Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Where have all the over-50s gone? Not to jobs in London

Lucy Kellaway, one of the best journalists on the FT, has seen the light. Well, not exactly the light but the absence of over-50s working in London.

This amusing article appears in the Irish Times and describes her reactions at a recent event where she was speaking when she suddenly realized that she was part of tiny minority of attendees, having had her 50th birthday.

This will not come as a shock to anybody who follows my blog but I cannot attempt to write as amusingly as Ms Kellaway.

What does happen to all those in the City and those working in marketing when they turn 50 years old? Do they make so much money they can retire (No) or do they fall out of the employment market?

A classic case of cognitive dissonance, yes we must have more people working until they are 70+ but the culture of employment makes that impossible. Weird or what. Dick Stroud

Monday, May 30, 2016

Financial scams. The FCA takes the first steps to help consumers

I guess we all know the problems of financial scams. The e-mails, cold telephone calls and direct mail that all promise deals that we know are too good to be true.

Older people are the ones with the majority of the UK's wealth  hence it is no surprise that they are the primary targets for scammers.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the UK's financial regulatory body that operates independently of the UK government, and is financed by charging fees to members of the financial services industry.

This organisation has just launched a service called ScamSmart to provide consumers with a list of companies they should avoid. Launching the service is the easy bit, the problem will come in keeping up to date.

It is very much in the Financial Services best interest to provide a safe environment where old people has certainty about financial advice. I will keep an eye on the  service to see how it evolves. Dick Stroud

Nationwide Building Society is matching its products with the real requirements of older consumers. Well done.

I recently wrote about Nationwide Building Society's intention to enter the equity release market. 

Now it would seem the building society is looking at the product requirements that result from the high level of divorces that occur amongst people in their 50s.

The most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that 131,000 couples divorced in the UK in 2013. This is down 3% on the previous year – and the lowest overall level in 40 years.

BUT,  this figure includes the 60,000 people who were 50+ and divorced in England and Wales during 2013 – a rise of 11% in a decade.

So whilst the young just don't bother to get married their parents are calling it a day in record numbers. The reason is the  'Is that it' syndrome. That dull November morning, when the women looks across the table, and thinks  - is this how it is going to be until I hit the care home. If I am ever going to call it a day it is now.

Of course the financial implications are massive and this is where Nationwide is looking at providing financial products to assist. Well done, there is a need and at least one organisation plans to offer a product to satisfy the demand. Dick Stroud