Finance Clinic from ThinkIFA.com

Our most commonly asked finance questionsOur Finance Related FAQ’s

eW receive many enquiries every day and have decided to post our most commonly asked questions here for your perusal.

If you cannot find an answer to your question then please fill in our question form by clicking the ‘Ask a question’ link below.

Please note that our finance clinic section is for information purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice. If you are at all unsure towards any financial product or service the please contact an independent financial adviser.



Pensions

When I retire, do I have to buy an annuity?

No, it is not compulsary to purchase a pension annuity when you retire. There are other options available such as taking a cash lump sum (up to 25%) from your pension pot and leaving the rest invested or you can opt for income drawdown.

What does open market option mean?

This is when you shop around and compare pension annuities from different providers. For further details please visit our open market option page.

Do you have a question about pensions? Please click the ‘Ask a question’ link to send us your query.

Tax & Trust

If I place my home into a trust can the government force me to sell it to pay for care home fees?

This is obviously a serious concern for many people.

By placing your assets into a protection trust as part of your inheritance and tax planning should pose no problem. However, if the government feels that you have purposely created the trust for the purpose of shielding your assets from carehome fees then they will most likely challenge the trust.

By setting up the trust early, whilst in good health and financially solvent this will illustrate that it has been created to look after your assets and not to purposely try to avoid paying carehome fees.

For further details regarding trusts and how they can help shield your assets please visit our asset protection trust page.

Do I still need a will if I have set up a trust?

It is still advisable to have a will in place even if you do hold all your assets in a living trust.

The reason being is that with a will you can stipulate other instructions such as nominating a guardian for any young children you may leave behind.

You can also instruct that specific family heirlooms are passed down to who you choose.

Also, with a will should you forget to include any assets in the trust then this will help ensure that they are passed down to the correct beneficiaries.

Can I transfer property in and out of the trust?

Yes you can transfer assets in and out of the trust whilst you are alive.

Please note that if you have a joint trust, you may need permission from the other trust member(s).

Do you have a question about tax and trusts? Please click the ‘Ask a question’ link to send us your query.

Investments

Can I transfer a child trust fund into a baby isa?

At this current moment in time you are not permitted to transfer a ctf into a junior isa. However, after many online campaigns, the government has initiated talks over transferring ctfs to junior isas or the possibility of merging the two products together. Please visit our Child ISA page for further details.

Important Update!

The government has now announced that they are considering transfers of CTFs to Junior ISAs from April 2015.

What is the difference between active and passive funds?

Active funds are ‘actively managed’ by a fund manager who researches the market and invests where they think growth will occur. This type of fund usually carries an annual management fee.

Passive funds basically track an index of funds and are automated which usually means there are no fund manager fees but there is usually an annual fee to pay.

Do you have a question about investments? Please click the ‘Ask a question’ link to send us your query.

Protection

Will critical illness insurance cover me against cancer?

Most critical illness cover policies will cover a certain range of advanced cancers and it really does depend upon your specific policy as to what types of cancer are covered and the level of severity needed before a claim can be made.
For more information please visit our critical illness cover page.

Why do providers offer life insurance for children?

Whilst not financially contributing to the household, should a child die then the parent(s) may want to take time off work to grieve. A children’s life insurance policy will pay a lump sum which can provide a financial cushion whilst the parent is off work. It can also be used to cover any funeral expenses.

Do you have a question about protection or life insurance? Please click the ‘Ask a question’ link to send us your query.

Mortgages

Can I get a mortgage if I am self employed?

If you are self employed then obtaining a mortgage is more difficult than it used to be.

Self certified mortgages where very popular but are now very difficult to aquire. If you can prove your income over a certain period of time to a mortgage provider then you may be offered a mortgage but if you are newly self employed with no real trading history then you may find it more difficult.

Do you have a question about mortgages? Please click the ‘Ask a question’ link to send us your query.

Please note that your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up the repayments on your mortgage


Corporate

I run a small dry cleaning business with 3 part-time staff. Must I enroll them into a company pension?

The new workplace pension scheme has already been rolled out by many large companies and is gradually being phased in over the coming years.

If you have a part-time employee over 22 years of age earning more than £8105 per year (correct at 2013/2014 tax year) and who isn’t already in a company pension scheme then you are under obligation to place them into a compliant workplace pension plan by the time the deadline comes into force. Employee’s earning below this amount can ask to join the scheme and if they earn over £5564 per year then you are obliged to contribute towards their pension scheme.

Do you have a financial question regarding your business? Please click the ‘Ask a question’ link to send us your query.

Other

This is where our other financial related questions will go.

Do you have a finance related question? Please click the ‘Ask a question’ link to send us your query.

Ask a question
Do you have a question which is not answered in our finance clinic section? If so please send us your enquiry by filling in the form below.

Ask

Ask us a question

By submitting your details you are confirming that you have read and agreed to our terms and privacy policy and that you are consenting to us forwarding your details to a regulated financial adviser (or protection adviser if your enquiry is protection related) who will contact you to discuss your enquiry.

Name*

Email*

Phone*

Subject*

Your Question*

captcha

Please enter the above code*