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Blog and press cuttings

I write extensively about retirement income matters and am often quoted in the national press and sometimes appear on the radio or TV.

I recently read a good article about non-advised annuity commissions and I think it is helpful to investigate the issue of non-advised versus advised annuities. I have been on both sides of the fence I start by saying that I have seen both sides of the fence and both advised and non-advised annuity services should result in the client getting the highest possible annuity income ...

Blow for pensioners as bond market rally hits annuities This was the headline for a story in the Financial Times – see - Blow for pensioners as bond market rally hits annuities These are the notes I provided for the FT Annuities are very expensive Annuities are very expensive at the moment which is another way of saying the rates are very low. The reason is simple; gilt a ...

Drawdown – sounds simple but it’s complicated Drawdown is easy to understand – you simply invest your pension pot in suitable investments and then you take income payments when you need them. The income can be regular monthly / quarterly income payments or ad hoc payments or a combination of both. You have total flexibility and there are two things to watch out for; don’t pay ...

Annuities; legalised theft or best way to convert capital into income? We have been involved with annuities since they first became a topic of conversation almost 30 years ago. It is probably true to say that before 1990 hardly anyone knew much about annuity but that all changed with the launch of specialist annuity brokers in the early 1990’s such as Annuity Direct which late ...

Annuity or Drawdown? – that is the question It doesn’t matter if you are looking to convert your pension pot into income, considering a DB transfer or running a drawdown plan, one the most questions in financial planning is whether to buy an annuity or invest in a drawdown plan. Before looking at this important question let’s be clear on the terminology. Annuities They are ...

Advice fess - Value for money Talking fees with clients can be difficult. Some clients willing accept the fees whilst other clients challenge the proposed fees and want us to justify the fees for the advice we are giving. Therefore, I included a chapter on fees in my latest guide, Retirement Advice; art or science? I struggled at first to find a way of discussing fees, then ...

I monitor annuity rates and bond yields on a regular basis and I was surprised and shocked to notice the GAD interest rate for July is 1%. This is the lowest level ever recorded since GAD was introduced in 1996. The GAD rate is based on the yield for 15-year gilts and before pension freedoms it was important because it determined the maximum income from capped drawdown. Since ...

Engage with advice I want to help people make the right decisions at retirement but it seems many people don’t want to help themselves by properly engaging with advisers. In the old days (whenever that was), people were more open to taking advice and more trusting of experts but nowadays many people have a closed mind to advice and don’t necessarily trust advisers. This has n ...

We are living in uncertain times It is an understatement to say that we are currently in uncertain times. The outcome of the Brexit negotiations is uncertain, we don’t know the outcome of Trump’s trade war with China and the financial markets are up and down like a yo-yo. When markets are volatile, what advice do we give our clients? It is easy to hide under the umbrella that ...

When will annuities bounce back? The market has been waiting a long time for annuities to bounce back from historically low levels but despite a few false dawns, rates have remained stubbornly low. The chart below shows the income from our benchmark annuity* (left axis) and the yield form our benchmark gilt** (right axis) over the last three years. *The benchmark is a £ 10 ...

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If you want to make the most of pension freedoms you should start planning ahead and make sure your financial affairs are in good shape in the years running up to retirement.

William Burrows

William Burrows

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