Polestar Key Guides

keyguides2Polestar Key Guides are easy-to-read, full of useful information and free to download. They cover 14 key areas.

For further information and to view a Key Guide click on the relevant link below.

  • Investing for income when you retire

    There comes a time when you stop working for your money and put your money to work for you. For most people, that is retirement. The decisions you make then could have repercussions for the rest of your life, and recently there have been some major changes to the choices you can make with your pensions. Your retirement could turn out to last considerably longer than you think.

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  • Investment planning and asset allocation

    Investment planning is now more of a science, rather than an art. Technology, ever-increasing investment opportunities and stricter regulation have all encouraged the more scientific approach. But has your investment strategy kept pace?

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  • You and yours - estate planningYou and yours – estate planning

    For many people, estate planning is pushed to the bottom of the ‘do later’ list, like tax returns. Estate planning is also a subject that requires you to contemplate your own demise and none of us expect to pass away tomorrow, so deferral easily sets in. However, before then there is always the possibility that death will come suddenly, through an accident or previously unnoticed medical condition.

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  • The key stages of financial planning

    The key stages of financial planning

    Financial planning has witnessed significant change, so it is not surprising that most people are unclear about what financial planners actually do. The aim of this guide is to explain the process in general terms and what financial planning can achieve for you. Some of the important recent changes to pensions and ISAs have made the need for financial planning even more crucial.

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  • Living abroad - the new tax rulesLiving abroad – the new tax rules

    While the thought of going abroad to work or retire may be exciting, the months before departure may be stressful. Finding somewhere to live in your chosen country, arranging the necessary visas and booking a suitable removal firm are just some of the issues you are likely to have to deal with. Nevertheless, during this mad rush, it is vital that you pay adequate attention to financial planning. In particular, the tax consequences of leaving the UK are quite complex, so it is essential that you seek professional advice.

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  • Pensions freedom - drawing from your pensionPensions freedom – drawing from your pension

    The changes revealed just two years ago in the 2014 Budget were described by some retirement planning experts as a pensions revolution. The radical proposals came as a surprise and were designed to alter the retirement landscape by breaking the link between pensions and annuities.

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  • Taxation of PropertyTaxation of property

    Buy-to-let has been an attractive proposition over recent years for anyone who has been able to raise the necessary deposit. Given a prolonged period of low borrowing costs and generally rising property values this is hardly surprising. There has also been a perceived dearth of good alternatives, with low savings rates and restrictions on the amount that can be saved into a pension.

    However, recent tax changes and tighter lending rules have had a major negative impact on the buy-to-let market. So if you are thinking of becoming a landlord you will need to carefully consider the pros and cons, especially the tax implications.

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  • Investing for childrenInvesting for Children

    Most parents want to help their children financially, whether it is making sure there is enough money for their education or helping them to buy a property. An early objective may well be to help children understand the value and importance of money.

    Tax will be a major factor to consider, as will the risks of giving children too much too soon. It is therefore important for parents and others to appreciate the basic tax and legal rules and also some of the investment products that are suitable for their children.

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  • Workplace pensions and auto-enrolmentWorkplace pensions and auto-enrolment

    Automatic enrolment has ‘changed the UK workplace forever,’ according to the National Association of Pension Funds (October 2013). The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) estimates that the new rules ‘could almost double private pension income by the time people now starting work reach their retirement.’ No employer – however small – can afford to ignore these changes.

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  • Business succession planningBusiness succession planning

    What happens to a business if its owner or co-owner dies or falls seriously ill? Much will depend on the type of business – sole trader, partnership or limited company – but unless there has been some advance planning, the chances are that there will be disruption, arguments and the strong possibility that all or part of the business will end up in the wrong hands.

    So if you are a business owner, business succession planning and insurance is important. It is quite simply the process of planning for what you want to happen if you (or your co-owner, if you have one) were to die or fall seriously ill.

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  • The taxation of investmentsThe taxation of investments

    The taxation of investments has never been a simple matter. In recent years it has become more complex as successive governments have chosen to tax different sources of investment income in different ways, mostly with the aim of adding to the Exchequer’s coffers. On top of this, the whole tax system has grown increasingly elaborate, thanks to revenue-raising tweaks such the taxation of child benefit and the reform of dividend taxation. This guide can give only a brief outline of how your investments are taxed. Expert advice is necessary if you require more information or a greater insight into how to cut that tax bill.

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  • Pensions and tax planning for high earnersPensions and tax planning for high earners

    If you find more and more of your income is taxed at over the basic rate, you are not alone. The point at which you start to pay 40% income tax is £43,000 for 2016/17, which is lower than six years ago – it was £43,875 in 2010/11. You may also be feeling the impact of the tax on child benefit, which applies to those earning over £50,000, and you may be subject to the withdrawal of the personal allowance on income over £100,000.

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  • Financial protection – for you and your familyFinancial protection – for you and your family

    Investment planning is now more of a science, rather than an art. Technology, ever-increasing investment opportunities and stricter regulation have all encouraged the more scientific approach. But has your investment strategy kept pace?

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  • Making the most of ISAsMaking the most of ISAs

    When Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) first appeared in 1999 as a replacement for PEPs and TESSAs, they were a relatively straightforward offering. There was one plan with a choice of three investment variants: stocks and shares, cash or life assurance (merged into the stocks and shares component in 2005). In the 18 years since, what was once simple has become more complicated. On some counts, there are now seven different categories of ISA, although the government’s website says there are only four (cash ISAs; stocks and shares ISAs; innovative finance ISAs; and Lifetime ISAs). For clarification, we outline five in chronological order of availability.

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Interested in any of these topics?

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(01793) 881602
or email

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