Barnsley Hospice Golf Charity Day

Lifetime had the pleasure of jointly sponsoring the annual Barnsley Hospice Golf Charity day last Friday.

The event took place at Silkstone Golf Course and started with a shotgun start at midday, on one of the hottest days of the year so far.

More than 80 golfers took on the 18 holes, hoping to secure a place on the leaders board.

The day finished with a meal and presentation ceremony, where we saw our very own Managing Director Ian Dickinson and his team of Mark Penty, Simon Durkan and Daryl Clarke claim 3rd place with an impressive score of 90 in challenging conditions.

Cyber safety; are your friends really your enemies?

A laissez-faire attitude to social networking is putting social media users at risk of falling victim to increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals.

Posting too much personal information when connecting to strangers can put themselves, their homes and possessions at risk.

Digital criminals and burglars are exploiting this trusting attitude and are creating networks of fake profiles to engineer a set of mutual friends, to target individuals and their homes and businesses. The connection enables the criminal to uncover a wealth of personal information about the social media user, the home and where they work, making them and their homes an easier target for burglary.

In a report this week produced by Legal & General there are some pretty alarming statistics:

  • Over nine out of ten Brits, (91%) using social media at least once a week have been asked to connect online with someone they have never met, and over half (51%) have accepted these requests.
  • Nearly two thirds (63%) of social media users who have connected with people they don’t know have done so because they had a mutual friend in common. A third (34%) accepted strangers because they were members of the same group, and over one in ten (11%) assumed they must know them somehow, and it would be rude not to accept.

There is a very basic rule of thumb which may be worth considering when connecting with people on social media sites. Unless you have seen the whites of their eyes don’t connect!

We help ALL clients get the best from their pension

There have been recent reports about people coming up to retirement with smaller pension pots and finding that Life Offices and IFAs are shying away from offering helping.

Well, just a little reminder……that here at Lifetime that is not an approach that we take and we are not looking to cherry pick clients on the basis of the size of their pension pot.

We like to help everyone – even people with pots as low as £5,000.00 and we can offer all kinds of retirement advice including enhanced annuities to help people get the best income possible.

Please come and see us if you need assistance/guidance with this.

Compulsory retirement at 65 abolished

New legislation has stopped employers from compulsorily retiring workers once they reach age 65.

The legislation became effective from April 2011.

Employers will not be able to ask their workers to leave on grounds of age. Any dismissal must be objectively justified.

I think most people would agree that this is great news. To have the option of continuing work at age 65 adds another element to retirement planning and to be honest, it’s long overdue.

If you are interest you can read more by clicking on the below link to the BBC website.

How much will my state pension be?

So you’ve clicked on the link State Pension Age calculator link below and you’ve managed to delight yourself by finding out when you’ll receive your State Pension.

Now I bet your thinking, ok that’s great…but show me the money! How much will I get as a State Pension?! It’s not quite as simple as saying, we’ll all get £5,311.80 (the current basic state pension for a single person). Each individual will have their own very different set of circumstances and their resulting State Pension could be different.

The best way to find out what you’re entitled to from your State Pension age is to contact the government (I don’t mean 10 Downing Street – although I suppose you could try), using the link at the bottom of this message.

Follow the relevant instructions for you and ensure you have your National Insurance number handy. You may well need to contact them by phone.

A common language!

“Last week I met an old friend of mine who was recently appointed Headteacher of one of the super schools in Barnsley, and whilst we sat having a pint, we discussed the synergy between a well-run business and a well-run school.

“I was fascinated to hear that he had read some of the books on business that I had and he was equally amazed to hear about the emphasis within our business on core values and mission statements.

“As an ex-teacher myself and now as a Director of a private company, it’s a topic that has interested me for a number of years.

“It seems obvious to me that the management of staff in a business or a school is similar to the management of students; generate inspiration and create an environment in which all are given the opportunity to be the best they can.

“We both come from a Roman Catholic background where the emphasis on community, discipline, belonging, tradition and the understanding of what these things meant to us were as much part of our everyday lives and as was breathing. We mistakenly believed these values to be unique to our circumstances, we were wrong.

“It didn’t take long, possibly over the second pint, for us to move onto the morals and values we acknowledged and promoted within our own places of work. We both agreed that for people, employees, staff, students whatever you want to call them, if we all want to succeed in our own communities, school or work, the values we hold have a direct impact and can make or break individuals and organisations.

“For Financial Services, the sector I work in, these are particularly challenging times to start talking about values. I can’t blame anyone for struggling to see how people in my line of work can claim to hold values that promote community and working together. However, we can work to change and influence our own small part of this particular family and hope that by doing so we are able to start to change the sector as a whole.

“The challenge of working outside the Catholic Sector for the first time, in a huge comprehensive, with a staff of over 150, more than 1500 students, and with a budget that would tax the most experienced is worthy of praise in itself. But what’s most impressive to me is that the language that we both speak is the same and the values we hold for our people, our staff, our pupils, our clients are identical.

“We left the pub promising to work together in the future to help each other enhance the values of each of our communities and to enhance the opportunities for all our members. Now that’s what I call a good night out! – Communications Director Bill Bottomley.

Need a State Pension age calculator?

If you are confused about when the government is going to provide your State Pension then rest assured, you aren’t alone!

The State Pension Age is currently 65 for men.

For women, the current State Pension age is increasing from 60 to 65 from April 2010. This affects women born on or after 6 April 1950. But is staggered.

Are you following? Well, here’s an example, a woman who is 60 today (b. 08/11/1951) would have a state pension age of 61 years 7 months and 28 days. Simple.

However, the state pension age is also rising to age 66 from December 2018 for men and women. This is staggered as well.

And just to ensure that no future generation misses out on the fun they are increasing the State Pension Age to 67 between 2034 & 2036 and to age 68 between 2044 & 2046.

Need a simple State Pension Age calculator? All you need is your date of birth and sex – which after some careful thought I managed and the calculator says my state pension date is 29 December 2051! Great.

Just click the link:

Nest is coming – whether we like it or not!

The previous Labour government put the wheels in motion and our current Con/Lib government have decided it’s not such a bad idea. The National Employment Savings Trust, or NEST is coming in – and it is going to affect a lot of people.

Starting in 2012 employers will have to enroll all eligible employees into a ‘qualifying workplace’ pension scheme – no exceptions….and start paying contributions for all eligible employees who they have just enrolled and that do not opt out – no exceptions…

Heavy financial penalties and even prison terms are threatened for those who do not comply.

The government has introduced their own qualifying workplace pension scheme called NEST.

Is this the right option for you or your employees?

Is a SSAS the right thing for your company?

A Small Self Administered Pension Scheme, or SSAS as it’s more commonly known, offers unrivalled flexibility for individual members and can benefit the sponsoring employer.

The employer establishes the pension scheme by trust deed and invites members to join. The members each become trustees of the scheme.

The SSAS can loan the sponsoring employer up to 50% of the market value of the schemes assets.

The schemes assets can include commercial property and many types of investments which receive tax free growth.

A SSAS can be a business tool as well as a pension scheme.

Lifetime welcomes four new IFA’s

Lifetime has the pleasure of introducing four new Independent Financial Advisers (IFA’s) to the company.

Lee Bridgewater, Daryl Clarke, Steven Totty and Janette Town each bring a wealth of experience to the team after working in banking and as Independent Financial Advisers for many years.

Their appointments bring Lifetime a step closer to our goal of 25 Independent Financial Advisers representing our company by the end of the financial year. This will make us one of the larger Independent Financial Advice companies in Yorkshire and in Barnsley.

We’ve set exceptionally high standards for potential recruits and this has remained rigid as we seek to appointment only the best for the company and our clients.

Once we have achieved our target we will have specialist departments for all the financial services we offer, including: Financial Planning, Investments, Pensions, Corporate Advice and Mortgages.

Communications Director William Bottomley explained: “During this recent expansion of Lifetime Financial Management we have never lost sight of the high standards we need to maintain, and where possible we strive to improve them.

This is an exciting time for Lifetime, the introduction of specialist departments means that we can stay ahead of the game and continue to offer the best financial advice and services in all areas.

“It’s also nice that Janette has joined as our second female Adviser. We’d like to increase this number if possible as they are very much in demand in the Barnsley and South Yorkshire area.”