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Expat Investor : October 2008
STATISTICS AND ANALYSES salaries, increased demand for items or a decrease in supply which all push prices up. “People are more likely to think about how inflation affects the price of their shopping basket, but not how it affects the value of their savings. “The RPI is one of the measures of inflation and with it averaging 3.98% last year if we don’t put our savings in a tax free account matching or a non tax free account beating this rate then our money will be worth less in the future.” Mr Prout continues: “It appears that an understanding of the impact of inflation and tax on savings increases as we get older. The younger generations, who have grown up in a time when the economy has seen low levels of inflation need to also be aware of the effect of inflation on our savings as well as our outgoings.” Readers can keep up-to-date on the level of inflation by accessing the UK Statistics Authority data directly on http://www.statistics.gov.uk. Wealthy Brits leave billions of goods valuables. Those with larger jewellery collections appear to have been the major target to date. And it seems that many second homeowners are not even protecting themselves with insurance. One in 10 do not have any home contents insurance, with another one in 10 not knowing if their insurance is adequate. Worryingly, many are not even taking basic steps to protect their vacant homes. Just half (48%) have window locks on their property and only one in five (22%) have an alarm fitted – while one in 20 (6%) admit that they have no security measures in place at all. unattended in holiday homes More than £6.3 billion worth of personal goods is being left unattended in Brits’ holiday homes across the UK and abroad, according to new research from high net worth insurer, Zurich Private Clients. The findings show that British holiday property owners have an average of £15,200 of contents in their homes-away- from-home, while some risk leaving more than £100,000 of personal belongings in their second homes. This can cause problems because second home are often left vacant for months at a time. Indeed, warns Zurich Private Clients, infrequent homeowner visits are the biggest reason for homes being left lying empty; two- thirds of those with holiday homes admit to personally visiting their property no more than every three months, and one in 10 stay only once a year. While others encourage family and friends to use their second home, 52% of properties are still left completely unoccupied for a month or more at a time. Zurich Private Clients are also seeing a developing trend for wealthy clients being targeted and burgled whilst in their European holiday homes. This can involve the burglar(s) releasing gas into the air- conditioning system or through an open window, to disable the inhabitants whilst they remove Fast Facts 88002 October 2008 ? EXPAT INVESTOR 5