Family matters: some things never change

Winston Churchill is a towering figure in British political history but was also an orator and writer. What I want to focus on is a quote that is relevant to most of our lives, even now, over 100 years after he said them:

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New Year, new financial you? 10 tips for getting on track in 2021

Many of us make New Year resolutions, but how many of those are about our finances? 2020 was a tough year for large numbers of people, and we aren’t out of the woods yet, but knowing you have taken all the right steps will give you some peace of mind.

Invariably we could all spend less and save more and a little focus rarely goes amiss.

With that in mind here’s a list of 10 steps you can take to get yourself financially fitter in 2020.

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UAE Public Holidays for 2021

These are the official dates of public holidays for the UAE for the coming year, as well as notable dates, so you can make a note in your diary now and plan ahead. Actual days of holiday for both the public and private sector should be the same and these are the dates announced by the UAE Government.

This article will be updated throughout the year as any changes are announced so you can bookmark it in the knowledge that it will always be correct

As usual, dates of Islamic holidays will be subject to slight variation, dependent on moon sighting, and others may also change.

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Where there’s a will, there’s a way to protect your family (November 2020)

I have published articles on this topic before but in light of the changes to the personal status laws in the UAE in 2020, this has been updated to cover the new rules.

If you have assets, and more importantly, if you have children, then you need a Will. This is a subject that many people are reluctant to address but there are many misconceptions and an all too common reluctance to talk about the relevant issues. In this article I want to set out a few facts and answer the most popular questions that I am asked.

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New personal laws in the UAE but what do they really mean for you?

I am sure most people have seen the articles about some significant legislative changes in the UAE with changes to the penal code and personal status laws and these are very positive in all respects. In this article, I want to explain what this actually means in relation to the financial issues, as headlines are not always quite what they seem and there are subjects that still need to be considered and addressed by expats, especially in terms of the distribution of assets in death.

Let’s address the various points in turn.

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What has a financial adviser ever done for you?

Paraphrasing Monty Python, purely to get your attention, but it’s a valid question. I am in an industry that is frequently criticised in the UAE, often for good reason, but let me explain why using a qualified adviser (rather than a salesperson pretending to be an adviser) is a good thing and how you can benefit.

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Five Financial Tips for New Parents

When you have a child, you get lots of advice and tips from everyone but one area that tends to be overlooked is the financial aspect. In the excitement of impending parenthood, or the crazy first few months (or years!), you can forget this essential topic so this article is designed to be a useful guide to some of the issues you need to consider.

Multiple surveys have put the cost of raising a child at eye-watering levels over their first 18 years and expats working in the UAE have the added cost of education and medical bills to contend with. Let’s look at some of the financial practical steps you need to consider.

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Looking for property investment with high yield? In London?

Yes, such a thing is available and it is something very different to the usual apartments on offer. I have a new investment for clients with yields of over 10% per annum.

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News: Minimum age to access UK private pensions to change

This information has been confirmed on the UK Parliament website following an exchange in the House of Commons today, 3rd September 2020.

The exact wording is as follows:

In 2014 the government announced it would increase the minimum pension age to 57 from 2028, reflecting trends in longevity and encouraging individuals to remain in work, while also helping to ensure pension savings provide for later life.

That announcement set out the timetable for this change well in advance to enable people to make financial plans and will be legislated for in due course.”

The change will not take place for some time so no need to panic now but it will mean that some people who had intended to access their personal pensions at age 55 years, per the current rules, will have to adjust their plans for two years.

This is simply about personal plans and is not linked to the UK’s State Pension

To arrange a discussion about your retirements plans, your UK pensions, or any aspect of your personal financial planning, please email me at

I write articles such as this one as part of the holistic personal financial planning service and that I provide to expats, and the general consumer, financial and legal information that I provide in The National newspaper, on Capital Radio UAE, and on the Facebook group British Expats Dubai.

Please take a look at the other useful articles on this website.

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10 Steps for Smart Investing

The financial services industry is full of jargon and sales messages so sometimes it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction, the reality from the adverts and the sales pitches. With that in mind, I have put together a simple guide to 10 practical and logical steps you need to follow when investing.

It is too easy to sidetracked from planning your future, our lives are busy after all,  but it rarely needs to be as complicated as some might make out. My role is to make this simpler, and better, for you.  Continue reading

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