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Blue Wealth – Charity Incentive

We’re excited to let you all know that we’re looking to launch our brand-new charity incentive to help raise money for a great cause. To start, we need your help.

What is our charity incentive?

We’re planning to make a £50 charitable donation for every initial meeting we have that comes from a client recommendation. Whether the meeting takes place in person or remotely (via Zoom, Teams, etc.), we’ll donate. There’s not even a requirement for them to become a client!

Simply put, if you recommend your friends, family or colleagues to us and we meet with them, we’ll make a £50 donation on your behalf.

How can you help?

First, we need to decide which worthy cause to support, and we want you to have your say. So, we’re conducting a poll of shortlisted charities that we believe all deserve our support.

This poll will be open for four weeks to allow everyone the opportunity to vote for the charity they’d like to see us support. You can vote for your chosen charity in the section below.

The shortlist

We’ve created a shortlist of charities that we think all deserve our support. The charities were selected from the results of our client survey, which many of our clients kindly completed.

To vote for the charity you want to see receive our support, please click on them below and select the “Vote” button. For more information on our shortlisted charities, please scroll further down.

St Peter’s Hospice

St Peter’s Hospice has been serving the community across the wider Bristol area since 1978. Every year they make a difference in the lives of thousands of patients and their families when it matters most.

Whether that is helping manage pain, offering bereavement support or providing relief from symptoms, the hospice team works 24/7 to support individuals and families as they navigate the challenges of living with a life-limiting illness.

Caring in Bristol

Caring in Bristol work in imaginative and creative ways with people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. They work with the public and community partners to bring about lasting change in Bristol and beyond.

They’re striving to create a society where everyone has a home, has hope, and is part of their community. Their team do not believe that homelessness is a simple issue with a simple solution. That’s why they work on several projects, helping people move away from the streets and preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place.

Bridge Care (Bridgemead)

Bridgemead is a residential and nursing home by the river in central Bath, caring for vulnerable older people and their families since 1992. They’re a home-from-home where residents and day club members are cherished and enabled to live fruitful lives in a loving Christian community.

Bridgemead has a team of caring, committed and qualified staff, helping their patients and guests feel as comfortable as possible. They offer a residential home, nursing care, a day club and respite care for those who need it.

Fareshare South West

With the rise in the cost of living, FareShare South West work against a backdrop of increasing food insecurity. They rely on donations and partnerships to source as much good quality surplus food as possible to supply to frontline charities across our region.

FareShare South West was formed in 2007 to help tackle the food poverty issue in the South West by redistributing surplus food across the region. Utilising quality, in date surplus food which would otherwise have gone to waste, they turn an environmental problem into a social solution.


The BillyChip Foundation registered charity was set up in 2018 to continue the legacy of Billy Abernethy-Hope, a 20-year-old ambulance driver from Bristol, who was the inspiration and idea behind the BillyChip.

The BillyChip can be given to those sleeping rough and/or homeless to allow them to purchase food and drink from takeaways and coffee shops. This helps people give money directly to those who need it, without fear of how it’s being spent.

Bristol Children’s Help Society

Bristol Children’s Help Society was established in 1884, and the first camp was held in Barton three years later. As such, it is one of the longest-running residential adventure camps for children in the country.

Through the continued efforts and support of the Harvey family, Barton continues to thrive to the present day. The camp is a fully accessible 101-bed residential centre available for hire.

Tobacco Factory Arts Trust

At Tobacco Factory Theatres, they provide a welcoming home for creative adventures and human connection. For incredible theatre and opportunities to learn and exchange ideas.

Their vision is to build an inclusive creative community rooted in their home in South Bristol. They believe their inspirational theatre will take people on creative adventures, nurture talent and provide life-changing opportunities.

Mothers For Mothers

Mothers For Mothers are a group of mothers, who have suffered and recovered from depression, anxiety or isolation during pregnancy or after the birth of a child.

They are women with lived experience who offer support, advice and information.


To vote for the charity you’d like to see us support please submit your vote below:



Once the poll has finished and we’ve calculated the results, we’ll be sure to update you with our winner.

How to get a better work-life balance

How do you rate your work-life balance? It’s not uncommon for workplace pressures to affect our personal lives but, left unchecked, it can affect overall wellbeing and your health too.

An unhealthy work-life balance can leave us feeling irritable, struggling to focus and even affect physical health. If you want to readjust your work-life balance to better reflect your priorities, our latest guide looks at some of the key steps you can take, including:

  • Understanding the work-life balance you want
  • Setting clear working boundaries
  • Exploring flexible working options
  • Prioritising your health
  • Making time for the things you enjoy
  • Striving for financial freedom
  • Making lifestyle goals

Taking positive steps towards striking the right balance, can not only benefit your personal life but improve your creativity and productivity at work too. Download a copy of the guide here.

12 key points to consider before you start investing

Investing is a crucial part of a financial plan for many people. If you’re considering investing, whether for the first time or expanding your current portfolio, our new guide can help you understand what you should think about first.

Among the topics covered in the guide are what to consider when choosing between saving and investing, understanding risk and return, the difference between passive and active investments, and much more.

Click here to download your free copy of the guide.

We are here to help answer your questions about investing and your wider financial plan. Contact us to discuss your concerns, needs and priorities, including how investments can help you achieve your goals.

Your Summer Statement 2020 summary

Just a few months after delivering his first Budget as Chancellor, Rishi Sunak delivered a Summer Statement, dubbed a ‘mini-Budget’ on Wednesday 8th July 2020.

Back in March, some of the measures announced in the Budget focused on supporting people and businesses as the Covid-19 pandemic was taking hold. Five months later, the focus has now shifted to recovery as lockdown and social distancing restrictions ease.

Rishi began by saying the government had taken decisive action to protect the economy earlier this year but acknowledged people were now worried about unemployment rates rising and economic uncertainty. This is against a backdrop of a global economic downturn, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicting the deepest recession since records began. With this in mind, the Summer Statement set out the measures the government will be implementing.

It was also confirmed there will still be a full Budget and spending review delivered in the autumn.

Job Retention Bonus

With the furlough scheme set to end in October, which has supported nine million jobs, the Job Retention Bonus aims to encourage firms to re-employ staff. Any employer that brings back an employee that earns at least £520 each month from furlough, and keeps them in a job until January, will receive a £1,000 bonus.

If everyone on furlough were to benefit, the scheme would cost £9 billion.

Kickstart scheme

Noting that young people are around 2.5 times more likely to have been affected by Covid-19, Rishi announced the Kickstart scheme.

The Kickstart scheme will pay young peoples’ (aged 16 to 24) wages for up to six months, as well as some overheads. The employee must work a minimum of 25 hours a week and be paid the national minimum wage. It will amount to a grant worth around £6,500 per young person. Employers can apply to benefit from the Kickstart scheme next month and there will be no cap on the number of places funded.

In addition to this, there will be more funding for careers advice, more traineeships, and a new £2,000 payment for firms to take on young apprentices and £1,500 for apprentices aged over 25.

Stamp Duty

Property prices and transactions have fallen during the pandemic. In light of this, Rishi announced he was abolishing Stamp Duty on homes worth up to £500,000. This will take effect immediately and continue until 31st March 2021.

VAT rate

Over 80% of businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors were forced to close during lockdown. VAT on tourism and hospitality will be cut from the current 20% to 5% until 12 January 2021. This will include eating out, accommodation and attractions, such as the cinema, theme parks and zoos.

Discount for eating out

The ‘eat out to help out’ scheme also aims to support the hospitality sector. Throughout August, customers will be able to take advantage of a discount up to 50%, worth up to £10 per head, including children, when they eat out from Monday to Wednesday at businesses that have applied to be part of the scheme.

Green homes grant

A new £2 billion green homes grant was announced. This will allow homeowners and landlords to apply for vouchers to make their homes more efficient and support local green jobs. The vouchers are expected to cover at least two-thirds of the costs up to £5,000 per household. For low-income households, the full cost will be covered, up to £10,000. It’s estimated energy efficiency could save families £300 a year.

A further £1 billion of funding has also been designated for improving energy efficiency in public buildings.


If you have any questions about how the Summer Statement will affect your finances and plans, please get in touch.

Please note: The above information is offered only for general informational and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute financial advice. The information has been taken from a verified source and was correct at the time of issue.

Your essential guide to ISAs

ISAs are an incredibly important part of many financial plans, whether you’re saving for a short-term goal or investing for a long-term one. In fact, over ten million adults saved into an ISA account in 2017/18.

Whilst ISAs have been around for 20 years, the product range and allowance has changed considerably in that time. As a result, it can be more difficult than you would expect to pick the right ISA for you. So, we’ve put together a guide to help you get to grips with the ISA options open on offer. In the guide you’ll find:

  • A brief history of ISAs
  • The different types of ISAs available, including the Junior ISA
  • And how the Additional Permitted Subscription can let you leave your ISA savings to a loved one

Click here to download your free copy of the guide.

ISAs should form part of your wider financial plan, if you’d like to discuss how they fit into your goals, please get in touch.


5 ways Inheritance Tax can be reduced

The old saying goes: “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” But when it comes to Inheritance Tax, there are often steps you can take to reduce, and in some cases eliminate, liability.

Whilst only around one in 20 estates are liable for Inheritance Tax, the amount collected by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has been rising. During the 2018/19 tax year, almost £5.4 billion was collected. That’s a rise of 57% over five years. The amount of Inheritance Tax paid varies but in all cases, it reduces the amount you leave behind for loved ones.

For most families, it is possible to reduce Inheritance Tax liability. However, you need to take a proactive approach. These steps need to be taken before you pass away and can’t be put in place by loved ones after you die. As a result, if your estate may be liable for Inheritance Tax, it should feature in your financial plan.

When is an estate liable for Inheritance Tax?

If your total assets, including property, savings, investments and material possessions, have a value of more than £325,000, your estate may have to pay Inheritance Tax as you’ll exceed the nil-rate band (the threshold for Inheritance Tax). If you plan to leave your main home to children or grandchildren, the residence nil-rate band provides you with an additional £175,000 allowance. This means you can leave up to £500,000 to loved ones without incurring Inheritance Tax.

Both the nil-rate band and residence nil-rate band are individual allowances which can be passed on to a spouse or civil partner if unused. In effect, this means couples can leave up to £1 million without having to worry about Inheritance Tax.

While that may seem a significant sum, once you start adding up the value of all your assets, you may be closer to this figure than you first realise. This is particularly true when you factor in property, which is likely to have risen in value substantially over the last few decades. With a standard rate of 40%, it’s worth considering if your estate could be affected by Inheritance Tax and what steps are available to reduce the tax bill.

Reducing your Inheritance Tax liability

1. Write a will

Whether your estate is liable for Inheritance Tax or not, you should consider writing a will a priority. It’s the only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out. Without a will in place, your assets will be distributed according to intestate rules, which may be significantly different from what you’d want.

From an Inheritance Tax point of view, a will is important too. For example, it means you can ensure your assets are distributed in a way that allows you to take advantage of the residence nil-rate band.

2. Gift some of your assets now

One way to reduce the amount of Inheritance Tax your estate is liable for is to reduce the overall value. You could, of course, spend more during your lifetime, including gifting assets to loved ones now.

However, you need to keep in mind the gifting rules. Assets that are given away within seven years of you dying may be considered part of your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes. Some gifts are immediately exempt, so taking advantage of these can allow you to pass wealth to loved ones efficiently during your lifetime.

For instance, you can gift assets up to £3,000 annually, which is considered immediately outside of your estate. You can also gift £250 to other individuals that didn’t benefit from the £3,000 allowance, and up to £5,000 if your child is getting married.

There are other gifting allowances that you may want to take advantage of too, such as making gifts outside of your excess income. If you’d like to pass on wealth to loved ones during your lifetime, please get in touch to discuss what your options are and what the potential impact on Inheritance Tax could be.

3. Use a trust

Assets placed in a trust aren’t considered part of your estate for Inheritance Tax purposes. Depending on the type of trust you choose, it’s can still be possible for you to maintain and benefit from these assets during your lifetime. They’re also an option if you want to pass on wealth to loved ones, including children.

However, a trust isn’t the right option for everyone, and the drawbacks need to be considered too. Trusts can be complicated and, in some cases, transferring assets to a trust is impossible to reverse. As a result, it’s essential that you carefully consider if a trust is right for you with a professional before moving forward.

4. Leave a sum to charity

Depending on the size of your estate and the expected Inheritance Tax bill, leaving a portion of your assets to charity can reduce the overall amount.

Leaving a charitable tax legacy can reduce the size of your estate, potentially bringing it under the nil-rate thresholds. If you leave more than 10% to charitable causes, the rate of Inheritance Tax you pay is reduced from 40% to 36%. It’s a step that could mean you leave more for loved ones whilst benefitting causes that are important to you.

4. Take out life insurance

Finally, taking out a whole life insurance policy can provide a solution if you don’t want to reduce the value of the estate you leave behind. A life insurance policy won’t directly reduce Inheritance Tax but instead provide a way for the bill to be paid.

A whole life insurance policy will pay out a lump sum on your death, assuming you’ve kept up with the premiums, which can then be used to pay Inheritance Tax, leaving your estate intact. With this option, you need to understand what your Inheritance Tax liability will be, allowing you to pick out the right level of cover. It’s also essential that the policy is placed in a trust. Otherwise, it would form part of your estate and the payout could result in a higher Inheritance Tax bill.

The above five ways to reduce Inheritance Tax isn’t exhaustive and there may be other options that suit your circumstances. If you’re concerned about Inheritance Tax, please get in touch. We’re here to help you understand how your finances will change and leave behind the legacy you want.

Please note: The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax planning.

Levels and bases of, and relief from, taxation are subject to change.

The above is offered only for general informational and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute financial advice. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this comment without first seeking advice from a professional.

Your complete guide to the State Pension

The State Pension is an essential part of retirement planning and provides a foundation to build on. Whilst the basics are simple, it can be far more complex to understand what you’re entitled to and when than you’d think at first glance.

Our Complete Guide to the State Pension is designed to help you figure out how the State Pension will support your retirement goals alongside other income. From how the State Pension age is changing and when you’ll receive it to what the triple lock means for your future income, we look at the crucial things you need to know.

If your retirement date is approaching, taking some time to read our guide and understand the State Pension can help ensure your finances are in order. Click here to download your copy of the guide.

We are here to help answer your questions. Call one of the Blue Wealth team on 0117 3320230 or email to start planning your retirement.

Your complete guide to the Bounce Back loan scheme

Cash machine and £5 note

Last month, the government announced a brand-new loan scheme to support businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing the package of measures, the Chancellor said: “Small businesses will play a key role creating jobs and securing economic growth as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The Bounce Back loan scheme will make sure they get the finance they need – helping them bounce back and protect jobs.”

Applications for the Bounce Back loan scheme open today (4th May 2020), so here’s what you need to know if you’re considering taking advantage of the support.

What you need to know about the Bounce Back loan scheme

  • Under the scheme, your business can apply for a loan from £2,000 up to a maximum of 25% of your business’ annual turnover, or £50,000, whichever is lower
  • Lenders benefit from a 100% government guarantee against the outstanding balance of the finance
  • The loans are interest-free for a year, with the government covering the first 12 months of interest through a Business Interruption Payment (BIP). After the first year, you will pay interest at a rate of 2.5% per year
  • Loans will be taken over six years, but you can repay early at any time with no early repayment charge
  • Lenders are not permitted to take personal guarantees or take recovery action over your personal assets (such as your main home or personal vehicle).

You will not have to begin principal repayments for the first 12 months, and neither businesses nor lenders have to pay a fee to access the scheme.

Bounce Back loan eligibility criteria

Credit institutions, public sector bodies, insurance companies and state-funded primary or secondary schools are not eligible to apply. Otherwise, businesses from all sectors can make an application for a Bounce Back loan.

You must self-certify and confirm that:

  • You are a UK-based business established before 1 March 2020
  • You have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic
  • You are not currently using a government-backed coronavirus loan scheme
  • You were not a ‘business in difficulty’ at 31st December 2019
  • Your business is not in bankruptcy, liquidation or undergoing debt restructuring
  • 50% of the income of your business is derived from its trading activity (not required if the borrower is a charity or a further education college).

Steven Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, says that while affordability checks would ‘be lighter’, firms should still ‘think very carefully about their ability to repay the loan’.

That is because, despite the government guarantee, banks are required to first chase firms for money if they do not repay the loan. As a borrower, you will always remain 100% liable for the debt.

Mr Jones said: “These are loans, not grants, so if a business is already indebted and taking on further debt, they should think carefully before making an application.”

How to apply for a Bounce Back Loan

Your first step is to find a lender. Accredited lenders are listed on the British Business bank website. As of 10am on Monday 4th May, accredited lenders included: Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Danske Bank, Lloyds Bank, NatWest, Santander, RBS, HSBC, Ulster Bank, Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank.

You should approach a lender yourself, ideally via the lender’s website. Approach your own provider in the first instance, although you may also consider approaching other lenders if you are unable to access the finance you require.

The online application is seven questions long and you will have to self-certify that your business is eligible for a loan under the Bounce Back loan scheme.

Lenders do not need to carry out any credit checks or verify the long-term viability of firms.

Note that if one lender turns you down, you can still approach other lenders within the scheme.

Once your loan has been approved, the government has previously said that most businesses will get the finance within 24 hours. The British Business Bank said money will be received ‘within days’.

What if I already have a coronavirus Business Interruption Loan?

You can’t apply for the Bounce Back loan scheme if you already have a coronavirus Business Interruption Loan unless the Bounce Back loan will refinance the whole of your existing facility.

However, you can transfer a coronavirus Business Interruption Loan of up to £50,000 to the Bounce Back loan scheme before 4th November 2020.

Following the launch of the Bounce Back loan scheme, the minimum coronavirus Business Interruption Loan has been increased to £50,001.

Get in touch

If you need any more advice concerning your business or personal finances during these uncertain times, please get in touch.

Please note

The above is offered only for general informational and educational purposes. It is not offered as and does not constitute financial advice. The information has been taken from a verified source and was correct at the time of issue.