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Archive for the ‘8 Money Matters’ Category

With the exception of the small (and much expected) rise in UK interest rates, almost nothing has changed since my last article, and that was written as a result of there not being a great deal to talk about! In the last two months since that article, there have been the usual spats between the President of the United States and Kim Jong Un. The Brexit negotiations are still grinding on, with little or no visible progress, and no signs of any joined-up thinking on the matter. (more…)

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For my piece, or the greater part of it this month, I will be taking you back to the 1680’s. Why, you may ask, and with good reason. Basically, because there is only so much one can say regarding the current economic climate; and I thought it might be interesting to have a look at something rather different. (more…)

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Greetings, Noble Readers of Whistler-shire. Firstly, an update on my column from the last issue. My friend’s Macmillan Cancer nurse (wonderful people) contacted his mortgage lender, on his behalf, and advised them of his circumstances. His mortgage was approaching the end of its term, and he had been forced to spend his savings – with which he intended to redeem the loan – on other essential expenses. They have agreed to extend his mortgage, on an interest-only basis, allowing time for his treatment, and in the fullness of time, a change to Equity Release. Should things not go as well as hoped, the value of his property is significantly higher than the outstanding debt. A great weight off his mind, he can concentrate now on getting well. (more…)

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It is funny how, sometimes, unexpected events can suddenly change one’s course of action. I wasn’t going to write this piece: I was going to write on a completely different subject, but a chance meeting changed my mind.

I was walking past an old haunt, and decided to look in, briefly, hoping to have a quick word with the manager on a business matter. Just inside the door was an old friend who I have known since arranging a mortgage for him, some 30 years ago. I greeted him warmly and enquired as to his health. “So, so,” he replied and asked if I could spare a few minutes for a chat. The Boss wasn’t available so I sat down for a word with my old pal. Commenting on his not being his usual chipper self, he told me that he had just been diagnosed with cancer, and asked if I would help him to “get all his ducks in a row.” Needless to say I agreed I would, and said how sorry I was to hear his news.

“No-one should be sad,” he said, “my life has been a great adventure. I have travelled the world; seen countless beautiful things; met many wonderful people; and seen many of my heroes playing beautiful music.” (his passion) “Millions of children are born with little or nothing to eat or drink, and die without even having had the benefit of a basic education.” It is unlike me to be lost for words, but I was, for a minute.

You may wonder what all this has to do with finance, but my friend asked specifically about Equity Release to provide some extra cash, to finance his ‘to do list’ and in these circumstances it is important to have a current will in place, to ensure that one’s estate is distributed in the desired way. Another useful thing to consider is putting some assets (principally policies) in a Trust. This will sidestep the sometimes tortuous process of probate, and ensure that these assets go straight into the hands of the beneficiaries.

End-of-life planning isn’t just for the twilight years. It is something that can start relatively early, principally when we first have financial or family liabilities. In these cases, it is an unexpected death that is protected against by way of Life Assurance policies, but as the years pass the inevitable becomes more so. Moreover, it is worth remembering that in the UK people are five times more likely to protect against death than critical illness; and critical illness policies outsell Income Protection polices, again by five-to-one. The single, most incorrect statement ever must be “It’ll never happen to me”, but that seems to be the subtitle to most people’s lives, in some way, shape, or form. However, too often ‘it’ does and, far too often, no protection is in place to help to deal with the effects. I would be amongst the first to advocate not spending so much on insurance and committing such an amount to savings and investments that you can’t afford to have a life. But it is as vital to allocate something towards protection provisions, as it is to save and invest. Life can be too short!

Sorry if I’ve been a bit low-key this time. Next issue I shall be full of the joys of Summer. Until then, seize the day!

David Foot

 

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Lost for Words

Dear Reader, I have a confession to make. I don’t know what to say. Rare, indeed, for me, as sometimes I find it difficult to stop! I am starting to feel that the world is approaching ‘Trump Overload’ and because of that, I shall say no more on the subject – this issue. (more…)

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Here we are again in a New Year, and as I finish off my piece for this issue the 45th President of the United States is being sworn in, and a couple of days ago the Prime Minister told us that “Brexit was Brexit”, and it was likely to be hard! It remains to be seen exactly what flavour Brexit we will get, and in any event, it will take considerably longer than 2 years before we fully understand how the economy will fare outside the EU. Some things will undoubtedly change, but the UK has a long history of making the best of any situation, and in the long-term I’m sure we will be fine. There will be challenges, some domestic and, probably, more international. A number of European elections loom this year; and the rise of populism, which contributed to the EU referendum outcome and swept Donald Trump to US election victory, could pose a threat to the eurozone in the years to come. (more…)

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11chappatte-master768-v2Well, the unthinkable has happened: what was previously considered to be the comic scenario, has come to pass, and Donald Trump is the President Elect of the United States of America. The people have spoken, and the political establishment seems to be in retreat. It took most of us by surprise, but perhaps recent referendum results ought to remind us of the potential perils of complacency. It appeared to all the world that the US Presidential Election was Hilary Clinton’s to lose, and she managed to do just that. Despite being considered by many as a loud-mouthed bully and bigot, Trump seems to have harnessed the increasing public sentiment against the status quo and the desire for change. (more…)

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