Dependable Dads

Your kids are growing up fast. Your parents aren’t getting any younger. You’re the main breadwinner but the bread has a long way to go these days. There’s driving lessons. College fees. Care home costs. And a new car would be nice. We’ll help you understand your options, show you how some other Dependable Dads have coped, and tell you which choices we rate and why.

 

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OK Dependable Dads 3 ideas for you

Our three solutions for the cash-strapped man in the middle. Max your savings with ISAs. Get the lowdown on care home fees for the parents. And sort out your pension too. 

1Stocks and Shares ISAs - save for you and the kids

What's it all about?

Stocks and Shares ISAs are a very good way to think about saving for stuff over the mid-term. If you would like to start to squirrel away some money to help your kids down the track, to save for retirement or maybe to help Mum then it’s worth thinking about these savings accounts. Largely tax free, they make a lot of sense, and we’ve done the legwork for you, suggesting a few good ones in our Best Buys. For shorter term emergencies, the predictability of cash makes it the sensible approach although interest rates are dire so make sure you shop around.

3 ISA facts

  • Save up to £20,000 a year in these tax-free accounts
  • The FTSE 100 went up by 16% in 2016 - cash isn't the only option
  • Get access to your money whenever you need it

Choose

Bamboozled by choice? We'll tell you who we like and why. And show you how other investors rate them too. Check out our best buys.

Watch

Our awesome video on why people don't invest.

Read

Our 4-page guide covers everything from the basics, the difference between Cash ISAs and Stocks and Shares ISAs, and just how easy it is to get started. 

Listen

In this audio guide, Holly and Georgie discuss investing for beginners.

2Care Home Fees - are Mum and Dad getting a bit frail?

What's it all about?

Care homes are expensive, usually costing around £500-£700 per week. And often, you’ll need the money fast- sometimes admissions can come as an emergency. There’s no magic bullet, but there are ways to make the situation easier – we’ll tell you about your choices for funding this and share some other people’s first-hand experiences.

How much is in the pot? Do a bit of a back of the fag packet calculation. Create an inventory of all the income and assets available to you to pay fees – any pension money, the family home, ISAs and so on. You have various options. Equity release – getting a chunk of cash out of the family home and using this. Savings from a pension or ISAs. Or ‘care annuities’ – paying a lump sum in return for care home fees to be paid for the rest of your (or your parent’s life). Gives you peace of mind but at an average policy cost of £100k – £150k!

Number crunching

  • Can cost £30,000 a year for full residential
  • In-home care costs about £11,000 a year
  • 32% of older folk say they will live with their kids, but just 4% have had the conversation. Gulp

Read

Our 3-page guide on care home fees has practical tips to help prepare you for that care bill.

Watch

Holly on BBC news discussing care home fees and how best to finance them.

3Private Pensions - boring but so important

What's it all about?

Try and stash something away into a private pension if you can. It’s the best way to turbo charge your savings. Don’t be an Eeyore and assume it’s too late – something’s better than nothing.

Get a State Pension forecast – it’s quick and easy to do and gives you the starting point for working out how much you’ll have in retirement. By law your employer will need to offer you a pension at work over the next 18 months (if not already). You’ll see some of your salary siphoned into this – you can opt-out but it’s usually bad ideas as you’ll forfeit contributions the Government and your boss have to make as well. Finally try and trace all your old pensions from work – it can be painful but contact your old employers and consider rolling it all into one place.

Just be careful about doing this without financial advice – especially if it’s a final salary scheme or a ‘deferred benefit’ scheme – these can have good guarantees which you won’t get matched anywhere else today.

Top pension tips

  • For every £80 you stick into a pension, the Government gives you at least £20
  • You can typically put up to £40,000 a year into a pension and get these top ups
  • 50 year old bloke today? You'll get your state pension at 67

Choose

Bamboozled by choice? We'll tell you what Private Pension providers we like and why. And show you how other investors rate them too. Check out our best buys.

Read

No-one normal likes sorting out a pension, Luckily for you, our 4-page guide has some useful, simple steps.

Listen

In this audio guide, Holly and Georgie discuss saving for your pension whilst in your 40s.

Watch

In this quick video, Holly discusses the importance of having a pension and how to get free money from the government.

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