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DEAR TRICIA; Need some practical financial advice? YOUR MONEY Editor Tricia Phillips and her team can help.

Byline: Edited by TRICIA PHILLIPS

Q My wife is retired with just the basic state pension. She is just about to start a part-time job and the income will push her into the basic rate tax threshold. As I am a basic rate tax payer, can I actually transfer some of my allowance so she doesn't pay any tax? A Yes you can but not just yet. From April 6 a spouse or civil partner who is not liable to income tax above the basic rate will be able to transfer PS1,050 of their personal allowance to their partner, provided they are not liable to income tax above the basic rate. Saving a potential PS210 in tax.

QI am 66 with an interest only mortgage. I still owe PS135,000 and my property is valued at PS210,000. Is there any equity release firms who would be interested in buying my property.

A Based on the information you have provided I don't think you will qualify for equity release. This is because it looks like you can't raise enough money to clear your outstanding mortgage. Equity release firms usually lend up to a maximum 60% of the property value, therefore PS126,000 in your case.

QI understand that a person going into care is allowed to have PS23,250 before they have to pay for their care. If someone has assets of, say PS40,000, would they only have to pay PS16,750 or have to use all PS40,000 for their care? A The starting position is that if an individual has assets exceeding PS23,250 then they are not likely to qualify for any local government funding and could be liable to pay for the cost of their care in full, whether they receive care at home with carers, in a residential home or in a nursing home.

QI became self-employed in 2007 but also draw my teacher's pension. I was told I do not have to make any more National Insurance contributions as I have paid in for 30 years. I am not 65 until 2018. Is this correct? A You don't pay National Insurance contributions on any payments that you receive from a pension scheme. However, as you are self-employed you may have to pay class 2 contributions if your annual profits are above PS5,885 or Class 2 & 4 if your annual profit is above PS7,956. At State Pension age you'll no longer have to pay National Insurance.

QI applied for some life and critical illness cover about four weeks ago. The provider says they are still waiting for my medical report from the GP. Does it normally take this long? A Unfortunately yes. The standard turnaround time tends to be at least four weeks but it may be worth a call from you to speed the GP up a bit too.

Thanks to our independent financial advisers - The Money Map (0800 848 8250) and PMI's John Stewart (0800 018 3751). For independent advice send an SAE to Your Money Independent Advice Bureau, Daily Mirror, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AP. Please give your age, income, family circumstances and details of financial products you want advice on, along with your phone number. Or email marked "advice".

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 4, 2015
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