SA – 21 not out

Matthew Barrand Blog

When the Individual Savings Account (ISA) was launched in 1999, the allowance was £3,000 for a Cash ISA or £7,000 for a Stocks and Shares ISA each tax year. Now at the grand old age of 21, the overall allowance has risen to a generous £20,000. In the early days, choice was limited to either a Cash ISA or a …

Your family

Titanic disaster led to historic life insurance payouts

Matthew Barrand Blog

When the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in 1912, life and accident insurance companies lost $3,464,111, according to a contemporary article published in The Shore Press. The accident led to some of the largest insurance payouts ever, with the beneficiaries of business magnate John B. Thayer receiving a total accident insurance payout of $120,000 (equivalent to around $3.2m …

Rediscover our island

Small Island living – rediscovering what we already have

Matthew Barrand Blog

In recent weeks, there has been an 800% rise in Brits searching for ‘Staycation UK’, as the uncertainty surrounding international travel during the pandemic continues to prevail. Appreciating what you already have… Destinations such as Plymouth, the Isle of Wight and Exeter are expected to recover quickly due to the staycation tourism boost, according to new research. It would seem …

Have you saved during lockdown?

Have you saved during lockdown?

Matthew Barrand Savings

If so, you’re part of 37% of the UK population who managed to put away more money during lockdown, as daily expenditure on commuting and leisure activities dramatically decreased. What’s more, it looks like Britain’s growing army of savers are here to stay, with 36% stating they aim to keep cutting costs post-lockdown. Could savings rates harm your goals? Unfortunately, …

Private pensions age rise is confirmed

Matthew Barrand Pensions

In September, the government confirmed the private pension age will increase from 55 to 57 in 2028, meaning those retiring in the future will have to wait longer to access their pension.

Equity Release

How Equity Release has evolved

Matthew Barrand VAT

What has changed in the Equity Release market? Consumer interest in the later life lending sector has been steadily increasing over the past 10 years, with more than 19,000 plans taken out in the first half of 2020 compared to just over 10,000 in the first half of 2010, according to data from Key. How has lending on Equity Release …

Extra time forHelp to Buy scheme

Extra time for Help to Buy scheme

Matthew Barrand Mortgages

Due to construction delays caused by the pandemic, over the summer the government announced an extension to the Help to Buy equity loan deadline. Previously, new homes had to be finished by the end of December 2020, which has been extended to 28 February 2021, enabling homebuyers to benefit from the scheme despite the construction of their new homes being …

Pathway to shared ownership

Government launches new model for Shared Ownership

Matthew Barrand Blog, Property

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced a new model for shared ownership to help more people onto the property ladder by vastly reducing the minimum initial share, and launching a consultation to ensure new homes deliver the accessibility that families need. The new shared ownership model will reduce the minimum initial share you can buy in a property from 25% …

NS&I Premium Bonds direct payment to bank accounts

Matthew Barrand Savings

NS&I has announced that, from the December 2020 Premium Bonds prize draw, they are stopping prize payments by warrant (like a cheque) and will be paying prizes straight into customers’ bank accounts instead. It’s quicker, easier, and safer than waiting for a cheque to arrive in the post. They will be doing this in phases, and by March 2021 will …

Stamp Duty Update

Stamp duty update

Matthew Barrand Blog, Mortgages

The government introduced an immediate temporary Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday in England and Northern Ireland until 31 March 2021 by raising the threshold above which the main rate of SDLT is payable from £125,000 to £500,000. For second homes, the 3% additional rate will continue to apply. The Scottish Government has since announced that they have increased the …