It’s often said that an Englishman’s home is his castle, and with all the security technology that’s now available on the market, the old adage seems truer than ever. Just how much home protection can be considered prudent, however – and when does it cross the line into ‘too much’ territory? For most homeowners keen to protect their possessions and keep click here claims to a minimum, there are a number of simple measures that can be taken to deter opportunistic thieves, such as: Ensuring doors are fitted with secure dead locks Always closing and locking windows before leaving the house Investing in an alarm system and/or external security cameras Locking more »
Securing Your Family’s Finances
You are your family’s protector. So it is important that you manage your family’s finances wisely. There are many risks and challenges in today’s economy, so how do you maximise your family’s financial security? Here we offer some of the best advice that has stood the test of time.
Check Your Debts
Debt is money lost. Now while some debt might be useful, like a mortgage, other debts are bad especially if interest rates are high. Check every source of debt, and find out if you can pay it down or get a better rate. In some cases debt consolidation can lower what you pay in the long run. Here are some options for paying off your debts.
Balance Your Budget
Sit down with your spouse and review all your expenditures. Do you really need an expensive triple latte every morning? Can you buy bargain brands instead of name brands? Remember, sometimes the easiest way to make money is to save it. Once you identify the fat, then trim it and keep it trimmed. A yearly budget review keeps your spending in line and avoids waste.
The next step is to find out if your company has a pension scheme. If they do they will make contributions that match or partially match your contributions. This is a guaranteed return that you must take advantage of. Also, study what the scheme is investing in, and find out if you can make personal modifications. Remember that soon, workers will be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme.
If you are self-employed or if your employer does not have a pension scheme then you can still save with an Individual Savings Account (ISA). You can contribute up to £11,520 a year into the account, and all returns are tax free. There are different options that you can choose from including a simple cash savings ISA or a stocks and bond version. In any case, the tax break is money in the bank so start an account as soon as you can.
Now while all of this trimming and saving is important, you also must take unforeseen risks into account. What will happen if you get sick or injured unexpectedly? What if you die? In these cases disability and life insurance should be in place. Even though these are expenses, your family’s financial future should be secured in the event that something goes wrong.
There is one case, however, where insurance can be an investment vehicle. Whole life insurance is where you are the owner of the policy until you die. All money that was contributed to the policy grows tax free. After fees and commissions are removed, the remaining cash is added to the death benefit. Some policies even allow you to borrow or withdraw from your insurance account. Find out more by reviewing policies at Compare The Market.
If you are fortunate to have some cash to spare, then you should consider other investments such as precious metals, real estate or stocks. The best advice is to diversify, but you can focus on certain areas that interest you. Educate yourself as much as possible about the markets and their risks. Financial advisors cost money, but if you don’t have the time to do the research it might be worth hiring an advisor.
Buying a home is usually a good investment as well. First of all you get to live in it, and you can borrow against it if necessary. Later, as you age, you can sell it and move into a smaller property.
Re-evaluate As You Age
Your savings goals will change as you get older. As you approach retirement age you should gradually move your investments into more stable vehicles. For example, your company pension scheme might start out heavily in stocks, but as you get older move it into stable cash. While cash certainly can lose its worth, it is less likely to plunge in value as quickly as a stock.
You can also look into a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) which gives you greater control over your investments. If you have been doing your homework over the years, then you should feel comfortable steering your own investment ship as your working years wind down.
The world economy has become extremely challenging. Nevertheless, there are still ways that you can fireproof your family’s finances. It is important to have a plan, stick to it and live within your means.
What is Home Legal Expenses Insurance and why do I need it?
Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) can provide cover for legal costs if you have to go to court for a claim. Generally, the most common scenarios involve what is known in legal parlance as pursuing a claim, which means trying to get compensation from a third party for causing loss or damage to you or your property. In other circumstances you may be defending a claim – if for example you have crashed into another person’s car – and in fact many LEI policies are sold alongside or included in car and home insurance packages.
Home LEI policies, includes cover for things like personal injury and compensation claims, and consumer disputes over the buying and selling of goods and services. Home Legal Expenses Insurance can also meet the cost of pursuing a claim against your employer for breach of contract, such as unfair dismissal, and can also provide funds to finance the mediation of disputes with your neighbours – this can be issues like access to your home, or the boundaries of your land, or complaints about noise.
So just how important is it to have Home Legal Expenses Insurance? Like all insurance, a sensible way to look at the situation is to consider the alternative to taking out cover. This could mean having to cover the cost of legal action on your own, if you end up in court for a claim that would have been covered by a Home LEI policy.
Perhaps a comparison could be useful here. Home insurance is considered a necessity because of the massive cost of rebuilding your home, should a disaster such a house fire occur. When you consider that the cost of legal action can run to tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of pounds, Home LEI starts to look like an essential type of cover.
You may find that the basic LEI provided through your home insurance leaves you underinsured, and that you need additional cover. However, it is also important not to over insure – most Home LEI policies cover the whole family, so unlike car insurance, two partners don’t usually need separate policies.
At Allianz Your Cover (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk) you can add Home Legal Expenses insurance to your current Allianz Your Cover home insurance policy at any time.
I haven’t been online a lot this week. Here in our little corner of the North East coast we have felt the full force of the weather that has hit Britain this week. We have had masses of snow and the boys school has been shut all week. So I have taken the opportunity to spend some quality time with mini and maxi and we have crafted, baked, read, made up stories, put up the Christmas decorations and enjoyed each others company. MadDad has been working from home and has also spent a lot of time clearing paths and making sure the house is as safe and secure as it more »