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the Irish NewsFinancial advisers expect further changes to state pensionsthe Irish NewsTHERE are rumblings on the horizon in the world of pensions again this week, this time with regard, not to your personal or workplace pension, but with regard to your state pension, as financed by your National Insurance contributions. A new research ...
This is MoneyTONY HETHERINGTON: Between the Rock and a hard place in binary fiascoThis is MoneyIf you lose, you lose 100 per cent of your money. Over the ... K.G. writes: I decided to take my tax-free lump sum of £7,103 from my pension, after being given figures by pension company NPI and annuity adviser Just Retirement. Imagine my ... If you ...
NEWS.com.auPlan to starve the credit card 'monster'NEWS.com.auThis situation has been able to develop because contrary to popular wisdom — even among money experts and regulators — there is no law setting a minimum monthly repayment. Inquiry deputy chairman ... Leading consumer advocate Kat Lane, principal ...Big Debt Switch: ASIC calls for higher minimum credit card repayments so ...Herald Sunall 10 news articles »
The Guardian'Worrying trend' as older people cash in pension pots to pay off rising debtsThe GuardianMortgage debt is the most common form, with more than one in three still paying off their home loan; 14% of retirees hold credit or store card debt, and 6% have unsecured loans. Charities are concerned pensioners will be worst ... Pension freedom ...
Reuters UKDespite raids, Macau pawn shops still help flout currency rulesReuters UKThe transaction, which took less than 10 minutes, shows the ease with which Chinese gamblers in Macau, which generates more than five times the gambling revenue of Las Vegas, can use credit cards to skirt China's currency restrictions, which limit ...and more »
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To Save or To Clear the Debts?

You may have noticed that your savings aren’t doing a lot to pay their way these days. Pensioners are badly hit as many of them use the interest from their life savings to pad out the weekly amount they get from the state. Many mortgage payers are happy as their payments have come down, but just about everyone else with savings is in the situation where the real value of their money is falling because interest payments aren’t as high as inflation.

 The average rate for UK instant access accounts including current accounts was around 0.17% at the end of February and we’ve had another cut in the Bank base rate of half a percent since then. Despite that, with credit hard for many people to come by; credit limits being cut by the card companies and worries about job losses, if you can, it’s best to have some savings on hand for an emergency. And the latest figures show that people are saving more. There’s nearly £1,000 billion of savings in our banks and building societies and another £90 billion in National Savings.  

In terms of interest you may as well keep your money under the bed – but then that’s probably the first place a cash strapped burglar is going to look. Fixed rate bonds pay slightly higher rates than instant access accounts. National Savings and Investments products are increasingly popular because people want to know their money is safe whatever the interest rates and they have a 100% government deposit guarantee. It’s never been more important to shop around and don’t be slow to move your money to higher interest rate paying accounts. Keep a close check on any accounts you do have to see what interest you are being paid. The financial pages of the newspapers are good for advice on which accounts are paying the best rates but these change frequently. 

Once you’ve got your emergency fund in place if there’s any money left over think about clearing expensive debts. There’s no point in having a lot of money sitting in an account getting 2.5% interest if you’re paying off loans or credit card accounts at interest rates in the high teens and 20’s. Homeowners are paying off their mortgages too. Some who’ve seen their monthly payments fall are continuing to pay at the old rate so that they clear their mortgages more quickly.

If you have a lot of savings think about getting some financial advice. Your money may not be doing as well for you as it could and a good Independent Financial Adviser can be worth his or her weight in gold. Visit more than one and choose the advice you feel happiest with. Family, friends and colleagues may be able to recommend advisers they’ve used and found helpful.

If you’re lucky enough to have money to put aside it’s time to take stock and nurture it so that it can nurture you back in the future.

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