by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Expat Investor : September 2007
HSBC's research has found that women are less prepared for retirement than men. Ian Martin, head of pensions & retirement income for HSBC Insurance, considers some of the reasons why pension apathy is stronger among women. He tells Expat Investor, "It has been well documented that women are falling short of ensuring they have adequate retirement provision in place and we have found that six out of 10 women are not currently contributing to a pension scheme. "A key reason for this seemingly lacklustre approach to retirement planning is a lack of understanding of exactly when -- and how -- women can pay into a pension. We found that 44% of HSBC respondents thought they had to be working to make pension contributions and only 36% were aware that anybody can contribute to a pension on behalf of somebody else. "Current pension reforms indicate that by the time a 27-year-old women reaches the age at which she can claim basic state pension, she would be entitled to around £135 a week, but only if she has made National Insurance contributions for most of her life. "At HSBC we are working hard to get the message across to everybody that retirement planning should start sooner rather than later and we are seeing positive signs that people are taking pension provision more seriously - but as current research shows, there is still a long way to go." STATISTICS AND ANALYSES Women must prepare financially for retirement Two fifths of Brits want to buy property abroad £10bn a year spent on the hidden costs of moving homes A medley of statistics and analyses revealing much about our responses to saving, investing and spending our money. Is money the last taboo? Does size matter? We 'd rather talk about sex and health than money, new research from Scottish Widows reveals. It seems that money is fast becoming the nation's most uncomfortable topic, with nearly one in ten of us refusing to tell anybody at all how much we earn. Nearly nine out of 10 of us keep our salary a secret from our friends and two out of three of us don't even tell our families how much we get paid. The survey also reveals that couples are happier discussing health issues than they are discussing money -- nearly one in five people is uncomfortable discussing salary, savings, and investments with their partner, and avoid it if possible. Similarly, 75% of people admit to feeling uncomfortable discussing money issues with friends, and are twice as happy to talk about relationship worries and health problems. Wo rk is the one place where most of us are actively discouraged from talking about how much we're getting paid, yet the study reveals that men are almost twice as likely to share salary secrets with their work colleagues than they are with their mates -- one in five men will happily disclose their salary to people they work with. The survey also reveals that more than a third of us do not know exactly how much our partner earns and can only give a rough estimate -- with 5% of couples unable to give even a ball-park figure. Mike Hoban, Customer & Brand Marketing Director of Scottish Widows, says, "As a nation, we've become increasingly liberal -- we are happy to talk to our loved ones about sex, relationships and health problems, but despite this modern trend in honesty it seems that money is now the topic we avoid. It's no surprise that the nation is under- saving and under-preparing for the future when money is clearly such an uncomfortable subject. If you really can't face discussing money with people you know, it might be a good idea to seek professional financial advice." Over two-fifths of Britons (42%) are interested in buying property abroad or moving abroad, according to new research from Bank of Scotland International. When asked where they would most like to live in the world, Britons ranked Australia in the top spot, with 10%, followed by New Zealand at 9%. France topped the European destinations, with 6% of people wanting to move there, followed by Spain at 5%. Of those surveyed, almost three- fifths of people (59%) who would most like to live in Australia were under the age of 45, with just 16% over the age of 65 years. Of those Britons who would most like to live in France, over three-quarters of people (76%) were over the age of 45, with just 3% under the age of 25 years. In total, over two-fifths (42%) of respondents had considered moving or buying a home abroad. Almost one half (44%) of these people were below the age of 45 years, whilst almost two-fifths (39%) were aged between 45 and 64 years of age. Four per cent of people surveyed already owned a home abroad, and two-fifths of these were under the age of 45 years (40%.) One in five people (19%) owning their own home abroad was over the age of sixty-five. To ny Wilcox, managing director at Bank of Scotland International, comments on these findings: "It is the younger generation that continues to be attracted to moving abroad, and Australia and France are clearly popular destinations. "Living, working or retiring abroad can mean a whole set of lifestyle changes, including an impact upon your financial affairs. Expatriates have different financial requirements, and when moving abroad it is important to have the right products and services in place." on relatives for that extra help (5%). John Barker, Head of Mortgages at The Co-operative Bank, comments, "As house prices have continued to increase it is important for people to look at the bigger picture in terms of costs. Hidden costs that are not budgeted for can soon mount up, and by having a contingency fund in place it will enable people to be fully prepared for any eventuality. " Although UK house prices are No matter how generously large or painfully small people's pay rises or bonuses may be, nearly eight in 10 (79%) of us will have already mentally spent the extra cash even before it hits our bank accounts. Research from Alliance & Leicester Savings reveals that of the four and a half million workers who will receive a cash bonus this year, 40% will spend the lot, and although the average amount received last year was £500 or less, more than one in 10 of those who don't save admit they would never dream of saving their bonus -- regardless of how big it was. Receiving an annual bonus is always something to look forward to, and workers across the country will inevitably have had the 'watercooler According to a new study by The Co-operative Bank, the average household in Britain spends £23,800 on the 'hidden' costs of moving house over their lifetime, which equates to more than the average UK salary. As the main focus of a move is often on the house price itself, these hidden costs, which include all the extra expenses -- such as solicitors' fees, stamp duty, removal costs and estate agents' fees -- can often be underestimated, despite the fact that, collectively, they add up to more than £10bn per year for the total population. Wo rryingly, despite all the hidden expenses involved with moving, only half of those questioned had a contingency fund in place to meet these costs. Other home movers get themselves deeper into debt by taking out further loans or borrowing on credit cards (15%), whilst some people are still relying gossip' well in advance about which holiday, handbag, gadget or credit card bill the extra cash will be spent on. The Alliance & Leicester Savings survey found that fewer than one in 10 people actually save their whole bonus. And it seems Brits do no better when it comes to putting away the extra money received in pay rises; despite any good intentions, more than half find pay rises tend to get swallowed up by day-to-day spending. More than a third of those who don't save say they'd need to get a pay rise of 6% or more before they would even consider putting some away. While there could be an argument about pay rises only covering the rising cost of living, the survey reveals that the most popular reason people cited for not saving their bonus was that the amount was perceived not to be big enough to make a real difference to their finances. Although a one-off bonus may not make a real difference on its own, saving part of any windfall, when you are lucky enough to receive one, could soon turn into a sizeable savings pot for the future. continuing to rise, it seems that the majority of people today are not prepared to make sacrifices in order to afford the house that they want (57%). Where people are making sacrifices, over a quarter forgo holidays abroad (28%), whilst a fifth give up eating out (21%) or buying new clothes (18%). However, one in 10 people are so determined to afford the property of their dreams that they make much larger personal sacrifices, such as changing careers, or putting off starting a family. The Co-operative Bank's new website provides help and advice for people who are looking to move. The new site, www.co-operative bank.co.uk/movinghome, contains the latest information and links on everything to do with moving house -- from mortgage rates and legal advice to finding out how much your house is worth and where to find a local removal firm. September 2007 EXPAT INVESTOR 5 10-minute snapshot of UK banking Every 10 minutes UK banks pay out more than £3 million through cash machines, the British Bankers' Association shows in its latest annual statistics. The 24th Annual Abstract of Banking Statistics sets out the scale of one the UK's most globally successful business sectors. The Abstract shows that in every 10 minutes banks: distribute nearly £3 million in cash through cash machines. process 25,000 cheques, 102,000 automatic credits and 123,000 plastic card payments. increase support for small businesses by £81,000. receive £750,000 from customers for safe keeping. approve mortgages worth more than £4 billion. contribute £190,000 towards the UK's balance of payments and pay £175,000 in tax to the Exchequer.
July August 2007