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Legal & money

Making sure you have access to your money.

(21 Posts)
Greatnan Thu 05-Jul-12 06:56:12

I don't now if any of you have been affected by the RBS fiasco where people have been unable to access their money, pay bills,etc.
I had a bit of a scare myself when my State Retirement Pension, which was due in my French bank account last Thursday, did not arrive on time. I rang the International Pensions Office and they assured me it had been paid, and Credit Agricole, who said it had not been received. In between, it goes through Citibank European who convert it from sterling to euros. It finally went in to my account with CA four days late.
It would be disastrous for me if I could not access my account here, as there is nobody from whom I could borrow cash.
I have now arranged for one of my three pensions to be paid into my UK bank account with Santander and I can use my debit card here to obtain cash. I am also keeping a few hundred euros in cash in my purse.
I always need funds in England anyway, to pay for birthday and Christmas presents for my family and for my frequent trips to stay with my sister.
I think it is a good idea for everybody to have some funds in more than one bank as they seem to be getting less and less efficient all the time.

Billmartins Thu 05-Jul-12 08:02:55

Hi Greatnan

I can only agree with you there.
My bank card would not work in a machine once, it was a bank holiday Sunday and I was on holiday about 400 miles away.
It was a joint account with my wife and hers would not work either. There was plenty of money on the account.
We did use our credit cards to get back home but we felt a little embarassed to have to use a credit card to get 2 coffee's.

Bill

tanith Thu 05-Jul-12 08:11:22

Sounds like a good idea with the present problems people are having , I had already decided to keep some cash in the house just in case something similar should happen to my bank... but I might just open a basic one maybe with the post office...

Billmartins Thu 05-Jul-12 08:52:09

About a year ago my occupational pension was paid to the end of the month and was paid on the last day or the previous working day.
Suddenly a credit appeared on my account on the 20th of the month and it was for about 70% of the normal amount of my pension and it was under a different name.
I thought it was an error and after contacting my pension scheme I found out the company had been taken over and pensions were being paid from the 20th to the 19th of the month in future to line it up with the rest of the company.
As far as I am concerned this was OK as the pension amount remained the same but there was a shortfall that month.
What could have caused a problem if I had been abroad on holiday I may not have known about the shortfall and gone overdrawn.
Really I think we should have been advised of the change about 2 months before so we could adjust our finances to the new date.
Oddly enough 3 months later our pension dates moved to the 28th of the month and that month we received a payment on the 20th and a small payment on the 28th.
Again we were not informed in advance about this.
I did phone the company and asked them if it would have been good to inform us.
The answer I got was it was posted on the company notice board and they assumed the pensioners would have been informed by the present employees.
Probably so if they were still local and recently retired and known to the present employees.
I now live 170 miles away and there is another pensioner of the company near me who retired 25 years ago so we do not have day to day contact with present employees.

Bill

Barrow Thu 05-Jul-12 09:24:05

I am in the fortunate position to have a little spare cash and have always put it in various institutions, that way I always have access to money when I need it. I also keep a small amount of cash in the house, although I wouldn't advise keeping too much!

It is a sad reflection of the times when people now feel they are unable to trust banks. I fear that more and more people will start keeping their money in the house or carry it around with them which could lead to more burglaries and muggings.

Billmartins Thu 05-Jul-12 11:33:12

Hi Barrow

I do not think it is wise to keep more than £80,000 in any bank or building society and make sure it is backed by the FSA which guarantees up to £85,000.
I do have some cash in a different institution to my current bank account so I could get hold of some money on a bank holiday weekend if necessary in case their machines go wrong.
You do need some liquid money in at least 2 different institutions because if 1 goes into liquidation it could take some months for the FSA to investigate and return the money to you.
Yes I do keep about £100 in the house in case I have an immediate need for money.
Oddly enough my friend had a break in a few months ago and he had about £100 not far inside the house.
The money was taken and only the window was damaged and nothing else was taken.
The total damage was about £500 but it would have been far more annoying if a lot of damage had been done and little more taken.

Bill

JessM Thu 05-Jul-12 11:41:17

I wonder Barrow if you ever contacted those lovely welsh chaps who advise us about such things - I remember we corresponded last year. It is good to have someone who you can trust to talk things over with, when you are on your own. flowers

Anagram Thu 05-Jul-12 11:47:48

Chance would be a fine thing, Billmartins! wink

Billmartins Thu 05-Jul-12 12:19:00

I know a lot of pensioners have probably £200,000 in savings.
I have nothing like that amount as I have a fairly expensive house which I may downsize at some point and I put a lot of my money into my employers pension scheme which has paid off as long as they keep paying.
Most of our family have lived to their mid 90's and I am now in my late 60's and do not have to take any permanent tablets.
I have only spent 1 night in hospital 20+ years ago and that was only for observation and everything was OK.
At present I am comfortable and can keep the house nice and have a new car every 3 or 4 years but not a high model one like a BMW or Jaguar.
I do not think I am in a position to go on round the world cruises every year for example as hopefully I have still got a long time to live but I do have a few more modest holidays.

Bill

Anagram Thu 05-Jul-12 12:26:26

Well, I don't think any of my pension-age friends and acquaintances have anything like that amount in savings - but good luck to those who have!

tanith Thu 05-Jul-12 12:38:12

Non of my pension age friends have that sort of money either, and I certainly don't , what a weight it would be off my mind if I did.

Grannylin Thu 05-Jul-12 12:42:59

All my savings in premium bonds and a secret stash of cash-just hope I always remember where it is!!

flowerfriend Thu 05-Jul-12 13:01:00

I do what you do Greatnan as I live in France as far as using a french and an english bank account and so does my close friend. Although she keeps a worrying amount of Euros in the house.

I think computers are wonderful bringing us all closer together but oh what giant calamities when something goes wrong in banks or big businesses with them.

My grandmother kept money in the bottom of her blanket box to pay the window cleaner or to pay for any day-to-day unforeseen expense. There was 250 pounds there after she died and that was 35 years ago.

Greatnan Thu 05-Jul-12 13:27:35

I don't go on cruises, but I do manage to take several holidays a year - the most expensive being six weeks in New Zealand, but I do have free accommodation there. I also have a snorkeling holiday each year - I have just returned from Sharm el Sheik, but it was a budget holiday and probably cost no more than £500 in total for 11 days. Otherwise, I drive from my home in the French Alps to explore Northern Italy and Switzerland or other areas of France.

There are lots of ways of getting cheap holidays. If you own your own home, you can exchange it - I have had some great holidays this way. You can also do some house or pet sitting - sometimes you get paid but usually I just do it to give me a chance to explore new areas.
If you are fit and don't mind work, you can do some fruit picking or other farm work. You can also undertake respite care for elderly/disabled people.

It doesn't worry me that I have only about £5,000 on deposit - I have three UK government pensions, I own my own flat and car and have no debts.
I am not saving for the future - this IS the future - but I am lucky in that when I am 75 I will be going to live in a cottage in my daughter's garden in New Zealand, which will release some capital for yet more travel - I have the whole of the Pacific Rim and Polynesia to explore!
Sometimes it seems to me that having a lot of capital brings its own anxieties. I have two priceless assets - freedom and good health.

Dresden Wed 19-Sep-12 19:30:56

After reading the posts on this forum, I am wondering about how much money GNetters think they need in order to live reasonably comfortably? So far DH and I have been managing well on our pensions, but these will decrease if one of us were to die. We travel a lot because we have family living in far flung places and if we want to see the GC we have to get on a plane. Apart from that we live well but not extravagantly. I think we could cut back if necessary, but it's hard to know what the future holds and how much we should put on one side in case the worst happens and we need to pay for long term care.

How do other people manage, do you just say to yourselves that you will let the future take care of itself, or do you have a sum earmarked for that rainy day? Maybe the rainy day is already here!

We try to help our DC and have given all of them a lump sum. Our son died a few years ago and we help his widow with money towards bringing up the GC. Obviously that is a priority for any spare cash at the moment, but won't be necessary in a few years' time, when they become self-supporting, hopefully.

I would be very interested to hear GNetters' ideas and experiences in dealing with these kind of money issues in retirement.

Granny23 Wed 19-Sep-12 21:00:32

I noticed on the 'Batten down the Hatches' thread that everyone piled in with money saving tips and not a single soul suggested that, perhaps, there were occasions when dipping into savings was perfectly justified to cover a 'rainy day'. I sometimes wonder what our savings are for. DH will not countenance using our savings, which are mostly in ISAs and therefore contribute to our income, for anything at all. We do not have a large income but because we live very frugally we tend to have £200 left over at the end of a month and I have to fight very hard to get him to agree to spend that surplus on say a new fridge, a short break, something for the DGC. He would much rather let it accrue until there is enough to buy another ISA. I think this attitude comes from his childhood, when his family were even poorer than mine. His bankbook is his security blanket. Unfortunately, it is my bank book too and I would like to splash out freely from time to time. We have to take into account that our private pensions are annuities which are not index linked but hopefully interest rates will eventually rise and income from ISAs will increase.

Dresden asked - 'how much money GNetters think they need in order to live reasonably comfortably?' My question is 'at what stage or age can you start to spend instead of saving?'

Ana Wed 19-Sep-12 21:24:46

That's assuming, of course, that we have any savings at all, or any surplus income...

johanna Wed 19-Sep-12 21:27:16

Hello ANA, nice new name you have.

Ana Wed 19-Sep-12 21:44:40

Thank you, johanna, but then you have been calling me that for ages! wink

Dresden Thu 20-Sep-12 12:13:45

I know that we are fortunate to have a little money to spare and I appreciate being able to help the DC and DGC when they need it.

I like your question, Granny23, I think that's the one I was trying to ask! I feel that as DH is quite a lot older than me, we should try to enjoy ourselves while he can still travel and get around reasonably well. When one or the other of us gets too old or ill to do much, I suppose we will spend less. What concerns me though, is if he dies first I will be on a reduced income and if we have spent our savings, I will find it hard to manage, specially if the DGC are still living abroad and I still want/need to visit them regularly.

FlicketyB Thu 20-Sep-12 20:33:47

When I worked for Age Concern I often visited older people, often in their 80s living in run down houses or with some pressing need who had more than sufficient money put away to solve their problems but they wouldnt spend it because 'It was there in case they ever needed it' They couldnt see that they had actually reached that point and should be spending some of the money on getting the roof repaired or the exterior decoration done now.

How much money you need to live on comfortably is as long as a piece of string. It depends on the income and standard of living you were accustomed to before you retired, whether or not you have any disabilities, where you live and your priorities. BillMartins considers a new car every few years important and I have no argument about that. By pensioner standards and when workinbg we are/were well off but have rarely ever bought a car less than 5 years old. However we have a holiday home in France that we bought over 20 years ago and intend to keep as long as possible..