Money To The Masses http://moneytothemasses.com Putting you in control Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:16:34 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Best of the Sunday papers’ PROPERTY sections 27th July 2014http://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-sunday-papers-property-sections-27th-july-2014?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-sunday-papers-property-sections-27th-july-2014 http://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-sunday-papers-property-sections-27th-july-2014#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:16:34 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=16231 The Independent

Renters spend 40% of their income on housing costs

Olympic Park house prices have jumped 60%

Gardens add up to 10% to the price of a property

The Telegraph

Are these Britain’s 20 coolest streets?

Irresistible renovation projects for sale

Join the b&b set 

The Sunday Times (subscription)

‘Lord’ Edward Davenport sells his £25m playboy mansion

Houzz quiz reveals the way we live

Where your pound goes furthest for a house in the sun

Mail on Sunday

Retired can benefit from equity release plans – but pitfalls remain

Can’t afford a home? Buy with a friend

Want top buy-to-let yields? Avoid London and head north

The Observer

Let’s move to Montgomery, Powys

Luxury hunting and fishing estates hot record high price

The English Housing Survey: key findings

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Best of the Sunday papers’ MONEY sections 27th July 2014http://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-sunday-papers-money-sections-27th-july-2014?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-sunday-papers-money-sections-27th-july-2014 http://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-sunday-papers-money-sections-27th-july-2014#comments Sun, 27 Jul 2014 09:55:35 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=16228 The Independent

Plans to tackle fuel poverty are slammed by campaigners

Payday loan firms accused of bombarding elderly with nuisance phone calls

Problem gambling: young men at risk

The Telegraph

Pension revolution: save those left behind

‘You are too old for a credit  card’, bank tells customer

Pension annuities offer ‘fair value’, study claims

The Sunday Times (subscription)

Top 10 money tips for older people

Earn £850 from banks thanks to easy switching

For that holiday read take a dip in the world of finance

Mail on Sunday

‘We home-swap and get a holiday without the costs’

More then half of credit card holders don’t know the interest rate after 0% deal ends

Buying rare first edition books are the first-class way of investing

The Observer

Pensioners lose out as boost for delaying state pension slashed

Why the UK’s food prices aren’t so high after all

We need to talk about pensions

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The latest MTTM Podcast – How to make it, How to save it, How to spend ithttp://moneytothemasses.com/news/podcast/latest-mttm-podcast-make-save-spend?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=latest-mttm-podcast-make-save-spend http://moneytothemasses.com/news/podcast/latest-mttm-podcast-make-save-spend#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 12:00:00 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=15948 Money to the Masses podcastWelcome to the FREE MoneytotheMasses.com podcast.

MTTM Podcast episodes

You can listen to the latest episode of the podcast by clicking on the play button in the player below. To hear past episodes simply click on ‘More Episodes’ in the player’s top menu. Here is the full list of episodes:

  • Episode 8 - Huge Amounts on Current Accounts and You Can’t Go Wrong With Honest John
  • Episode 7 - Reader and Listener Question Special – Pensions, Trusts and IFA’s
  • Episode 6 – Big Picture Budgeting and The Fiver Challenge
  • Episode 5 – Organic Pear and Best Airfares
  • Episode 4 – Writing a Bestseller & Magnificent Melons
  • Episode 3 – House Buying Tricks and Life Insurance Tips
  • Episode 2 – Insider Secrets and DIY Investing
  • Episode 1 – Interesting Apps and Interest Rates

For those who don’t know, the show is jointly hosted by myself and Andy Leeks (author of the brilliant As They Slept – The comical tales of a London commuter) and aims to be informative as well as enjoyable. Every show is split into 4 sections:

  1. How to make money – covering ways to make money whether it be apps, websites, investing, business ideas or any way we can make you richer
  2. How to save money – this section teaches you how to not loose it. Be it saving, cutting bills, secret tricks or insurance
  3. How to spend money – this section covers how to spend it and how others do including celebrities.
  4. Reader / listener questions – I answer questions sent in by you guys!

Please have a listen below and if you do enjoy it then please thank us by downloading the podcast from itunes and leaving a 5 star review. I realise that you might listen to the podcast in the window below so be thinking ‘why the hell would I want to download it as I’ve already heard it once?’ Well by downloading it you will help push the show up the itunes charts and help us spread the word. Think of it as a thank you from you to us.

Download from iTunes

Alternatively here’s the show’s RSS feed – http://moneytothemasses.libsyn.com/rss.

Get in touch

If you want to get in touch, whether it’s a reader question or just to give feedback on the show then you can contact the show here.

Once again, please leave a review of the podcast on itunes here.

 

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Do I need Keyman Insurance (Key Person insurance) for my Business?http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/insurance-2/life-insurance/need-key-person-keyman-insurance-business?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=need-key-person-keyman-insurance-business http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/insurance-2/life-insurance/need-key-person-keyman-insurance-business#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:02:44 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=16217 Do I need Keyman Insurance (Key Person insurance) for my Business?Do I need Keyman or Key Woman or indeed Key Person Insurance for my Business?

It really depends on what stage of development your business has reached as to whether you need keyman insurance or key person insurance.

In a relatively small business losing one of your Key personnel, whether it be a Director of the company, or your Sales Manager, can seriously impact upon the profitability of your business.

In a more established business the impact may not be so severe.

So what is a Key Person?

That varies depending on your business.

A Key Person might have a specific skill set, for example, a Computer Programmer would be Key in an IT Solutions business if he was the only one. They could be Key because of their experience & Contact network in your marketplace giving the edge to your business.

But whatever the reason, what they have in common is that losing them can be very damaging to your business. The business could be hit by a loss of profit, reduced sales, coupled with increased costs for recruitment & training of a replacement. In addition business plans can be seriously disrupted, possibly leading to long recovery times.

You should also remember that if there are Directors loans held with the business that these will also become repayable in the event of the Directors death.

So what can I do to protect my business?

First you need to identify who is a Key Person, and there may be more than one of course. You then have to calculate how Key they are in Financial terms. This can be quite difficult to quantify of course. You then set up a keyman Insurance or key person insurance policy (or policies) that will to pay out to your business in the event that the Key Person Dies, becomes Critically Ill, or is unable to work long term due to sickness or incapacity.

So what happens if my Key Person dies?

I’ll assume that you have already set up a Key Person (keyman) life insurance plan, written on the life of the key person. The plan is owned by the business, which also pays the premiums. Any payout is therefore paid to the business, which could use the money to, for example, Head Hunt a new recruit or train a replacement.

The main features and benefits of Key Person Life assurance schemes are:

  • They provide benefits based on an employee’s earnings, and the contribution to profitability of the business.
  • Benefits will be paid as a lump sum, if the Key Person or keyman dies whilst in service to a company. The payment can be phased over more than one payment in some circumstances.
  •  Benefits are paid directly to the business as the plan owners
  • Lump sum benefits are regarded as a trading receipt, which can therefore be liable to taxation
  • The premium for a Key Person Life Assurance scheme may be acceptable as a deductible business expense, although this is not automatically the case. You would need to show that the scheme was necessary to the business. Your accountant will help with this.

So how much Life cover do I need to have on my Key Person?

There are several ways to calculate this, and for some businesses the process of arriving at a cover level may need to be quite complex. Fortunately for most businesses a simple “rule of thumb” approach works well enough.

1) Multiple of Salary basis – a figure of 8 to 10 times the Key Persons salary could be deemed appropriate. This should cover loss of profits, the cost of a temporary replacement, and recruitment. This works well enough for smaller salaries (e.g. up to £50,000 pa) but the numbers get a little large, and hard to justify beyond that.

2) Payroll basis – sometimes this is used as it seems a little more scientific. I’m not sure if that might just be advisers trying to make it seem more complex! For this you do need a few numbers from the business. The equation is as follows: Cover = (A/B) x C x D

A= Key Persons Salary, B = Total Payroll, C = sales turnover, D = the number of years it will take the business to fully recover from the loss.

So let’s assume that they earn £50,000, and the total payroll is £250,000. The sales turnover is £1Million pa and you estimate it will take 4 years to recover lost ground and make up the initial lost sales & profits.

£50,000/£250,000 = 0.2.

0.2 X £1M = £200,000

x 4 years = £800,000, so you need a life cover policy for £800,000

3) Profits basis – If you have a good idea of the share of profits attributable to the Key Person this also works well. I would normally suggest 2 x the Gross profit that they generate, or 5 x the Net profit.

My Key Person is knocking on a bit, this is going to cost us too much isn’t it?

It might do, but you have to weigh the cost against the benefit if something did happen. Don’t forget the premiums might be able to reduce your taxable profits, so it isn’t costing quite as much.

The GOOD News is that your Key Person is unlikely to be as important in a few years time, as your business grows and you become less reliant upon one person. You therefore only need to take out a shorter term policy, which keeps the cost down.

It is usual to take out policies over 5 years, rather than say 20 years. The risk of you dying within the term is therefore lower and the premiums are also lower.

The policy must be set up on a Renewable basis, which means after 5 years you can automatically extend for another 5 years if necessary. The premiums at that time will reflect the increased age of the Key person, but if he is in ill health he will still be accepted.

The following figures (correct at time of writing July 2014) are based upon £200,000 of Level Life cover on a 5 year Renewable contract.

  • Non-smoker aged 30 – £10.20 per month
  • Non-smoker aged 40 – £15.40 per month
  • Non-smoker aged 50 – £32.10 per month

But what if my Key Person gets ill?

A very good question. Whilst the worse case scenario is of course the death of a Key Person, the impact upon your business is not necessarily reduced in the event of sickness or incapacity of that same person.

During the absence of a Key Person due to illness or incapacity the business can still suffer the same issues as if they had actually died, but will have the additional cost of possibly continuing to pay salary & benefits to the absentee too.

So how can I protect my business?

You can include the option of Critical illness cover within the policies that you set up. Critical illness cover pays out the whole Sum Assured if the Key Person is DIAGNOSED with any of the Critical Illnesses specified in the policy. The proceeds can then be used for any necessary business purpose.

Policies vary between provider but all policies must cover the a minimum specified list of diseases to be designated as a Critical Illness policy. This minimum will include the following:

  • Cancer
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
  • Heart Attack
  • Kidney Failure
  • Major Organ Transplant
  • Stroke
  • Multiple Sclerosis

In addition most companies cover a range of other illnesses, including some specific to their own policies, the list varying between providers. It is therefore important to seek the advice of your Financial adviser in order to find the most suitable policy.

How much Critical illness cover do I need?

The impact on the business of a Critical illness may be lessened by the eventual recovery of the Key Person. This, coupled with the reality that Critical Illness policies are more expensive than life cover only policies, would lead to a lower Sum Assured. I would recommend roughly half the level of cover that you would select for life only cover.

Using the Multiple of Salary basis I would recommend around 4 to 5 times Gross Annual Salary, or £200,000 to £250,000 for someone earning £50,000.

The following figures (correct at time of writing July 2014) are based upon £100,000 of combined Life & Critical illness cover on a 5 year Renewable contract.

  • Non-smoker aged 30 – £18.44 per month
  • Non-smoker aged 40 – £33.50 per month
  • Non-smoker aged 50 – £77.29 per month

The plan is owned by the business, which also pays the premiums. Any payout is therefore paid to the business, in order to subsidise the ongoing salary costs for the absentee.

My Key Person is knocking on a bit, this is going to cost us too much isn’t it?

It might do, but you have to weigh the cost against the benefit if something did happen. Don’t forget the premiums might be able to reduce your taxable profits, so it isn’t costing quite as much.

The GOOD News is that your Key Person is unlikely to be as important in a few years time, as your business grows and you become less reliant upon one person. You therefore only need to take out a shorter term policy, which keeps the cost down.

It is usual to take out policies over 5 years, rather than say 20 years. The risk of you suffering an illness within the term is therefore lower and the premiums are also lower.

The policy must be set up on a Renewable basis, which means after 5 years you can automatically extend for another 5 years if necessary. The premiums at that time will reflect the increased age of the Key person, but if he is in ill health he will still be accepted.

My Key Person might be off sick long term, and I’ve checked the Critical illness policy terms and they don’t cover this unless it is a specified illness. Now What?

This can be a big problem as you have no idea how long it might be before they return. Fortunately we can also set up a Key Person Income Protection policy, again written on the life of the key person. This covers them for long term absence due to sickness or incapacity, and is not restricted to specific illnesses.

The plan is owned by the business, which also pays the premiums. Any payout is therefore paid to the business, in order to subsidise the ongoing salary costs for the absentee.

The main features and benefits of a Key Person income protection scheme are:

  • The scheme provides a regular income for the Key person who is unable to work due to illness or injury. Additional expenses such as pension contributions and employer’s National Insurance contributions can also be covered.
  • The maximum benefit allowed under a scheme is usually around 70% of usual salary/dividends, usually based on a 3 year average.
  • Benefits are paid to the company as gross income.
  • Premiums are tax deductible as a business expense for the company and are not taxed as a benefit in kind for the employees

It is usual to take out policies over 5 years, sometimes 10, rather than say 20 years. The risk of you being off work within the term is therefore lower and the premiums are also lower.

It is also usual to restrict payout for 12 months or 60 months in the event of a claim.

The following figures (correct at time of writing July 2014) are based upon a 5 year term with a monthly payout of £2,500. First payment would be made after 6 months, and continue for 60 months. The initial payment period can be reduced if necessary (or increased) and this would alter the premium.

  • Non-smoker aged 30 – £14.38 per month
  • Non-smoker aged 40 – £22.48 per month
  • Non-smoker aged 50 – £46.00 per month

 

Darren Amos

Financial Planning Designer

If you would like to contact Darren to find out more about keyman life insurance, key person income protection or critical illness cover then you can contact him via the red box (either to the right of or below this article depending on the device you are using).

The material in any email, the Money to the Masses website, associated pages / channels / accounts and any other correspondence are for general information only and do not constitute investment, tax, legal or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation. See full Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

(image by markuso, freedigitalphotos.net)

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Latest interest rate predictions – when will rates rise?http://moneytothemasses.com/owning-a-home/interest-rate-forecasts/latest-interest-rate-predictions-when-will-rates-rise?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=latest-interest-rate-predictions-when-will-rates-rise http://moneytothemasses.com/owning-a-home/interest-rate-forecasts/latest-interest-rate-predictions-when-will-rates-rise#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:20:39 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=12789 bank of england This article is continually updated to bring you the latest analysis on when interest rates are likely to rise, so be sure to bookmark it.

If you wondering whether you should fix your mortgage rate, but don’t know a mortgage adviser whose opinion you trust, then an award winning mortgage adviser and contributor to MoneytotheMasses, is happy to help with a FREE no obligation chat, just click here).

When will interest rates go up?

(in summary: until recently the market consensus was that the BOE’s would not increase interest rates until after the General Election in May 2015. And then interest rates would likely rise to 3% between spring 2015 and the end of 2017. But the latest noises from the BOE have got markets a bit flustered and are now pricing in a rate rise much sooner…….. Markets now think the first interest rate rise will occur as early as the 4th quarter of 2014 before settling at 2.5% by 2017 – see bolded bullet points below)

The forecasting of the Bank of England base rate has been transformed in recent months. First of all Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England (BOE), issued new ‘forward guidance’ on when the Bank of England will raise interest rates.

This is a policy which he employed during his previous role in Canada’s central bank to try and control the market’s expectations of when interest rates will rise. The reason for doing this is that an expectation of a rate rise is as important as the actual rate rise itself. If a market thinks that the BOE will increase rates then the cost of borrowing throughout the economy will rise. This can prove damaging for a stuttering economic recovery, meanwhile artificially low interest rates also make cash deposits unattractive, which in turn boosts consumer and corporate spending.

Mark Carney originally created a notional link between the UK unemployment rate and BOE base rate. In a pledge to keep rates lower for longer Mark Carney said that rates would not rise until UK unemployment fell below 7%. But this threshold has now been hit, somewhat unexpectedly, so Mark Carney had to ditch the unemployment trigger when it looked like a breach was imminent, instead replacing it with 18 economic indicators.

So now Mr Carney has moved the goal posts on when interest rates will likely go up:

  • the BOE has now decided it won’t tie interest rate rises to any particular economic indicator but a range of 18 of them
  • the market had thought that the the BOE’s first interest rate rise was unlikely to occur before the General Election in May 2015
  • But at the annual Mansion House Speech on June 12th Mark Carney dealt a shock by saying that rates could rise before markets think they will. So there is now the possibility that interest rates could go up as soon as the end of 2014 or the beginning of 2015
  • And the latest minutes from the BOE rate setting meeting suggest that some members might soon start voting for a rate rise. Plus they suggest surprise that markets had not priced in an interest rate rise in 2014.
  • This backs up what Martin Weale, another member of the BOE rate setting committee, said in an interview with the Financial Times weeks earlier
  • when rates do rise it will be gradual and , in the medium term, materially below the 5% level set on average by the BOE historically
  • Mark Carney then stated in an interview on Radio 4 that the new normal for interest rates, when they do go up, will be nearer 2.5% and could reach this level by 2017

Markets are now pricing in the first rate rise (to 0.75%) as early as the last quarter of 2014 with interest rates increasing again to 1% in early 2015.

Whilst the BOE is now claiming that not just one economic indicator will be used in any ‘forward guidance’ of when rates will rise, a range of them will still determine when they actually do put them up. So economic indicators are still important in judging when interest and mortgage rates are likely to rise. Below is a roundup of the most important indicators which will influence when interest rates go up:

So what might influence when rates rise, despite the change in the BOEs ‘forward guidance’  

  • Inflation has unexpectedly jumped – in June the official measure of UK inflation unexpectedly jumped from just 1.5% to 1.9%, making it only the second time since June 2013 that the inflation rate has climbed. Don’t forget that the Bank of England’s target inflation rate is 2% (with anything above 3% getting them a slapped wrist from the Chancellor). To combat inflation interest rates would be increased. This spike in inflation has fuelled further speculation that the first interest rate rise will occur before the end of 2014.
  • Increasing official support for a rate rise?  – last month the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), who are the guys who decide the UK base rate, once again voted to keep the base rate at 0.5%. The base rate has been stuck at 0.5% for over 5 years now. But what has got markets a bit flustered is that recent meeting minutes suggested the BOE is ”surprised by the low probability attached to 2014 rate rise” and that for some committee members “the monetary policy decision was becoming more balanced” suggesting that some members may start voting this summer for an interest rate rise. However, in the coming months a number of members will be leaving/joining the MPC so the latest minutes may be misleading.
  • The UK economy is growing again –  the Office of National Statistics has confirmed that the UK economy grew by 0.8% in the first 3 months of 2014. And The National Institute of Economic and Social Research has estimated that UK economy grew by 0.9% in the second quarter of 2014 – which would make it the strongest quarter in 4 years. This is good news and the evidence suggests that economic growth is back at its pre-crisis level, although a growing economy increases the prospect of a rate rise.
  • There’s optimism about future economic growth - be it the UK services, manufacturing or construction sectors data has pointed to improved signs of economic recovery. Importantly the services sector, which accounts for about 75% of the economy, has been growing at its fastest rate in years. Also, there are signs of continued optimism with a recent survey of British business confidence coming it at its highest rate in 20 years! With the economic recovery becoming increasingly entrenched it has led to some analysts expecting (and in some cases demanding) a normalisation of interest rates sooner than suggested by the official guidance.
  • Unemployment is falling– The number of people out of work fell by 121,000 to 2.12 million (a five-year low) in the three months to May. The UK unemployment rate now sits at 6.5%, below the BOE’s old ‘forward guidance’ threshold, a threshold the BOE hadn’t expected to be breached until 2016. But while unemployment is falling wage growth has slowed to a record low, a sign of slack in the economy which some analysts say indicates that a rate rise is some way off.
  • UK economic growth forecasts are being upgraded – such is the optimism for UK economic growth that the British Chambers of Commerce, the BOE as well the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have upgraded forecasts for economic growth in 2014. The IMF in particular now expects the UK economy to grow faster than any other major European economy in 2014, while the BOE expects a growth rate of 3.4%.
  • Governor Carney is on a mission – Mark Carney took up the post of Governor of the Bank of England last July yet he is already making it clear that interest rates will not be rising until there is clear evidence that the economy is growing but more importantly that unemployment is falling. Both are now occurring so watch this space.

So should you rush to fix your mortgage now while rates are low?

Fortunately I’ve answered this question in my  post ‘Should you fix your mortgage rate now?‘ But if you want more help or advice then you can contact an award winning mortgage adviser here.

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Where to get free debt advicehttp://moneytothemasses.com/using-credit/tackling-debt/where-to-get-free-debt-advice?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=where-to-get-free-debt-advice http://moneytothemasses.com/using-credit/tackling-debt/where-to-get-free-debt-advice#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 02:43:46 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=12059 man carrying debt burden If you find yourself struggling with your debts then you probably need some help and advice. Rather than respond to an advert for a payday loan or seek the services of a debt management management company, which will probably make matters worse, why not access one of the many free options for debt advice.

National Debtline

Offers free debt advice over the telephone, specialist advice is backed up with a range of self-help material.

www.nationaldebtline.co.uk

Step Change (formerly CCCS)

Charity offering free debt advice since 1993 helping around 400,000 each year. Sign up for a useful newsletter offering money advice and how to avoid debt.

www.stepchange.org

Debt Advice Foundation

Debt advice and education charity established in 2002 and has a developed a useful range of educational material aimed at schoolchildren.

www.debtadvicefoundation.org

Citizen Advice Bureau

Offers excellent advice on a variety of topics including debt. You can obtain advice from a CAB centre, over the telephone or via their excellent website offering a number of self help guides.

www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Business Debtline

Offers free and confidential advice for small businesses with a broad selection of self help guides

www.bdl.org.uk

 

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Best of the Sunday papers’ PROPERTY sections 20th July 2014http://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-sunday-papers-property-sections-20th-july-2014?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-sunday-papers-property-sections-20th-july-2014 http://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-sunday-papers-property-sections-20th-july-2014#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 01:27:21 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=16203 The Independent

Buy-to-let: Is it a boom or a bubble fit to burst?

Shed of the Year 2014 finalists

Why is everybody moving to Waltham Forest?

The Telegraph

The £3000 self build home

Inside the world’s tiniest homes

Amazing homes built into nature

The Sunday Times (subscription)

The woman turning the tide of seaside regeneration

The new breed of beach hut

Unspoilt Paxos

Mail on Sunday

Fix you home loan for as long as you want – but don’t delay

Five future commuter hotspots

How are people affording sky-high house prices?

The Observer

Let’s move to Gravesend Kent

New building society makes first-time buying a family affair

Property rents rise at twice the speed of average earnings

 

Listen to the Fastest Growing Money Podcast

You can listen to the latest episode of the MTTM podcast by clicking on the play button in the player below. To hear past episodes simply click on ‘More Episodes’ in the player’s top menu. Here is the full list of episodes:

  • Episode 7 - Reader and Listener Question Special – Pensions, Trusts and IFA’s
  • Episode 6 - Big Picture Budgeting and The Fiver Challenge
  • Episode 5 – Organic Pear and Best Airfares
  • Episode 4 – Writing a Bestseller & Magnificent Melons
  • Episode 3 – House Buying Tricks and Life Insurance Tips
  • Episode 2 – Insider Secrets and DIY Investing
  • Episode 1 – Interesting Apps and Interest Rates

Please have a listen below and if you do enjoy it then please thank us by downloading the podcast from itunes and leaving a 5 star review.

Download from iTunes

Alternatively here’s the show’s RSS feed - http://moneytothemasses.libsyn.com/rss

 

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Best of the Sunday papers’ MONEY sections 20th July 2014http://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-sunday-papers-money-sections-20th-july-2014?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-sunday-papers-money-sections-20th-july-2014 http://moneytothemasses.com/news/best-sunday-papers-money-sections-20th-july-2014#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 00:57:38 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=16200 The Independent

Current accounts are too costly and confusing

Moment of truth for payday lenders

Insurance comparison sites are failing consumers

The Telegraph

Where in the world can you pay the least tax?

Hargreaves Lansdown Wealth 150 investors miss out on £650 of savings

Are you among savers with £20bn in ‘dog’ funds?

The Times (subscription)

Is the taxman on your tail?

Hidden sting in our pension freedom

Entertain for kids for less this summer

Mail on Sunday

The energy bills you don’t have to pay

Earn higher returns without the hard work

1 in 10 retirees are worth £1 million

The Observer

Pension recycling – the new tax dodge

Reader scammed by fake Guardian webpage

How to find a tradesman who’s up to the mark

 

Listen to the Fastest Growing Money Podcast

You can listen to the latest episode of the MTTM podcast by clicking on the play button in the player below. To hear past episodes simply click on ‘More Episodes’ in the player’s top menu. Here is the full list of episodes:

  • Episode 7 - Reader and Listener Question Special – Pensions, Trusts and IFA’s
  • Episode 6 - Big Picture Budgeting and The Fiver Challenge
  • Episode 5 – Organic Pear and Best Airfares
  • Episode 4 – Writing a Bestseller & Magnificent Melons
  • Episode 3 – House Buying Tricks and Life Insurance Tips
  • Episode 2 – Insider Secrets and DIY Investing
  • Episode 1 – Interesting Apps and Interest Rates

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Life insurance with high blood pressurehttp://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/insurance-2/life-insurance/life-insurance-with-high-blood-pressure?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=life-insurance-with-high-blood-pressure http://moneytothemasses.com/quick-savings/insurance-2/life-insurance/life-insurance-with-high-blood-pressure#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 01:43:18 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=16188 Life insurance with high blood pressureReader Question:

I suffer from hypertension and am wondering whether I can get life insurance with high blood pressure? Will life insurance company underwriters increase my premium and if so by how much?

Darren’s response:

First of all yes you can get life insurance with high blood pressure but how it affects your cover really depends on how high it is, and how well its controlled. High Blood Pressure, or Hypertension varies considerably in its severity and cause, so can affect your life insurance cover in various ways.

There are two types of Hypertension, the most common being Primary Hypertension which affects 90/95% of sufferers. The causes are non-specific, but can include Diet, Salt intake, being overweight & drinking too much alcohol. As you get older the combined effects of these can increase your chances of being Hypertensive. Certain ethnic groups also have a higher chance, and your own family history can also be a factor.

Secondary hypertension is where there is an underlying cause, for example kidney failure. In these cases it is more likely to be the underlying cause that will affect your life insurance policy application. These complications would normally mean your hypertension would be treated as if it was Severe (see below)

How do I know how high my Blood Pressure is?

Blood pressure readings are usually quoted as one number over another e.g. 120 over 80. This is usually written down as 120/80.

A “normal” blood pressure reading is somewhere between 90/60 & 120/80 for an average adult. If your own reading is slightly higher, in the range 120/80 & 140/90 then you are in the stage of Pre-Hypertension. This is usually nothing to worry about, but should be a warning to keep an eye on things, and maybe make some lifestyle changes

Anything over 140/90 is classified as Hypertension, and will require some form of treatment. If either number is higher (e.g. 160/90 or 140/100) this is also a problem. Staying below this range is definitely better for your overall health. High blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack, heart disease & stroke and can also cause kidney disease

If your Primary Hypertension was only very recently diagnosed you may find that if you make a life assurance application the decision will be deferred for perhaps 6 months. This is so that the underwriters can see whether your treatment is stabilising the condition. If you have been diagnosed more than say 12 months ago then this would not usually apply.

Mild Hypertension

If you have infrequent symptoms and your blood pressure is well controlled by medication you may well find that you can get Life cover at the normal rates (i.e. your premiums are the same as someone not suffering from high blood pressure)

This could change if you are overweight, with a higher Body Mass Index (or BMI) than is ideal. If you suffer from raised cholesterol or are a smoker this could also affect the decision. If any of these additional factors are present you could expect to receive a medical loading on your premium of between 50% & 75%. (Medical loadings are explained below)

Hypertension with regular symptoms

If you have regular symptoms, but these are also well controlled then the minimum that you can expect is to receive a medical loading of PLUS 50% to PLUS 75%. (Medical loadings are explained below)

If you are overweight, smoke or have raised cholesterol you could expect to receive an additional medical loading, so increasing the total life insurance by somewhere between +100% & PLUS 150%.

Severe Hypertension

If you have continuous symptoms, maybe including Hospital admissions, or if the Hypertension is not being properly controlled you can expect to receive a medical loading of PLUS 175% or more, or even a possible decline of the application. (Medical loadings are explained below)

This will be made worse if you Smoke, are overweight, with a higher Body Mass Index (or BMI) than is ideal or suffer from Raised Cholesterol. If any of these additional factors are present the insurance company is likely to decline to offer you life insurance.

What you need to successfully apply for life insurance with high blood pressure

  • Approximate date of diagnosis of high blood pressure / hypertension
  • Your latest blood pressure reading, and the date it was taken. Ideally this should be within the last 3 months or so
  • Full details of any medication, and how long you have been taking it
  • Details of any additional complications (e.g. kidney issues, high cholesterol levels)

Medical Loading

As other medical issues can arise that are caused by your Hypertension there is potentially an increased risk of you claiming upon the policy. To reflect this the underwriters may increase the standard premium by adding what is referred to as a medical loading.

For example a normal policy might cost someone without Hypertension £20 per month. The same person with a loading for Hypertension of 100% would mean a premium of around £40, and a 150% loading around £50. You’ll notice I say around rather an exact number, as it is usually a £1 or two different.

However, this is only a guideline as before the application is approved you are likely to have to go through what is known as tele-underwriting, with a qualified nurse practitioner. This means the nurse will discuss your condition with you on the telephone, requiring full details of any operations, or medication that you have had. In some cases this interview may even be conducted face-to-face at your home.

In addition they may also write to your GP for detailed medical information to complete the process.

Case Study - Life insurance with high blood pressure

Client advised us of Hypertension and that they were receiving treatment. Unfortunately they could not remember the details of their last blood pressure check, as it was about a year ago. Even if they had this would not have been much use as it doesn’t show the current situation. They also couldn’t remember how long they had been Hypertensive.

A GP report was requested. The GP advised that the client has been successfully treated for over 4 years, and that the condition was well controlled. The provider accepted the client on ordinary rates, without a loading.

I hope that helps

Darren Amos

Financial Planning Designer

If you would like to contact Darren to find out more about applying for life insurance with high blood pressure then you can contact him via the red box (either to the right of or below this article depending on the device you are using).

The material in any email, the Money to the Masses website, associated pages / channels / accounts and any other correspondence are for general information only and do not constitute investment, tax, legal or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation. See full Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

(image by markuso, freedigitalphotos.net)

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Reader Q: Will my new partner’s bad credit rating affect mine?http://moneytothemasses.com/using-credit/credit-report-2/reader-q-will-my-new-partners-bad-credit-rating-affect-mine?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=reader-q-will-my-new-partners-bad-credit-rating-affect-mine http://moneytothemasses.com/using-credit/credit-report-2/reader-q-will-my-new-partners-bad-credit-rating-affect-mine#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 03:05:47 +0000 http://moneytothemasses.com/?p=12083 Reader Question:

My new partner has a poor credit rating and has been refused credit in the past. We are planning on moving in together. Will his credit rating affect mine?

My response:

The good news is that just because you are in a relationship with someone, married or otherwise, does not automatically mean your credit reports are linked.

In fact it is a myth that just because you live at the same address as someone or indeed share a surname with them that their credit rating can affect yours and vice versa.

The only way that your new partner’s credit rating will impact your rating and vice versa is if you become financially connected. Ways of becoming financially connected include applying for loans and other forms of credit together or having joint bank accounts, utility bills or a joint mortgage.

So if you ensure that your finances are kept completely separate then your credit reports will remain independent of each others.

I hope that helps

Best Wishes

Damien


The material in any email, the Money to the Masses website, associated pages / channels / accounts and any other correspondence are for general information only and do not constitute investment, tax, legal or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation. See full Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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