As auto-enrolment takes centre stage once more and with contributions going up last month, we’re asking: what about the self-employed and small business owners? And for those in their 40s and 50s – is it too late? Whatever your age or employment status, we’ll help you get cracking and warn you of the pitfalls – including the government!
Also today: How concerned should we be about interest-only mortgages?
Simon gets angry about potholes!
And Sainsbury's boss may be in the money – but with a potential tie-up with Asda in the offing, what’s in it for the shoppers?
As a generation retires with more money in their houses than the bank, this question will only become more pressing. We revealed how a new wave of retirement interest-only mortgages could be about to emerge. Homeowners could use one to have a more comfortable retirement, clear some debt, or hand the kids or grandkids an early inheritance – perhaps to buy a home for their own young family. Is that a good idea or a recipe for disaster – and how did we even end up here?
In a conversation that tracks all the way back to the mortgage boom of the Thatcher years, Simon Lambert, Rachel Rickard Straus and Georgie Frost dive into the homes as a cash machine question on this week’s podcast.
What has Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, got to do with long-forgotten television soap Eldorado? Find out in the latest This is Money podcast, in which editor Simon Lambert and consumer affairs editor Lee Boyce discuss the inflation figures out this week and whether they have increased the likelihood of a base rate rise.
Meanwhile, house prices in London saw their first annual fall in price since 2009 and sellers across the UK are having to accept far less than their asking price. Are values in the capital about to fall even faster? And lastly, one for the gardening enthusiasts – how much of a drain on energy is the patio heater?
British Gas have revealed this week that more than four million households face a 5.5 per cent bill increase from the end of May thanks to changes to its standard variable tariff. Hot on its heels, EDF Energy announced it will be hiking the cost of energy bills by 1.4 per cent for 1.3 million customers. In this week’s podcast, Rachel Rickard Straus and Lee Boyce say it is time for people to fight back and switch.
On the energy theme, we talk about our campaign to stop power firms using bullying tactics in order to force households into getting a smart meter – and why it is better to wait until the end of the year. We take a look at some of the methods to make your home more energy efficient, including insulation and wood burning stoves.
Good news. Chances are you just got a tax cut. Well an income tax cut at least, problem is your council tax is likely to be rising and if you are an investor the Government is after more of your dividends, or if you’re a landlord it wants your rental income.
So who are the winners and losers of the new tax year that rolled round on 6 April? And what are the candidates for dumbest bits of Britain’s tax code. In this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Rachel Rickard Straus and George Frost take a look at who is getting the biggest tax cut and who is being hit.
Building up a pension was once relatively simple, for each year you worked for a company it promised to pay you some money in retirement. The death of the final salary scheme put paid to that and now most people must invest into a pension instead - with their work helping out. But while it is tempting to put off a pension and think you have more pressing financial matters to deal with, that's a mistake.
The earlier you start and the more you pay in, the greater your chance of having a richer retirement. On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost talk pensions.
“My property is my pension”. That was the popular saying when buy-to-let was all the rage and every other person you met fancied their chances as a minor property mogul. But life has got much tougher for landlords, with a series of tax grabs and tougher mortgage rules hitting. So does buy-to-let still stack up as a way to build your wealth? It certainly requires a lot of money upfront, even more now than ever before, and while the taxman will take a big chunk of your buy-to-let investment pot in stamp duty, he’ll give you money back if you invest in a pension instead. Simon Lambert, Sarah Davidson and Georgie Frost take a look at Buy-to-Let and the property market in this week’s podcast, and at how it compares to investing in your ISA or a pension. They also look at investing in property without buying it directly yourself, whether houses are too expensive now for good profits in years to come, or if there are some areas where an investment still makes sense. Also - whether interest rates will definitely rise in May, and what’s behind the tough times on the High Street. And finally - ever wondered whether you could stick a hypercar on finance? We explain how much that costs.
It’s not long before the door slams shut on your chance to use this year’s Isa allowance. It’s always best not to leave Isa saving or investing until the last month of the tax year, but many of us will do so. So, here is our special Isa podcast – with a comfortable three weeks to spare before the 5 April tax year end. In it, Simon Lambert, Rachel Rickard Straus and Georgie Frost dive into everything you need to know about Isas, from cash, to stocks and shares, and Innovative to Lifetime.
It also looks at why investing is the best way to get inflation-beating returns over the long term, how savers can eke some precious extra interest from accounts, and why an Isa is worth having.
We have a housing crisis. That’s the message, loud and clear, and it was reiterated by the Prime Minister this week. What’s the answer? Build more homes. Or is it? Because once you start digging into the subject, this housing crisis is a pretty ill-defined problem - and it’s not clear that a lack of homes is causing the problem of too high house prices.
Many people suspect that actually it’s too much cheap money that made homes so expensive.
On this week’s podcast episode, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost get stuck into the housing crisis. They look at what the problem is meant to be, what made homes so expensive, what the plans are to solve the issue, and whether building more homes will make house prices cheaper.