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medusa

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About medusa

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  1. 31. 2 kids, partner works for Sky - nothing special, just driving round and intalling / trouble shooting. I work 4 days a week as a teacher and have my own business on the side. Bought a house 2 years ago in a fairly posh borough near Birmingham (yes, they do exist). Had to put a 15% deposit down but have also been overpaying so we only owe £125k which is manageable. I'm from "down south" and I see a real difference between people living round here (almost everyone owns their own house - I was "old" amongst my peers at work to buy mine) and people living home counties / London where houses are just too expensive for even joint "normal" wages.
  2. OR...they will announce a massive increase in the state pension - £1m per annum. Can be drawn on reaching the age of 120. OR...they will wait until the "30 years of stamps needed to qualify" change has worked its way into the system for a few decades and people have planned this around looking after their children / ageing parents, then they will announce they are changing it to 50 years, starting immediately. OR (as you mention) it will just be replaced by means-tested benefits: income support etc, both "packaged as a gift from the government" and sold using "why should a cleaner at HSBC pay tax to pay the chief exec's state pension" type reasoning.
  3. I have started so many messages for this thread - all of which gleam with incandescent rage, and many in which it is almost impossible to avoid swearing! All I can safely say is - this is the trigger, Labour. You will not be forgiven for this.
  4. As scary as it may be! Why wait for prices to fall? Surely we could all club together and buy a big plot of land, nearish to a city (for employment), and build our own houses? People with building skills could offer those for *free, *in return could be subsidised with food, rent paid, etc by those that would like to live in our haven but who lack building skills. We could work out what it would cost for materials and divide it equally, or according to the plot size you require. Benefits: no builders' mark-up, builders to live on-site afterwards so no shoddy work, no estate agents fees or negotiations with deluded "but I added a conservatory so it's worth a fortune" sellers, oh yes...and CHEAP HOUSES! What do you think? I can offer 1 roofer + cash from myself (no building skills) 1 electrician 2 plumbers (all wanting their own houses, and currently laid off).
  5. They've had this "£10 per child per day" criteria for a while now. The number appears suspiciously rounded enough to not appear to be the result of any precise calculation. Also - £10 per day for one child - perhaps, but if you have 6, 7 or 8? £80 per day? £560 per week? That's almost £30k per year - so if you don't make enough to spare £30k p.a. on the kids then you are officially below the poverty line, or am I missing something?
  6. ...and one further update - we have an offer of a mortgage from Abbey, who were not in the least bit concerned about £2.50 per week student loan payments.
  7. I always wonder about this sort of scenario - my daughter is coming up to 3, and I would love to home educate her. I could take on another 4 / 5 kids her age and charge their parents £4k p.a to make up for the loss of my wages. I'd have to get help with the D&T side of things though - I did my 2nd PGCE placement in a primary school and I had to make a pop-up story book with Yr4 kids. I was imagining perfectly-crafted pieces of awe-inspiring art... I got sellotaped cardboard and levers that didn't work and looked suspiciously like giant, red penises.
  8. Thanks to everyone who took time to reply! Basically since I last posted on this thread our "long-term" landlord has decided that fixing falling down walls will cost too much, so we have been given our 2 months notice and he has sold our (rented) house. I've taken your advice and this morning saw an independent mortgage broker, but am also looking at alternative houses to rent if we cannot get a mortgage. We would be happy enough to rent for the next year or so, but the selection of nice enough / cheap enough houses in our target area (B90) is minimal to say the least.
  9. That's probably true, but do you know where I could access "teacher mortality" research? I've seen Steve's figures before, and they are fairly well-known "facts" by teachers, however the DCSF believes that life expectancy for teachers is higher than the average for the general population (see response commentary to "life expectancy of teachers on retirement" : http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations/downl...port%20rev4.doc
  10. It was changed from 1/80, to 1/60 accrued for each year worked recently, I think in exchange for increasing the age of retirement (65 instead of 60). They did this as very few workers were able to achieve the "full" pension (many women worked/work part-time for years whilst raising a family), I know when Bucks LA changed from 1/80 to 1/60 the average "gold-plated" pension was about £2.5k p.a. (all LA workers). I saw the figures for teacher pensions recently and if I recall rightly the average pension taken last year by retirees was around £9k for females and £12k for males.
  11. Although I disagree with the accuracy of your "facts" (retiring at 50? The 2/3 final salary takes 40 years to accrue so this alone makes that age unlikely, unless you happen to know more 10 year old teachers than I do, and it does take 6 years for you to be on £30k!), I agree that asking for a 10% increase is just plain ridiculous, and makes the profession look both greedy and insensitive at a time when we enjoy greater job security than most others. Agree with scrapping SATs - very detrimental to primary school children as English / Maths / Science is ALL that many schools do in Year 6.
  12. That's not harsh at all, and I'm not throwing my toys out...was just surprised that they included the whole lot, when everything I've read previously suggested they only took it into account the way lettingslady states - and I am happy for them to do it that way! I just cannot see why they think that something that costs me (the minor earner!) about £10 a week is a reason to turn down a mortgage. I'm especially surprised given that student loans are only going one way - it doesn't matter how dedicated you are at paying it off - if you have a £30-40k student loan debt you will be paying it off for decades (as per main forum thread!) - another reason then for houses to crash even faster, and for even longer.
  13. Thanks for the suggestion, and it's prbably a sensible one, but my thinking is, in the current climate we will need as big a deposit as possible, so I don't want to spend that money paying off my student loan. Advice on here and MSE does seem to be that most mortgage companies do not take the outstanding student loan amount into consideration - so I think I will keep saving hard for another year and choose one of those lenders (or if not, then fingers crossed property prices will come down far enough so we can buy on partner's income alone).
  14. It's negligible in that I earn only a couple of thousand over the repayment threshold, so paying my student loan has no real impact on my take home wages - my partner is the major earner as I am part-time as I look after our child - he has no student loan. Yes it will take forever to pay off, but will also never severely affect my income (as I am on a pay scale, I will pay more each year, yet I will be taking more home as the SL repayments are a percentage of my income). Edited to say: I didn't mean the amount of student loan I owe is negligible! It isn't!
  15. We weren't really looking to buy quite yet - more just putting the feelers out to see what we could borrow. Planning to buy next Easter - although if they insist I need to pay off my student loan first, this will take it to Easter 2020! Quite depressing actually.
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