Reassuringly Straightforward Advice

Free Personal Retirement Audit

Call Hilary and her Team for a friendly informal chat 0117 290 0370

Dividends and Pensions

By Hilary Carden on 7th September 2017 in Pensions

If you are the owner of a small or medium sized company chances are that your accountant has suggested you take a low salary and higher dividends.. But are you thinking about making a pension contribution? If so, you probably know that in the current tax year (ending 5th April 2018) there is an annual […]

carry forward

What is Carry Forward?

By Hilary Carden on 18th September 2017 in Pensions

Carry Forward is a tax rule that allows you to catch up on your unused pension contributions. It enables you to carry forward unused annual allowance from the previous three tax years to the current tax year. 3 points to bear in mind: The standard annual allowance for the current tax year (2017/18) is £40,000. […]

minimum pension contribution increase

Increase to Auto-Enrolment Pension Contribution Rates

By Hilary Carden on 16th September 2017 in Employers

Is your auto-enrolment scheme set up with the employer paying a minimum pension contribution so as to comply with government rules? If so, you will have to make changes in April 2018. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is in the process of sending letters to all employers, telling them about the forthcoming increase in the legal […]

Cardens Snippets

Autumn Budget 2017 Date Confirmed

By Hilary Carden on 15th September 2017 in Tax Planning

The government has announced that the Autumn Budget is on Wednesday 22nd November 2017. This will set out the government’s plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). Last year the Chancellor announced that there will now only be one Budget a year, held in the Autumn. […]

employer pension contributions

When are Employer Pension Contributions right for a Company Director?

By Hilary Carden on 7th September 2017 in Pensions

Are you a company director and shareholder? Is it your own trading company? Yes? So are you taking your income as salary and then topping up with dividends? Yes? Well, if so, this may be restricting your personal pension contributions more than you want. This is explained in our popular article Dividends and Pension Contributions. […]


At a Glance Personal Taxation 2017/18

By Matt Eldridge on 11th March 2017 in Tax Planning

Free copy of our Personal Taxation Infographic                      Free copy of our Personal Taxation Infographic Further Reading: Autumn Budget 2017 date announced


How to Reduce Investment Risk [video]

By Hilary Carden on 10th March 2017 in Investment

If you are holding a lot of cash at the moment you might be concerned that it’s just dribbling away… Especially if it’s a nest egg for the future that you won’t need for a while. But.  Taking the plunge and investing it might feel a bit worrying. Especially with all the ‘stuff’ going on in […]

Star Wars

Star Wars Night Out

By Hilary Carden on 23rd December 2016 in Life

Tuesday night was Star Wars night. We took the whole family plus two partners to see the new film ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’. Our Christmas treat. And with tickets, cocktails, popcorn, sweets and then dinner at Wagamama’s afterwards, certainly not a cheap night out… I used to be a bit take it or […]


Anticipating makes you Happier

By Hilary Carden on 14th December 2016 in Life

Research has shown that anticipating something can be a powerful and positive emotion. It can even help us feel happier about our lives. The problem is, that if you own a small business you’re probably anticipating what you have to do today, this week, this month. And you might be thinking to yourself that it’s […]


Christmas Jumper, Spending and our Magazine

By Hilary Carden on 12th December 2016 in Life

It’s beginning to feel a bit like Christmas. The Cardens Christmas tree will be decorated this week. Even Toby is excited about wearing his Christmas jumper. Most people are more pre-occupied with spending than saving this time of year. This means we have a chance to catch up with work, get organised and plan for […]