Is there life after Help-to-Buy?

The Help-to-Buy ISA is closing to new savers after 30 November 2019. Existing account holders will still be able to keep their Help-to-Buy ISAs, but must claim their 25 per cent bonus (payable on completion of a first home purchase) by 1 December 2030. For nearly four years this ISA has helped prospective first-time buyers … Continue reading “Is there life after Help-to-Buy?”

Life Insurance: Is it time to review your cover?

If you’ve taken out a life insurance policy it’s tempting to cross this important task off your ‘to do’ list, put the paperwork somewhere safe and forget all about it. However, if you don’t review your policy from time to time, you could risk being underinsured, or be missing out on a newer, more cost-effective … Continue reading “Life Insurance: Is it time to review your cover?”

Shortage of suitable homes scuppers downsizing plans

Once their offspring have left home, parents can often find the family house is too big for their needs and expensive to maintain. That’s why, as retirement approaches, many people think about downsizing, and moving to a smaller, easier-to-manage home that’s cheaper to run. However, it seems that suitable properties might not be that easy … Continue reading “Shortage of suitable homes scuppers downsizing plans”

Enquiry launched into leasehold malpractice

For years many homeowners in leasehold properties have been vulnerable to a raw deal, if their landlord chooses not to play fair. A new government enquiry seeks to establish the extent of the problem, with a view to achieving greater protection for homebuyers. Help may be on the way for people who own their homes … Continue reading “Enquiry launched into leasehold malpractice”

Drawdown pensioners unaware of risks, study suggests

A new study by Age UK reveals growing anxiety among pension providers that retirees do not fully understand the risks of drawdown products – which may lead to a future ‘scandal’. Pension freedom has yet to face its toughest test, and the consequences could hit retirees hard, warns a report from Age UK. Although the … Continue reading “Drawdown pensioners unaware of risks, study suggests”

Lifetime ISA investors losing out to high fees

People using the Lifetime ISA to save for a first home, or to boost their retirement income, may be sacrificing thousands of pounds to avoidable management fees. But lower cost alternatives are available. The Lifetime ISA (LISA) has been a godsend for first-time buyers, offering the fastest way to save a deposit for a first … Continue reading “Lifetime ISA investors losing out to high fees”

Financial advice and the fishing rod riddle

Three fishermen, three rods, three price tags, but only one answer. What can fishing teach us about the value of financial advice? *Ding*. The bell rings above the door of Hartley’s Fly Fishing Supplies. Three men enter, all equally determined to win this year’s Lower Kimbleton angling tournament. The first, Andrew, makes a beeline for … Continue reading “Financial advice and the fishing rod riddle”

How to save up a deposit in 6 years (or less)

Saving a deposit for your first home can seem like a mountain to climb. However, if you approach this challenge in the right way you’ll find it can be conquered – just as mountains can be. There’s a cruel paradox at the heart of the housing market, which is that it’s usually more expensive to rent … Continue reading “How to save up a deposit in 6 years (or less)”

Put pensions into renewables, says minister

Climate change poses a financial risk ‘too important to ignore’, according to pensions minister Guy Opperman, particularly for the working generation saving for retirement. Pension funds with a high exposure to investments in fossil fuels are likely to take a hit to their long-term growth, as countries around the globe move towards greener energy sources. … Continue reading “Put pensions into renewables, says minister”

Over £19 billion ‘lost’ in forgotten UK pensions

Failure to keep tabs on old workplace pensions has led to billions of pounds worth of savings being misplaced or forgotten about, according to The Association of British Insurers (ABI). The ABI estimates put the figure at around £19.4 billion, comprising 1.6 million pots with an average size of £13,000. Pension pots can be ‘lost’ … Continue reading “Over £19 billion ‘lost’ in forgotten UK pensions”