You’re not sure what to prioritise — your pension, mortgage or your Isa. You’re starting to lose sleep over whether you’re saving enough for your children’s education. And you can’t quite recall whether you have accumulated four, five — or was it six? — pension pots from previous jobs. Now may be time to consider a mid-life financial MOT.Savers and investors reaching their fifth decade face a series of choices about the right balance of spending and saving to strike as their earnings and expenditure typically peak and retirement planning picks up pace. Thorny questions include the suitable trade-offs between mortgage payments and pension contributions, savings and investments, the correct level of risk in an investment portfolio and the potential for breaching tax relief limits on pension contributions. Advisers say this time of life is precisely when people should consider conducting a thorough assessment of their finances in the round … [Read more...] about Your financial mid-life MOT: is it time for a tune-up?
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New ward boundaries mean that every seat in every ward is up for election on Reigate and Banstead Borough Council (RBBC) in May. Currently, the Conservatives hold a commanding majority with 39 of the council's 50 seats. Residents' Associations in Nork and Tattenhams are second with a combined six councillors. Each ward will be electing three councillors, meaning that residents will be required to vote for three candidates. The new makeup of RBBC will consist of 45 councillors. Polls open at 7am on May 2 and close at 10pm, with the votes counted the next day. In addition, seats on Horley Town Council and on Salfords and Sidlow Parish Council will be contested so residents in those areas will have more choices to make. Just for fun... These were the most commonly used words in the Reigate and Banstead election bios (story continued below). Below are all the candidates who are standing for election in each ward. SurreyLive gave them 100 words (they've been cut off if they've gone … [Read more...] about Meet the Reigate & Banstead Local Election candidates
It was almost by chance that broadcaster Sir Martyn Lewis became an advocate for the hospice movement in the UK. As he prepares to take part in a groundbreaking conference in Belfast on specialist palliative care for people with dementia next month, he tells of the telephone call that made a huge impact on his life. He recalls: "I had never thought much about charity except to put a few coins in a collecting box in the street and then I got a telephone call asking me to recommend a commercial firm to promote a new charity, Help the Hospices. It had impressive people at its head including the head of the BMA and the Duchess of Norfolk." He was told that pitches had been received from three companies with eye-watering accompanying price tags ranging from £30,000 to £80,000. These were huge sums of money in 1983. "I thought those figures were nonsensical. My first wife's mother had spent the last year of her life in a hospice back in 1969-70. I saw her receiving Rolls Royce … [Read more...] about Sir Martyn Lewis: ‘My mother-in-law received exceptional care in a hospice during her last days and I vowed I’d one day repay that favour’
Joyce Fegan looks at the rising number of females on the ballot paper, and meets first-time candidates.There are 25% more women running in May’s local elections compared with the number who ran in 2014.A total of 354 women ran in 2014 and, this year, that number has increased to 441.However, looking at the total number of candidates, there has been an increase of just 6% in the number of women running.In 2014, 1,398 candidates ran nationally, 354 of whom were female — meaning a representation of 25% of women on your ballot sheet. This year there are 1,438 candidates selected to run on May 24, 441 of whom are women, so 31% of all candidates this year are female.This means there has been an overall percentage increase of just 6% in the number of women running.Eleven political parties are fielding candidates. They and the Independents, have both been included in the Irish Examiner’s data.While most parties have completed their selections, there are several selection … [Read more...] about Meeting the women running in the local elections as numbers rise by a quarter
The Government has done well in echoing the business view that the UK will remain our closest trading partner even after Brexit, says Frank O’Keeffe, EY managing partner. Last Friday, EY hosted a gathering of business leaders at EY’s ultramodern offices at City Quarter, Lapps Quay, Cork, for an audience with Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe. The event took place on what would have been Brexit Day, whose moving goalposts and deadlines continue to confuse business communities the world over. “It is important that we retain our social and economic connections with Britain,” said Mr O’Keeffe. “There is a significant amount of concern about Brexit for Irish businesses, particularly SMEs who have not yet been able to scale up to trade in more remote markets. “Many SMEs continue to concentrate a lot of their energy on the UK market. Some areas like agri-food are high volume and low margin, some with perishable goods … [Read more...] about EY helps business stay ahead of the post-Brexit talent race