Frequently asked questions
Please search our FAQs below to find answers to our most common questions. If you can’t find what you’re looking for please ask a question on 029 2050 8000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or book a free no obligation consutation.
I have multiple pensions but I don’t know what to do with them, can you help?
As individuals we may all have several pensions with different companies from having a few different jobs in our lifetime. We will review your existing pension arrangements to establish how much you have saved, how much you are being charged by your provider, how the investments are performing, how much risk is being taken and what they will provide you with when you retire. We can also give you the right advice on what you should do to maximise your income in retirement.
How will I know how much I will have to live on when I retire?
A survey by Axa Life reported (October 2013) that millions of workers approaching retirement age have little or no idea how their pension is performing, what their pension fund is investing in or how much money they will have to live on in older age.
The report also reveals that 43 per cent believe they will spend most of their income on holidays and leisure activities after they reach 75 with only one in ten believing that care costs will make up the greatest proportion of their spending in the golden years.
These statistics and misconceptions prove that many people are not aware of the different options that are available to them to maximise their retirement income in ensuring that they have the lifestyle in retirement that they are expecting to have.
We will discuss with you the different options available to help you make the right choice and be comfortable in the fact that you can plan the lifestyle you would like to have in your retirement. For further information please visit our Pensions and Retirement pages.
What is an annuity?
An annuity is a type of insurance policy where you hand over a lump sum in exchange for a regular income. Most pension schemes provide the purchase of an annuity at retirement as the default option. This option is often purchased without being aware that there are other options available. If you purchase an annuity with your pension fund this decision cannot be reversed! Choosing the right way of securing your pension income in retirement is often one of the most important decisions of your life. We can help you make sense of it all and put appropriate plans in place for you.
How can you help me make the most of my savings / investments?
We will meet with you to discuss what you want to do with your savings / investments, and what your goals are. We will then discuss with you how we can help you achieve these and put plans in place to help you. This may be providing school fees or buying your dream boat.
Will you be able to get me a better deal?
After our initial meeting we will look at your savings / investments and decide if they are in the correct place, depending on your personal attitude to risk. We will then discuss with you the different options available to you. We will always consider your existing arrangements and if anything new or different could be more suitable we will discuss that with you and put appropriate plans in place to make it happen.
What will happen if I don’t plan what I want to happen to my estate in the event of my death?
Planning what you would like to happen after your days takes a very short period of time. Sorting out your affairs if you fail to plan your estate properly can take years and can be a costly affair.
I’ve heard the term Inheritance Tax Planning but don’t know what it means
Inheritance Tax Planning (IHT) is a tax is typically charged at 40% on all assets you have over a certain limit currently £325,000and is payable by your beneficiaries on death before any of the assets can be distributed. Therefore planning around this area is crucial yet so simple in many cases.
What is wealth preservation and will it affect me?
This area of estate planning is often overlooked but for most of our clients is the most important consideration. It also affects the vast majority of people unlike IHT.
When working with Bartholomew Hawkins, we will help identify the important people in your life and consider if you were not here, who you would want to receive different assets or items that you own. More importantly, how we can best protect your wealth you have worked so hard to create to ensure it is not lost in future generations through remarriage, divorce, death or bankruptcy.
Find out more about Wealth Preservation
Do I need financial advice?
Advice should always add value and not cost. At Bartholomew Hawkins we will provide you with advice about managing your money, or help you with specific needs or goals such as planning for school fees; reducing or eliminating inheritance tax; inheriting a lump sum of money, approaching retirement and need help with sorting out your pension income.
What can a Financial Planner from Bartholomew Hawkins help me with?
Our teams of advisers are highly trained and qualified, with specialties in all different fields of financial planning particularly in pensions and investments.
Why should I use Bartholomew Hawkins?
We are able to provide advice where many other advisers simply aren't qualified or authorised to. We have a dedicated team of support staff who work very closely with our advisers. As well as providing technical support, they have a high level of specialist knowledge to keep you fully up to date with the latest regulatory and economic issues that may affect our clients.
What do you charge?
We offer an initial meeting, free of charge, with no obligation.
We are fee based planners. We disclose our fees fully at the initial meeting when we have made an assessment of the amount of work that is involved. Find out more about our fees.
What will Bartholomew Hawkins do when I need advice?
After you have contacted us we will arrange an initial meeting (which is free of charge) and then we will discuss what your goals are, how we can help you attain them, as well as giving you information about all of the different routes that you can take to make the most of your money.
We will then take your details and figure out what the best course of action for you is, contact the providers to get the best deal and guide you through the forms. Please see our process for further information.
What can you do for me?
We can help you to find the right mortgage for you. We will take into account all of your individual circumstances – ascertaining exactly how much you can afford to borrow and monthly repayments at an affordable level (depending on the type of mortgage you decide is right for you). We will help you to find the best deal on the market, and find a solution that is fully tailored to you personally. This may not always be the case as your existing supplier could be providing you with the best deal available at that time.
How can you help me when I remortgage my property?
We will consider all of your details, research the marketplace on your behalf consulting with all the different providers, finding out where you can get the best deal that is suitable for your circumstances.
I’m looking to purchase a property in order to rent it out, how should I proceed?
We will help you understand the pros and cons of buying to rent. It can make you a lot of money but also cost you a lot. Advice is crucial. We have mortgage specialists who can help you make an informed choice as to what options best suit your circumstances.
How can you help me when I come to looking for life insurance?
We can help you decide how much and what type of insurance you will need as well as discuss with you how a life changing event will impact on you and your family and what you should do to put appropriate cover in place.
Do you charge to give protection advice?
We do not charge for this service. In the event that you accept recommendations we make, the provider will pay us a commission for the policies we set up on your behalf.
Why should I have critical illness cover?
This would pay out a lump sum in the event that you were diagnosed with a serious illness from a defined list of conditions outlined in your policy. Given the advances in medical treatment, you are statistically five times more likely to survive a serious illness for a period in excess of one year than you are to die. Having a lump sum available at such a time could be extremely important, especially if private medical treatment could make all the difference to you.
How much cover should I have?
Your individual needs and circumstances will need to be considered before any recommendation can be given. Ideally, you should look to ensure all monthly commitments (mortgages, loans, credit cards) could be repaid in the event of your death. However, equally important considerations would be your ability to continue to fund such life cover in the event that you should experience a critical illness or be unable to work due to long term illness/accident.
We would recommend that our clients look to regular review their protection plans to ensure that they remain appropriate and cost effective. We will look to help our clients understand the cover they have in place and make alternative arrangements where appropriate.
How much will it cost?
Factors such as age, term and level of cover will all impact on the cost of any cover we recommend so it would not be possible to provide a simple answer to this question. If you have a set amount you wish pay each month, we can look to structure our recommendations to make the best use of your available budget.
What is the difference between guaranteed and reviewable rates?
Guaranteed rates are usually slightly more expensive than reviewable rates. However, you will have peace of mind that the premium paid when a plan is set up will not change going forward.
Reviewable rates may be subject to change going forward and can rise or fall in line with claims statistics which are reviewed at set intervals throughout the term of your cover.
What is indexation?
This option is normally applied to income protection and level protection plans. It provides the means to ensure that the level of benefit initially selected is inflation proofed. The amount of cover increases per annum usually by a set percentage per annum or in line with RPI to ensure that the value of any benefit is maintained in ‘real terms’ and the monthly premium also increases proportionately in line with additional cover provided.
What is waiver of premium?
In return for a small additional premium you can choose to ensure that in the event you should be unable to work for a specified period, the life office would take over paying the premium on your policy until you either return to work or the policy term expires if this is earlier. The initial waiting period for most life offers is 6 months although some will offer the facility for a shorter time scale in return for a slightly higher cost.
What is equity release?
Equity release is when you choose to release some of the funds that have built up in your home since you bought it. It’s becoming an important part of future retirement planning – and can be used to make your retirement more comfortable, or to open up exciting new possibilities.
How can you help me when I want to release the equity in my home?
There are currently two different types of equity release, Lifetime Mortgages and Home Reversion Plans. There are lots of different kinds of each of these, with slightly different sets of rules that can be confusing. We will work with you to find out what you want from releasing the equity in your home, assessing the best option for you and helping you put the right plans in place.
Is it dangerous to release the equity in my home?
Equity release providers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – which offers homeowners considerable security. All financial advisers are also regulated by the FCA. In addition to this Bartholomew Hawkins are Chartered Financial Planners. We have been awarded our chartered status because we always work in our clients’ best interests, making sure that we never advise them to do something that would be dangerous or financially unsafe.
I don’t know how I will afford care fees, can Bartholomew Hawkins help me?
Providing long term care can be a financial burden, for both those requiring care and often their families too.
We can help you to plan for this and work out how to fund residential care of the highest standard. We are well versed in the rules and regulations surrounding funding for care, and take these into consideration – working closely with solicitors and care providers across South Wales and the South West of England we will explain all the options and help you to make the right decisions.