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From inheritance dependency during retirement to ‘worryingly high’ food prices and a cashless Britain economy – here are our favourite must-know money stories this week to help you get your head around your personal finances.
A third need an inheritance to pay for retirement
One in three (34%) of the people who expect to inherit say they need the money to fund their retirement, reveals data from a survey carried out for Hargreaves Lansdown by Opinium this month.
The survey found that while 38% people either expect an inheritance or have already received one, only 29% of people plan to leave an inheritance – creating a gap that may leave many without their inheritance wishes being materialised.
At the same time, several aspects such as expensive care, a potential new relationship, the rising cost-of-living, equity release on properties, or a later demise may devour or slow down an inheritance.
Younger people were found to have higher expectations of inheritance, along with higher earners – 37% of higher rate taxpayers compared to 30% of basic rate taxpayers – owing to their better standard of living. Only 54% people completely ruled out needing an inheritance to fund retirement.
Sarah Coles, head of personal finance, Hargreaves Landsdown said: “If you expect inheritance to play a part in your retirement plans, you cannot rely on it. You need to still be able to afford to retire if you get less than expected, it comes later than you initially thought, or you end up without one.”
Food prices remain ‘worryingly high’
Food prices continue to surge with food inflation at 19.1% in April, reports Daniel Thomas for BBC News. Inflation figures came down to 8.7% from 10.1% in March, but it doesn’t mean prices are coming down, just rising less quickly.
The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said food prices remained “worryingly high” and while the sharp fall is welcome, things underneath the numbers show that the battle is far from over.
Inflation has dropped overall thanks to stabilising energy prices. However, prices of staples such as sugar (up 47.4%), eggs (37%), milk (33%), bread (18.6%), and fish (18.9%) continue to rise – just slightly less quickly! Imported food prices have fallen considerably, but are not yet reflected on supermarket shelves due to long-term contracts with food producers.
Rachel Reeves, Labour’s shadow Chancellor said families would be worried with such high food and other essentials prices and asking: “why this Tory government still refuses to properly tackle this cost-of-living crisis, and why they won’t bring in a proper windfall tax on the enormous profits of oil and gas giants.”
Cashless Britain: a disaster waiting to happen
Britain is rapidly becoming a cashless society, but who really benefits from shunning notes and coins? Relentlessly marching towards digital payments doesn’t benefit the average consumer, writes Adam Williams in The Telegraph.
The Bank of England says one in five people consider cash to be their preferred payment method on a daily. However, in a nation with car parks to cafes, and theatres to pubs switching to digital payments ‘only,’ and even some central London banks rejecting cash, several are left behind.
While the elderly, disabled and those who struggle with technology are the obvious losers, business owners lose out due to sky-high card processing fees, and the rest of us lose our privacy and the right to choose how we pay he says.
Dilip Soman of the University of Toronto published research over twenty years ago warning that card usage encouraged customers to overspend. Beyond a personal finance issue, the decline of cash could quickly even become a national security issue if prone to a hostile banking system attack – essentially closing down our bank-dependent economy.
Williams concluded: “The survival of cash is about more than what’s in your pocket – our civil liberties are at stake.”
Photo Credits: Pexels
Richa is a young Indian graduate from Warwick Business School, aspiring to find her niche in the media industry. She has a passion for writing and a keen interest in financial affairs. If you don’t find her working, she’s probably having a pizza (her favourite!) and a pint of beer somewhere.