Turning 40 is a milestone birthday – and perhaps the one that gets people thinking most about where they are at in life.
It’s an age that involves a lot of looking back and looking forwards and a fair amount of comparing yourself to where others are at.
But what do you need to think about in terms of your finances, from pensions, to property, investing and saving?
On this podcast – as a certain Georgie Frost turns 40 – Simon Lambert and her take the opportunity to have a look at the financial side of hitting the big 4-0.
It’s not just for those who are 40, it looks at people’s financial life in the decade around this age – and includes plenty of tips relevant to those who are much younger or older.
Plus, Simon takes us back in time to what Britain’s economy and finances were like 40 years ago in 1982. How much did a house cost? What did people earn? How high were interest rates? And was it better, worse or incomparable?
Interest rates went up last month and banks and building societies have been busy upping mortgage rates, with Nationwide revealing a raft of rises this week.
But while Britain’s biggest society has got off the mark with mortgage rate rises – reflecting December’s Bank of England hike and money market expectations of another move up potentially as early as February – its savings rates remain on the floor.
The best easy access savings deal open to all from Nationwide pays just 0.01 per cent and the top no-strings easy access deal offered as a reward to the building society’s own members pays 0.35 per cent.
Nationwide isn’t alone, almost all its big building society and banking rivals have also been failing savers for years – and although they blame the low interest rate environment that doesn’t stop them making bumper profits and paying out blockbuster wages to top executives.
So, are they diddling savers or do they have any defence?
On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at how and why banks and building societies have failed to meaningfully help savers ever since the financial crisis – and whether there is any hope that things will change?
They also discuss what savers can do about it and why an investment expert recommends savers think in three pots to help them cautiously invest for better returns.
Also on this week’s podcast, why buy-to-let investors don’t want to be called landlords any more, how to maximise Avios as we enter a potential sweet spot for picking them up, and how to get a pay rise this year.
And finally, what does the Fiesta being knocked out of the list of the best-selling cars tell us about the topsy-turvy pandemic inflation economy? A lot more than you might think, Simon explains.
It's safe to say 2021 has been an eventful one for the economy and personal finance – and This Is Money has covered it all. Georgie Frost takes a look back at some of the best bits of the show starring Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce, Tanya Jefferies and Helen Crane. We talk about investing mistakes and what you can learn from them. How much a lifetime will cost? And what is behind the inflation surge that emerged in the last few months of the year? There is a bit about house prices – naturally – and we chat over our £1bn underpaid state pension victory. And we have a Dragon in the house. Simon catches up with new Dragons' Den star Steven Bartlett, who has a hugely successful podcast of his own. He talks through his views on the traditional route to success and why it is outdated. Happy New Year!
Join Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce to help you cope with the trials and tribulations of a Christmas where little is certain. What happens to your money if your show bookings are cancelled? Plus, they discuss fine wines and what kind of Christmas spread your pension pot might buy. Also - is there a role for wealth taxes?
They finally did it! The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee raised the base rate from its emergency 0.1% level to 0.25%.
That came the day after inflation rocketed to 5.1 per cent - and is forecast to keep rising - and in the week that the International Monetary Fund warned the Bank of England against 'inaction bias'.
Markets were cheered by the rate rise and economists were broadly welcoming too, yet the general consensus is that it will make little difference to the inflation Britain is suffering.
So, why raise interest rates and was this the right move as the nation stares down the barrel of yet more (potentially overcooked) Covid disruption?
On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert delve into the rate rise, ask whether it was the right move but maybe for the wrong reason, and look at why inflation is soaring and when it may abate.
The team also discuss how this will affect ordinary people and whether it will add to the cost of living squeeze hitting everywhere from the petrol pump, to your heating and the supermarket aisles.
Tanya gives an update on delayed state pension cases and her investigations into this and whether the generation in their late 40s will have to wait longer to retire.
And finally, it’s nearly Christmas and frantic present buying is the order of the day, but if you were going to give a financial gift to a child would you give Premium Bonds, shares or bitcoin?
The greatest hurdle first-time buyers face after years of house prices rocketing far faster than wages is saving for a deposit.
A 10 per cent deposit on the average £273,000 home, according to Halifax’s index, would be £27,300 – roughly an entire year’s average salary.
That’s a tough gig to save while paying rent, bills, commuting costs, living expenses and trying to at least enjoy your 20s or 30s a little bit.
So what can prospective homeowners do to get that money? How long would it take to save and can the often-maligned Lifetime Isa be a real no-brainer of a booster here.
On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert talk about trying to buy your first home, saving for a deposit, and whether new Bank of England rules designed to make mortgages easier to get could end up backfiring and sending prices even higher.
Those potential rule changes come about because problematically, if a first-time buyer could save that £27,300, they would then need to borrow £245,700 on a mortgage to buy the average home.
Even if they were able to find a bank or building society that would offer to lend them five times their salary, an individual first-time buyer would need to earn about £50,000 per year to qualify.
A shift to enabling first-time buyers to borrow more would bridge that gap, at the expense of huge mortgages, but could it just drive house price inflation.
Also on this week’s podcast, could a savings platform boost your rate, what a damning report into Ofgem’s role in energy supplier collapse said and in the year that is a gift that keeps on giving, Christmas present inflation.
We’ve all felt it, that moment when you look at your bank balance and think ‘I’ve spent how much?’
But what if you looked at an entire lifetime’s worth of spending? What would the damage be and how painful would that number feel?
According to a recent piece of research by Atom Bank, the cost of living an entire near 81-year lifetime in 2021 would be a whopping £1,543,834.
That includes £169,159 spent on children, £266,742 on buying the average house and £69,793 on Christmases.
The bank compared the figures to what the same lifetime would have cost at a 1971 snapshot, with £14,738 on children, £2,371 on the average house, and £4,177 on Christmases.
Beyond highlighting just how much house prices have skyrocketed in 50 years – if they had only kept pace with standard inflation the average home would cost £38,000 – what does this tell us?
On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss that and why a snapshot like this – vaguely precise as it may be – can help us understand how inflation works and how it can drive up prices.
Lee picks out the inflation across each decade to show that and Atom’s figures that see the cost of the average lifetime rise to £19.2million by 2071 sharpen the mind.
Inflation is looking large again, but Omicron has made it look like a Bank of England interest rate hike may be back off the table this month.
The team discuss that and whether the variant and restrictions to tackle it will cause more economic problems and what those with travel plans can do.
Next up is the Great Resignation – another phenomenon thrust to the foreground by the pandemic – what’s going on, why are people quitting and should you stay or go to get a pay rise and better working conditions?
And finally, is your home hotter than Lanzarote? It’s cold and frosty outside, but inside a surprising number of British homes it’s shorts and t-shirt weather.
What makes a good consumer story to take up the cudgel on and fight a reader’s corner – and why don’t companies and organisations just do the right thing?
A year ago, This is Money started its Grace on the Case column, where reporter Grace Gausden fights for reader’s rights and tries to solve their problems each week.
Over those 12 months, roughly £381,000 worth of victories have been racked up – more than £1,000 a day.
On this week’s podcast, Grace takes us behind the scenes of the column and talks about the cases she has tried to help with.
She joins Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert to discuss the biggest issues that have emerged, and how things have played out when This is Money took on firms and organisations for readers.
Also, on this week’s podcast, do you know how much tax you pay? Most people only have the vaguest idea based on their headline rate, but what percentage or amount do you actually pay, and where are the sneaky glitches in the tax code that catch people out.
Plus, the LitterLotto where you can win money by putting stuff in the bin, whether Black Friday is a con or a golden opportunity, and finally, would you swap items in your shopping or lifestyle to beat inflation?
Inflation hit its highest level in a decade this week off the back of soaring energy costs and petrol prices.
Why is the cost of living on the rise, when will interest rates go up, and how will all this affect the pound in our pocket?
This week, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Mike Sheen take a look at the 4.2 per cent CPI figure and how it is becoming harder to ‘inflation proof’ your finances.
It looks like the state pension triple lock could be doomed – that 3.1 per cent rise pencilled in for next year doesn’t look generous considering the rise in the cost of living.
There is a special delivery for Royal Mail shareholders while major banks are not only shuttering branches, but are increasingly telling customers to serve themselves.
And finally, TSB is the latest bank to offer a prize draw, is it a good alternative to Premium Bonds or simply a gimmick.
Is it better to leave the heating on low all the time, or switch it on in smaller bursts?
Does an electric heater cost less to heat a room?
Is the electric blanket cheaper than a kettle-filled hot water bottle?
On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Grace Gausden and Simon Lambert, tackle the burning questions of our time (well, the common energy saving ones people often debate at least).
The team reveal a cunning way to work out when you can use Avios points to book flights.
Plus, Simon explains why he's not a crypto investing genius, why you probably aren't too and what the point of regularly reminding yourself that you aren't an investment guru in crypto, shares, or anything else is.
And finally, a This is Money reader recently moved home and doesn't have a doorbell and their landlord won't provide one, do they have to... and exactly who is this reader?