The death of retirement – what retirement might look like in the future

Back when the state pension was first introduce in 1908, the average life expectancy for men was 54 and for women 61. Given that the state pension was only available at the time to people over the age of 70 that meant that many didn’t live long enough to receive it. However, now times have changed significantly – we are living longer. A lot longer. Girls born in 2016 have a life expectancy of 93 and boys 90. The potential requirement to fund pensioners for 30+ years has meant the state pension is on the downward slope. So, relying on the state pension to provide 100% support during the golden years is just not an option now. Why don’t we have enough to cover retirement? There are a number of reasons why so many people don’t have enough cash set aside for retirement. The increasing costs of owning or renting property are eating into our budgets and leaving little left for retirement savings Real pay levels have been stagnant for some time so many incomes are just not keeping up


How to buy a used car using car finance

The UK market for used cars is thriving. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, 2016 was a bumper year for the used car industry and set a record for sales. 8.2 million used cars were sold last year, which represents a 7.3% increase on the year before. So, the market is booming – and for many people the simplest and fastest way to secure the right second hand car is with car finance. But what are the options if you’re looking for used car finance and are there any risks in doing so? Used car finance – the market If you’re looking for a cost effective car purchase then the chances are you have considered a second hand vehicle. The market for used cars is very different today to 20 years ago. Back then, if you were looking for a used car, then you were most likely going to be buying from an individual or a dealership handling genuinely second hand cars that had seen relatively intense road usage. Today, it’s a different story. When it comes to buying bran

What needs to happen to improve people’s personal finance skills

When it comes to personal finances, many of us assume that we’re just naturally quite good at it. Until, that is, you get to a point in life when something happens to demonstrate that you’re not. For example, when the budgeting goes awry or you realise that you’ve totally forgotten to add Stamp Duty on to the price of a property purchase. If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where you feel like a bit of a financial dunce then you’re certainly not alone. A survey by pollsters Ipsos Mori shows that many Brits are way off the mark when it comes to having a realistic perspective on personal finances, from the cost of raising kids to how much you’re likely to need for retirement. And the survey says… The survey by Ipsos Mori, conducted in 2015, highlights some fairly serious knowledge gaps within the UK population. For example, those surveyed thought that the total cost of raising a child was around £50,000. Most recent studies peg this closer to £229,000 per child

How to pay for Home Improvements of different sizes

Home improvement is a goal for many of us. Whether it’s essential repairs, or something altogether more creative, there always seems to be something worth changing or fixing up. Home improvements cost money – however, the value that they can add to a property often more than justifies the initial expense. If you’re planning to improve the property you live in, and you don’t have great wealth with which to do it, how are you going to pay for it? Funding home improvements Repainting a room (£0 £500) Depending on the size of the room this is a job that could very easily be taken on by a homeowner – i.e. with no cost incurred at all. However, if you’re very busy or not that keen to pick up a paintbrush then it can be done for a couple of hundred pounds. How do you pay for it? In terms of financing this minor home improvement savings, a credit card or a payday loan are all small, simple sources of cash. Fitting double glazing (£2,000 £5,500) Double-glazing is the kind of ho

How to protect yourself from being ripped off by car hire companies

The car hire industry in Europe and the UK is going through a pretty tough time right now. Consumer confidence is at an all time low, with a 30% rise in complaints about car hire practices in the past 12 months. Plus, one of Europe’s major rental companies is now the subject of an investigation into systemic over charging of customers. Of course, not all rental operations are the same – but if you’re looking to hire a car then you need to make sure you protect yourself from being ripped off. What’s going on in the industry? Problems in the car hire industry have got to a critical point. The Spanish Tourist Board has even said that the issues with hire cars and hidden fees, for example, are damaging the reputation of the country. Consumers have less confidence in car hire companies than ever before and it’s not helped by the fact that some of the biggest names are currently in the dock for bad practices. Europcar, for example, is under investigation by Trading Standards for s

All about the Citizen’s Advice Service and how it can help you

Citizen’s Advice helped 2.7 million people last year. Formerly called the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, it is a service that offers free, confidential advice to anyone who needs it. Everything from a potential infringement of consumer rights, to money problems or issues with housing come under the Citizen’s Advice remit. If you feel like your consumer rights have been infringed, you’re involved in a dispute, or you need specialist advice and don’t have the resources to pay for it, Citizens’ Advice is a good place to start. Citizen’s Advice – a bit of history Established in the 1930s, Citizen’s Advice was created to help the British people with their problems. The first 200 Citizen’s Advice Bureaux opened just after the start of World War II in 1939. These first organisations were generally run by upstanding members of the local community and they were instantly popular. By 1942 the UK had more than a thousand Citizen’s Advice Bureaux and the increase in numbers contin