Monthly Archives : September 2016

Insurance Advisers

Have you found your forever home?

Have you found your forever home?

When you think about your dream home – the one you can see yourself growing old in – what do you imagine it looks like? A modern architectural masterpiece built of glass and metal, or something more old-fashioned and cosy? If you asked your friends and family what their ideal ‘forever’ home looks like they will probably all have very different ideas.

What does your forever home look like?

Whether you’re fortunate enough to be on the lookout to buy your forever home, or you’re thinking of doing up your current home to make it one you won’t ever want to move from a recent survey has revealed some interesting statistics:

Top of the must-have list for UK home buyers is off-street parking, whereas one of the ‘dream’ features is a garage – despite reports suggesting we rarely use our garages to park our cars.

Marketing your forever home

If you’re selling your home, you can make it more marketable by appealing to someone’s idea of a forever home. Converting an office or junk room into an extra bedroom can make it more attractive to families. You could also convert your downstairs cloakroom or the cupboard under the stairs into a toilet or wet room and use potted plants on patios or driveways if you haven’t got a big garden.

What do you think a forever home is?
  • 61% of the people surveyed think their forever home is the one they’ll grow old in
  • Only 10% think it’s something they can currently afford
Where should it be?
  • 26% want their forever home to be in a village
  • Only 8% think their forever home will be in a big city
Do you live in yours?

33% of 18-24 year olds think they’re currently living in their forever home compared to 43% of 35-44 year olds believe the same

[gem_quote style=”5″]If you are thinking of improving your current home, or you’re looking to buy or sell a property, please get in touch to discuss your mortgage needs.[/gem_quote]
downsizing your home

Bank of mum and dad

With rising house prices outpacing income an increasing number of young people will borrow from parents and family in order to get onto the property ladder.

The 10th largest mortgage lender

The combined amount which parents and grandparents will be prepared to gift or loan their children to help them buy their first home is estimated to be £5bn. This puts them alongside the 10th largest mortgage lender in the country, Clydesdale Bank, which lent the same amount in 2014.

Research from Legal and General estimates the “Bank of Mum and Dad” will be involved in approximately one in four UK mortgage transactions this year, showing the extent of how borrowing from family members is supporting the housing market. The risks of borrowing from Mum and Dad However, as well as the obvious benefits, Legal and General suggests people from less advantageous backgrounds will be increasingly squeezed out, effectively widening inequality in the housing market.

They also caution that the “Bank of Mum and Dad”will, at some stage in the future (they estimate 2035), come into a funding crisis, caused by unexpected care costs for parents and grandparents living longer. The problem is exacerbated for families in London who have been known to contribute more than half their net worth on their children’s house purchase.

Other investment options for your children

There are more ways to help your children financially than contributing to their first home, but whatever approach you take it’s important to start early. By saving for your children from an early age (even perhaps before they are born) you can help put them in a better financial situation for their adulthood.

If you would like advice on choosing the right savings and investment options for you and your children, please get in touch today

injury

Financial back pains

Financial back pains

Back pain is a common problem that affects most of us at some point. In 2014/15 9.5 million working days were lost due to musculoskeletal disorders including back pain. To put that figure in perspective that’s just over 26,000 years of lost productivity. In some cases the back problem will be temporary and the sufferer will recover and return to work, but conditions vary enormously in their severity and can occur at any time.

Preventing back pain

How you sit, stand, lie and lift can all affect your back. When you think about how much time the average person spends sat at a computer, it’s important to be aware of your posture in order to help prevent injuries.

One of the biggest causes of back injury, particularly at work, is lifting or handling objects incorrectly. When moving an object at work or home you should:

  • think before you lift
  • start in a good position
  • keep the load close to your waist
  • avoid twisting your back or leaning sideways, particularly when your back is bent
  • keep your head up
  • know your limits
  • push rather than pull
  • distribute the weight evenly

From spinal surgery to physiotherapy or joining a gym, the treatments are many and varied. Exercise is an excellent way of reducing the chances of suffering from back pain and walking, swimming, yoga or pilates can all help to improve flexibility and strengthen the back muscles. That said, we are all still susceptible.

What if you do slip a disc?

Being off work with a bad back could wreck your financial plans, so it’s important to have adequate income protection in place. This replaces a proportion of your income if you are off work and can help to relieve the pressure on you and your family so that you can concentrate on recovery rather than worry about the next bill.

[gem_quote style=”5″]If you haven’t protected your income, or it’s been a while since you reviewed your cover, please get in touch.[/gem_quote]
sports-insurance

School sports day..

School sports day..

Are you one of the one in three parents who worry about the risk of serious injury from school sports? New research from MetLife has found one third of parents with school age children are concerned about serious injuries from sport – and there are real reasons to be worried.

The research shows in the past five years:
  • around 17% of parents have had to take a child to Accident & Emergency units because of injuries sustained whilst playing sport at school
  • one in six have had to visit GPs for advice on sports injuries one third of parents have had to seek medical or dental treatment for children due to school sports injuries.

Parents are also becoming increasingly keen to see action from schools and sports bodies to help reduce the risk of injury:

  • one in five say they would be happy to back a ban on full contact rugby in schools
  • over one third want better recording of injuries suffered as a result of school sports
  • 40% want children to be able to opt out of rugby
  • one third would support opt-outs for hockey and football
Should contact sports be banned?

The benefits to children of playing sport are huge. Aside from enjoyment, it improves physical fitness and health, and builds self confidence. However, it is clear that a substantial number of parents are worried about the risk of serious injury.

The Sport Collision Injury Collective, a group of doctors, academics, sports scholars and health professionals, have called for a ban on tackling in rugby. These calls may be controversial and many will argue that playing contact sports is a great way to develop team work and a broader set of skills.

School sports aren’t the only culprit either. MetLife reports over two-thirds of their claims relating to children on their accident and hospital cover policy are for broken bones. With the summer holidays around the corner, children are likely to be outside playing with friends and taking part in summer activities and sports clubs.

Although we can’t wrap our children in cotton wool, we can take preventative measures and give them the tools they need to avoid unnecessary risks, as well as putting protection in place in the event an accident does happen.

If you’d like information or advice about accident protection cover, please get in touch

Insurance Quotes

The risks of being underinsured..

The risks of being underinsured..

Most of us wouldn’t think twice about protecting our home, car, TV or smart phone – we even insure our holidays and pets. But there’s one aspect of protection that too few of us consider – what happens to our homes and our livelihoods in the event we have an accident, serious illness or die?

What’s your greatest financial asset?

What would you say if you were asked what’s your greatest asset? Your home? After all, it is one of the biggest financial commitments we undertake. Think again. If you calculate how much income you’ll receive between now and retirement, the reality is that your income is your greatest asset. So have you protected it in the same way you’ve protected your home?

New research suggests in most cases the answer is no, with 64% of households surveyed having no income protection in place. And this is despite nearly half of co-habiting couples in the UK claiming they are reliant on both salaries just to make ends meet. In fact, 34% admitted they would have to make substantial changes to their lifestyle if one partner was unable to work:

59% would have to cancel holiday plans

21% would cancel gym memberships

10% would ask family for additional help with childcare

13% would have to make a drastic change such as downsizing their house

More shockingly around 12% would have to visit food banks just to keep food on the table.

Protecting your income

Every year almost a million people find themselves unable to work due to an accident or illness. Taking out income protection provides you with a tax-free income if you’re sick or injured and unable to work. It could help you pay your mortgage/rent, utilities bills or even any medical bills you may incur.

Protecting against the unexpected

While losing your income could put you and your family in a difficult situation, what if you or your partner were diagnosed with a critical illness? The last thing you’d want to worry about would be your finances, especially as a study by Macmillan Cancer Support shows that the average family of someone receiving treatment for cancer has a monthly shortfall of £200 – even if they slash their spending to the essentials.

80% of us consider broadband to be essential, but less than 39% think that financial security for dependants in the event of a critical illness is. Critical illness cover or life insurance may not sound like priorities for you, but the financial buffer they can provide at such a difficult time could be invaluable. There are a number of affordable protection products that give you financial peace of mind in the event of accident, injury, or worse.

Talk to us about protection insurance tailored for your circumstances

Financial Advice

The value of financial advice

Everyone is unique. We all think – and work – differently. Some people are good with words, and others, numbers. The same might be true when it comes to planning and managing our finances. But however different our approaches might be, we probably all have similar goals for our money.

Whichever way you come at it, it’s important to think about your financial goals and what you would like to achieve with your money. This is especially true if you have other people who rely on your income. This is where we come in. As professional financial advisers, we can make this job easier and add real value when it comes to protecting your family, investing wisely, moving home or planning for a comfortable retirement.

Getting to know you

When advising you about your finances we want to understand you – not your money. We’ll take the time to find out where you’ve come from, where you are now and where you would like to be in the future. Together, we can design a plan to help you better manage your financial affairs, save tax efficiently for retirement, and ultimately achieve your financial goals – whether short, or longer-term.

Ensuring contingency along the way

Throughout your life, you’ll need to find answers to many different financial questions:

  • how much should we offer on a new house?
  • when can we buy a new car?
  • what’s our holiday budget?
  • shall we start our own business?
  • can we help fund our children’s education?
  • can we support our children with their wedding costs and house deposits?
  • can we make our money work harder and smarter?
  • when can we retire and how much will we need to support our lifestyle?
  • when we’re no longer here, who would we want to benefit from the wealth we’ve created?
  • We can help you answer these questions and make the right decisions to benefit you and your loved ones now and in the long run.
Planning for the unexpected

Not everything in life is straightforward and things don’t always go to plan. We can help you prepare for the unexpected and put in place some financial safety nets in case anything happens to impact your family or disrupt your plans. Think about:

  • whether your family could cope financially if either you or your spouse/partner died?
  • how much income you would have if you were taken seriously ill and couldn’t work?
  • whether your business would survive without you or your key people?
    how your lifestyle may change if you had an accident and couldn’t do the things you do today?
  • By getting to know your priorities and goals and understanding the bigger picture, we can piece together a plan to ensure the things that matter to you most – your family, income, business, or maybe all three – are protected leaving you on track to achieve your financial goals.

For more information on how we can help you create and achieve your financial plan, please get in touch.