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Expat Investor : March April 2009
BACK TO BASICS A financial fresh start the UK population don’t pay into a pension (52%). Furthermore, 70% of the population overestimate the state pension – on average, people think it is double the actual amount of £4,700. 85% of people overestimate their achievable desired retirement income, even though they are already overestimating what they are entitled to from the state. ? Start early the best rewards. On average, the UK population believes it is wise to visit a financial adviser by the age of 30, with the majority (54%) feeling that such advice is most beneficial between the ages of 20 and 30. Consumers want to retire at the age of 58 Karen Crowshaw, Managing Director of Halifax Financial Services says, “By making a few small changes today and seeking the appropriate advice, you could make some significant financial gains in the future. “In light of the recent financial climate, it has never been more important to seek out the best product deals available.” Always shop around The majority of people will have at least one of the following: current account, mortgage, credit card. Now is the time to make sure you have the best deal available for you. Put interest rates at the top of your shopping list. Don’t sit back and do nothing. Never has it been more at the forefront of people’s minds to save and plan for a secure future. However, consumers are still missing out on a wealth of focused advice available to them. Research from The Halifax offers a signpost for all those standing at a financial crossroads. ? Look around for advice in 2009. One in two consumers (53%) chose friends and family for financial advice rather than visiting their bank or a financial adviser. ? Need for advice widely acknowledged. Over half the population (51%) believe that seeing a personal financial adviser (PFA) would benefit their current finances, however, only one sixth (16%) have visited one in the last year. Pensions are a key concern and almost half of the population (40%) wish to seek advice on pensions over a variety of other financial products. ? Make your pension your financial resolution. Over half Make your current account work harder Just because your money is in your current account doesn’t mean it can’t be earning money. Cut the costs of your spending Look for 0%. If shopping is done on an expensive store card or a card with a high APR you could end up NatWest offers impartial guidance completely impartial. To further ensure impartiality, the Bank has strengthened its MoneySense advisory board by inviting influential leaders from educational organisations, charities and other independent bodies to participate. Throughout 2009, Royal Bank of Scotland Group says it will be investing an additional £4m in MoneySense reflecting the importance it places on heightening efforts to increase financial capability and inclusion through the economic downturn. Leading charity, Consumer NatWest has become the first high street bank to offer free, impartial financial guidance to everyone, including customers of other 8 EXPAT INVESTOR ? banks and people without bank accounts. The MoneySense service provides consumers with the opportunity to speak with March/April 2009 independently trained advisers in 1,000 NatWest branches across the UK where more than 2.2m people interact with bank staff expatinvestor.com every week. The bank emphasizes that this money guidance service is not linked to sales of products and is Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) has been working with NatWest providing intensive training to 1,000 advisers from the bank's customer service officers who are completely service oriented and not linked to selling products. paying much more than you bargained for. Save, save, save Set up a standing order One easy way of getting into the saving habit is to set up a standing order so that funds can go straight from your current account to your savings account as soon as you get paid each month. Become a regular saver Choose an account that will regularly sweep up surplus funds into a savings account. Move closer to mortgage free day Overpay on your mortgage. Making small overpayments on your mortgage each month will reap huge rewards over the longer- term. For example, on a £150,000 mortgage taken out on a variable rate of 5%, overpaying £50 per month will reduce the term of your mortgage by two years and a half years as well as save you over £12,000. Overpaying by £100 per month on the same mortgage will reduce your term by four years and a half years and reduce the amount repaid by over £22,000. Think ‘pension pension pension’ According to recent Halifax research, almost half of the population (40%) wish to seek advice on pensions over a variety of other financial products. It is critical to start your pension planning as early as possible in life and seek the appropriate financial advice. Only one in three (36%) of the public realise that financial advice is available to them from their high street bank.
January February 2009
May June 2009