Your financial questions answered

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St Helens-based financial advisor Kevin Simpson, pictured, answers some commonly asked questions.

Q. I am due to retire in 2015 and was wondering if I qualified for the new flat rate pension of £144 pw

A. The new Pension comes into force in 2017 so normally you would not qualify for it. You do, however, have the option of deferring it until then. A deferment will increase your pension at an equivalent rate of 10.4 per cent per annum. You need to work out if you would be financially better off doing this.

Q. We want to arrange wills but are fearful of what we want being set for ever. How can we get around this?

A. You are taking the best course of action in effecting a valid will now as, to many people die intestate (without a will) and this can cause all sorts of problems on death to the people left behind who you would want to benefit from your estate.

To put your mind at ease, wills are only effective when you die. Until that happens you can change or even revoke (cancel) your will at any time.

Q. Most of my savings are in shares or unit trusts. Now I’m nearing retirement should I invest elsewhere?

A. As you approach retirement your first priority will be a decent income with security. To achieve this you may need to consider moving to lower-risk investments, although everyone’s circumstances are different, so consult your financial adviser to discuss the most appropriate area for your savings and investments.

Questions answered by St Helens-based IFA Kevin Simpson of Bluetrust Ltd. He can be contacted on 01744 752209 or 078766767090.