Jump to content


Photo

Mr & Mrs Average In Ni


  • Please log in to reply
937 replies to this topic

#376 Shotoflight

Shotoflight

    HPC Senior Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,891 posts

Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:18 AM

UK economic growth revised down to 0.3% contraction

http://www.bbc.co.uk...siness-17533800

It also said real household disposable income had fallen by 1.2% in 2011, the biggest decline since 1977.

#377 Shotoflight

Shotoflight

    HPC Senior Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,891 posts

Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:08 AM

Two thirds 'put life on hold' because of the downturn

http://www.telegraph...e-downturn.html

The research, by MoneySupermarket.com, found that those aged 18-34, often considered the ‘prime age’ as far as important life changes are concerned, had put the most on hold.

Seventeen per cent have put off buying a house (four years on average) and 10pc have delayed the their wedding, by an average of three years. In addition, 8pc have been forced to postpone having their first child by an average of three years.

The top areas people have put on hold are travelling (32pc), home improvements (27pc) and short term saving (21pc). The average delay to the age of retirement for those that have had to put off retiring is five years


Retirement incomes fall by £13,000 since Millennium

The average income that workers can expect from their pensions has fallen by £13,000 a year since the Millennium, actuaries say.

http://www.telegraph...Millennium.html

While a 30-year-old in 2000 could have expected a pension of two thirds of final salary, he or she is now in line for just 39pc of salary. Assuming that the average salary on retirement is £48,450, this equates to a fall of £13,000, according to the Alexander Forbes National Pension Index.

Even a year ago the worker could have expected 45pc of final salary. The figures are for someone saving 12pc of salary into a defined-contribution pension scheme. The pattern of pension income expectations is similar for other age groups, the company added.

Pension savers have been hit by a toxic combination of turmoil in the financial markets, rising longevity and falling annuity rates. Workers who don't belong to generous final salary schemes – which are dying out in the private sector – must build up a pension pot, which is used to buy an annuity or income for life at retirement.

The value of their pots has been hit by falls in the stock market, while annuity rates have fallen sharply as a result of declining yields on government gilts.


Retired Britons are £100bn in debt

http://www.telegraph...bn-in-debt.html

Retired Britons are sitting on a staggering £96.4bn in personal debt. The average retired person has £8,120 of personal debt, according to figures gathered by MGM Advantage, a retirement income specialist.

Men are reportedly suffering a greater debt burden, owing just over £9,000 on average in comparison to the £7,350 owed by the average woman. With only 57pc of the retired population debt free it is evident that a substantial proportion of pensioners across the country are facing considerable financial difficulties.

There are almost 2.5 million retirees with relatively small debts of between £1 and £5,000. However more than 900,000 people owe in excess of £25,001 – including 180,000 retired people who have personal debts of over £100,000.

Worryingly, more than half a million people do not even know whether they are in debt or not. Regionally, the retired population of Wales owes the most, with the average person owing almost £13,900. Pensioners in the East Midlands owe the least, on average registering £4,164 in personal debt.

Aston Goodey, director of MGM Advantage, has described the figures as “alarming”, adding that “as the cost of living continues to put pressure on household finances, many retired people will feel under growing pressure to take on debt to fund everyday living”.

#378 tinbin

tinbin

    HPC Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 403 posts

Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:08 AM

Up to 360,000 families may be forced to sell homes this year as endowment policies fail to deliver

Up to 360,000 families may be forced to sell their home this year because record numbers of endowment policies have failed to deliver.

In many cases, these homeowners are seeing endowments fall £100,000 short of what they were promised.

Many who have saved loyally for 25 years will get a payout of little more than £25,000 — far short of the capital they owe on their home.

With banks and building societies increasingly reluctant to lend to those approaching retirement, many will be forced to sell their homes or dip into savings to clear their mortgage debts.

These homeowners will have seen their properties increase in value by up to 250 per cent since they bought them. But tapping in to their equity means leaving the family home, and often moving to a different area.

Up to two million may end up in the same situation over the next five years.

It comes as Martin Wheatley, a director of the Financial Services Authority, raised fears that up to 1.5 million homeowners in their 50s with interest-only mortgages are sitting on a time-bomb and won’t be able to pay off their loans.

Patrick Connolly, from independent advisers AWD Chase de Vere, says: ‘Payouts have fallen over the past few years and this is likely to continue. The risk of savers having to sell their home to pay off the home loan is increasing.’

Insurance companies will see a record number of policies mature this year, a result of the endowment mortgage sales frenzy in the late Eighties.

More than six million policies were taken up, bringing in annual premiums of more than £2.3 billion for insurers.

They were sold to home buyers as a way to pay off their mortgage — and provide an extra lump sum if investment returns were good.

Homebuyers paid interest to the lender but none of the capital they had borrowed.

Instead, they put monthly payments into stock market-linked with-profit policies.

These were supposed to smooth out the stock market returns and add an extra bonus each year — called a reversionary bonus — to boost the value of the policies.

Policyholders could also expect an extra final bonus at the end of the term.

But the promised investment returns did not materialise, leaving homebuyers with a shortfall between what their policies will pay out and what they still owe their mortgage lender.

In just the past five years, payouts on policies have fallen by as much as 44 per cent. Five years ago, a maturing 25-year policy paid out £42,133 with Norwich Union.

On a similar policy maturing now, policyholders can expect £23,465. The figures are based on a £50-a-month saving by a man who took out a policy nearing his 30th birthday.

Aviva — which includes the old General Accident, Commercial Union and Norwich Union — has 71,000 endowments maturing this year. It expects just one out of every 100 policies to meet its target.

An Aviva spokesman says: ‘We’ve been through poor investment periods in the past five years and this is reflected in the payouts.’

At Scottish Amicable, part of Prudential, only 3 per cent are expected to come up to scratch, leaving more than 34,000 with a shortfall. Five years ago, 95 per cent met their target.

Standard Life has 106,000 endowments maturing this year. Nearly 104,000 — 98 per cent — will show a shortfall. Five years ago, 88 per cent of its policies were unsuccessful.

At Legal & General, 40 per cent of policies missed their target five years ago. This year 86 per cent of the 41,000 maturing — or more than 35,000 homebuyers — will see less than they expected.

The Financial Services Authority demands firms write to policyholders each year to tell them how their policies are progressing.

You have three years after receiving your first warning letter in which to complain you were mis-sold the policy — for example, if you did not understand the underlying risk of stock market investment.

But nearly half of those registering complaints with the ombudsman have missed this deadline.

Martyn James, from Financial Ombudsman Services, says: ‘Some consumers told us they thought they would be covered by final bonuses, only to find that these were low or not made at all. Others thought things might improve if they held out for a bit.’


http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz1qPOx26ay

#379 tinbin

tinbin

    HPC Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 403 posts

Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:12 AM

Rise of rental Britain: More families forced to rent as buy-to-let homes double in a decade

The number of people in rented property will continue to rise over the next few years

A new report reveals how most people renting in Britain are ‘trapped renters’ who would prefer to buy their own home.

The study highlights the misery facing soaring numbers of people who cannot afford to buy at a time when average asking prices have hit £2million in one part of the country.

The average home costs £163,000, but the average salary of a full-time worker in Britain is just £26,000.

The report says the number of families who are privately renting has ballooned - and will continue to rise over the next few years.
Under-pressure banks have tightened lending rules following the financial crisis of 2009, demanding bigger deposits and being more selective about who they will lend to.

Official figures show one in six families are renting the home that they live in, the highest number since the 1970s.

More...Bank of England warns house price rises and mortgage crackdown will shut out first-time buyers from property market
Families' home-buying dreams shattered as banks get tough with new parents

But the report, from the estate agency Savills and the property website Rightmove, predicts it will rise even higher to one in five in just four years’ time.

By 2016, it expects 20 per cent of all households will be privately renting their home, with many finding that their take-home pay is wiped out by the monthly rent bill.

It says: ‘Rental Britain is here to stay.’

http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz1qPPtfJVu

#380 Shotoflight

Shotoflight

    HPC Senior Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,891 posts

Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:26 PM

Britain struggles to kick its addiction to consumption

http://blogs.telegra...to-consumption/

In Britain, the consumer has been in retreat for some years now. Disposable incomes have been squeezed by relatively high inflation, and consumption has been further hit by much tougher credit conditions. The crisis has also had a big impact on behaviour. Equity withdrawal has shrunk dramatically and the savings rate has improved. In aggregate, households are paying down debt.

The upshot is that what was previously the big driver of UK output, household consumption, has now become one of its biggest contraints. In nominal terms, UK consumption has been rising in line with other advanced economies, but because we have had much higher inflation (largely the result of devaluation), in real terms we've lagged by some distance.

In some respects, this is deliberate. Policymakers constantly and rightly talk of the need to rebalance the UK economy away from consumption to net trade and investment, so that Britain can begin to pay its way in the world again. The irony is that if the economy is to show any growth at all this year, much of the heavy lifting is again going to have to come from the consumer.

In its Budget forecasts, the Office for Budget Responsibility marginally increased its forecast for growth this year to 0.8pc, but it significantly shifted its estimate of the underlying makeup of this growth away from business investment to consumption.

If disposable incomes are growing again by the end of this year, this resumption in consumption growth is possible, but it depends crucially on the outlook for inflation, which with record prices at the pumps is not abating as quickly as hoped, and it raises serious questions about the holy grail of a more balanced UK economy.

#381 Shotoflight

Shotoflight

    HPC Senior Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,891 posts

Posted 28 March 2012 - 03:02 PM

Households face biggest squeeze since 1977

Households are facing the biggest squeeze on their disposable incomes for more than 30 years as official figures showed Britain's economy is even weaker than expected

http://www.telegraph...since-1977.html

The drop means that every household in the UK had around £430 less to spend last year than it did in 2010. The gloomy outlook means that households will “feel the pinch” for some time as the economy remains sluggish, experts warned

Households are likely to remain under financial pressure for months to come.

Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said that the fall in household incomes reflects the “nasty” combination of low earnings and high inflation.

While the cost of living rose by 4.5 per cent over 2011 as a whole, the amount that people earned only increased by just over half that amount, meaning that people’s money stretched less far.

Mr Archer said that inflation has started to fall, but added that the pain for households will continue in the medium term.

“The squeeze on consumers have eased recently, but they are likely to feel the pinch for some time to come,” he said.

Mr Archer said the “hope” is that inflation will be down to 2 per cent by the end of this year, meaning that it would be running just below earnings growth.

However he said that this outcome depends on what happens to oil prices, which are currently high and therefore “a particular worry”.

#382 Shotoflight

Shotoflight

    HPC Senior Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,891 posts

Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:25 PM

Households using 11pc less energy than in 2007 but paying 25pc more

http://www.telegraph...-25pc-more.html

Figures from the Office for National statistics show UK household spending on energy consumption increased but usage has fallen.

However, the statistics show that since 2007, UK energy consumption in volume terms (seasonally adjusted) has fallen by 11.3 per cent . The chart shows households cut back in 2009 and in 2011 but are still spending more than in 2007.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “In the last six years the average household energy bill has rocketed from £660 to £1,252 a year – a £592 or 90pc increase. This is an astonishing hike that has put households under a lot of pressure. As a result, consumers have been trying to cut back or ration their energy use – in fact, this last winter alone, more than eight in ten households cut down or rationed their energy use because of cost.

“Unfortunately, as this new information from ONS shows, many have been running to stand still with the efforts they are making to cut back on their energy use being outpaced by the hike in the cost. What this demonstrates is the importance of now making our homes energy efficient as this will have the biggest impact on our usage and our bills. Consumers now have to understand that the only way energy bills are going is up and energy efficiency as one of the key ways to protect ourselves from these higher costs.

Edited by Shotoflight, 28 March 2012 - 09:26 PM.


#383 Shotoflight

Shotoflight

    HPC Senior Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,891 posts

Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:43 AM

70% 'at risk' over boiler checks

http://www.belfastte...s-16137562.html

Seven out of 10 Northern Ireland households are at risk because they fail to service their boilers annually, a survey said.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is among hazards posed if units are not properly maintained, electricity supplier Power NI warned.

Spokeswoman Jenny Livingstone said: "Skipping a service could lead to a false economy as ultimately having a boiler serviced can save money by ensuring the heating system is working efficiently, prolonging the life of the boiler and saving money in the long run."

In a survey of 250 customers, 69% of Power NI customers said they have not undertaken the recommended annual boiler check. Out of these, 20% have not had a service in the last two to five years, with 12% claiming to never have had their boiler inspected.

Power NI's survey also revealed that almost one in four customers (24%) were not aware that boilers should be serviced on an annual basis


See below the usual get out clause EA's stick on every house for sale.

Please note we have not tested the services or systems in this property. Purchasers should make/commission their own inspections if they feel it is necessary.

#384 tinbin

tinbin

    HPC Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 403 posts

Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:32 PM

Mortgage time-bomb for one in seven

New research has revealed the horrifying extent of the interest-only mortgage time-bomb. Unbiased.co.uk has discovered that 1.6 million people (one in seven of those with a mortgage) have an interest-only mortgage, and no idea how they will pay off the debt.

And that's not the most worrying finding.

It was always understood that a percentage of mortgage holders in the UK were storing up trouble, by having an interest-only mortgage and no plans as to how they were going to repay it. However, the size of that percentage is shocking.

"With incomes squeezed, it's not surprising that many people are trying to save money by sticking to interest only mortgages, but this is a potential ticking time bomb" said Karen Barrett, chief executive at unbiased.co.uk.

Older homeowners
Even more worrying is the profile of the individuals leaving their mortgage repayment to chance. Barrett explains: "What is really worrying is that almost a third of this group are either in or coming up to retirement age (over 55), while more than half are between the ages of 35 and 55. Many will be forced to downsize or continue to pay large mortgages well into retirement, when income is tighter than ever. The goal of becoming 'mortgage free' is becoming ever more elusive for some."

In addition, with lenders now clamping down on interest-only mortgages, and slashing Loan-to-Value requirements to around 50% - 60%, many people currently on interest only deals could easily find that no similar options will be available to them when they come to remortgage in the future.

http://money.aol.co....r-one-in-seven/

#385 Shotoflight

Shotoflight

    HPC Senior Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,891 posts

Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:32 PM

Nosiness got the better of me and, suspecting the Bel Tel was going to crash the Mr & Mra Average party, I invested 70p for todays 'hard copy'.

Lo and behold but isn't the tele running an exclusive "We're £600 poorer a year" splash on the front page followed up by analysis on pages 4 and 5 including a contribution from John Simpson.

Its mainly a price rise v tax and wages piece. Much the same as this thread, really.

Simpson comes to the £600 figure for a "typical average wage" earner of £24k

Simpson states that to keep the same standard of living this year as last, the typical earner would actually be £1220 worse off not including unusual costs or behaviours outside the cost of living index.

Simpson then subtracts the more generous tax allowance increase (from next april, not this) and allows for a 2% pay rise - both dubious for this example I feel - to arrive at the £600 figure per earner.

There is also case study of a 26 yr old (local) journalist in London (no jobs here) on said £24k who has just opened an account to save for a house - with £50 - and expects to buy 24 yrs from now (slightly tongue in cheek). If she lost her job, she couldn't pay next month's rent.

The author of the main piece, Claire McNeily, sums it up thus - All of this against rising unemployment and falling property prices paint a very gloomy economic picture for people in NI.

So, it appears, at long last, both Simpson and the Tele 'get it' (when they want to!).

Now all they need to do is make the leap regarding the connection to house prices, where credit, and especially mortgage availability, become explicitly linked to affordability.

But I suspect Mr & Mrs average have already made that leap.

(And to think, not a mention of rising interest rates).



Oh and there's a 24 page homefinder full of ads and aspirational cac, alongside one seventh of a Titanic poster.

Well worth 70p.

#386 2buyornot2buy

2buyornot2buy

    HPC Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,704 posts

Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:32 PM

SMI is an injustice. It keeps pensioners in their large houses, bought for buttons and pays for the IO mortgage with some left over for capital.

Politicians just won’t chuck Granny out on the "street" or god forbids they had to downsize from the 4 bed detached.

I really am starting to get bitter as a single (not married anyway) male earning a decent wage I seem to be getting bent over by successive governments.

#387 Shotoflight

Shotoflight

    HPC Senior Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,891 posts

Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:35 PM

SMI is an injustice. It keeps pensioners in their large houses, bought for buttons and pays for the IO mortgage with some left over for capital.

Politicians just won’t chuck Granny out on the "street" or god forbids they had to downsize from the 4 bed detached.

I really am starting to get bitter as a single (not married anyway) male earning a decent wage I seem to be getting bent over by successive governments.


And they have the cheek to live longer, making you wait longer for your pension! :ph34r:

#388 2buyornot2buy

2buyornot2buy

    HPC Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,704 posts

Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:44 PM

And they have the cheek to live longer, making you wait longer for your pension! :ph34r:


Did I sound like a Nazi???

#389 Shotoflight

Shotoflight

    HPC Senior Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,891 posts

Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:57 PM

Did I sound like a Nazi???


Just windin'. ;)


On a serious note;

Between the granny tax and their heightened rate of personal inflation alongside savings (if they have any) devaluation, many must be getting it tough too. It's hard to generalise though. I'm sure quite a lot live around the poverty line, or below it, too.

to make matters worse (for them) I think the male female equalisation of state pension from 60 to 65 (and beyond) is going at speed.

At least the sun's out :D

Edited by Shotoflight, 29 March 2012 - 01:58 PM.


#390 2buyornot2buy

2buyornot2buy

    HPC Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2,704 posts

Posted 29 March 2012 - 02:05 PM

Just windin'. ;)


On a serious note;

Between the granny tax and their heightened rate of personal inflation alongside savings (if they have any) devaluation, many must be getting it tough too. It's hard to generalise though. I'm sure quite a lot live around the poverty line, or below it, too.

to make matters worse (for them) I think the male female equalisation of state pension from 60 to 65 (and beyond) is going at speed.

At least the sun's out :D


You've depressed me now. :(




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users