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UK PENSION REFORMS ALLOW OVER 55’S TO REALISE THE ITALIAN RETIREMENT DREAM

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Le-Marche-hilltop-town-1400
  • Over 6 million UK adults plan to retire abroad, with 10% choosing Italy as their preferred destination (Hargreaves Lansdown)
  • 20% of 55-75 year old UK adults are considering taking cash out of their pensions under new regulations (ABTA)
  • Le Marche ranked in top places in the world to retire in 2014 (American Association of Retired Person)

With new legislation changes having recently become effective, UK citizens over the age of 55 are now be able to spend, save or invest their pension as they deem appropriate. These latest regulations offer people the freedom and flexibility to decide for themselves the best option for their retirement. In light of this, a recent survey, from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), discovered that 20% of UK adults are already considering taking a cash lump sum out of their pensions, with over 35% of these people wishing to spend it on travel.

Today, the dream of retiring overseas is becoming increasingly popular with over 6 million UK adults now planning to move abroad when they reach national retirement age. Recent figures published by Hargreaves Lansdown show that 10% of those wishing to enjoy their retirement abroad would select Italy as their destination of choice, and with a rich blend of historical architecture, luscious landscapes, sun-kissed beaches and glistening mountain tops, the idyllic notion of retiring to Italy can now become a possibility.

In 2014, the American Association of Retired Person (AARP) surveyed their vast membership of over 39 million, and discovered that Italy’s Le Marche region had been voted one of the top five places in the world to retire. Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, Founder of Appassionata, a fractional ownership company in Le Marche understands this growing aspiration to retire here, having relocated from the UK herself some seven years ago,

Le-Marche-hilltop-town-1400

“The rolling hills of vineyards, olive groves and sunflowers was certainly one of the deciding factors for our move to the countryside of Le Marche. With each passing season there is a new vista of colour and light. The Italian countryside truly is a special place, especially for people nearing retirement who are looking for a sense of community and belonging within a new environment. Here, beautiful surroundings combine with a traditional feel that means it really is like stepping back in time, where strangers say good morning and neighbours are always willing to help.”

However, even with the recent changes to pension legislation, many people in the UK reaching retirement age will not be able to fully purchase a property overseas, finding the dream still financially out of their reach. An alternative to the more traditional approach to whole property ownership is fractional ownership, allowing buyers to enjoy the best of retirement both home and away at a reduced cost. With fractional ownership you own a share of a property, which has professional and continuing local management, in exchange for exclusive occupancy for a number of weeks throughout the year.

As leaders in the Italian fractional ownership market, Dawn from Appassionata explains more about the advantages of this option for many retirees,

“Fractional ownership is an appealing possibility to people who are now accessing their pension pots and looking to make an investment in a luxury overseas property. For many their lump sum is not large enough to buy a luxurious property outright so buying a 1/10th fraction makes perfect sense, providing all the benefits of full ownership without the full cost as all running expenses are divided equally among co-owners. We have definitely seen an increase in enquires since the new legislation became effective, with a number of owners keen to access their pension pots to buy a share in our beautiful Petritoli property.”

Appassionata’s most recent restoration project to offer fractional ownership is Casa Tre Archi, a townhouse set in the centre of the enchanting medieval Le Marche town of Petritoli. The unique property has three bedrooms and, unusually for an urban Italian property of this nature, enjoys outdoor space on three levels, plenty of space to accommodate all the family. This includes a small rear garden off the kitchen, a terrace off one of the bedrooms and a spectacular roof terrace with views of Petritoli and the surrounding countryside, perfect for soaking up the Italian sunshine. The house benefits from three bathrooms: one en suite off the master bedroom, one upstairs family bathroom and one small bathroom off the living area on the ground floor.

Tre Archi enjoys sea views, beamed ceilings with traditional, terracotta tiled floors and easy access to nearby parking. The townhouse provides the best of town living, perfect for retirees who want to meander from their home to a choice of shops, restaurants and cafes, combined with miles of sandy beaches just a short drive away. The security and maintenance of the property are administered by Appassionata’s management company and on arrival owners will find Casa Tre Archi beautifully prepared, with all essential groceries ready for convenience. Prices start from £70,000 and are for a 1/10th share, which will entitle the owners to five weeks’ exclusive use of the property per year.

Investing

What is the procedure for proving a missing or lost Will?

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Intermediaries will be key to Investment Houses navigating the Covid19 crisis

By Alexa Payet, Partner at Bolt Burdon and listed specialist in the Certainty

Contentious Probate Hub & Area

Initial steps

When an individual dies it is necessary to search their paperwork to establish whether they made a Will and gather information regarding their estate. This is important because the personal representatives of the estate have a legal duty to distribute the estate correctly and could be held financially responsible for any mistakes made through any breach of duty.

Where a Will cannot be found but is believed to exist there are a number of steps that can be taken to help confirm its existence, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • making enquiries of the deceased’s family and friends;
  • making enquiries with the deceased’s professional advisors;
  • instructing The National Will Register to undertake a Certainty Will Search.

Presumption of revocation

Where the original Will is known to have been in the testator’s possession before their death and cannot be located afterwards, there is a rebuttable presumption that the Will was destroyed by the testator with the intention of revoking it. If an order for the proof of a copy is to be obtained then this presumption must be rebutted.

Procedure for proving a copy Will

The procedure for proving a copy Will is set out in Rule 54 of the Non-Contentious Probate Rules 1987 (‘NCPR’).

The application is made to the Probate Registry at which the application for the grant will be made and the order can be made by a district judge or registrar.

The application must be supported by evidence in the form of an affidavit (although during the global pandemic the rules have been amended by the Non-Contentious Probate (Amendment) Rules 2020, SI 2020/1059, to provide for the use of witness statements as an alternative to affidavits).

The evidence must set out the grounds of the application and any available evidence that the applicant can adduce as to the Will’s existence after the death of the testator or, where there is no such evidence, the facts on which the applicant relies to rebut the presumption that the Will was destroyed by the testator during his/her life.

The applicant must ensure that the Court has the best available evidence of what happened to the testator’s Will in order that effect may be given to his/her testamentary wishes.

It is important to understand that the applicant does not need to demonstrate that the Will has been lost (it is the fact of its loss which gives rise to the presumption of revocation). Instead, the applicant must establish, by evidence, that the Will was not in fact revoked.

What is a Certainty Will Search and why is it necessary?

A Certainty Will Search searches for Wills that have been registered on The National Will Register (circa 8.7 million Will registrations in the system) and for Wills that have not yet been registered in geographically targeted areas where the deceased used to live and/or work. A Certainty Will Search is extremely important as it will be necessary to notify the probate registry of any persons who would be prejudiced by the grant if the copy Will is proved. If no such person exists then the registrar is more likely to grant the application. Alternatively, if such a person does exist then you should seek to obtain their written consent to the application. The written consents can then be lodged with (or following) your application.

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Oil prices rise as investors look to higher demand seen in second half

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Oil prices rise as investors look to higher demand seen in second half 1

By Shadia Nasralla

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices climbed on Tuesday as optimism that government stimulus will eventually lift global economic growth and oil demand trumped concerns that renewed COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns globally are cooling fuel consumption.

Brent crude futures for March rose 72 cents to $55.47 a barrel by 1152 GMT after slipping 35 cents in the previous session.

“The perception that any retracement will be quick as confidence in economic and oil demand recovery is unlikely to fade away,” said PVM analysts in a note.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $52.65 a barrel, up 29 cents. There was no settlement on Monday as U.S. markets were closed for a public holiday. Front-month February WTI futures expire on Wednesday.

Investors are upbeat about demand in China, the world’s top crude oil importer, after data released on Monday showed its refinery output rose 3% to a new record in 2020.

China also avoided an economic contraction last year.

Investors are watching out for U.S. oil inventory data from the industry association API, due on Wednesday, the same day U.S. President-elect Biden’s inauguration speech will likely give details on the country’s $1.9 trillion aid package.

The International Energy Agency cut its outlook for oil demand in 2021, but pointed to a recovery in demand in the second half of the year to an annual average of 96.6 million barrels per day.

“Border closures, social distancing measures and shutdowns…will continue to constrain fuel demand until vaccines are more widely distributed, most likely only by the second half of the year,” it said in its monthly report.

(Additional reporting by Florence Tan, editing by Louise Heavens)

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Investing

Can Thematic Investing provide investors with growth opportunities in uncertain times?

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The impact of COVID-19 on the investment market

New whitepaper from CAMRADATA explores

CAMRADATA’s latest whitepaper on Thematic Investing, considers the role this type of investing can play in asset management and explores trends that can permeate society and traverse sectors. The whitepaper includes insights from guests who attended a virtual roundtable on Thematic Investing hosted by CAMRADATA in November, including representatives from CPR Asset Management, Sarasin & Partners, Impact Investing Institute, PwC, Quilter Cheviot, Scottish Widows and Stonehage Fleming.

Sean Thompson, Managing Director, CAMRADATA said, “In these seminal times, thematic investing has the potential to shape how the future unfolds. Yet running a successful thematic fund is no easy feat – it is a bit like navigating unchartered waters trying to identify the trends and the long-term opportunities.

“Trends such as AI and biotechnology are still in their relative early days, for example, and global economies are undergoing dramatic changes. But mapping out certain trends, identifying potential sustainable returns through a unifying thread that spans multiple sectors, could help future-proof investments. “Our roundtable guests considered current key themes, which themes worked well, and which have not and how thematic investors could identify trends with the potential to offer future growth.”

The guests named themes they currently like which included artificial intelligence, China, climate change, clean energy, automation, evolving consumption, ageing, digitalisation, water, waste management, biodiversity, and board diversity.

After discussing themes that have worked or not, the guests looked at total allocation to themed funds, and whether clients might be blinded by themes to the overall risk exposure in their portfolios.

Key takeaway points were:

  • Themes have a habit of coming and going. One guest recognised that automation and robotics, for example, were cyclical, which means that investors will have to think carefully about entry-points.
  • It was agreed that the commodities ‘super cycle’ of the 2000s came about with the economic development of China. Many commodities-based products found their way into mainstream investing, but this is unlikely to happen again.
  • One guest was surprised by some of the themes that interested their customers; with their research showing that Board Diversity was almost the lowest-ranking concern among the ESG choices they listed.
  • There was correlation between environmental impact and social benefits to investing. The theme that concerns the Impact Investing Institute, which is less than two years old, is improved measurement of such relationships.
  • In terms of successful themes, one clear winner due to COVID had been digitalisation.
  • One theme that has not done so well is the Ageing theme focused on older people travelling and enjoying experiences abroad later in life.
  • One guest said their firm used themes for ideas generation, not as a shortcut for portfolio construction. They said themes lead to good ideas, but they then spend at least three months researching a stock, so that the best themes are represented by the best investments.
  • The final point was that there are sensitivities for any global investor in allocating to themes, even the biggest one of all, Climate Change.
  • But on a positive note, one guest added if all stakeholders can resolve their differences on definitions such as impact and ethical investing, then more capital will be readily transferred into opportunities.

The whitepaper also features two articles from the sponsors offering valuable additional insight. These are:

  • CPR Asset Management: ‘Central Banks: leading the path towards Impact Investing’
  • Sarasin & Partners: ‘Theme or fad? How to invest for the long term’

To download the Thematic Investing whitepaper, click here

For more information on CAMRADATA visit www.camradata.com

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