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NS&I Reveal Findings Of Families, Finance And The Future Report

NS&I’s ‘Families, Finance and the Future’ report has shown that before having children, Britons believe you should have an income of at least £25,000 per annum to ensure financial security, while 20% of those surveyed said that they would seriously consider not having children because the cost of having them nowadays is so high.

The NS&I report, Families, Finance and the Future, was written by the Future Foundation and commissioned by NS&I. The report was produced by a combination of desk research and original survey work. Figures taken from a nationally representative sample of 1,049 adults aged 16+. Other sources the report used include the British Household Panel Survey, the ONS, Eurobarometer, the Department for Communities and Local Government, and previous surveys conducted by the Future Foundation.

Almost two-thirds (64%) said people should be financially secure before starting a family, while 78% agreed that the standard of living was an influencing factor when deciding on how many children to have. Just 26% of Britons believe that money shouldn’t be a consideration when deciding to start a family.

Tim Mack, NS&I Savings Spokesman, said: “Starting a family is always going to be much more than a purely economic decision, though for some the financial requirement is clearly an income of £25,000 per year. Britons are also considering their financial future when deciding on the number of children they will have.”

More than one in ten respondents (12%) thought that those thinking of starting a family should be earning between £40,000 and £70,000 before having children, while a similar number (13%) believed that they didn’t need anything as they would always be able to get by. Men were more likely to suggest a bigger financial cushion than women – £27,000 per year, compared to just £23,000 for women – while people without children gave much higher estimates, saying people should be earning at least£30,000.

As well as looking at the situation for individuals, the report also argues that finances and families are linked on a larger, macroeconomic, level.

Barry Clark, Account Director at the Future Foundation, said: “Baby booms tend to follow economic booms and the reverse is true too. Our data suggests that over the past 60 years, GDP growth and the change in birth rates in the UK have been closely linked, so we expect that the coming years will show more than ever that finances and families are related on both a personal and national economic scale.”

The primary consideration influences on the number of children people decide to have appeared to be common:

78% – standard of living they can give their children
73% – meeting the cost of raising their children
51% – size of the house they can afford to raise their family in
39% – education they can make sure their children receive

It is evident that perceived affluence has an effect on the birth rate. In fact, Future Foundation research and the British Household Panel Survey both have shown that in European countries where more people have an income that is either in line with or above their financial expectations, families bear more children.

Barry Clark added: “The highest earners would seem less likely to have larger families owing to the demands of, and devotion to, their careers, or a sharper awareness of just how much children cost to raise.”

Via EPR Network
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One In Five Stock Market Investors Never Check Share Performance

Prudential has revealed that over one in five (22 per cent) of UK stock market investors never check the performance of their shares. Furthermore, it has been revealed that 65% of investors don’t seek any professional advice prior to investing.

The findings, f r o m new research conducted for Prudential, found that 36 per cent of UK adults aged 18+, equivalent to 17.23 million people, have invested in the stock market over the past 10 years. However, more than half (53 per cent) of these investors admit they only check share performance every six months or less frequently, with one in five (20 per cent) saying they only review their stock performance once a year and 22 per cent admitting they never do.

When it comes to gaining advice on where the best place is to invest their savings, UK adults appear to be equally apathetic with around two thirds of investors (65 per cent) saying they rely on internet searches or media reports when selecting which shares or investment fund to buy with just 16 per cent seeing an independent financial adviser, four per cent consulting a stockbroker and 10 per cent gained advice f r o m bank or building society staff.

However, while many stock market investors fail to adequately monitor share performance or gain financial advice on how to invest, they are at least exposing themselves to an asset class which has historically shown some of the strongest growth. This sits in stark contrast to the rest of the population with around 30 million UK adults (64 per cent) having made no stock market-based investments in the past ten years.

Trevor Cheal, Retirement Savings Business Director, Prudential said: “While not everyone is fortunate enough to have spare funds to save or invest, many people do and it is staggering how few are seeking financial advice or looking to capitalise on the growth potential that the stock market has historically offered.

“Those who invest in the stock market have taken the first important step towards benefiting f r o m the long-term growth of the economy, but they stand a greater chance of maximising its value if they re-evaluate their investment arrangements regularly. However, in volatile markets, investors may not want all their eggs in one basket and multi-asset funds which provide diversification can give them some degree of comfort while still having exposure to the stock market. Those who feel they lack the knowledge to manage a diversified portfolio should consider getting professional financial advice f r o m a stockbroker or an IFA.”

Via EPR Network
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The Cost Of University For This Year’s Recent A-Level Graduates Could Be As High As £25 Billion – Almost £3 Billion More Than Last Year

The Children’s Mutual has reported the cost of university for this year’s recent A-level graduates could be as high as £25 billion – almost £3 billion more than last year. The Children’s Mutual warns that thousands of young adults celebrating their A-Level results and their parents may remain unaware of this rising cost.

The Cost Of University For This Year’s Recent A-Level Graduates Could Be As High As £25 Billion - Almost £3 Billion More Than Last Year

According to the leading Child Trust Fund provider, the average student needs to find about £42,000 to fund three years at university, but this doesn’t take into account the costs of any further training they might want to do after their degree. Currently 87% of young people in the UK are receiving financial help from their parents and help towards university costs is something many students expect and parents expect to give*. Increases in year-on-year university costs also mean this bill will rise in future years.

One way parents of future scholars can help mitigate the rising costs is by saving regularly from when their children are very small. The Child Trust Fund (CTF) was created by the Government to provide every eligible child with a nest egg when they turn 18, with parents, friends and family all encouraged to help save. Launched in 2002, more than 4.4 million children now have a CTF account. Topping up a child’s CTF on a monthly basis could result in a significant lump sum when the child turns 18, perfect for helping with university costs.

David White, Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual, said: “University can be as much of a millstone as it is a milestone. While parents will be pleased about their children’s successes as they receive their A-level results and many look forward to university, the high costs involved can be a real financial strain to a huge number of students and their parents. For families planning to support their children through university, finding a lump sum to cover the costs can be very difficult. Often, parents are left with no other option but to dip into their savings or remortgage their house. This can have a serious impact on their own financial future.

“From 2020 all 18 year-olds will have access to their maturing Child Trust Funds as they enter adulthood and the money saved in these could make a real difference to both future university students and their parents.”

Via EPR Network
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NS&I Report Reveals Future Families Founded On Fortune

The new National Savings and Investments (NS&I) commissioned report, ‘Families, Finance and the Future’, suggests the existence of a new institution of British life – the ‘Financial Family’ – a collaborative unit of close friends and family marked by financial interdependence. It does not simply show a steady flow of cash down the generations, or the ‘sandwich generation’ arrangement observed in recent years, but also shows flows of money and advice, up and down the generations as well as between siblings.

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The costs of living and care for the elderly are recognised as rising, and the report suggests that the traditional family unit is shifting – yet family ties will be stronger than ever, and people will rely much more on financial networks. By 2029, there will be more cohabiting couples, and more single-person households than married couples living together** – so the Financial Family will be important even after the traditional family has declined.

According to the new survey research, the majority of people felt financially responsible for family members (54%), while 70% stated that current economic trouble meant families needed to support each other (70%).

Young people are more engaged with the Financial Family, with 50% of 16-24s identified as members of a Financial Family, compared to 30% of 25-34s and 20% of 35-44s. As this generation grows up, the Financial Family will become more and more widespread.

Technology will also mean that people are better equipped to share financial advice – but will also make it more important they do so. As the amount of information that tries to reach consumers increases, people will rely on the insights of their financial network to process this mass of information. This network is likely to revolve around the family as most people feel comfortable discussing financial matters (55%) with close friends and family, or sharing financial tips and advice (60%).

Barry Clark, Associate Director at the Future Foundation said: “We feel we’ve revealed a new way for people to look at British family life – and one that will become increasingly common. When we look at several demographic trends, like the rise of single-person households, the advance of technology and young people’s involvement in financial matters, we can expect the Financial Family to be a very important feature in the future. The Financial Family is here to stay.”

Tim Mack, Savings Spokesman at NS&I, said: “We started from an intuitive feeling that discussing money isn’t taboo any more, but the results far exceeded our expectations. The research shows that the discussion of finances, and our relationship with money, extends beyond the traditional family.”

About NS&I
NS&I is one of the largest UK investments and savings organisations, offering a range of savings accounts and investments products, including fixed rate savings bonds, fixed term investments, Premium Bonds, savings certificates, and ISAs to almost 27 million customers. Established in 1861.

Via EPR Network
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Unfair Blacklisting Due To Id Fraud Is Set To Boom Warns LV=

A new report* released by LV= shows that the number of Brits whose credit rating has been badly damaged by identity theft is likely to almost double within the next five years, with up to 240 people a day being affected.

The new research by home insurer LV= shows that nearly half of all Brits (46%), have experienced some sort of credit problem**, with 27% blaming mistaken identity, and 29% said they had no idea why they had encountered a problem.

LV= is warning people that if they believe they have been refused credit unreasonably, they should investigate it further. It could be a sign that they have become a victim of identity theft.

To help assist the growing number of people affected by this problem, LV= home insurance now offers customers free access to an Identity Fraud Helpline. The helpline is staffed by specially trained expert advisers who will explain what people can do if they think they have been a victim of identity fraud.

The LV= research, undertaken by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), includes views from over 6,000 adults who were questioned about their experiences in applying for credit cards and other services. The research shows that as many as half a million adults* have been ‘blacklisted’ as a result of being hit by identity fraudsters, with the figure predicted to rise by a further 440,000 over the next five years.

In the past decade identity fraud cases have rocketed, rising on average by 33% annually for the past eight years***. The research also reveals that victims of identity fraud face costs of over £2,100 to clear their name.

John O’Roarke, managing director of LV= home insurance, said: “In the last ten years we’ve seen a massive increase in the number of people targeted by fraudsters, illustrating the importance of vigilance in protecting personal information and monitoring for any problems that might prove to be a ‘symptom’ of identity theft.

“Our research shows that an unfair credit rating is a common problem for many and more worryingly, identity fraud is likely to rise sharply in the coming years. That’s why we’ve set up the LV= identity fraud helpline, free to all our home insurance customers, so that anyone who thinks they might have become a victim of identity theft has somewhere to go for help and support.”

* Opinium research indicates 2% of people have been a victim of identity fraud. UK adult population is 47.9 million (derived from the Labour Force Survey); CEBR predicts cases will rise by 440,000 cases in the next five years.
** Credit problems are defined to include being denied a loan (including mortgage), credit card, utility or service contract, being investigated by bailiffs, incorrectly receiving a court summons or unpaid bills.
*** CEBR analysis based on CIFAS data: in 1999 there were 9,000 reported cases of identity fraud, rising to 77,500 in 2007.

About LV= 
LV= is a registered trade mark of Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Limited (LVFS) and a trading style of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies.

LV= employs over 3,800 people, serves around 3.2 million customers and members, and manages around £7 billion on their behalf. We are also the UK’s largest friendly society (Association of Friendly Societies Key Statistics 2008, total net assets) and a leading mutual financial services provider.

LVFS is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority register number 110035. LVFS is a member of the ABI, AMI, AFS and ILAG. Registered address: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.

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