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Expat Investor : December 2007
STATISTICS AND ANALYSES Britons put £49bn aside for a rainy-day purchase A medley of statistics and analyses revealing much about our responses to saving, investing and spending our money. Money tool from Abbey International For the majority of expats, living and working abroad can be the start of a fast track earning period. Year after year, Expat Investor's own research has shown financial goals are often the main reasons why many leave the UK to work abroad. Put simply, expats want to earn more quickly, save more quickly and retire to a bigger home more quickly. Successful financial planning will be at the core of this lifestyle, but once abroad, how do you conduct your day-to-day banking; how can you pay those bills you would ordinarily pop in the post or walk into a local branch to settle? For many years, expats have had no choice other than conducting their banking by post, but that often meant a bill or a savings cheque might not be processed for three weeks or more, depending on where in the world you were and the efficiency of the local postal service. Internet banking is already changing all of this and is making the expat's life easier, safer and more profitable. Today's internet banking services allow you to carry out all of your basic transactions from the comfort of your own home, wherever you live. It is now possible to pay bills, transfer funds and view recent transactions and statements online. Abbey International realises the importance of providing effective internet banking, having launched their internet banking service several years ago. Customers can use this service to run their financial life and operate all-purpose multi-currency accounts, such as the Gold account. And with savings accounts such as Base Rate Tracker Term Issue 7 paying up to 6.05% per annum gross, building a nest egg has never been easier. With 20 years' experience behind them Abbey International also understands the importance of the human touch. That's why wherever you are in the world, there is also the reassurance of a specialist Customer Relationship Centre in Je rsey where you can talk to well- trained, effective and supportive experts, all of whom understand the expat lifestyle and your specialist requirements when it comes to banking from abroad, whatever the weather. Abbey International has developed a range of accounts tailored to the particular needs of offshore customers, combining competitive rates of interest with the advantage of an offshore base. The Bank is headquartered in Je rsey,which is widely recognised as one of the best regulated offshore centres in the world. www.abbeyinternational.com December 2007 EXPAT INVESTOR 5 Summer 2007 may have been a washout back in the UK, but 14m super saving Britons won't be fazed, since they have plenty of money stashed away to make a rainy day purchase -- some £49bn in total. According to this latest research from Abbey Savings, Britain's super savers have amassed an average of £3,500 each that they are planning to blow in one expensive, single purchase. But what are our super savers planning to spend it on? As many as 9.8 million (34%) are planning to splash out on a luxury holiday, 4.2 million (15%) a new car and 3.9 million (15%) will use the money to refurbish their home. The survey found that 755,000 (three per cent) are saving up for their wedding day, while a further 225,000 (two per cent) will spend it going under the knife of a cosmetic surgeon. Over-65s have saved the largest average amount towards a big 93% of consumers unsure how to avoid ID fraud In a recent survey, commissioned by Callcredit, Experian, Equifax and Fellowes, 80% of consumers claimed to be concerned about becoming victims of ID fraud. However, a staggering 93% are unsure that they are taking the right steps in protecting themselves and believe that they could, in fact, do more. The research also showed that a shocking 72% of those surveyed had themselves been affected or knew someone who had been affected by identity theft. Owen Roberts, identity protection expert at Callcredit says, "The consequences of falling victim to identity theft can be devastating, and while there's a lot of advice out UK 20-somethings banking on inheritance Research by post retirement specialist Tomorrow reveals that, despite many pensioners facing dire financial problems in their retirement years, twenty-somethings in the UK still have unrealistic ideas when it comes to planning for retirement. Kirsty Macpherson, says, "Our research has revealed that, despite warnings from the Government over the pensions gap, and the plan to raise the state retirement age, the UK's twenty-somethings are still not aware of the dangers of planning too late for their retirement." The research, which compared young people's attitudes towards retirement against the reality of those now facing it, reveals that four in 10 people aged 18--24 (39%) say they plan to worry about how to fund their retirement 'nearer the Cheque use halved in ten years APACS (the UK payments association) reports that cheque volumes in 2006 declined at their fastest-ever rate. Fewer than half of all adults received a personal cheque in the last year, as this method of payment now represents just one in 10 of all non-cash transactions. APACS confirms that the number of cheques written by individuals has halved from 2bn to 1bn in the last 10 years. Last year, only 54% of adults made payments using cheques and only 47% received a cheque payment. On average we now write 1.6 cheques a month and receive just one every two months, with half of adults no longer receiving any. For personal payments, cheques have fallen from one in four non-cash payments in 1996, to just one in 14 in 2006. In the retail sector, the decline has been particularly rapid, with cheques accounting for just three per cent of all non-cash transactions. Cheques do remain popular for certain types of payments. Around 23% of all cheque payments are used to pay bills, and 13% of personal cheques are used for person-to-person payments. Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS, says, "... we are not yet predicting the death of the cheque. Although volumes will continue to fall, we forecast that there will still be around 840m cheques used in the UK in 2016 -- if you placed these cheques end to end they would stretch around the world two and half times." there on how to protect yourself from ID fraud, many consumers are still falling victim. "It is impossible to be 100% safe from identity theft, as everyday life leaves countless footprints that a criminal can use to steal your identity. Your birth certificate, driving licence, utility bill, website login -- just one of these things can be the start point for a criminal to begin impersonating you. "It is essential that we all take the simple steps that make life harder for the criminal; shredding documents, protecting your PC, but every bit as important is that we are constantly alert to the warning signs of identity theft. We all need to check our credit report regularly for accounts that we didn't open, if our post goes missing we need to find out where it went and when our statements turn up we should take the time to check them for suspicious spending. Each day that identity theft goes undetected gives criminals endless opportunities to damage your good name. If we are smart enough to do these few things then it is likely we will never have to experience the distress that a serious case of identity theft causes." time'. One in five (20%) people in this age group say they are hoping to inherit money from family at some point as their main means of supporting themselves in retirement. Put together, this represents 59% of respondents who have no plans to save for retirement. This relaxed approach to pension planning comes at a time when nearly a third (27% -- equivalent to 4.5m based on national population data) of over-55-year-olds say their pension funds are so short that they are unlikely to be able to support themselves in retirement. As a result, almost one in five over-55-year-olds (18%) feel they will have to work part-time in retirement, with a quarter (25%) saying they will probably need to release equity from their homes during retirement as a means of financial support. holiday at £5,740, while 18--24-year- olds have managed a more modest average of £963. However,younger people are more likely to be saving up for some miscellaneous goody, with 45% of them currently doing so -- compared to 22% of over-55s. It certainly seems the older we get the less we want. Forty per cent of men are likely to be saving, compared to 31% of females. Men have also saved up almost £1,000 more than their female counterparts, with an average of £3,890 put towards an expensive item compared to the female average of £2,924. Reza Attar-Zadeh, Abbey's Head of Savings comments, "It's heartening to see that so many Britons are prepared to save up for big ticket purchases, especially as so many young people appear to be doing so. Nothing beats that feeling of being able to splash out on something you have saved long and hard to own."
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