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Money gifts which aren’t just for Christmas: pass on wealth now

Inheritance planning might not be on your mind right now – or at least until you see old Aunt Agatha dozing off over her sherry on Christmas Day. But actually the festive season is a good time to start thinking about passing on wealth, for both gifters and giftees. It’s important because there’s ple...
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Should you put all your pensions in one pot?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had lots of different jobs in your career. As a journalist, I moved publications every three or four years, leaving a trail of little pension pots behind me. Keeping tabs on them all was a headache so, about 15 years ago, I lumped them all into the work-pl...
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These six simple steps are all you need to sort your finances

If you believed everything you read in the papers, we are all going to financial hell in a debt-fuelled handbag. We spend too much, save too little and will end up starving as pensioners rather than relaxing in retirement. Much as I love a sensational headline, I’m beginning to think that scare stor...
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Why don't you invest?

We've all heard about the gender pay gap. Sadly it's not just an issue with salaries. The effect of men and women being on an unequal footing extends further than the workplace. By earning less, women can’t save as much as men into a pension. They also don’t get as much in employer contributions. Th...
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Climb every pension mountain

Here’s a nice, big figure to spoil your Wednesday. The typical person will have to save £260,000 just to have a basic income in retirement. And that basic income is just £9,000 on top of the state pension which if you qualify for the full one is currently worth about £8,500 a year. So that’s a total...
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New baby or not, nanny needs a pay rise

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their new arrival! And commiserations perhaps to the royal nanny, Maria Borrallo, who has just seen her current workload increase by 50%. According to my quick perusal of this morning’s headlines, the Cambridge household won’t be engaging any m...
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State pension: what will I get?

My head is no longer in the sand – I am going to get a state pension forecast. And so should you. Here’s why and how. Most women have fractured work records, often thanks to breaks from paid employment to care for children or elderly relatives. And this can mean that they won’t get the full state pe...
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Help to Buy Isa v new Lifetime Isa: which is better?

Brace yourselves! A new financial product is available today. Yes, I’m overwhelmed with excitement too at the launch of the Lifetime Isa (or Lisa). Have you seen the size of the government bonus on this thing? Really, I haven’t had this much fun since they invented self-invested pensions! Unfortunat...
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The number of women working past 70 has doubled – do you want to join them?

I try not to picture myself in old age: middle age is bad enough. I suppose I’ll have many more wrinkles, a lot more backache and (hopefully) a couple of grandchildren running around. In the best-case scenario, I’ll be drinking beers on a beach in Thailand. Let’s not visit the worst-case scenario. I...
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Single ladies, put a ring on it (or at least sort the paperwork) this Valentine’s Day

What’s the best treat for you this Valentine’s Day? Roses? Perhaps a candlelit dinner with champagne? Or how about an expression of wish that you should get your partner’s pension benefits after he or she dies? Well, it’s a tough choice I know. I’d be tempted by the bubbles but, having given it...
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Why you must sign up to child benefit even if you’re not eligible

Got kid(s)? You must sign up to child benefit for them, even if you’re not eligible, or risk losing thousands of pounds of your state pension later in life. It sounds crazy but if you don’t register, the tax man doesn’t know you have children. And if you take time out to look after them, you won’t g...
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