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June 30, 2017

Slowing Housing Market Creates Flat Summer Property Market

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), slowing momentum and stagnant demand in the housing market has lead to a “fairly flat” summer for property. This comes after it was reported that the number of agreed sales and new instructions declined in April and the level of inquiries was flat in March.

The number of properties now on estate agents’ books is now hovering just above a record low, and this is expected to continue as we approach the summer months. Unfortunately for prospective buyers, this lack of stock means that house prices are continuing to rise, particularly in the east of England where house prices have risen by 5.6% since last year.

Even momentum in the rental market has slowed! Recently, rent in London fell by £100 for the first time since 2009.

In it’s report, RICS said this decline in the housing market is due to this lack of supply and slow momentum as well as the uncertainty caused by the latest General Election.

So what does this mean for potential homeowners?

For those looking to settle down in 2017, the rising house prices can make it seem difficult to see yourself ever moving into your first house. But there is a little bit of hope for new homeowners and existing owners!

In fact, it is new buyers who are driving increases in the housing market. For example, in 2016 the number of first-time buyers rose by 339,000 joining the property ladder.

To encourage an increase in the housing market from existing homeowners, banks are also offering homeowners cheaper loans so they can save money when they get a new mortgage and a lower interest rate.

If you’re interested in getting on the property ladder, or maybe even changing your mortgage, the team at Bespoke Support Network can put you in touch with a mortgage advisor Essex.

Bespoke Support Network Essex have access to thousands of experts across the UK covering all aspects of housing and more, including business advice and writing your will.

To find out more information about our mortgage services, call 0300 303 3441 and speak to our team.
June 27, 2017

National Heart Week: Protecting Your Future

Did you know that recently (7th – 15th) it was National Heart Week? And if anything, this week has shocked us into taking more consideration about our heart and general wellbeing.

There are many factors that can put a strain on your heart; over indulgence, smoking and lack of exercise but to name a few. These factors can lead to many heart problems, which will cut your life short.

So how can you ensure your heart is healthy for the future?

  • It may sound obvious but exercise is the key to a healthy heart and healthy body in general. It doesn’t even have to be a chore, go on fun, little walks around your local area with a motivating playlist or take a class at your local gym with friends.
  • Eating Your Greens. For someone who’s never once thought about his or her heart’s health, it can be hard to hit your 5-a-day. But why not start with a daily fruit smoothie? Then keep yourself energized with some healthy snacks that are good for the heart such as carrot sticks or sliced apple.
  • Drink Water. It’s recommended that you drink 8 glasses of water each day. While it may not be everyone’s first choice of drink, water flushes the body of toxins, can improve the look of your skin and make you feel full to prevent you snacking as often.
  • Kicking Habits. We’re all prone to unhealthy behaviour, and we don’t want to be the people who tell you ‘you shouldn’t be smoking’ or ‘that McDonald’s is bad for you’. However, giving up these behaviours can help extend your life; in fact stopping smoking at 35 can add up to 10 years to your life. Giving up cigarettes has tons of other benefits such as giving you younger looking skin, improving your fertility, whiter teeth, fresher breath and prevent heart disease and lung cancer.
While we hope nothing like this should ever affect your family, raised awareness brings it to the forefront of our minds and it’s important to future proof.

Writing your will has never been so easy with our will expert’s help.

Bespoke Support Network Essex are encouraging all our clients to begin preparing their wills should disaster strike. Our team will put you in touch with trusted experts who can help.

To find out more information about our will writing services, call 0300 303 3441 and start protecting your family’s future.

 

June 23, 2017

Why Insurance Underwriting is Ignoring Climate Change

The whole idea of insurance underwriting is to evaluate the risks and exposures of potential clients; they then decide how much cover the client should receive and how much they should pay.

But how does this tie in to climate change?

Climate change is described as an alteration in global or regional climate patterns. It is believed 97% of researchers agree that climate change is real and is becoming an ever-increasing problem. It is also estimated that climate change will displace 250 million people by 2050.

With these sorts of statistics, you would think that insurance underwriters would realise that offering climate change protection would be a competitive market. So, why aren’t insurance companies catching on to this idea?

Physical and Liability Risks:

Extreme weather is becoming some-what of an expected occurrence. With increasing levels of physical risk, this could present a significant challenge to general insurance policies. Often, climate change models are incompatible with insurance models.

Damage to the Industry:

If insurance companies began to consider the possibility of global warming, they would have to account for the extra cost to provide cover. Many of which, undoubtedly, couldn’t afford. Similarly, the government could introduce a policy change which involves moving toward a low-carbon economy. This would encourage a reassessment of investment which would greatly impact the industry as a whole.

Time:

A big determining factor with insurance companies is time. Many policies only cover clients for a year. Of course, climate change is ongoing, so it would be near on impossible for underwriters to devise a suitable policy. To add to this, companies prefer to focus on the short term rather than the long term- not is it easier to measure but it is most likely more cost effective, making it beneficial for the company as well as the client.

The team here at Bespoke Support Network we ensure your insurance policy is tailored exactly to you. If you would like advice or a consultation, please get in touch with us on 0300 303 3441.

June 18, 2017

Wait… It’s Father’s Day this Sunday? Remember Important Occasions with a Virtual PA

Perhaps you have stumbled across this blog in the desperate hope to find last minute Father’s Day gifts. Well, unfortunately we can’t help you in buying a wacky tie or box of chocolates but we can help you to remember any important events you have coming up when we put you in touch with one our quality virtual pa’s.

If you are particularly busy running your own business, it can hard to keep up to date with changes to events and important days alongside dealing with any business concerns.

We can put you in touch with a virtual PA who offers a host of different services including:

Diary Management

A virtual PA can use your existing diary or provide you with a brand new, online one to remind you of any important events coming up. Not only can they remind you of events, they can book appointments, arrange meetings and organize reservations with ease before adding these to your diary. Your personal assistant can also manage changes to your travel arrangements and business accommodation should you need it.

They are able to provide you with a daily itinerary by email a day in advance in order to supply with the right information for your busy day. This could be maps, route details, public transport times, as well as locations for events.

Event Management

If you’re planning a special event but cannot cope with the stress of event planning, why not enlist the help of an expert virtual PA? Each PA is has passed our due diligence standards and are experienced in managing events, from small seminars to large business conferences and even birthday parties! They’ll help you to source the venue, catering suppliers and audio visual equipment as well as sending out invitations.

Are you in need of a virtual personal assistant? Then maybe it’s time to speak to the team at Bespoke Support Network. We are able to put you in touch with the very best virtual PAs to suit your specific needs. Call 0300 303 3441 for more information.

June 12, 2017

It’s National Heart Week – Why it’s Important to Future Proof

It’s National Heart Week and to support the cause BSN thought we would use this week’s post to talk to you about the importance of checking your health and future proofing. This special campaign to raise awareness is run by the British Heart Foundation and aims to highlight the impact that heart disease can have on children, adults and their families.

It’s charities like these that really make you realise the importance of keeping healthy, in this case, by taking care of your heart. Whatever your age may be it’s important to help prevent and manage heart disease where possible. Below are some of the changes you can make in your life to help do so.

  • Healthy eating – It may sound simple, but it’s harder than it looks. However, eating more healthy and better quality foods can lead to you living a longer life.
  • Staying active – It’s important to be active where you can. Simple changes like taking the stairs instead of the lift can have an impact on your overall health.
  • Smoking and alcohol – Quitting smoking is one of the single best things you can do for your heart health, in addition to watching your daily consumption of alcohol and cutting it down where possible.

Future proofing

No matter how healthy your lifestyle is or how much you try to prevent things such as heart disease, there is always that slim chance it could occur, due to this it’s important that you prepare yourself and your loved ones for the future. There are several ways to do this but one of the significant ways of doing so, would be to prepare a will.

Here at Bespoke Support Network, we can put you in touch will trusted experts that will help you with your preparations for the future. We offer a non-obligatory free consultation and are happy to offer you advice for your unique situation. Get in touch today by calling 0300 303 3441.

June 10, 2017

BSN – Insurance Premiums Set to Rise This Month

At Bespoke Support Network, our insurance professionals make a promise to keep all our customers updated with the latest news and changes within insurance and finance.

Following changes to the rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT), there has been a 2% increase that will affect motor, home, pet and health insurance. UK insurance companies have warned that the average family will be paying £47 more a year as a result of these changes.

A calculation by our experts has suggested the rise will add an extra £8 onto the average motor policy but we can predict this increase on tax will weigh heavily on those who have the most expensive policies.

For example, the increase will add another £20 for the insurance of a 19-year-old new driver and could affect those who are living in less well-off areas or flood zones.

So, how can you find the right insurance for your needs?


Assess your needs.
Before you begin searching for new insurance, sit down and determine what you and your family need from said policy. With regards to car insurance, coverage is important; make sure you choose the insurance with the right liability and how much you can pay out of your pocket in the event of an accident.

Think this new increase might affect you and your family?

Bespoke Support Network can find the right professionals for every one of your financial needs. Our experts must go through a strict due-diligence test before they can advise you, so you are guaranteed the best possible insurance for you and your family.

Get in touch with the team on 0300 303 3441.

 

June 8, 2017

What do the Manifestoes Mean for the Wills and Probate?

The general election is in full swing and the manifestos have been published, but what does this mean for the wills and probate market?

Here at BSN we thought we would put together a round up on what each manifesto could mean for Wills and Probate, especially pensioners.

Liberal Democrats view –
  • They aim to abolish marriage inequalities and spousal veto in relation to pensions.
  • They would reverse the conservative raising of the Inheritance Tax threshold.
  • Another aim would be to maintain the triple lock pension- increasing on a yearly basis by the highest of earnings growth, price growth or 2.5% for the next parliament.
  • For pensioners who pay tax at the higher rate of 40% they would withdraw winter Fuel Payment eligibility.
  • They would also consider the implication of introducing a single rate of tax relief for pensions.
The Conservative view –
  • The conservatives would tighten the rules on pension abuse, increasing the punishment for mismanagement of pension schemes.
  • They would try to increase the power of the pensions regulator so that they were able to prevent issues threatening the schemes solvency.
  • Introduce a new Double Lock in 2020, where pensions will increase in line with the earnings that fund them or inflation.
  • Another step would be to start promoting pensions and long term saving products to encourage all generations to make plans for later life.
  • They would also review the Winter Fuel Payments, introducing a means-test so assistance is focussed on the least well-off.
The Labour view –
  • Labour aim to maintain both the Winter Fuel Allowance and the Triple Lock on pensions, which will ideally grow annually by 2.5% staying in line with inflation or increase with earnings.
  • They want to provide compensation to the 2.5 million women who had their state pension age raised without fair notification. Trying their best to consider other options for transitional protection.
  • They would aim to protect UK citizens living overseas and their pensions.
  • Next up they would review the pension age and try to bring an end to hidden pension charges and fees.
  • Last up they would implement measures to protect pensions in situations where a business is being taken over.

These are just a few pointers from the manifestoes explaining the plans for pensioners in the near future should each party come into place. For further information on the effects the election could have on your pensions then give us a call today.

Our team here at Bespoke Support Network, Essex, can you put you in touch with local Essex based pension experts today!