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What we do is simple. We plan and manage rewarding financial lives for our clients. Whatever you want to do with your life, Amber helps you plan your way forward and choose the best steps to take to protect and grow your investments.

We all know the importance of planning in everyday life. We do it daily from the supermarket shopping list to an important meeting at work, but often most avoid planning when it comes to personal finances.

Financial Planning is a tailored ongoing process to enable you make sensible financial decisions to maintain a future lifestyle through life and retirement whilst completing life’s objectives.

There are many ways to plan:

Cashflow Planning

Real cash flow management involves understanding the components that make up where your money comes from, where it goes, and what choices are appropriate in creating a life of greater satisfaction. We use powerful computer software to project future scenarios based on your circumstances to see how your retirement might play out under various changing circumstances.

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A cash flow forecast is in essence a cashbook that projects your income and outgoings for a week, month or financial year. It needs to list all the payments and expenditure you expect for the given period, the cash surplus or deficit left over after income and outgoings are accounted for. This is relatively straightforward over a short period, but it’s sometimes difficult for people to imagine how the decisions they make now will affect them and their families in the longer term.

Think of your incomings and outgoings like a bucket. Water (income from employment, rental properties, investments etc) comes in at the top and drains out of the bottom through various taps (Bills, holidays, cars, tax). So to keep your tank nice and full, you want more coming in than going out.

At Amber Wealth we utilise a sophisticated lifetime cash flow planning tool to enable clients to visualise their future in an understandable and meaningful way. Scenarios can be built to quantify the effects of different decisions, and account for changing interest rates, inflation rates and variable investment growth rates. We can ensure that the bucket remains full enough to live life the way you want to all the way through retirement.

In business, positive cash flow is driven by two things: organization and planning. In personal life, this still holds true and those who have an earlier grasp on their financial circumstances and their future cash flows, will be better prepared to make decisions.

Savings & Investment Planning

Whilst many understand opening a savings account or a cash ISA at the bank, investing in equities and bonds is a daunting prospect. ‘I don’t know how or what to invest in’ would be a common story that we here. We help you determine how to invest current assets and future savings based on financial goals, attitude towards risk, and your current and future financial position.

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However, should not view saving and investing as alternative options but as mutually exclusive. Both investing and saving can help you reach your financial goals. The stock market lets investors participate in the financial achievements of the companies whose shares they hold, whilst saving allows you comfort on requiring money on shorter term needs.

At Amber, we utilise ‘Wrap Platforms’, suitably named because client investments can be wrapped up in a single account. Rather than holding all of your ISAs, Pensions and other investments in different places, a wrap lets you view everything at a single glance, cutting down on paperwork, giving you a clearer picture of how your entire portfolio is performing and putting you in control of your investments.

To deliver a high quality service proposition we needed the support of leading edge technology which would allow us to build portfolios that were competitively priced and that were transparent in their costs and charges. Additionally, the Wrap Platforms allow access to larger ranges of funds and they can carry out risk profiling, fund research and deliver enhanced client reporting, whilst allowing switching of funds to alter asset allocations free of charge so all clients benefit. With competitive and transparent pricing processes, you can easily understand the breakdown of your investments.

Pension And Retirement Planning

Pensions needn’t be a minefield if you plan and take advice. The new government legislation changes have shaken up the Pension world, with individuals given freedom to access their pension benefits as and when they want. But with this comes responsibility and Amber can advise you on how and when your Pensions should be accessed, as well as how to structure your withdrawals in a tax efficient manner whilst meeting your objectives.

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Pensions is a journey – the toughest question being how much is enough? How much do I need to save? What rate of return do I require? These are everyday questions which can be a struggle to answer. A pension is a tax- efficient way of locking away money for your retirement.

We will help you understand;

  • The State Pension – the state pension is changing with anyone who reaches state pension age after 6 April next year will receive the new state pension pay-outs, with or without deduction. Find out how this affects you and how the state pension fits into your future lifestyle.

It’s important to keep up to date with the state pension changes, ensuring sufficient National Insurance contributions are made to qualify for the maximum pay out you possibly can in retirement.

  • Occupational Final Salary Schemes- Under a defined benefit pension scheme, you have a commitment from the scheme that you will receive an income in retirement, usually calculated as a proportion of your salary and there may be entitlement to a tax free lump sum. The final value will depend on your salary and number of years worked.
  • Occupational Defined Contribution schemes- Under a defined contribution scheme you make the investment decisions along with the level of contributions made by your employer and/or yourself will determine your final ‘pot’ for retirement. There is no certainty, but ongoing management and appropriate levels of contributions are essential to make sure you can afford to retire comfortably.
  • Up to 25% of your pension fund value may be taken as tax free cash.
  • You may take the cash element of your pension and defer taking the income.
  • You may continue to work and take your pension
  • You may contribute up to 100% of your earnings into a pension scheme with tax relief.
  • Personal Pensions- Personal pensions are similar to the occupational defined contribution and may be suitable if you’re employed and not in a company pension scheme, or as an addition to a company pension. Similarly, if you are self-employed or not working but can afford to put aside money for retirement then you may be able to benefit.
  • Pensions on Divorce – In divorce or dissolution, the pension can be the biggest asset after the family home. You can split pensions several ways, so it’s worth understanding the options before deciding what’s best for you. Getting professional advice is crucial and could save you a lot of money by understanding the key elements of you and your partner’s pensions, something not all solicitors will be able to advise on.

Tax Planning

Tax planning involves implementing strategies so that an individual can minimise the amount of taxes paid for a given period. Tax is usually a dreaded word, a term denoted by frustration or even anger with many claiming they ‘pay too much’ It is easy to be misunderstood, given there are so many types of taxes, but why not take advice and ensure that you pay a fair amount but not more than necessary?

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There are many taxes to understand – Income tax, capital gains tax, value added tax, national insurance, property tax, inheritance tax, dividend tax, tax on interest received, vehicle tax – you get the drift. Well thought out planning can ensure that you pay the right amount of tax but utilising the appropriate allowances that are allocated to individuals each tax year.

Here at Amber, we can work with you to understand you situation and ensure you take benefit of tax exemptions available under the law; this may range from spreading the taxable income among various members in your family or making use of tax-exempted incomes. Tax planning does not need to be complicated or just for the very wealthy, it just means being smart and understanding what benefits the government have in place specific to your circumstances.

Estate/Inheritance Tax Planning

The phrase “estate plan” sounds like a complicated set of material that only very wealthy people need, but if you have any assets whatsoever, you have an estate. We can demonstrate how to eliminate uncertainties and maximize the value of an estate by reducing taxes and other expenses.

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Estate Planning is more than just money and tax – it is the process of giving your assets the way you want, in the most efficient way possible to the people or organisation you want. Here at Amber we can help put the right plans in place to overcome all of these issues for you and your loved ones.

  • Inheritance Tax is paid if a person’s estate (their property, money and possessions) is worth more than £325,000 when they die. This is called the ‘Inheritance Tax threshold’.
  • Additionally, if you have investment accounts, a life insurance policy, or any retirement accounts — those could also considered part of your estate.
  • The rate of Inheritance Tax is 40% on anything above the threshold.
  • Maximising annual gifts – Gifting is probably, the oldest and best way to minimize future estate taxes.
  • Using Trusts and Insurance policies to mitigate risks.
  • Without an estate plan, the courts will often decide who gets your assets, a process that can take years without a Will specifically stating your intended wishes.

Don’t leave things to chance and make sure you plan for your family’s future with Amber. Whether it’s making a will or setting up a family trust, we can help you make sound financial decisions.

Protection Planning

Are you over or under insured? How do you know what level of protection is required? Here at Amber, we can help you understand the important questions that need to be answered and ascertain the type of policy and level of cover you and your family would need to maintain the current and future lifestyles should injury, illness or even worse occur.

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Protection Insurance can be complicated, with many different types on offer and understanding what level of cover is sufficient to meet you and your family’s need.

Life/Term Assurance

With term insurance you choose the amount you want to be insured for, and the period for which you want cover, and a lump sum will be paid out during the period of cover. In contrast, the cover for life insurance will pay out upon death whenever that may be to your loved ones. The correct option will vary according to individual circumstances, so get in touch to discuss today.

Income Protection

Income protection insurance pays you a regular income if you can’t work because of sickness or disability and continues for a set length of time chosen at outset. There are a number of variables to consider when implementing this type of policy, and these will vary depending on individual level of savings or employee benefits to see you through an illness.

Critical Illness Cover

Critical illness assurance pays a tax-free lump sum on diagnosis of any one of a list of serious illnesses stated in the policy at outset. This could help repay a mortgage, or to redesign a house to accommodate a condition. Should you not be able to work due to illness, it is important to know you and your family can live comfortably.

Family income Benefit

Family income benefit life insurance pays out a regular income to your beneficiaries until the policy’s expiry date if you die rather than a lump sum. This policy is easier to understand in terms of the required amount of cover – enough to cover all your monthly requirements.

We can’t change the future, but we can make provisions for the worst case scenario. Get in touch with Amber today and ensure you and your family are looked after.

Mortgage & Equity Release

Buying a property is probably the largest financial transaction and commitment you are likely to undertake. The interest paid over a 20 or 25 year term mortgage can be considerable, as can the stresses and strains of moving house, so seek independent mortgage advice with Amber Wealth to get the best deal possible.
Will you have enough? How much is enough? No one can have a proper plan for retirement without answering these two questions. The sooner you start your financial planning, and have a plan to get there, the more likely you will get to where you want to go and live the life you want.

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We’ll discuss with you our research and analysis of the whole mortgage market and discuss the implications of the various options that are available. We’ll present our recommendations as to the options which best fit your circumstances and if you are in agreement we will proceed to obtain a decision in principle from a mortgage lender. At each stage of the application process, we will keep you updated so you will never be in any doubt as to where things where up to.

We look at your mortgage not only as a loan to buy your home, but as part of your overall financial profile, in order that it ties in with your intended retirement date, when you plan to start a family and when you wish to move home. A house purchase is a big commitment and understanding how this fits into your current and future life goals is important.

Equity Release

If you are prepared to downsize to a smaller home, you can release all the cash in your family home and use some to buy a smaller property. There will be costs associated with downsizing but it will give you maximum value from your home. However, there may be disadvantages such as the disruption and cost of moving or be attached to the area where you currently live.

Equity Release plans allow people over the age of 55 to release cash in their homes without having to move or make monthly repayments.

With a lifetime mortgage, you borrow a proportion of your home’s value on which Interest is charged but no repayments are required until you leave the property or die. The interest is compounded or ‘rolled up’ over the period of the loan with the debt building up and therefore potentially less to leave to your loved ones in the future.

With a home reversion scheme, you usually sell a share of your property to the provider for less than the market value. When you die or move into long-term care and the property is sold but you do have the right to remain in the property as long as you so wish and the provider canno0t force you to move just because they own some element of the property. Upon moving or death, the provider gets the same share of whatever your home sells for as repayment.

The only way for you to fully explore all your options, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of each one is to ensure you seek qualified financial advice from an adviser and Amber Wealth are here to help.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage