is an investment product which means the money can still earn, although not tax-free admittedly.

By doing this, it allows people to draw out tax-free sums as and when they need it, without all the hassle of extracting it from their pension bit at a time. This is the kind of flexibility people like and actually need in retirement, and gives them access to lump sums as and when they need it.

There are still some older policies that have a higher tax-free amount available, but they are few and far between now. Legislation many years ago brought in the 25% limit, and that is what applies to the vast majority of pension policies today.

You will find a lot of company/occupational/final salary schemes vary quite significantly in what they give out as tax-free cash, but it is not normally as generous as 25%.

So if you are old enough, in need of cash and think your pension is big enough to last you through retirement, why not give yourself some breathing space and access your TFC.

For further information on any aspect of financial advice and how MAP may be able to assist you, please contact us on 0345 241 1808 or email us at: enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

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Retirement Planning

Saving for retirementWhether you are near retirement or have many years to work, it is never too late to review and improve your retirement income. There are a number of options available to optimise your retirement provisions, all of which MAP can help with.

The simplest option, if possible, is to alter your existing pension plan(s) by way of fund switching. This means keeping your money in the same plan(s) but changing the underlying investment fund(s) to something with better performance, without necessarily taking any more risk.

The second option is to transfer your pension plan(s) to another provider. Your money would then move into a plan with the potential for better growth, by way of increased fund selection, fund diversification (so not all your eggs are in the one basket), cost effectiveness and improved options at retirement.

The third option is simply to pay more into your pension plan(s), either by way of lump sum(s) or regular contributions. This is not always possible for people to do, and does not guarantee your pension will be larger at retirement; that depends on the investment itself.

MAP provides effective pension planning, whatever your stage in life.

MAP can help you plan for retirement by assisting and advising in all of the above, and in setting up a pension if you don’t have one already. We can then review it regularly thereafter.

We can also plan out phased retirement if you so wanted. This means you could start drawing down money from your pension, if required, from age 55 onwards, even if you are still working.

In order to provide complete transparency, we can also give you 24/7 access to viewing your pensions, thus allowing you to track and monitor their performance at any time. If you already have access, why not login today to see your money working harder for you.


For more information, click on the most suitable link:

Existing Personal Pensions
Occupational and Final Salary Pensions
Workplace Pensions
The MAP Investment Process
Ongoing Financial Reviews
Phased Retirement

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Client Login

MAP will always work hard to give you a first class service, for as long as you need it. Here are some of the benefits of investing through MAP:

  •  Your money is invested in areas to match your attitude to risk;
  •  Independent and bespoke advice tailored to meet your specific needs;
  •  All funds invested in are tried and tested, with successful track records;
  •  Investments are looked after by a dedicated adviser;
  •  Investments are reviewed regularly to maximise returns;
  •  Ongoing service is provided to complement the initial advice given; and
  •  100% transparency lets you check performance and charges at any time.

If you have a MAP investment with an online facility, you can log-in to it securely, at any time, by clicking on the appropriate provider logo below:

Ascentric logo Prudential logo Transact logo

Do you not know your login details? No problem – just contact us and we will arrange for them to be sent out to you as soon as possible.

If you are looking to invest, or have money invested and would like to find out more, feel free to contact MAP today. One of our advisers can talk through the options open to you and review your existing portfolio and requirements before recommending the best investment(s) to suit your needs.


Intermediary use only

Are you a franchise or business introducer? Click here to login to RouteMAP or WebMail.

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Our Services

Our services and why they can helpIrrespective of what you need to speak to a financial adviser about, MAP will be able to find the best solution(s) to meet your needs. We are fully independent meaning we can advise you on any of the following, taking into consideration your attitude to risk and all options available in the marketplace:

Any and all of these solutions can be provided to you through sound financial planning. By this, we mean structuring a personal financial plan after getting to know you and understanding your goals.

Furthermore, we will stay with you throughout your financial journey, for as long as you need us. Our regular review service will ensure your finances stay on track and continue to reflect what you need, want and expect.

Whatever advice you need for your financial journey, talk to MAP.

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Current developments in our recommended funds

Working funds from across the worldEvery quarter we carry out a review and analysis of investment funds that are available. What we look for are funds of a decent size – usually £100 million invested and above – and have a good consistent performance over the last five years. We aren’t interested in those that are brilliant only in the short term.

Once we have identified funds we are comfortable in using, we divide these into risk category, and there are five categories in total although we generally only use three of them:

  1. No Risk – no risk usually has no return, so we don’t tend to use these.
  2. Low Risk – there is a small chance of both losing and making money with these.
  3. Middle Risk – middle of the road where you could lose or make some money with these, and there is no definition of “some”.
  4. High Risk – you could lose a lot of money here but also make a lot of money.
  5. Very High Risk – you could make huge gains or lose everything here, so we don’t use these much either.

Once all funds have been categorised into one of the above, this makes up our Recommended Fund List (RFL) and is what we use for new investments going forward. For existing investments, we review those with funds that have fallen out of the RFL, and ask the investor for their permission to move them into those which are in the RFL. So we are always monitoring and keeping a watchful eye on our clients’ money. Not only that, we will give you 24/7 access to how your funds are performing on the MAP Investment Portal.

This process is ongoing and we are constantly monitoring external factors, be they political or economic. At the moment, the economy is in what at best can be called a transition phase. We have reasonable growth in the UK, but we have Brexit looming, and at this stage no-one knows how that is going to affect us. What we at MAP will do is watch all the funds our clients are invested in to make sure that they keep on track.

If you would like to find out more about the MAP investment process or our RFL, please call us on 0345 241 1808 or email us at: enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

Please remember that the value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested.

Bymapfinancesadmin

The MAP investment process has reached a milestone and its great news

Getting growth from your money

Recently at MAP we had what we think of as a success story, and no it didn’t happen overnight.

A couple who have used the MAP investment platform since 2011 found themselves this month, after a good period on the stock markets, having total gains over the total time of their investment period in excess of £½million.

The couple had followed a fairly balanced investment strategy of 30/40/30 – which is investing in three funds at 10% each in cautious low risk, four funds at 10% each in middle risk and three funds at 10% each in high risk.

We had monitored this money every quarter since inception, and had received the clients’ permission to switch funds as and when we thought it necessary. The clients admitted early on that they had no knowledge of all of these funds, and so basically let us get on with it, which is what we did.

Calculations show that we have managed to get them 7.88% per year every year since we started in 2011. Bear in mind that whilst the FTSE100 achieved an index figure of 7,500 in August 2017, it started off in 2011 at about 5,700. At February 2016, it had fallen to 5,700 from around 7,000 in April 2015, so there have been some lows as well as highs.

The MAP investment process aims to hold clients investments in solid funds which perform consistently well. That is all we are trying to do – it’s not rocket science, but, with rigorous research and hard work, we can deliver strong returns.

If you have money to invest, why not try the MAP way; it really works. Call us on 0345 241 1808 or e-mail us on enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

Bymapfinancesadmin

Does raising the female state pension age affect you?

Saving for retirementOne of the things that has happened recently and has probably gone unnoticed by many is that the female State pension age has been raised. This will have a profound effect on many people’s pension planning – both individuals and married – and we would guess that not many people actually know about it, let alone do anything about it.

Pensions are basically a long-term savings plan with tax relief, and because of this long-term effect, you cannot change things easily. A person should put away as much as they can afford into a pension and get the relevant amount of tax relief. If this satisfies what you are likely to need when you get to retirement age, fine.

But what is satisfactory? Here is a sample estimation:

Say your parents and older siblings died at age 90, meaning you could very well need 25 years of pension if you retire at 65. Furthermore, you are likely to £15,000 per year in retirement. This means you will need a pension pot of about 25 x £15,000 = £375,000.

You then need to do a cumulative growth calculation for the years you will be saving and how much you can save per year. Using our cumulative growth tables, if someone aged 23 put £3,000 away per year and got 6% growth on this, at age 65 they should have around £375,000.

Pension planning is something everyone should do but is not a straightforward process. So why not contact MAP and we can assist. You can call us on 0345 241 1808 or e-mail us at enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

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Your Goals

Getting your finances right can help you achieve your goalsOur client’s goals are what drive us to do our utmost for them. Your financial goals will become our targets.

We understand that for any and all aspects of your finances, a number of factors are important. Good advice at both the outset and on an ongoing basis, careful planning and successful investing will help you and indeed your money reach your financial goals.

Our approach has been tailored over many years of looking after client’s wealth, and has been structured to suit their needs and service requirements. We do the total opposite of a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

The values we bring as a financial adviser to any client are:

  • Quality – differentiating ourselves from competitors by delivering quality in everything we do;
  • Ownership – dealing with clients finances as if they were our own;
  • Expectation – exceeding client expectations by going above and beyond what was hoped for;
  • Trust – building trust with clients which lasts a lifetime; and
  • Transparency – being open, honest and clear in everything we do.

Our clients choose their financial destination and we MAP out the journey for them.

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Why Choose Us

We will find the answers to your financial questionsThere are many reasons to choose MAP for independent financial advice:

  • Non-restricted advice and planning – no matter what financial advice and products you need, we can help.
  • Face-to-face advice from UK-wide trusted advisers – irrespective of where you are in the UK, one of our advisers will be happy to meet you and discuss matters face-to-face.
  • Fees structured to suit requirements – financial advice should never take on a ‘one size fits all’ approach and our fees will be structured and mutually agreed to suit your needs.
  • Tailored service packages – we don’t believe in one-off financial advice and have several service packages available, so your financial affairs are reviewed throughout your journey with MAP.
  • Whole of market non-discretionary investments – our bespoke investment strategy will cater for your needs and requirements, and give you an investment that’s right for you.
  • Quarterly investment reviews – our proactive analysis of fund performance ensures you are always invested in the best areas to suit your attitudes to risk.
  • Recommended funds – we invest using recommended fund lists, which have been tried and tested to deliver successful returns for our clients.
  • Transparency and peace of mind – clients have 24/7 access to their investments through the MAP portal.

Wherever you are on your financial journey, let us provide the MAP to your desired destination.