Old and young both missing out on advice opportunities

More than half of Brits over 65 are yet to take advice on their finances, despite evidence that advice doubles financial confidence. At the same time, younger generations are failing to exploit advice opportunities. The UK’s baby boomers have largely missed out on the benefits of financial advice, and younger generations are at risk of … Continue reading “Old and young both missing out on advice opportunities”

Woodford funds to wind down – what it means for investors

The UK’s most celebrated fund manager, Neil Woodford, has been sacked following a string of poor decisions. His fund’s failure leaves investors and pension fund members with potentially heavy losses – and many questions. The investment funds managed by Neil Woodford are to be wound up, some five months after their trading was suspended. The … Continue reading “Woodford funds to wind down – what it means for investors”

Annuities: the trickiest pension decision of all?

As Prudential is fined £24m for its former practice of selling annuities to customers without encouraging them to shop around, there are signs that these retirement products are becoming better value – for those who choose wisely. The financial regulator has penalised Prudential for sales practices that occurred pre-2013, for not offering consumers the choice … Continue reading “Annuities: the trickiest pension decision of all?”

People are paying less into their pensions (but more have them)

The good news: pension scheme membership is growing. Not so good: the average level of saving is falling. New HMRC figures show that although the pension message is getting through, many remain unaware of how big a retirement fund they will need. The average person saving into a pension paid in around £200 less last … Continue reading “People are paying less into their pensions (but more have them)”

Investors take steps to protect against a downturn

Fears of a global downturn and other pressures such as Brexit are prompting UK investors to take a defensive stance. Higher-growth equities are being ditched in favour of more stable bonds and gold, which are seeing extraordinary demand. The US-China ‘trade war’, economic slowdown in Germany and worries about a no-deal Brexit have given the … Continue reading “Investors take steps to protect against a downturn”

Raise state pension age to 75, says think-tank

State pension ages are rising across the world, and the UK is no exception. By October 2020 Brits will have to wait until their 66th birthday to start drawing their state pension, and many born in the 60s and 70s will be 67 before they can draw theirs. The final scheduled increase is for 2028, … Continue reading “Raise state pension age to 75, says think-tank”

Virgin boasts the longest fixed-rate mortgage

Super-long fixed rate mortgage deals continue to make a comeback, as Virgin Money launches the first 15-year fixed since 2008.  The mortgage is available for buyers with surprisingly low deposits – but such long deals may not be right for every buyer. The first 15-year fixed rate mortgage in a decade has come onto the … Continue reading “Virgin boasts the longest fixed-rate mortgage”

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?”

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”