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    • Nile
    • By Nile 15th Sep 06, 3:09 PM
    • 14,437 Posts
    • 14,406 Thanks
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 06, 3:09 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Sep 06, 3:09 PM
    Hello Martin

    Perhaps an article covering questions on Pensions?

    Is there a formula/calculation available that will work out what your pension will be worth when you retire, compared with the cost of living?

    At what age should you start contributing to a company pension/private pension scheme..........and what is the minimum percentage of your salary you should invest?

    Kind Regards

    Hi, I'm the Board Guide on the In my home (includes DIY) and the I wanna buy-it or do-it boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember that Board Guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of

    10 Dec 2007 - Led Zeppelin - I was there. I wear my 50 (gold/red/white) blood donations pin badge with pride. Give blood, save a life.
    • NicolaC
    • By NicolaC 15th Sep 06, 3:12 PM
    • 267 Posts
    • 1,111 Thanks
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 06, 3:12 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Sep 06, 3:12 PM
    Hi Martin,
    I was just about to say the same.
    I haven't a clue even where to start when it comes to pensions so an advisory article on that would be a great help to me.

    Many thanks.
    • Iona_Penny
    • By Iona_Penny 17th Sep 06, 10:28 AM
    • 690 Posts
    • 604 Thanks
    • #4
    • 17th Sep 06, 10:28 AM
    • #4
    • 17th Sep 06, 10:28 AM
    'Make me money mature': a SIMPLE guide to working teens who have to realise total income for the month does not have to be spent in the first 7 days! My 19 year old says 'that's what teenagers do' What happens when he's 20?
    I seriously worry about who will they listen to if not their parents; better still do some 'money makeovers' for this age group !! I try my best, but I'm sure he thinks 'Martin the moneysaving expert' is not relevant to him or his future. It's an untapped market for you!!
  • imported_smarty
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 06, 9:07 AM
    Can you have an international mortgage and save 000's on interest?
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 06, 9:07 AM
    The interest rates abroad are much lower than the UK. Can you have a mortgage on a property in the UK and pay the interest in the eurozone or elsewhere (i.e. borrow from another country)? Even after exchange rates and money fluctuation, surely you could save money??? Japan, for instance, has an interest rate several percent less than the UK. Closer to home, many UK banks have branches abroad, such as in ireland.

    This could be a substantial way to save money. Can it be done???

    with thanks, Martin.
    Last edited by imported_smarty; 20-09-2006 at 9:11 AM.
  • spyslikeus
    • #6
    • 20th Sep 06, 9:13 AM
    How to choose, then track, unit fund investments?
    • #6
    • 20th Sep 06, 9:13 AM
    Hi Martin,

    Something I struggle with, that relates to my ISA, money purchase company pensions and mortgage endowment unit based funds is:-

    - whether to simply leave the decisions to the company and invest in the managed fund (usually settling for lower returns than I could achieve)
    - whether to make my own investment fund choices

    In most cases I have chosen the latter, but then struggle to:-

    - find an easy way to track the funds performance, relative to the market and others I could switch to. Hence, I fail to track and am at risk of falling markets and wasted returns
    - adjust my investment decisions as I get closer to possible retirement

    I'm sure you might have advice here that could help many people.

  • albyhere
    • #7
    • 20th Sep 06, 11:10 AM
    Dying to know.
    • #7
    • 20th Sep 06, 11:10 AM
    Being a trainee pensioner I am getting to the age where it might be time to clock out.
    As there are an absolutely HUGE amount of old folks in this country, we all at some stage have to pay the piper. And the piper in this case is Funeral Costs.
    Not a favoured subject obviously, but, unlike voting, we don't have a choice on this one.
    So how's about telling us all what the best Plans are. There are loads of them out there, and I would imagine, like me, most folk want to know what they're offering but don't want to have to contact them.
    The subject itself is a large factor in folk's obvious reluctance, but also the way you then become hounded by these people once they've got you on their databases.
    This, I believe, would a greatly used facility if you can swing it.

    Keep breathing meantime.

    Last edited by albyhere; 20-09-2006 at 11:12 AM.
  • thegriff2
    • #8
    • 20th Sep 06, 11:24 AM
    Interest saved with Off-set mortgages
    • #8
    • 20th Sep 06, 11:24 AM
    I have a Woolwich OpenPlan offset mortgage and, instead of offsetting savings etc to reduce the term, I have opted to have my monthly payments reduced. Two questions I have:

    1. As the interest saved each month is effectively at the mortgage rate, do I have to declare this as interest earned to the Inland revnue or is this effectively tax-free interest?

    2. Is it better to reduce the term or reduce the monthly payment with off-setting.


    • hostie
    • By hostie 20th Sep 06, 1:02 PM
    • 497 Posts
    • 857 Thanks
    • #9
    • 20th Sep 06, 1:02 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Sep 06, 1:02 PM
    Hi Martin,
    I also think a Pensions article would be useful.
    I am 30 and haven't bought a house but I pay £67 into a pension fund every month. Considering I work part time and earn under £10,000 I wonder if this is the right move. Perhaps I should be putting the money towards the house I would love. Also, if I buy a house I wonder even then if I should be putting this money away every month since it is such a small amount.
    We are the generation of property letters - perhaps I should focus on getting cheap property to let out to fund my retirement.
    An article would be really useful.
    Thanks, this is a great site. I rave about it often!!!!!
  • Jim
    Hello Martin,
    It seems to be a while since you did anything on telephone/broadband/TV - cheapest options, singly or as a package.
  • TNG
    Hi Martin

    How about an explanation of SERPS and how to work out whether it is better to be contracted in or out?

    I have tried to find out for myself and the best I can find is "if you don't know, then contract back in" implying that there are circumstances where you shoudl stay 'in'
    There's a real buzz about the neighbourhood
  • matt_snowdon
    existing card holder advice
    How about a section on the best deals for existing cardholders? There's lots of stuff available on 0%, balance transfer etc but all rely on you applying for new cards. It would be nice to see rankings/advice for the cards I already have.Matt
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 20th Sep 06, 4:55 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 42,310 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Hi Matt

    If you read the credit card shuffle its all there - (though its due an update) and Jim there are articles on all those subjects regularly updated already

    (Im taking notes on teh other suggestions though - keep them coming

    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • patrick Cavanagh
    With the ever rising cost of electricity and gas what are the costs and projected returns on solar heating systems?
    Which is best, How long will it take to pay for installation costs against projected savings. Are there any planning permissions needed and I know some grants are available but this varies to where you live. If the goverment gave a grant to install these systems would we save dramaticly as a nation and therefore not need to build new power stations.

    I know its a lot to answer, but it's something to get your teeth into and the saving could be vast.
  • Tamesis
    What to do if you are made redundant
    Hi Martin

    Having just gone through this for the second time, I have used your site to find any ways I can of minimising my outgoings and making the money stretch for as long as possible.

    I think a really useful top 20 checklist of how to deal with redundancy and having no money would be great. I have gone through the ranks of things like balance transfers on credit cards, asking for free months from insurance companies, payment holidays etc and many have been successful, but there are a lot of reports, posts, responses and blogs to look at. One of my most beneficial wins for me was asking the mortgage company for help when they couldn't offer a repayment holiday. They halved next month's payment and then switched me over to interest only payments for 6 months to bring down the outgoings. Now while this means I still have to pay out a large amount of cash each month, it will make things easier.

    In a nutshell, when the bad news sank in, I looked at the monthly outgoings compared to my wife's income, and being the major breadwinner, my salary covered most of the bills. Now we are on less than a third of our combined income previously, my mortgage, council tax, electricity, water and gas account for more than we earn.

    So, if you could pull together an emergency digest-like report on what to do immediately, and over the next few months, it would be a great help to people. It would also be good to note the pitfalls too though. For example, I had a Capital One credit card from ages ago, with about 3000 of space on it. We looked upon this as a safety net should we need it. Then I read an article about asking the credit card company to accept lower monthly payments on your existing balances. I followed this up with Capital One, and they have been very good so far (still awaiting final verdict), but the first thing they did was stop my card and ask me to return it. Makes sense I suppose, but I hadn't considered it initially and was suddenly 3000 closer to trouble than before! This made me feel even more under pressure, and has made me loathed to try it with my other cards.

    Anyway, enough of my guff. Your knowledge and the knowledge of your readers covers a multitude of great ideas and ways to sort your finances out. But much of it is about ways to spend less when you are spending. What we need to know is how to turn water into wine as it were with the cash we have left.

    • Our John
    • By Our John 20th Sep 06, 7:32 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Our John
    Article ideas
    Suggestion :- What to do with free shares, sell, keep, pay off debt, cheapest way to deal etc...... Standard Life, BG, Bradford & Bingley etc.
    Last edited by Our John; 20-09-2006 at 7:40 PM.
    It's nice to be important... but it's more important to be nice!
  • pinkubingulbingul
    Student Insurance
    I am about to embark on my first University course, and I am fully aware of the commercial vultures just waiting to part me from my much-needed money! I have been looking around at different student insurance deals, but I seem lost as to whether it is worth getting all the expensive extras alongside the basic low-cost insurance. For example - I have a laptop worth about 1000, is it worth paying the extra 60+ to have it insured, or would it be cheaper to get this insured seperately? If you have any advice on this, then that would be tremendously appreciated!!
    Thanks from a much confused and mis-guided future student!
  • Juke
    Before finding your site I was advised to 'solve' my debt problems by taking out an IVA. I now believe this was bad advice but am stuck with the fact that although I settled the IVA early over 3 years ago I am stuck with it on my credit history. Despite now being much more solvent with no debts other than a mortgage, I am still being penalised for my poor credit history when it comes to applying for loans and improving my mortgage deal. I would like an article that would give me suggestions on how to repair my credit rating so I can fully make use of your other tips. Thanks
  • Ivor Beef
    How can you stop paying bank charges?
    For all of you who are self-employed: Spend a few minutes with this last years bank statements. Add up all bank charges paid.
    How can you get:-
    FREE banking
    NO minimum balance required
    NO monthly service charges
    All cheques and automated credit and debit transactions FREE of Charge
    Bank at your local Post Office FREE of Charge
    Attractive rates of interest paid on your entire balance

    Easy. Join the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and get FREE tax insurance.

    Then change your bank to The Co-Operative Bank. for personal and business banking
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 21st Sep 06, 12:47 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 42,310 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Lots of great ideas above - many going on my list.

    I especially like Tamesis idea on redundancy. And so to get this underway am going to be putting this Great Hunt in the email this week or next.

    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
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