Great Things To Know Before You Retire Hunt

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  • seven-day-weekend
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    Carold wrote:
    Very interesting reading advice about retirement; does anyone know how long you have to have worked and/or brought up children in order to qualify for the full state pension?

    At the moment, a woman needs to have paid or had credited 39 years of NI contributions (44 for a man) - these are changing (less) at some point in the future, at least for women, I'm not sure about men.

    If you are in receipt of child benefit, or carer's allowance (I think) this will reduce the years you have to pay/be credited if you do not earn enough in those years to pay NI. This is called Home Responsibility Protection.

    For example, I have 25 years paid/credited contributions and 13 years HRP, giving me a total of 38 years, meaning I have to pay/be credited with one more year to get the full pension. I have up till 2009 to pay these contributions. If I do no more paid work before then I will pay with a years worth of voluntary contributions.

    Hope this helps - also, I'm not an expert, but I think I have it right, if not I'm sure someone will correct em!
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • Channelman
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    This technique worked well for me.
    I paid off my endowment mortgage all but for a few hundred quid.
    When it came to the end of its term I asked Brittania for a
    redemption quotation. They asked me for £75 to finalise it plus
    the few hundred quid and a yearly fee for storing the deeds. I told them
    that I would be stupid to take up their 'offer' and I would continue
    to pay the mortgage interest of £1.28 per month.....especially since their
    standard letter warned me that I would no longer be eligable for
    the points in the Reward Scheme if I paid it off :D
  • Bionic_Ann
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    If you are disabled and want a mobility car, you need to claim for it before age 65. After this, you can only claim a mobility allowance.
    My husband is over 65, a pensioner, and when I left work due to ill health (without claiming), he could have claimed £55 a week for an over 50 dependent wife (me). We missed out on £2,000 not knowing this. I am a pensioner myself now. So check this out.
  • miguel99
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    merched99 wrote:
    This might save you thousands if you are being made redundant and are lucky enough to have a final salary pension scheme. You can put any redundancy payment above £30,000 (which would normally be taxable) into your pension, and get it straight back again tax free under the rules about converting part of your pension to a lump sum -- but ONLY if you are eligible to draw your company pension. For some reason (at least with my scheme) they can't tell you about it unless you ask....... In my case I was going to leave a few months before turning 50, and would have had to pay tax at 40pc on the lump sum. Found out by chance about this, and have now got agreement to stay the extra few months until my 50th birthday so can take advantage of it.
    threadbanner.gif

    I agree this is an excellent way to gain added tax free cash. Also, for those lucky enough to be on a Bonus scheme, you may not realise that you can ask your company to add your gross bonus to your Final Salary Scheme pot, therebye avoiding up to 40% tax on your bonus and topping up your pension.
    You may need to push them a bit because of the administration but it is well worth the effort.
  • gb57
    gb57 Posts: 83 Forumite
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    Margaret

    Well obviously downsizing is not an option for all! I did not mean to offend, the comment was aimed more at the chap worried about leaving Gordon around £400K, so I rather assumed a lot of that money would be tied up in his home.

    However, everything I have read about equity release schemes seems to say that the interest rolls up horrendously, so that someone borrowing, say, £30,000, can end up in a fairly short time owing 4, 5, 6 times that amount. Perhaps I am wrong and there are better schemes out there now, but that does not seem like a good deal to me. Ok, it is tied in with selling your home, but what happens if you need to sell your home to go into care and actually owe more than your home is worth? I have read of cases like this.

    If you know a lot more about these schemes than I, and know of a good one, perhaps others on the site might find the details of interest?

    With respect to all the posts about the BS hanging onto your deeds if you leave a tiny amount outstanding on the mortgage. I tried to do this with the Halifax when I paid off my mortgage last year, and they told me they no longer allow it.
  • Sue_A_4
    Sue_A_4 Posts: 5 Forumite
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    When we paid off our mortgage 10 years ago our solicitor offered to keep the original deeds in his safe - for free. We simply have a photocopy for our own records. I don't see why everyone feels they have to leave them with their building society:confused:
  • gb57
    gb57 Posts: 83 Forumite
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    Lucky you - never known a solicitor do anything for free! Can we all have his name and address please?:rotfl:
  • margaretclare
    margaretclare Posts: 10,789 Forumite
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    gb57 wrote:
    Well obviously downsizing is not an option for all! I did not mean to offend, the comment was aimed more at the chap worried about leaving Gordon around £400K, so I rather assumed a lot of that money would be tied up in his home.

    However, everything I have read about equity release schemes seems to say that the interest rolls up horrendously, so that someone borrowing, say, £30,000, can end up in a fairly short time owing 4, 5, 6 times that amount. Perhaps I am wrong and there are better schemes out there now, but that does not seem like a good deal to me. Ok, it is tied in with selling your home, but what happens if you need to sell your home to go into care and actually owe more than your home is worth? I have read of cases like this.

    If you know a lot more about these schemes than I, and know of a good one, perhaps others on the site might find the details of interest?

    I think that everyone will have their own reasons for considering this option. The reason we did it was because we'd still have been paying a mortgage until we're 83. We used the amount borrowed - £35K - to pay off the mortgage and this in turn frees up £260 a month. We don't actually need this amount to add to our income for day-to-day living, but what we're trying to do is to complete the updating and necessary repairs on this bungalow. For example, it had an asbestos-tiled roof which has had to be completely replaced, and this was done in May this year. We're also looking at replacing the present gas boiler with a condensing combi one, hopefully that should cut down on the gas consumption. We've done more redecoration, so the £140K valuation 3 years ago is probably now closer to £170K. We know about the interest rolling-up but there are safeguards in place to ensure 'no negative equity' and as long as DH and I have a place to live for as long as we want it, we were happy with that. The provision 'no negative equity' means that we'll never owe more than the place is worth. Obviously, anyone wanting us to sell up to go into care - not something either of us is likely to agree to - would have to get in line behind the lender.

    It's possible to pay off the accrued interest each year which would prevent it rolling-up, and quite honestly I would do that. I don't think DH is bothered about it, though. When we've finished all the jobs - new boiler, drive re-laid next year - I might think about doing that. You can guess that this 1930s jerry-built bungalow has had just about everything replaced over recent years apart from the actual walls!!! We've done a lot with the object of making it all comfortable, manageable and easy-care.

    The other options we considered were - moving to an ex-mining village in the Midlands - not something DH wanted even though it would be closer to his relatives, a 'park home' which isn't all that cheap and has a lot of other costs, moving to a 'new build' home in the Nord/Pas de Calais area of France - DH can't get his head around the language!

    We can always re-mortgage after a few years, go back to a traditional type mortgage, or even an interest-free one, so it's not irrevocable.

    Margaret
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • Dora_the_Explorer_5
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    Think about how you will manage if you don't have/can't drive a car, for whatever reason. Can you easily get to the supermarket/bank/library/doctor/post office/swimming pool either by using public transport, walking or taxi. That roses round the door cottage in the country can become a prison if it can only be got to easily by car, as could your current home.

    Consider setting up a Power of Attorney, it only kicks in if it's needed but of course no-one can predict whether it might be needed. Think of it as 'insurance', not handing over your life to the control of someone else.
    It's also a very kind thing to do if you have children - much aguish and distress is suffered by children of elderly parents who can no longer manage their affairs but have no mechanism in place should this happen. It means that no-one has to 'trust' anyone else, as who does what when and what happens is clearly agreed and spelt out. In some families it can also prevent enormous rows, bitterness and accusations of undue influence and financial shenanigans.
  • seven-day-weekend
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    gb57 wrote:
    Lucky you - never known a solicitor do anything for free! Can we all have his name and address please?:rotfl:


    Our solicitor keeps the deeds for free as well, although all you need to have now is the land certificate (kept by the Land Registry, you can get a copy) - the historical documents are of no legal use so you may as well keep them in a box in your glory hole as we do with ours.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
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