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retirement-plans

Money Saved is Money Earned: Beating the Banks

An interesting article published by ThisMoney pointed out that banking customers may be able to save a great deal of money by switching to a more competitive firm. Not only can this equate to £70 pounds by reducing simple fees, but this same source observes that those burdened by overdrafts could save up to £260 pounds every year. Unfortunately, this same survey pointed out that most are simply too afraid of looking for greener pastures.

Ablating Trepidation

One of the main causes for this is that customers fear that such a switch takes a great deal of time and is seen to be risky. In truth, this process is normally quite simple and the fact of the matter is that watchdog agencies such as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) point out that banks do not do enough to cater to the needs of their customers. Still, this same firm found that 37 per cent of all customers have been with their current bank for more than two decades.

Instead, consumers should be proactive and seek life elsewhere if they feel that they have been overcharged, if the interest offered is quite low or if their physical branch has closed. It is their money and they should feel free to do whatever they want with such funds.

The Big Picture

Let’s not forget that making the correct decisions now will help towards retirement schemes in the future as well as the ability to provide for one’s family during times of hardship. For example, what if there is a sudden death in the family? What steps should be taken? While it is up to you do decide how you manage your personal finances, Compare Funeral Plans are happy to guide you along the way so that you can make the most appropriate choices. Never forget that your money is hard-earned and you deserve the bank that provides you with the most personalised services.

Doctor holding a senior patients hand outside in the courtyard of the nursing home

Dying in the United Kingdom: Boasting the Highest Reputation in Terms of End-of-Life Care

Although there has been a great deal of recent attention in respect to the rising cost of funerals within the United Kingdom, those later in their lives still have a reason to be happy that they live in this country. A study published by Economic Insights found that the United Kingdom ranked in the number-one position in terms of end-of-life care out of no less than 80 countries. It is important to take a look at the implications of these findings in a bit more detail.

Reasons for a High Ranking

There were several factors which had been taken into account during this study. Some of the most prominent included:

  • NHS palliative care
  • Specialised staff
  • Community engagement
  • Charity-funded actions

The other top countries were unsurprisingly found throughout North American and Asia-Pacific regions. Australia took second place and New Zealand had to settle for third. Interestingly enough, the United States was ranked ninth below both China and India in terms of end-of-life care. Some cited concerns due to the fact that the populations of these countries were so very large.

The Key of Planning

It has been pointed out that one of the most important reasons for such a respectable ranking arises as a direct result of the number of palliative care workers which are specifically trained to deal with those who are terminally ill. Additionally, the United Kingdom and other top-ranked countries tend to have plans in place. This enables them to evaluate progress and make changes when they may be necessary.

Still Things to Improve

Still, there is always room for improvement. Some experts have highlighted that not every citizen has access to this advanced level of care. Obviously, the wealthy always tend to be better off and it is an unfortunate fact that some citizens are still “falling through the cracks”. Some of the reasons for these continuing challenges revolve around poor long-term planning, a failure of communication between different organisations and inadequate out-of-office care for those who may not be residing in a hospice. It is still absolutely true that the United Kingdom is continuing to improve on a yearly basis.

Less Financial Burdens

One of the key points to mention is the fact that this very same study found that between 80 and 100 per cent of all end-of-life services are paid for by entities other than the patients themselves. So, financial concerns are not nearly as severe as they are in other countries (the United States is a perfect example of this disturbing trend). Since families are less involved with day-to-day monetary worries, a greater standard of mental well-being can be enjoyed by patients and loved ones. This is important for a few key reasons. First, less personal financial obligations will enable families to free up money that can then be allocated to other concerns such as funeral arrangements. Secondly, this very same added liquidity ensures that loved ones will not be laden with massive bills long after a family member passes away. It is therefore quite obvious why the United Kingdom and the NHS health care system as a whole had scored so high within this ranking system.

A Stable Trend?

It should be noted that a similar study was previously carried out back in 2010. The United Kingdom once again took the number-one position at this time. Considering that there were only 40 countries involved with this previous study and that the criteria were less stringent is a clear indication that the government is doing something right. Having said this, there are many reasons to celebrate these latest figures and yet, end-of-days care is not the only concerns that families will face.

Other Burdens

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, the cost of funerals within the United Kingdom is exorbitantly high and these figures are only expected to rise. While end-of-life care may indeed be free (or virtually free) to many citizens, the fact that funerals are now costing more than 7,500 pounds raises a serious question. How can families and loved ones afford to foot such a bill? This is even more pertinent should someone happen to die unexpectedly or leave a great many outstanding debts which need to be paid.

Prepaid Funeral Plans: How and Why?

This is where the power of the prepaid funeral plan comes into play. A prepaid funeral plan can be thought of much like an end-of-life insurance policy. Payment can be made via a fixed monthly payment, which if started early enough can be relatively cheap and unlike life insurance, a prepaid funeral plan fixes the cost of the funeral at the price that it is on the day that it starts, leaving the plan holder able to rest assured in the knowledge that he or she has financially covered the costs of their funeral and provided protection for their loved ones at their own time of death.

What is protected by a funeral prepayment plan?

A funeral plan provides guaranteed cover for funeral costs and expenses, These will include (but are not limited to):

  • Funeral director fees
  • Doctors/Medical examination fees
  • Transportation of the body
  • Funeral procession from home
  • Burial costs
  • Cremation costs

The fact of the matter is that many will not think of these and other expenses until it is too late. The end result is a situation where loved ones are placed under a massive amount of financial strain. Short-term high-interest loans may very well be required and at the end of the day, some individuals may even wind up experiencing a significant amount of debt in affording to pay for a family funeral, which is where planning ahead will avoid the potential for money pressures for others.

This is where the ability to review the best prepaid funeral plans is so very beneficial. Not only will the best options be able to be chosen, but a side-by-side comparison enables a level of clarity that would not otherwise be possible. A team of experts at www.silverchoices.co.uk understand that these choices can be difficult and provide a full informing and guidance service to help people to fully understand exactly what is involved. To learn more about prepayment funeral plans and get advice on how to plan ahead, contact the UK Independent experts, who offer totally free of charge, information, guidance, advice and plan recommendations to meet each client’s unique individual needs.

File photo dated 02/01/07 of a piggy bank. Savers in London and the South East are more likely to make the most of their tax-free savings allowance than consumers in other parts of the country, research has indicated. Press association Photo. Issue date: Saturday 19, 2011. Nearly three-quarters of the top 30 local authorities in which people have the most saved in a cash Isa are in London and the South East, according to Halifax. But savers in the Derbyshire Dales have the highest average Isa balances at £10,478, 34% above the UK average of £7,836. See PA story MONEY ISA. Photo creditr should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Looking Ahead: The Process Leading up to Your Retirement

As you are likely already aware, a good deal of foresight is the best way to be sure that you are prepared for your upcoming retirement. Still, this can be a rather daunting transition in terms of life changes. There are a few things that you need to be made aware of as well as how the process itself will take place. Let’s have a closer look at what you should consider and what to expect.

The reality of Everyday Living

A recent article highlighted the fact that up to 100,000 Britons are expected to retire directly into poverty this year. Why is this the case? Well, it is certainly a lack of preparation as well as the retirement package itself not being sufficient to cover everyday expenses. This is one of the main reasons why it is critical that you tally up all bills, living expenses, tax obligations and other concerns to make certain that you do not fall within this category

The Process Itself

At approximately six months before the date of your retirement, you will normally receive a “reminder” letter informing you that you are soon to be leaving your job. Between two and three weeks before your retirement date, you will receive a concrete quote in regards to how much your pension will provide. This is a critical time, for you must be sure that the firm is offering you a fair deal. Should you doubt that this is the case, take a look at what other companies are willing to provide.

Being prepared ahead of time is key to enjoy your retirement. If you still find that you are coming up short, other options such as equity release schemes may very well be viable possibilities. Please contact us to learn more.

equity-release-uk-schemes

Looking Ahead: The Process Leading up to Your Retirement

As you are likely already aware, a good deal of foresight is the best way to be sure that you are prepared for your upcoming retirement.   Still, this can be a rather daunting transition in terms of life changes. There are a few things that you need to be made aware of as well as how the process itself will take place. Let’s have a closer look at what you should consider and what to expect. The reality of Everyday Living A recent article highlighted the fact that up to 100,000 Britons are expected to retire directly into poverty this year. Why is this the case? Well, it is certainly a lack of preparation as well as the retirement package itself not being sufficient to cover everyday expenses. This is one of the main reasons why it is critical that you tally up all bills, living expenses, tax obligations and other concerns to make certain that you do not fall within this category The Process Itself At approximately six months before the date of your retirement, you will normally receive a “reminder” letter informing you that you are soon to be leaving your job. Between two and three weeks before your retirement date, you will receive a concrete quote in regards to how much your pension will provide. This is a critical time, for you must be sure that the firm is offering you a fair deal. Should you doubt that this is the case, take a look at what other companies are willing to provide. Being prepared ahead of time is key to enjoy your retirement. If you still find that you are coming up short, other options such as equity release schemes may very well be viable possibilities. Please contact us to learn more.

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