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Financial peace of mind – make it happen

Dealing with financial issues can be daunting leaving you with many unanswered questions. Lighthouse Financial Advice are here to help you with any financial worries, no matter what your stage in life. Providing you with practical, affordable financial advice specific to you.

As a CSMA Club member you are entitled to a FREE no obligation, complimentary consultation worth £150* so don’t just take our word for it, see for yourself.

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CSMA Club Member Benefits

Complimentary financial check-up worth £150*

As a member of CSMA Club you are entitled to a no obligation, complimentary consultation worth £150*, during which a qualified professional adviser will visit you at home or work (or phone you) and ask you about your circumstances and objectives to establish whether you could benefit from advice on issues such as:

  • building up a nest-egg tax-efficiently, for yourself or for your children or grandchildren
  • boosting your pension provision, so you will be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement
  • protecting your family’s income, so they have enough money if the worst happens
  • taking your pension and getting the best possible income
  • passing on your wealth to your loved ones in a tax-efficient way
  • other aspects of financial planning

The value of your investments can go down as well as up, so you could get back less than you invested.

Tax advice which contatins no investment element is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in the furture.

Online investment service

Online investment service with straightforward advice launched for CSMA Club members

Do you like to be in control of your finances? Do you think that investing doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive (or both)? If so, Lighthouse Financial Advice’s new, low-cost online investment service could be just what you are looking for – it makes online investing simple.

They will ask you to complete an online questionnaire about your finances and reasons for wanting to save. For example, they check whether you already have some emergency cash put aside and that your household income is protected. Importantly, the questions also allow them to work out the type of investor you are, for instance moderately cautious. They will then send you a personal report setting out the investments they recommend for you.

There is no charge for the recommendations. You only pay a fee if you go ahead and invest and, because it is online, you will pay less than many other investment routes.

Online investing made simple from Lighthouse Financial Advice:

  • gives your straightforward, FCA-regulated advice about investing your money
  • is available for ISA and non-ISA investments
  • investments are managed by experienced investment professionals
  • is cheaper than most traditional investments – you pay a clear, modest fee for the service
  • is easy to manage: log in at any time from anywhere.

You can access the service at http://www.lighthousefa.co.uk/csmaclub/online-investing-made-simple

Lighthouse Financial Advice Limited is an appointed representative of Lighthouse Advisory Services Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Lighthouse Financial Advice Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lighthouse Group plc. Registered in England No. 04795080.Registered Office: 26 Throgmorton Street, London, EC2N 2AN. Lighthouse Financial Advice services are not available in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Pension Freedom – accessing your pension

Deciding how to fund your retirement and achieve a sustainable income for the rest of your life is one of the biggest decisions you will ever have to make. Once you have made your decision you may not be able to change your mind later, so it is vital to understand all your options and take professional advice.

Are you impacted?

Probably not if you are a member of a traditional public sector pension scheme and you don’t have pensions from previous employers or make additional voluntary contributions (AVCs). If you are a member of a defined contribution pension, whether from previous or current employers, pay AVCs or have taken out a personal pension you will need to decide how to take your retirement income.

Defined contribution pension schemes, also known as money purchase, are not based on your final salary. They include personal pensions, group personal pensions (for instance company schemes where your pension is not based on your final salary), stakeholder pensions and AVCs.

What can do with your pension?

  • Exchange it for an income for the rest of your life
    In other words buy an annuity or secure another type of fixed income. However, once you have done this in many cases you can’t change your mind and you no longer own your pension fund. Also, you need to think about whether the income you get will keep pace with inflation – while it may cover your expenditure now, can you be sure it will do so in 10 or even 20 years’ time?
  • Take all your money out
    But you may then have little certainty about your retirement income and you could use up your money too quickly. You could also end up paying a lot of tax on what you take out if you are not careful.
  • Leave all your money in
    You could do this if you are lucky enough to have enough income from other sources and you want to pass on your pension fund to your loved ones, but this may not be a viable option for many people.
  • A combination of the three options above
    You could use part of your fund to secure the basic income you need and then draw the rest as income or capital as and when you need it or want to treat yourself. At least you would know that you would always have your basic income.

What you need to think about:

  • Might you run out of money? If you did, would your be reliant solely on the state pension and would this give you enough income?
  • Is the amount of income you need (and want) likely to increase or decrease at any time?
  • Do you want your spouse or other dependants to receive income if you die before them?
  • How healthy are you?
  • Do you have income from other sources, or other savings and assets?
  • What will happen to your pension fund when you die?
  • How much tax you will pay whatever you decide.

Three things you may not know about accessing your pension:

  1. Some traditional pension schemes may not allow you to benefit from the rules.
  2. You don’t have to take your 25% tax-free cash as a lump sum. You can spread it across withdrawals as you wish, up to the 25% limit.
  3. Any money you withdraw over and above your 25% tax-free amount could result in you having to pay more tax than you expect. Make sure you understand the tax implications before taking action.

Talk to Lighthouse Financial Advice before accessing your pension pot

Your pension provider will ask you a few questions, to help you with your decision. The government is offering free guidance, under the Pensions Wise brand, to help you understand your options.

However neither will provide comprehensive advice that takes into account your particular situation and needs. For that you should talk to our Approved Partner, Lighthouse Financial Advice. The advice and recommendations they provide are specific to you.

Starting out

You are starting out on your chosen career, moving into your own place, and enjoying your independence. The whole of your adult life lies ahead of you and, quite naturally, thoughts of financial planning are probably far from your mind. In fact you may not have much disposable income once you have paid the bills, with the little that is left over quickly disappearing on going out, holidays and a few treats.

Yet by taking a few simple steps now, you can put in place solid foundations for your financial future, which should make things easier financially as you progress through life.

Savings & investments

Paying even a small amount each month into a suitable savings account or fund can build up a reasonable nest-egg surprisingly quickly - just what you need to pay the deposit on your first property, or for the honeymoon of your dreams.

Talk to our Approved Partner Lighthouse Financial Advice to find out which funds suit your timescale and attitude to risk, and whether you should opt for an ISA. There are ISAs to suit most people and they are a very flexible way of saving. Plus, you won’t have to pay tax on any income or interest you receive from it or any gains you make when you cash it in.

Pension contributions

Retirement may be the last thing on your mind, but the earlier you start building up your pension fund the better. If you work you are likely to be a member of your employer’s pension scheme, whether private or public sector.

Lighthouse Financial Advice has expert knowledge about the civil service pension scheme and occupational pension schemes in general. They can explain how it works and the various ways you could boost your pension pot. Pension contributions benefit from tax relief, making them one of the most cost-effective ways of saving.

Protecting your lifestyle

How important is your income to you? How quickly would you be able to get another job if you were made redundant? What would you live on if you had an accident or fell seriously ill?

Lighthouse can help you protect your income should the unexpected happen.

Mortgages & borrowings

Getting a mortgage is not as easy as it used to be. In addition to meeting lending criteria, you have to provide detailed information about your expenditure as well as income, and you could find it harder to borrow as much as you require.

Plus, with umpteen different mortgages from hundreds of mortgage providers, it can be difficult to work out which to choose. Yet getting the right deal can save you hundreds of pounds a year.

Lighthouse Financial Advice can help you work out how much you really can afford, they will talk you through the various mortgages available, including Help-to-Buy, and ensure you are not paying more than necessary. Their job is to find you the right mortgage whatever your situation and guide you through the application process, helping you secure the mortgage you need at a competitive rate.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up payments on your mortgage. There will be a fee payable to Lighthouse Financial Advice for this mortgage service. Other mortgage set up costs will apply as normal.

Young family

Your priorities and outlook change. You may now need a larger home, putting yet more strain on already over-stretched finances. You will want to give your children the best possible start in life, yet things are hectic, especially if you are juggling work and family life.

Making a few adjustments to the way your finances are organised can help you relax and enjoy these precious years when your children are young.

Savings & investments

You may not have much disposable income, yet if you want to send your children to private school and/or help them through university, or move to a bigger home you should start saving now. If your income is regular, then try and make monthly contributions to a suitable fund. If you receive bonuses then you may prefer to make lump sum contributions.

Our Approved Partner Lighthouse Financial Advice can help you work out how much you need to save and recommend funds suitable for your timescale and attitude to risk. Using tax-efficient funds can help your money grow faster.

Pensions & retirement

You are likely to be making regular contributions into your employer’s pension scheme and possibly also making additional contributions, either into your employer’s scheme or a personal pension plan.

Even though you may be feeling the strain financially, maintaining your payments will help ensure your pension fund stays on target

Protecting your family

How would your family survive if it had no income? Starting a family is when many people decide to protect their income should they be unemployed, become seriously ill, or die.

Lighthouse can find policies which provide the type and level of cover you require – you may be surprised how affordable they are.

Mortgages & borrowings

If you haven’t already done so, this is a good time to review your mortgage. Lighthouse Financial Advice may find that you are paying more than you need to, perhaps because your original deal has come to an end and you are paying your lender’s standard variable rate.

Also, if you want to move to a larger property or extend your current home Lighthouse Financial Advice can help you secure the additional funding you require at a competitive rate.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up payments on your mortgage. There will be a fee payable to Lighthouse Financial Advice for this mortgage service. Other mortgage set up costs will apply as normal.

Children growing up

When your children leave home for university or start their careers you may decide to crack open that nest-egg to pay university fees or give them the deposit for their first property. With the family home strangely empty, you could find you have more disposable income: you are probably approaching the peak of your career – and your earnings.

This is the time to check that your investments and pension fund are on track to meet your objectives – if they aren’t you still have time to get back on track.

Savings & investments

You should review your investments to make sure they are on target to achieve your goals. Our Approved Partner Lighthouse Financial Advice can advise you whether any adjustments, diversification and rebalancing are required. If you need income, for instance to pay university fees, Lighthouse can recommend income-producing funds.

You may decide to realise some gains, for instance to help your children on to the property ladder, in which case you should consider the tax implications before deciding which investments to sell.

Pensions & retirement

Now is the time to make sure your pension pot is on target to provide you with the kind of lifestyle you are expecting when you retire. If it isn’t, what can you do to plug the shortfall? With restrictions on the amount you can contribute, you may need to look at alternative ways. Lighthouse Financial Advice can recommend how you can make up any shortfall cost-effectively.

If you have changed jobs and have money in a number of different pension funds, it could make sense to consolidate them into a single fund. However, it is important to take professional financial advice before acting, as you could end up losing money.

Insurance & Protection

If you haven’t already done so, this is a good time to make sure you are adequately covered should you or a member of your family fall seriously ill.

You may also want to consider taking out private health insurance.

Mortgages & borrowings

How long have you to go until you have paid off your mortgage? If you have spare cash you could consider increasing your monthly repayments. Making a lump sum repayment, for instance if you have received an inheritance, can reduce your monthly payments and outstanding capital but beware of early repayment penalties.

On the other hand, you may want to buy a holiday home or a rental property, in which case Lighthouse Financial Advice can advise you cost-effective ways of raising the money you need.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up payments on your mortgage. There will be a fee payable to Lighthouse Financial Advice for this mortgage service. Other mortgage set up costs will apply as normal.

Approaching retirement

Financially, things should be a bit easier now, your children are probably independent and you may already have paid off your mortgage. You like the thought of taking it a bit easier, having more time to do the things you enjoy, perhaps even working part-time or retiring early. Hopefully, you are still in good health, but you may have the worry of caring for elderly relatives.

Your main priority will be to preserve the value of your pension fund, investments and any money you have inherited, so you have enough to maintain your lifestyle when you retire.

Savings & investments

It may be the time to take a more cautious approach, for instance restructuring your investments to produce income - if you don’t need the extra income now you can simply reinvest it, potentially further boosting your retirement fund.

Retirement income is taxable, so check that your investments and savings are as tax-efficient as possible. Are you using your full ISA allowance?

Long-term care and inheritance tax

You may find yourself faced with the dilemma of caring for elderly parents or relatives. This is expensive and can quickly deplete the family’s accumulated wealth. However, our Approved Partner Lighthouse Financial Advice can help you plan ahead to meet the cost of care home fees. They can recommend ways of reducing the risk of running out of money and of protecting your hard-earned assets.

Also, inheritance tax now reduces the wealth of many families. Do you understand how it will affect yours? Are the Wills of all family members up-to-date and tax-efficient? There are a number of ways of legitimately reducing the amount of inheritance tax likely to be payable and Lighthouse Financial Advice can help you organise your finances accordingly.

Pensions & Retirement

You would like to retire early, but can you afford to? What impact would this have on your assets, including those outside your pension? Even if you intend retiring at the normal age you should check your pension and obtain projections to ensure you are on track. Lighthouse Financial Advice can explain your options in the context of your current provision and future requirements.

Whenever you retire or start drawing your pension, if you are a member of a defined contribution pension, whether from previous or current employers, pay AVCs or have taken out a personal pension it is important to take professional advice before doing so.

Deciding how to fund your retirement is one of the biggest decisions you will ever have to make. Once you have made your decision it is unlikely that you will be able to change your mind later.

Your options include:

  • Exchanging your pension pot for an income for the rest of your life – in other words buying an annuity or securing some other type of fixed income. If you decide that an annuity is the right choice, securing an annuity is typically a once-in-a-lifetime decision, so it is important to make the right choice. Find out how Lighthouse can help you get a higher level of income.
  • Take all your money out, but you would have little certainty about your income and could also end up paying a lot of tax
  • Leave all your money in, with the potential to grow free of tax, if you are lucky enough to have enough income from other sources. However it is important to make sure that your funds are invested and managed wisely – and reviewed frequently.
  • A combination of the three options above.

The government is offering free guidance, under the Pensions Wise brand, to help you understand your options. Visit the Pension Wise website

However, although the guidance explains your options, it does not provide comprehensive advice that takes into account your particular situation and needs. For that you should talk to Lighthouse Financial Advice, who will give your practical advice, specific to you.

Mortgages & borrowings

If you haven’t already done so, you should consider paying off your mortgage and other loans. Your mortgage may allow you to make a substantial capital repayment each year, over and above your monthly repayments. Alternatively, you could repay more each month.

Either way, you will repay your mortgage sooner. But make sure you read the small print – repaying more than you are allowed to could incur heavy penalties.

Retired

At last your time is your own to do all those things you always wanted to do but never quite got round to – travel, learn a new skill (or relearn an old one), help others and indulge yourself.

By securing your finances now you will be able to relax, knowing that you have enough income to enjoy a long retirement. Whatever your situation, we will recommend ways of maintaining your lifestyle through retirement and meeting any unexpected future needs. After all, the last thing you want is to be worried about money as you get older.

Income in retirement

Income will be your priority, so make sure your investments are generating as much as possible, but without taking too much risk. Do you have savings in cash accounts? Is so, with interest rates so low, are they keep up with inflation? Lighthouse Financial Advice can review your savings and investment so you can optimise your income without taking unnecessary risk.

Passing on your wealth

Most people would like to pass their wealth on to their family, but unless you take steps to protect your assets, including your home, this is unlikely to happen. The first step is to write a Will setting out whom you would like to benefit from your wealth, making sure that it is drafted in a tax-efficient manner.

Do you understand how inheritance tax will affect you? There are a number of ways of legitimately reducing the amount of inheritance tax likely to be payable and Lighthouse Financial Advice can help you organise your finances accordingly.

Paying for long-term care

Paying for long-term care is expensive and can quickly deplete your accumulated wealth. However, our Approved Partner Lighthouse Financial Advice can help you meet the cost of care home fees, so you don’t have to sell the family home to pay for them They can recommend ways of reducing the risk of running out of money and of protecting your hard-earned assets.

Mortgages & borrowings

With your mortgage paid off, your home is likely to be your largest asset. You may be able to use it to generate a lump sum, for instance for home improvements, to buy a holiday home, or to generate additional income. This is known as equity release.

Lighthouse Financial Advice can explain whether equity release is suitable for you. While it sounds attractive it is not suitable for everyone and once you have released equity you cannot change your mind. It may affect your entitlement to state benefits and will reduce the value of your estate.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up payments on your mortgage. There will be a fee payable to Lighthouse Financial Advice for this mortgage service. Other mortgage set up costs will apply as normal.

About Lighthouse Financial Advice

Lighthouse Financial Advice is one of the largest providers of expert financial advice in the UK. Tens of thousands of people around the country rely on their advisers to make their money work harder.

They can help you make the most of your money whatever your circumstances. They look at your current overall financial position, talk to you about what you would like to achieve, listen to your concerns and then make recommendations that match your lifestyle and aspirations. You can then relax, in the knowledge that your finances are organised in the way that suits you.

Lighthouse Financial Advice is part of Lighthouse Group plc, a company listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), which provides financial advice to personal and corporate clients through more than 500 specialist advisers located throughout the UK.

Lighthouse Group, which in 2104 had an annual turnover of more than £47 million and is financially robust, won the prestigious Large IFA of the Year Award for three consecutive years – in 2010, 2011 and again in 2012.

Lighthouse Financial Advice advisers benefit from the extensive resources and expertise of Lighthouse Group. This includes investment research and best practice, pension transfer issues, funding long-term care, releasing equity from your home, mortgages and employee benefits. Advisers may therefore call upon their specialist colleagues to advise on issues about which they do not have the required depth of professional knowledge.

Their success is built both on the quality of their advice and on their strong local presence. Between them, the 200 or so Lighthouse Financial Advice advisers cover all areas of the UK, so they are sure to have an adviser near you. He or she will work with you in the way that suits you best, meeting you at home, at work, or at a suitable local venue.

Adviser. This is the first time that non-provider awards were given to large and small adviser firms.

Terms and Conditions

The value of your investments can go down as well as up, so you could get back less than you invested. Tax advice which contains no investment element is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Client Agreement and Client Proposition how we work with our clients; our services and fees »

Lighthouse Financial Advice Limited is an appointed representative of Lighthouse Advisory Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Lighthouse Financial Advice Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lighthouse Group plc. Registered address: 26 Throgmorton Street, London EC2N 2AN. Registered in England No. 4795080.

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