10th February 2020

State Pension top-ups surge

Figures recently released by HMRC have revealed a sharp rise in voluntary National Insurance Contributions (NICs) over the past couple of years as people seek to top up their State Pension record. Chance to boost your pension In 2018/19, the total value of voluntary ‘Class 3′ NICs amounted to £119.3m; in comparison, the figure was […]

Work for yourself? Make your pension work for you

Self-employment offers many benefits: being your own boss and having the flexibility to choose your working hours being but a couple of examples. But when it comes to pensions, those who work for themselves are finding they’re at a disadvantage. Research7 has revealed that, although 74% of self-employed people think it’s important to save for retirement, […]

Older people lack suitable housing options

Around 7.2 million over-65s would consider buying a bungalow, showing a strong demand for single-storey homes among the older population. With only two million bungalows ever having been built in the UK, however, it’s clear that demand far outstrips supply7. As our population ages, more thought needs to be given to the provision of housing […]

4th February 2020

Don’t sell yourself – or your contents – short

Recent research has revealed that we could be undervaluing the contents of our home by £115 bn6 – meaning that millions of people across the UK may not have the right level of cover for their possessions. Contents insurance covers anything in your home that isn’t fixed down (think furniture, electrics, clothes, toys, books etc.). Over […]

University challenge of digs and tuition

In recent years it has become more widely accepted that university isn’t the only route to satisfying and rewarding employment. Apprenticeships and vocational training are among the other paths available; and there are many instances of success in business by those who entered a workplace direct from school and worked their way to the top. […]

29th January 2020

What future awaits the new £20?

At a launch event during October, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney revealed the latest in the Bank’s new series of polymer banknotes, a £20 featuring the artist JMW Turner. Cash no longer king The polymer notes are certainly more resilient and secure than their paper predecessors, but isn’t the cashless society gathering pace and […]

Pension inequality starts at birth

In recent years, the gender pay gap has been a rather hot topic. However, the difference between the pensions savings of men and women – or gender pension gap – is perhaps less discussed. By the age of 50, women have accumulated an average of just £56,000 in pensions savings against £112,000 for men4. Girls […]

Yes, you CAN be a homeowner if you’re self-employed

Don’t believe us? Keep reading for some handy tips to help you get on the property ladder while enjoying the benefits of working for yourself. Getting a mortgage is hard enough these days but being self-employed adds an additional layer of complexity. So much so, in fact, that over a million self-employed Britons believe they’ll […]

28th January 2020

Residential Property Review – January 2020

EXPERTS’ PREDICTIONS FOR 2020 – ‘CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC’ The Conservatives’ general election win and increased certainty on the direction of Brexit have led property experts to predict growing confidence in the housing market in 2020. However, their optimism is cautious, according to researchers at Savills who have predicted a 1% rise. The Royal Institution of Chartered […]

Property Market Review – January 2020

WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON FOR COMMERCIAL PROPERTY? After a turbulent 2019 (particularly for retail), Savills has made some predictions for what 2020 could hold for the commercial property market. They fall into three main categories: overseas investment, office development and the future of retail. As a result of renewed clarity on Brexit, Savills suggests that […]