New year, new protection

A new year often means that you are setting yourself goals to achieve in the coming year and in financial planning it is important that your family is looked after if anything should happen to you. If you are in a couple and have kids, the focus should be on whether both incomes would still be required if either party was to pass away or become seriously ill?

All ‘protection planning’ should be bespoke to an individual’s circumstances. The three main covers are life and/or critical illness that tend to pay a tax-free lump sum and income protection that pays out an income if you cannot work due to accident or illness.  A general rule of thumb is to take out life and/or critical illness cover for any mortgages you may have, to make sure your house is paid for. However often this is insufficient in itself as it does not take into account how the running costs are to be met by continuing to live there.

It is also important to make sure any pensions have a completed ‘Nomination of Beneficiaries Form’ so that benefits are paid to the correct person on death. As a general rule all of the above should be covered off within a Will.

Why should I use a mortgage broker?

The main reason most people use a mortgage broker is that they take out most of the leg work of looking for a mortgage. They will search the market and compare the different deals that are available to you. A mortgage broker will not only look at interest rates, but also other charges such as valuation fees, which could affect the overall cost of your mortgage.

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Marriage tax allowance

 If you’re a low-earner and your spouse (through Marriage or Civil partnership) is a basic rate tax payer, you can apply to transfer your unused personal tax allowance to them.

The higher earning person will receive a tax credit equivalent to the amount of personal allowance that has been transferred to them. The amount is deducted from the amount of tax they would usually have to pay.
The full amount that can be transferred is £1,185 and if you decide to transfer any allowance, you must use the full amount.

The low earning partner’s pay before tax must be less than the personal allowance - which in 2018/2019 is £11,850.

The threshold for basic rate taxpayers in 2018-19 for most of the UK is £11,850-£46,350, so the higher earning partner’s salary must fall between these boundaries.

In Scotland, the thresholds for basic tax rates are different, so the higher earning partner’s salary would have to be less than £43,430. Those claiming marriage allowance in Scotland can continue to do so at the current rate of 20%.

To apply for this tax for the allowance, the lower earner needs to apply to the HMRC to request the personal allowance to be transferred to their spouse.

Approachable Finance has moved offices!

Approachable Finance have recently acquired and moved into a new office – we are now situated on the main street of Cross Hills making it easier than ever to see our clients current and new.

Our new address is: 24 Main Street, Cross Hills BD20 8TF

If you are familiar with the Cross Hills area, then you probably have heard of the very succussful florist, Anne Russell, after 20 years of running the shop she decided it was time to retire and spend more time with family. We bought the shop from her and set about renovating the space into a modern and spacious office. 

The former florist looks different now as we have opened the space by knocking down the central supporting wall and blocking up the door behind. The first picture below was taken before Christmas and the building needed time to 'settle' as the wall had probably been there for over 100 years!

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To ‘Buy to Let’ or not to ‘Buy to Let’ that is the question!

As an IFA I have often discussed with my clients the possible financial returns and also the responsibilities of considering investing in the ‘Buy to Let’ property market as opposed to

Unit linked investments such as ISA’s or a Pension. Recently, the Chancellor has decided to financially hit ‘Buy to Let’ investors quite hard which may tip the balance against this option, encouraging many to invest in other areas. Thus, from April anyone buying a property for investment will be required to pay a ‘special ‘ stamp duty of 3% with a starting rate of zero and this will be in addition to the residential tax duty rates which apply for properties above £125,000.

Also, from April 2017 Mortgage Interest Relief is also being overhauled. The changes are being

phased in, but by 2020 all mortgage interest on ‘Buy to Let’ mortgages will no longer be able to be

deducted from the rental income received, for tax purposes. This is especially significant for Higher Rate Tax payers with tax relief set at a maximum of 20 per cent.

Whilst many clients will still perceive property as a safer investment than that of an investment

ISA or pension, for example, it is important, however, to consider these new tax changes when

you are planning retirement and discussing your tax issues with your Independent Financial


Maximising State Pension

Maximising state pension benefits.

A key part of financial planning often overlooked is making sure that you receive the maximum state pension in retirement. To get a state pension forecast simply use the tool on the website

If there is a shortfall, there are 2 options:

-          If there are likely to be tax years in the future where the client will not achieve a qualifying year because of insufficient earnings or Credits, then in those years, it is possible to pay Voluntary or Class 3 NICs.

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About Approachable Finance


We are specialists in providing independent financial and insurance advice for Medical Professionals and Practices across the UK.


We are able to work around your busy schedule, whether over the phone, via e mail or through face-to-face consultations.