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As two of the common cancers affecting men and women – Prostate and Ovarian cancer - are the focus of March awareness campaigns, AIG outlines how its unique Cancer Cover insurance policies provide vital financial and emotional help when it is needed most.  
Chartis Direct has launched a new Heart Attack and Stroke insurance policy, which gives cash payouts on diagnosis of either a heart attack or stroke.  There is a choice of cover level, giving £15,000, £25,000 or £50,000 on diagnosis.
A new survey has revealed that £454.60 is the average amount of money that people would lend to a friend suffering from a long term illness such as cancer. This equates to just less than a week’s extra pay, based on average gross weekly earnings of £458*.
A leading debt management company is reporting a rise in the numbers of its customers who cite loss of sleep as a direct result of debt anxiety as a major catalyst for contacting the company for help.
Annual average household expenditure is estimated to be £35,978. The corresponding figure for a household where the main occupant is 65 – 74 is £23,711 and £15,139 where they are aged 75 and over
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HIGH EARNERS DETERMINED TO SPEND SPEND SPEND IN 2011

 £100K+ earners expect to increase overall spending despite pressures on income03-02-2011
Annual household spending by those earning over £100,000 is expected to increase 7.8% in 2011 as high earners plan to spend their way out of the recession reveals new research from HSBC. This is twice expected inflation for this year.
HSBC surveyed 1,000 UK consumers with household income of over £100,000 to ascertain their expenditure in 2010 and their expectations for 2011. This research shows that the overall spending will increase from £81,060 in 2010 to £87,380 in 2011.
Overall, the area set to face the largest proportional increase in spend this year is transport and travel, which is expected to rise by almost £4,700 in 2011 (64.8%). This is followed by home improvements (35.3%), clothing (28.3%) and household maintenance (25.9%). Debt repayment is also expected to increase 13.3%.
The largest cutbacks in expenditure will be on one-off purchases (-34.6%), such as cars, gifts and weddings, health and wellbeing (-23%) such as spa days and beauty treatments and recreation and leisure (-21.3%) such as days out and purchasing new technologies.  
Transport and travel tops spending
Spend on transport and travel will rise significantly among high earners in 2011, mostly spurred on by essential costs such as an expected 58% increase in the cost of commuting and the rising cost of diesel and petrol fuelling the cost of running a car by 41%.  The largest proportional increase is on non-essential travel with an expected 125% increase in expenditure on flights in 2011.
Home is where the heart is
The biggest non-essential areas for increased costs are for home improvement – with expenditure on general home improvements alone expected to increase by over £4,000 (319%) in 2011. Extending their current property is also a key area of expenditure for high earners in 2011 as both loft (45%) and basement conversions (up 41%) seeing large increases in the next year as many high earners seek to improve instead of move.
Pampering, parties and pets feel the pinch
The most significant proportional cutbacks for the affluent are on luxury and one-off high expenditure items such as spa and beauty treatments (-67%), weddings (-64%), birthday parties (-58%), jewellery (-48%) and wedding gifts (-46%). Other large cutbacks will include children’s tutors (-40%), vehicle purchase (-36%) and holiday home purchase (-33%). The highest percentage cutback in spending in 2011 will be on horse and pet purchase (-73%),
 
Top 10 biggest % increases in expenditure in 2011
1.    General home improvements (319.4%)
2.    Flights (125.0%)
3.    Commuting (57.7%)
4.    Utility bills such as electricity / gas / water (50.6%)
5.    Cleaner (47.0%)
6.    Loft extension (44.5%)
7.    Non-branded footwear and accessories (43.2%)
8.    Car maintenance (including fuel) (41.2%)
9.    Basement conversion (40.5%)
10.    Household service charges (40.3%)
 
Top 10 biggest % cutbacks in expenditure in 2011
1.    Horse and pet purchase (-72.7%)
2.    Spa & beauty treatments (-66.7%)
3.    Wedding (-64.2%)
4.    Birthday / anniversary party (-57.7%)
5.    Jewellery / watches (-47.8%)
6.    Wedding gifts (-45.5%)
7.    Children’s tutors (-39.6%)
8.    Vehicle purchase (-35.7%)
9.    Second property purchase (-33.2%)
10.    Funding a gap year for children (-33.0%)
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