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Expat Investor : January February 2009
STATISTICS AND ANALYSES How the over-50s rely on the internet Liar, liar, pants are on fire A medley of statistics and analyses revealing much about our responses to saving, investing and spending our money. New research from Alliance & Leicester Current Accounts has revealed the extent to which the over 50s rely on the internet to help organise different areas of their lives, from their finances through to their love life. These days, nearly three-fifths (58%) of over-50s use the net to manage their finances, a further two in five (41%) book their holidays online, and almost one in five (18%) regularly log on to social networking websites such as Facebook and Friends Reunited. With so much use of the internet, it is not surprising that online security is important to the over-50s. While six in 10 (59%) of the over-50s say they are happy to buy products online, more than a half (51%) say they need to be sure a site is safe and secure before buying anything, and more than a quarter (27%) will only shop online at UK websites. It seems that location matters, too, when it comes to using the internet. While two-thirds (64%) feel confident using online banking in the safety of their own home, only 5% feel safe checking their bank balance at work, and only 2% would risk logging on to their online banking at a shared or public computer, such as a library or internet café. The over-70s have the least confidence to carry out their banking online, with almost one in three (31%) saying they have ‘no confidence at all’ banking online, compared with only one-fifth (21%) of those aged 50–59. Those over 70 are also more wary of giving their bank details online, and more than a third (35%) will only pay for items online with a credit card, compared with just (27%) of those aged 50–59. Expat Money– the definitive personal finance manual for Brits abroad THIS BOOK COULD SAVE YOU THOUSANDS OF POUNDS EXPAT MONEY is the unique personal finance guide for Brits abroad. It explains simply and clearly how to make the most of your money whenever and wherever you want. THIS BOOK COULD SAVE YOU MANY THOUSANDS OF POUNDS. EXP EXPAT MONEY The Definitive Personal Finance Manual for Brits Abroad HANNAH BEECHAM & JOHN O’MAHONY Topics covered include: ? currency exchange ? offshore banking ? banking abroad ? best buy savings products ? offshore mortgages ? expat investment opportunities ? insurance and health cover ? non-resident status – the expat’s best-kept secret ? dealing with the tax authorities - home and away EXPAT MONEY offers a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of expatriate personal finance and answers those essential money questions you’re sure to encounter. Whether you’re leaving to work, to retire or buying a second home, don’t leave the UK without it! About the author Hannah Beecham – the expat expert – is the most experienced and longest- serving journalist and editor in the expatriate finance sector. She was a founding member of the Financial Times magazine, The International, and for 11 years has been the editor of Expat Investor, as well as offshore finance editor of the International Express. EXPAT MONEY – the only guide to expatriate personal finance matters is published by Summersdale (paperback, £8.99) and available through all good bookshops and internet booksellers or through www.summersdale.com 4 EXPAT INVESTOR ? January/February 2009 expatinvestor.com More than one in three people admit to having misled a partner, friend or relation about the state of their finances, and the global downturn could be encouraging more and more of us to be ‘economical' with the truth about money, according to research from AXA. With world leaders coming clean about the state of the global financial system, a leading psychologist is claiming that now is the perfect time for the rest of us to confess our own financial misdemeanours and stop being in denial about our finances. The AXA research unearthed deceptions ranging from fibbing about the size of your pay packet to concealing the purchase of luxury items. One man confessed to emptying his children’s savings account and pretending the cash was a bonus. The bonus had actually been cancelled. Psychologist Andrew Kinder says, “In the current climate, concealing expensive purchases or unwise investments from those closest to us is likely to exacerbate the problem. “Coming clean can provide just the emotional spur we need to review all aspects of our income, expenditure and savings. This is the worst possible time to be in denial about your finances. “Unburdening your financial transgressions, even anonymously, can be a crucial first step to taking better control. “There is often much more behind a deception, even a relatively trivial one. You tend to find that when people make a confession they're much better able to deal with these underlying problems.” The AXA study found that people are far more likely to lie about sex and money than they are about anything else. But not all deceptions are to be condemned. Many people lie in order to prevent loved ones from worrying or to remove temptation to spend unwisely. The biggest deceivers are in the 25–44-year-old bracket, with 44% confessing to financial falsehoods. The over-55s are the most honest, with fewer than one in four confessing to dishonesty. “In the current financial turmoil, people may be tempted to conceal the truth about their financial situation,” says Alison Green of AXA, “but they are only deceiving themselves. “With harsh times ahead, people are likely to be in an ongoing cycle of panic and denial. Now is the ideal time to come clean and kick-start a more proactive approach to managing your cash and planning for the future, so you are better placed to weather the storm.” EXPATEXP MONEY HANNAH BEECHAM & JOHN O’MAHONY
March April 2009