mowatt financial Planning

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Mowatt Financial Planning: December 2009

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Does it feel this good?

The latest recovery tracker from Fidelity is shown below for December alongside the previous one for November. The logic was that they all need to be green before we have a sustained recovery.

December


November


Hence the question - does it feel this good? Although all the indicators are green; it still feels that the UK economy has a bit to go before we have a sustained recovery. It will be interesting to see what next month brings.

Will

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Chuffed

I've just had confirmation from the Chartered Insurance Institute that by passing an exam on Trusts (JO2) I have reached Diploma level. This means that I have reached the level which is expected to be the required level in 2012.

Will

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Open market options - a broken record

I've blogged and done articles on this topic but it is clearly a large exercise to make an impact.

When you are looking to take income at retirement you can use your accumulated pension fund to buy an annuity. An open market option is the name for the right which you have to shop around and get the best value from your pension fund. If you were buying a tv you wouldn't go and buy one from the first shop you came across regardless of price. (Actually I would buy one from John Craggs because I trust him on advice and value which is relevant when you are buying an annuity as well.) It's relatively easy for an independent financial adviser to understand your circumstances and help get you the best annuity to fit your requirements. Easy? Apparently not....

In the 3rd quarter of this year the number of people using the open market option is actually falling. According to the Association of British Insurers the use of the open market option fell from 37.5% in the 3rd quarter of 2008 to 34% this year.

The above covers individual pensions, the same issue applies to individuals using the funds from their company pension scheme. According to a review carried out by the Pensions Regulator, 98% of retiring scheme members were offered the open market option but only 23% actually used the open market option. Although this figure is not directly comparable to that for individuals as the scheme might be offering a competitive annuity to begin with, it still makes sense to look at the open market option.

The chart below from Just Retirement illustrates the benefits of shopping around:



Shop around - see your independent financial adviser as your personal shopper!!

Will
 
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