I was looking at electric cars, then at home batteries, solar panels, air-source heat pumps, etc.. Websites talk about typical savings and hence typical paybacks. I thought I’d consider “what if I invest that money instead” to see what different levels of investment return would do to the payback. The result is certainly food for thought. Solar panels are currently a non-starter. Home batteries (Tesla, Solax, etc.) to enable use of Economy 7 tariff is a far longer payback than I had thought. The cost of solar panels is reducing, and similarly home batteries are becoming more cost-effective, so in a few years I can look again. I suspect that if enough people have electric cars and home batteries, both charging overnight, energy companies won’t be offering such good deals for Economy 7. I’ve done a page to show my spreadsheet model.
After a fairly good investment return this year, I thought I’d better look ahead at what prolonged good return might mean for taxes. At the same time I’ve adjusted how I plan ahead, which has barely changed the pension that I allow myself, but which gives me a better view of tax implications. It all means that Lifetime Allowance BCE 5A needs thinking about. I have a plan for now, and couple of options for a few years’ time. I’ve written a page on this.
I have now passed my 55th birthday, transferred a pension, moved into drawdown with two providers, and received pension payments from those two. So how did it go and how do the three companies compare?Continue reading “Into drawdown, which provider was best.”
It seems I may get a bridging pension from one of my ex employers’ DB pension schemes. Bridging pensions are also known as Temporary Pensions or Step-Down Pensions. I think I am going to have to be VERY careful to stay on the right side of the Lifetime Allowance without incurring various unwelcome taxes. Bizarrely, bridging pensions eat up 20x their annual value of my LTA, even though they only last for a few years and are worth far less than the main pension (which is rated at 20x). More info on this on an update of my LTA page.
For quite a few months I’ve had a pretty simple calculation that mimics the tables that you can easily find online for early taking of DB pensions such as the NHS and Local Government. I’ve realised that exactly the same maths will calculate transfer values. It should apply to any DB pension – indeed, the transfer value I was offered a couple of years back from a company DB scheme can be calculated using the same assumptions that the NHS and Local Government use. I’m using the maths to challenge a DB scheme’s excessive reductions for early starting of a pension. (A page on this is to follow soon.)
I had my one and only Pensionwise meeting a few days ago: the last day of them before coronavirus forced them to go phone-only. I was quite impressed with it.Continue reading “Pensionwise”
It has been quite a year! The biggest news is that my wife has terminal cancer. In parallel my job has been made redundant. I’d planned on working for a few more years, probably reducing hours a little, but with the redundancy payment I think I can just about retire. So there’s pages to be written on all this, starting with redundancy, then my pension plans, and at some point something on the finances of terminal illness.
MoneySavingExpert are doing a student loan survey as part of a push to get the SLC to show more clarity. Their suggestion is better than now, but I think it only becomes really clear with a spreadsheet. Well, I would, wouldn’t I!Continue reading “Student “Loans” (England)”
I wanted to make a small change to my SIPP funds the other day. I am pretty underweight in North America (which means I’ve missed out a bit over the last year) so I looked at which fund to get.Continue reading “Trackers or managed funds”
I noticed a few articles recently in the news on the subject of funeral costs. (Probably there’s something a psychologist would have to say about what catches my attention.) The articles are mostly about the higher-than-expected costs, and that many pre-payment schemes fail to cover everything that relatives expect. A funeral is certainly not cheap, but I’ve made a page with a checklist of funeral costs, plus a few of my thoughts on which items might be most worthwhile.