Personal Finance Questions – September 2009

In our regular feature we will cover some of the topics which readers have been emailing us about. Naturally we can’t give direct financial advice but maybe some of these questions and their answers will be of interest to you.

I hear that ISA rules are changing in October, how does this affect me?

ISA contribution limits are changing on 6th October – here are some of our more popular articles on this subject –

Confused about the new ISA allowances and limits?

Reminder – cash ISA allowance is increasing

Change in ISA allowances – Budget 2009

What is an ISA?

My life insurance company wants to apply a Market Value Reduction if I surrender my Bond, why?

A Market Value Reduction can be applied on the surrender of a with-profits bond (or any with-profits fund for the matter) in times when stock markets and other asset classes may have fallen in value – we have seen this recently with the fall in world stock markets in 2007 and 2008.

The MVR is designed to provide you with a fair surrender value for your plan based on the performance of the underlying investments and also to protect those who remain behind¬† by basically ensuring you don’t take a “bigger slice of the cake” than you’re entitled to!

This article goes into more detail – Avoiding a Market Value Reduction (MVR/MVA)

I find it difficult to budget – how can I make this easier?

We all have income and expenditure to meet – some of it is the same each month, and some of it is variable.

I wrote an article a few months ago – cashflow forecasting – income and expenditure – there is a great spreadsheet you can download to help you plan and track your monthly income and expenditure.

I have a personal pension – what is the minimum age I can retire?

It is currently age 50, but this is about to change – see this article for more details and urgent actions you might need to take if you’re aged between 50 and 53 now.

My mother is a non-taxpayer. How can she reclaim tax paid on her building society interest?

To reclaim the tax she needs to complete an R40 Рshe can also register to receive the interest gross from now on Рread this article.

And finally……

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