Have you voted for government to keep its hands-off your pensioner benefits?

Senior Couple Watching TV At Home

The Conservative party has pledged to consign the possible granting of state pension increases so small as to be meaningless ,to the political dustbin by confirming the retention of the ‘triple lock’ guarantee for state pension increases post-2015 ,if re-elected. No sooner had this political football been punctured than murmurings were to be heard from other political quarters threatening to remove the following pensioners’ non-means tested benefits :

– free tv licence fee for the over-75s

-winter fuel allowances

-bus passes

-free prescriptions and eye tests

It is true that there are some wealthy pensioners in the UK who could well fund these benefits for themselves. According to the Hands Off ! campaign, however,the high figures for usage point to a clear need for these benefits to be retained.It also says that the high level of unclaimed means tested benefits, for over 65s, clearly shows that means testing does not work.

“We have,for the first time,placed a value on the economic and social contribution that older people make to our society. In 2010,over 65s made an astonishing net contribution of £40 billion to the UK economy through,amongst other contributions,taxes, spending power,…” Lynne Berry, WRVS

Hands Off! also says,the recent period of austerity is seen as having hit hard the older as well as the younger generations in the nation.The risk of poverty in older people is said to be higher than for most other EU countries.

There have been a number of recent changes affecting pensioner benefits:

-the date for women’s pension retirement age brought forward

-state pensions linked to the lower measure of inflation (CPI)

-raised qualifying age for Winter fuel payments

-the freezing of personal allowances for over 4 million pensioners, expected to save the government £1bn by 2015.

“There are over 10 million people aged 65+ living in the UK. Two out of three believe that politicians see older people as a low priority. The ‘Hands Off’ campaign plans to change that.” Hands Off!”

An e-petition entitled ‘Hands off universal pensioner benefits’ has been created in order to influence government and parliament in the UK.

Sign-up today! The opportunity  to do so ends 10th May 2014

Budget 2014 gives pension savers from age 55 greater financial freedom.

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Until now, successive governments had refused to deal with the unfairness of a regime of pension regulation which had resulted in many people having to settle for significantly reduced returns on their savings at retirement. The Budget of 2014 seeks to change all that.
Greater access to pension investment
Before the Budget changes, it was calculated that more than 100,000 pension savers retiring this year could lose out on £210 million from uncompetitive rates offered to holders of small retirement pots.Now,effective 27th March this year, small pots can now be cashed-in up to a value of £10,000,also the number of such pots held has been raised from two to three.
There are changes to the provisions relating to drawdown of your pension, both capped and flexible,increasing the amount of you can take out of these arrangements.
You can read here more about how this and other pension changes in the Budget may affect you.
400,000 people will have greater flexibility over their savings.From next year, 320,000 retirees with defined contribution pensions will benefit from greater choice over these plans.
Obtain good professional financial advice
In making the right decisions for you- an annuity may still be the best option for many – obtaining good financial advice is essential. The government has promised to help you obtain the guidance you need.

Five steps to boost retirement income from your pension pot

7027606047_cac49c3b79_t21Retirement annuities have been much in the news lately.

According to recent reports, many of the estimated 400,000 people per year in the UK who purchase annuities are not aware of the best deals available to them. Only a mere 13 % apparently realised they could possibly do better than their first offer from an insurance provider.This is not a new problem – see link below : the60life.com/enhanced-pension-annuities-in-uk-revealed-the-shocking-truth-that-over-50-still-miss-out-on-extra-income/

Thankfully, there is extensive information out there to help pensioners obtain the best rate of income for their needs in return for their hard saved pension pots. The industry watchdog, the Association of British Insurers,(the ABI), has recently highlighted the disparity between the best and the worst annuity providers by publishing a much acclaimed ‘name and shame’ list. Some rates were up to 46% better than the worst.Retirees can help themselves with possibly the most important financial decision of their lives, and significantly boost their income for life. Four tips to help boost your income from an annuity are:

1. Don’t accept the first quote you receive. This might be from the provider with whom you saved your pension pot,or perhaps a suggestion from an online brokerage. As with most important purchases today ,you need to shop around for the best deal to suit you.You may be considerably better off this way.

2. Be sure to ask for and receive a guaranteed quote from a provider and not merely an indicative one. The latter might be attractive to you but it could be more than the income amount you eventually receive. So avoid this disappointment.

3.Make sure all your personal details have been included when applying for an annuity. Always fully declare the full state of your health which, if poor,could entitle you to an enhanced income. In this case, where a person is not likely to live as long as would normally be expected statistically an insurer will often be prepared to raise the annual income payable under an annuity.

4. On taking appropriate professional advice: don’t pay over the top for advice. Advisers say around 1.5 % of the pension pot is about right, but up to 3%, often without real advice given, is probably not. You can try unbiased.co.uk , the financial adviser website as a place to start your search.

5. Finally, having taken advice, it may be that taking a full annuity does not best meet your needs. Instead you may consider drawing down the whole or part of your pension fund gives you more control over your income and future investment. Note there are some restrictions to this option under regulations which limit the amount you can withdraw in this way. Your adviser can help with this.

Other useful (and unaffiliated) links to go to for information are:

National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF)

Association of British Insurers (ABI)

Citizens Advice Bureaux(CAB)

the60life.com/enhanced-pension-annuities-in-uk-revealed-the-shocking-truth-that-over-50-still-miss-out-on-extra-income/

 

Why insurance customers’ loyalty often does not pay

If you stick with one insurer for any type of cover,you may find  over time that you are paying many times more for the same product as a new customer. Fact.

Today,there are frequent reports of misplaced loyalty ,where  longstanding customers find themselves substantially out-of-pocket when compared with others who move their insurance business around. According to a recent BBC news report one such disadvantaged customer was a lady who had insured her house, a two-bedroom terrace house, and its contents with the NatWest for 38 years. Every year, it was reported, Alison Gann allowed her policy to be renewed when she received her annual renewal letter. Over the years the annual rate of premium just went up and up, until her latest premium rose above £1,000. Apparently, she had a good claims record with only two minor claims in the last 20 years. Her requirements had otherwise little changed.

Take action at annual renewal time

The key thing to do when you receive a letter inviting you to renew your policy is ACT ON IT! A large number of renewals go through ‘on the nod’, no action to see if what is being quoted is reasonable in line with the market.Alison didn’t act. She trusted her bank to do the right thing.Then,when she found out she was paying (and probably had been for a number of years) many times more than some  of her neighbours she was ,at first given the ‘brush-off’ being told she should have allowed the policy to lapse if she did not want to renew. Later, after some intervention from the BBC consumer affairs programme Moneybox offered a review to see how much she had overpaid.She did not accept a much reduced figure, deciding to go elsewhere for yet an even lower payment.Good on her!

Why is this happening?

It seems that the loyalty of longstanding customers has diminished in value in recent years, as comparison web sites have entered to influence the market. Customer loyalty is no longer seen to be something to be rewarded. This is the view of a money expert at Which?  The insurance provider’s view appears now to be : you have the opportunity at renewal to shop around to see if you can obtain a better deal.It is your responsibility to do so.

The view of the Financial Services Agency is that customers should be treated fairly.Until they are, you should look around for yourself every year at renewal time.It is worthwhile and there are significant savings to be had.

 

5 easy ways to save on your annual motoring costs

Here’s something we can all do today.Here and now.Cut down on our motor fuel costs by driving more efficiently. The Energy Saving Trust has calculated that the average driver in the UK today can be better-off by adopting some easy changes in driving technique and care of the car.

We all have some aspect of our driving that we can improve, even after many years of holding a driving licence. The following are five easy ways we can save a significant amount of money, possibly as much as 270 pounds sterling per annum.There is no expense involved, just a little attention to what we do. Here goes, in no articular order of importance:

  1. Drive more smoothly – Avoid sudden acceleration and heavy braking ( unless in an emergency). Given the conditions on the road and the density of the traffic, the keeping of the proper distance between you and the car in front can be maintained by easing-off the accelerator in good time, rather than frequent braking abruptly keep your distance.
  2. Slow down – getting to your destination sooner does not always save you money.
  3. Switch-it off –  When it is appropriate and safe to do so switch-off your engine instead of allowing your engine to idle while stationary.With the weather becoming colder, it is unnecessary to warm-up your car before you set off on your journey. Modern cars don’t need to be warmed-up from cold.
  4. Switch to a higher gear as soon as you can – when it is safe and appropriate moved into a higher gear as soon as possible
  5. Close your car windows – the aerodynamics of a car are greatly changed if the windows (s) are open causing in inefficient ‘drag’ particularly at speeds of 60 mph or more.Also if using air conditioning, itself a high user of energy,it will be inefficient for the heat or coolth is allowed to merely ‘fly’ out of the windows.

Other things to watch are : keep weight down as much as possible by not carrying unnecessary items; make sure your tyres are regularly checked and pressures kept at the right level; and only use a car rack when one is needed.

For further information, you can go to The Energy Saving Trust website ,giving you more details of the above,and also other ways of saving energy,including in the home.

 

 

Where’s your money now?


"nest egg"

This question is prompted by the horrendous experience reported on the BBC programme Rip Off Britain today. Apparently a couple who thought they had a ‘nest egg’ to provide for a ‘rainy day’ found to their utter dismay when that rainy day arrived that their money had simply disappeared. A scam you say? Taken in by a rogue ‘cowboy’ firm? Oh,no. The BBC team report that 25,000 pounds (GBP) held for over ten years in a UK building society, during which time the society had been taken over by a high street bank,could not be traced.The couple’s passbook clearly shows an undrawn balance of the ‘missing’ amount. The bank claims not to have a record of the account in which the money is supposed to have been deposited.The story does not have a happy ending,at least thus far. A review by the Financial Ombudsman found in favour of the bank.

The names of the players are immaterial here. There is ,however, one good tip to take from this awful situation.If you tuck money away for a long period make sure you check regularly with the company or institution that everything is in order. At least once a year make sure you receive a communication from them. You can expect to receive a notification of interest or dividends earned, and often some form of annual report with business results. If you have not received anything you should contact them now! Finally, if you have changed your address recently do notify the company holding your money.

How to make money writing in retirement on HubPages

So you are retired ,and suddenly you have more time on your hands than before. You have had that well earned long holiday you promised yourself. Now what to do? As work commitments have receded, and the children  now fully grown have flown the nest, you may want to stay gainfully occupied both for profit and enjoyment. How about writing to earn some money? Well now you can.Please read on.

You may have hankered to join the internet revolution, and have your own website, but you have not been sure how to start, or know what  your site should be about. Oh,and time, of course has always been an issue before. By opening an account – free to join- at HubPages, you will have an opportunity to write short articles,and have a few,or even hundreds, of websites in your name. At no charge, and with minimal online experience ,you can quickly join a writing community. Your ‘mini-websites’ can earn an income for you. However, you have to know, this is no ‘get-rich-quick’ opportunity. Building-up to a significant regular income is a slow process that can take at the very least a few months to achieve, but many writers have been very successful.The details are at HubPages.

I am a ‘newbie’ with Hubpages. You can see my early efforts in the box over at the righthand side of this page. Do take a look.Each topic link will take you into the site.

Over the next few weeks, I shall be reporting on the60life website the progress I have made. Hopefully I can bring you the benefit of mistakes I have made , so you can avoid them,or insights gleaned,tips for maximising your earnings, on HubPages.

This is truly a great way to develop any writing skills you have, or would like, and write about subjects of particular interest to you.

If you do join HubPages – I do not gain any monetary payment if you do – please don’t forget to share your experiences with us by leaving your comments. We may learn from you! I do believe this is a real deal and must be of great interest for many readers of the60life

 

 

Working on in the UK after state retirement age

According to the The Office of National Statistics (ONS), older UK people in the labour market are working longer beyond state retirement age.

Statistics out last month show the following numbers:

  • 1.4 million  the number of people of state retirement age and above, or double the number 20 years ago in 1993 when the figure was 753,00
  • 32 per cent of older workers are likely to be self-employed,as compared with 13 per cent for younger people
  • 8-in-10 older workers have been with same employer for five or more years. Around two thirds of them are working part-time having gone on from full-time with the same employer
  • Men working later in life tend to stay on in higher skill roles while women tend to stay on in lower skill roles
  • Just over a half (51 per cent) of older workers are in small organisations of fewer than 25 employees

Some factors for these statistics are put down to:

  • the number of ‘baby boomers’ reaching state pension age has grown faster than the increase in the general population
  • improvements over the last two decades in health and well-being
  • financial pressures arising from higher ‘elderly’ inflation and the economic climate over recent years
  • mortality rates record that this group are living longer making it necessary to provide for a longer period of retirement
  • a general wish to remain active in society

For a fuller and official report from the ONS including  an interesting animated video  you can go to this link http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_267809.pdf

 

Key Factors in Retirement Planning

From Tax Credits at http://www.flickr.com

 

In retirement planning, always a thorny question to deal with is : what level of  income will I require  in order to maintain my standard of living when I eventually decide to retire? Financial and pensions advisers  call this target income the replacement rate, which is expressed as a percentage  of income received immediately prior to retirement.

So won’t I need at least as much income in retirement as before? You can count yourself fortunate if you can retire without taking a drop in income. But that you can probably keep up your level of spending on consumption with less income has been put down to the following:

  • In retirement most people pay less tax
  • For many the cost of saving for retirement stops
  • Most households look to have no mortgage left to pay for, or not  for long after retirement

At the  RETIRE Project at Georgia State University  required replacement rates have been studied and calculated for decades. As at 2008, the project estimated that households with earnings of more than $50,000 needed about 80 percent of pre-retirement earnings to maintain the same level of consumption. The Boston College finds achieving this level of earnings depends on the following factors:

  • Level of government income support, if any – the higher any supplementary financial support received the lower the retirement income provided by savings needs to be
  • Rate of return on savings– the higher this is, the lower the amount needed to be put away as savings
  • Age when savings begin– the earlier the start,the less is required to be saved by way of regular contributions
  • Age of retirement – the longer this is delayed, the lower the required saving rate needs to be

You can see a summary of the Boston College paper here:  “How important is Asset Allocation to Financial Security in Retirement?”

Adjusting any of these factors can make a great deal of difference to the prospective retiree. Starting to save early, and/or delaying retirement can make a significant difference to the outcomes. When retirement planning appropriate professional advice should be taken.

Why are the over 50s targeted unfairly to pay more for goods and services?

http://hasslefreeclipart.com

A number of worrying headlines have appeared in UK daily newspapers recently supporting the often held view that people over the age of 50 are being targeted to receive less favourable treatment than everyone else when it comes to buying goods and services.

Now,according to the Daily Mail, often products aimed at a certain age group, saving accounts for the over 50s for example, do not compare favourably with accounts available to younger people. This age group is often picked-out to receive the worst of the savings deals, and says it found:

‘Overall,… the average interest rate offered by the top 20 financial providers for the over-50s is 2.23 per cent – but it is 3.17 per cent for accounts aimed at all age groups.’

It reported that researchers had looked at all the cash savings accounts available, including instant access accounts, notice accounts and fixed-rate products. Cash Isas were excluded.

This is an outrageous situation, financial experts warned, that older savers are being sold less attractive savings deals than other age groups. For a fuller report you can continue reading at over 50s being offered worst savings deals where you can see details of  several of the  financial giants currently providing an unfavourable offering based on age. It is important for savers to note the terms of the saving contract being offered, and to be particularly  aware of interest rates which hold good only for a short period e.g. 12 months, and then fall back to a very small return henceforward.

 

An estimated 4.4m UK pensioners are to lose tax allowances

The Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday announced sweeping changes to the personal tax allowances given to pensioners over the age of 65.

This has caused great uproar in the media and across the UK that a benefit first introduced in the 1920s by Winston Churchill is to be frozen then phased out altogether. The change in age-related personal allowances – the amount of income that is tax-free – will save the government £1bn by 2015.

The BBC reports:

“To Chancellor George Osborne it is a simplification in a complex tax system. To its critics, it is a “granny tax”. But what exactly does the most controversial measure in Wednesday’s Budget mean for you?”

You can see for yourself how this may affect you personally here at the BBC website

The Chancellor is saying that no one will actually lose cash because of the changes. But many see that the changes will leave pensioners’ future incomes exposed to more tax in the coming years.Also it is argued the retirement tax planning of people not yet of retirement age will be affected.

Inability to pay the household bills – fear of the over-50s

Just when you reach that time of life, as a person in the UK  over the age of 50,you may find that instead of being able to look forward to a gentle ease into retirement looking to your own self needs and relaxation,you are facing the anxiety of having no other course but to sell your home to make ends meet. According to a SAGA report published recently, this frightening prospect is likely to be a reality for millions of over-50s. Inflation and the rock bottom savings interest rates are heavily to blame.

SAGA believe  that one in five worry that they will be forced  to ‘downsize’ by selling a family home to ensure enough cash is generated to pay soaring household bills. Furthermore, many over-50s are faced with trying to support their grown-up children, and their children, for example with help to pay mortgages, university fees,contribute  towards their children’s family holidays, and often basic weekly food bills. Non-essential expenditure is being reduced. Grandparents, it is said, are ‘going without’ because of  mounting pressure in these difficult economic times ‘ to support the younger generation.’

You can read more about the over-50s who are ‘sacrificing their own happiness’ in this  Daily Mail report

The UK Budget: So how was it for you?

The Chancellor, George Osborne, announced in his budget speech last Wednesday that the main personal tax allowance will go up to £8,105 from April 2012 .

The SAVVY Woman website notes : ‘This change follows the announcement in the emergency Budget in June last year that the personal allowance would rise by £1,000 to £7,475 from April 6th this year. While the main allowances are rising by more than inflation, the age-related allowances are not. If you’re aged 65-74, your personal allowance is currently £9,490, which will rise to £9,940 in April 2011. If you’re aged 75+ your personal allowance is £9,640, which will rise to £10,090 in April 11.’

The government has said it will consult on the options for merging tax and National Insurance. However, it’s not likely to be something that will be achieved quickly.

SavvyWoman.co.uk also reports that : “The Chancellor said that pensioners will not lose out in that they will not have to pay National Insurance beyond state pension age or on income such as savings, pension and dividend. However, as the state pension age is due to rise it does mean that people who work will pay National Insurance for longer. I’m often asked if you can stop paying NI once you’ve paid enough to qualify for a full basic state pension. The answer, sadly, is ‘no’.”

You can read the full report on Budget matters that maybe relevant to you at  savvywoman.co.uk

Act now before the tax year ends to use or lose your ISA allowance

If you haven’t yet taken advantage of your entitlement this tax year (ends 5th April 2011) to a tax free allowance through an Individual Savings Account (ISA) , time is fast running-out.

ISAs are accounts which you hold within a ‘tax wrapper’.This means you do not have to declare any income from them.They are tax free, and you can save cash,or invest in stocks and shares.

There are rules of course. You should seek independent financial advice, but a good start is to go to an official website like for instance direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/ManagingMoney/SavingsAndInvestments for guidance.

On the direct.gov site , you will see that you can switch money out of a cash ISA into a stocks and shares ISA without losing the tax-free benefit of the ‘wrapper’. So, if you , like me, have been suffering from the low,almost non-existant, interest returns offered by many banks and building societies who are  providers of financial products for ISAs, this option may be for you. But this is not to say this is right for your particular circumstances and, as I said above ,you need to take appropriate financial advice. Using stocks and shares ,as an alternative investment to increase return on investment ,should perhaps only be considered with the caveat that the value of these go up as well as down. It maybe advisable that you chose this option only if you are investing over a minimum period of (say ) 3 to 5 years. Check-out direct.gov now while there is still some time left. Of course, if you miss out this tax year, the allowance has gone for good. You will, however, be able to consider using the allowance for the new tax year from 6th April ( in 2011/2012)

Why many pensioners in Britain are to be hit hardest by increases in VAT

Why you should plan to make your money last in retirement
· Why many pensioners in Britain are to be hit hardest by VAT increases
· If you like cake try this recipe from 1891

Hi,

If you have been celebrating Christmas, then perhaps the last thing you have in mind is to bake a cake. Baking a New Year cake, though, seems to have been a bit of a tradition towards the end of the 19th century. So, in case you are a traditionalist at heart, I have posted on the60life.com site a recipe for such a cake-1891 style.

Also in this final issue for 2010, I give you two items indicating a need for some serious early financial planning next year…

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Why many pensioners in Britain are to be hit the hardest by the January increases in VAT
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The Daily Mail reports that more than three million pensioners will see their income fall next year. It says:

“Millions of middle-class pensioners will be left worse off next year, despite the Coalition’s pledge to increase pensions.
Official figures reveal that next week’s rise in VAT from 17.5 to 20 per cent will leave many pensioners out of pocket, even after increases in the basic state pension and other benefits are taken into account.” It continues:

“The basic state pension will rise by £4.50 a week to £102.15 in April, leaving pensioners £234 a year better off.
But for better-off pensioners the rise will be more than wiped out by the extra VAT they will pay on goods purchased.

Read more: pensioners hit hardest
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Why you should prepare for a long retirement
*********************************************************
…and now the better news reported this week: we are all living longer! Well, you may have heard something of this before. However, the specific projections for life expectancy put out this week are quite staggering. The following is a report from the China Daily:

‘One in five Britons to live to 100’

‘LONDON – More than 10 million people living in Britain today, almost a fifth of the population, will reach their 100th birthday, the Department for Work and Pensions said on Thursday…’

‘The rise in life expectancy means many millions of Britons will spend around a third of their lives in retirement, Pensions Minister Steve Webb said in a statement…’

“These staggering figures really bring home how important it is to plan ahead for our later lives,” he said.’

Read more : staggering rise in life expectancy

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A New Year’s cake recipe 1891 style
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And so to more Seasonable fare: A Handsome New Year’s Cake from 1891:

Rub half a pound of butter into half a pound of flour; add one cup of molasses and one of brown sugar, two pounds of chopped raisons, one pound of currants, and a quarter of a pound of chopped citron, four eggs and half a tablespoonful each of cinnamon, mace and nutmeg, and two wineglassfuls of brandy; mix all together and bake in jelly cake tins; keep the cake warm while you make, and bake in jelly tins of the same size, white cake made of half a pound of…read more at the60life.com

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Stay tuned-in! Above all stay warm!
Remember you can pick-up more tips and news here at the60lifePosted on Categories Cost of Living, Life expectancy, Money, Recipes, Retirement, the60lifeweekly e-letterTags , , , Leave a comment on Why many pensioners in Britain are to be hit hardest by increases in VAT

7 Tips to help keep you well this winter

11th November 2010

· 7 Tips to help keep you well this winter
· How to become a well paid writer with five minute writing
· Will you be ready when your energy bills hit the doormat early next year?

Hi,

How are we to face the shorter days of winter, the awful weather, and the inevitable colds and sniffles? A recent Daily Mail report looks at practical ways to help us stay well this winter.

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7 practical ways to help keep you well this winter
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· Your mother knew best how to keep the common cold at bay

· Beat the bug

· Don’t feel SAD. As the nights draw in, a fifth of us have the winter blues …advice from the SAD Association

· What you need to know about the flu jab

· Use a range of herbal remedies and plants as the best defence to colds

· Boost your immune system with the 10 foods that are so beneficial to your health they are known as ‘super foods’.

· Have a very healthy Christmas

Read more: daily mail/health/article

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How to become a well-paid writer

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Becoming a well paid writer could be a dream you’ve cherished for years but never quite got round to fulfilling. Five minute writing is a serious way to make money writing, as you can find out below…

FIVE MINUTES IS ALL IT TAKES…

…to phone a friend…peel potatoes for dinner…make a paper plane…perhaps collect the grandkids from school…or write a few words that could earn you anything from a plastic apron or ballpoint pen, to a dream house in the sun, a top of the range sports car, or a magnificent hoard of cash prizes and luxury goods!
You can easily enter the fascinating world of The Five Minute Writer where:

· Even if a few minutes a day is all you can spare, you can still be a well respected, and regularly published writer.

· No special skills are required, you definitely don’t need a computer or word processor, a desk or phone.

· You don’t have to spend years learning your craft.

· Five minute writers are in great demand all over the world.

Why is it so profitable? Why do so many people enjoy five minute writing?

You can find out the reasons why and, also why publishers (and other regular clients) need your work at the five minute writer

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Will you be ready to receive your energy bills when they hit the doormat next year?

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Winter draws on! It’s the big switch on: lights, fires, heaters, and electric blankets. Now is the time to benefit from a little forward planning in this burn-now-pay-later season.

According to The Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis:

“Many people on standard tariffs can currently save over £300 a year by switching to the cheapest online deals, plus get up to £30 cashback or a crate of wine for doing it.”

He says: “Switch NOW! Energy price HIKES are back – save £300…

And it’s no big deal: only price and customer service change; you get the same gas, electricity, pipes, meter & safety.”

He reports further that…”Scottish & Southern Energy (S&SE) has announced it’s hiking gas prices an average 9.4% on 1 Dec. Industry insiders now predict the other big six will follow soon, probably in the next few weeks if not by January at the latest…” Check the details out at the money saving expert

But do keep warm. Until next week.

Yours,

Mike Paterson,
The 60Life Weekly

mikepaterson@the60life.co.uk

Will you be ready to receive your New Year energy bills?

Winter draws on! It’s the big switch on:lights,fires,heaters, and electric blankets. Now is the time to benefit from a little forward planning in this burn-now-pay-later season.

According to The Money Saving Expert:

Many people on standard tariffs can currently save over £300 a year by switching to the cheapest online deals, plus get up to £30 cashback or a crate of wine for doing it.

And it’s no big deal: only price and customer service change; you get the same gas, electricity, pipes, meter & safety.”

He says: “Switch NOW! Energy price HIKES are back – save £300…”

and further reports that…”Scottish & Southern Energy (S&SE) has announced it’s hiking gas prices an average 9.4% on 1 Dec. Industry insiders now predict the other big six will follow soon, probably in the next few weeks if not by January at the latest…” Check the details out it at moneysavingexpert.com

Are you taking enough interest on your savings?

From Mike Paterson at The60LifeWeekly

28th October 2010

· Are you taking enough interest on your savings?

· Introducing you to Five Minute Writing

· A stretching exercise by Dr Art Brownstein

Hi,

The above question, for many of us who may be on fixed or reduced incomes, could perhaps be better expressed as: Are you taking enough interest in your savings? It seems many of us are resigned to receiving little or no interest on our savings deposited with financial institutions; or perhaps we don’t spend even a little time regularly checking if we can do any better…

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Are you taking enough interest on your savings?

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According to Which? , the consumer watchdog organisation, the banks are being rather shy about the interest rates they are giving to savers. A common rate is as little as 0.1% per annum, equivalent to just £1 interest for every £1,000 saved. Many savings account higher rates are offered for a limited period only, and on expiry of the introductory offer, revert automatically to the lowest rate, often without informing the saver that a new rate is being used to calculate interest payments. There is a call for greater transparency, and regular information to be given on statements about current rates for savers.

A clear message to savers is: be vigilant about the amount of interest you are receiving and, if necessary, vote with your feet for a higher (and fairer) rate.

At the Which? web site, you can use a free calculator to determine the best rate for you, and calculate what money you may be losing by not shifting your savings to a better rate.

Check out what Which? is calling The Great British Savings Scandal at The Great British Savings Scandal

**************************************

Introducing you to Five Minute Writing

**************************************************
Five minutes is all it takes…to phone a friend…peel potatoes for dinner…pick the grandkids up from school…or write a few words that could earn you anything from a plastic apron or ballpoint pen ,to a dream house in the sun, a top-of-the-range car, or a magnificent hoard of cash prizes and luxury goods!

Becoming a well paid writer could be a dream you’ve cherished for years but never quite got round to fulfilling. So why have you left it so long to experience the thrill of being paid for something you really enjoy doing? Like writing!

So, do you only make money if you successfully write full length novels and plays? No, not exclusively ,there are in fact many other ways to earn your living as a writer, not all of which bring real fame and fortune, but provide a steady income nonetheless, and few of which are anywhere near as time-consuming and stressful as being a full-time novelist or playwright.

Five minute Writers are in great demand around the world, from paying clients, including editors and publishers,

Taking just minutes to produce, short written pieces can cover far more enjoyable and profitable writing projects than most people appreciate…projects covering everything from

· readers’ letters and fillers,
· mini-articles,
· puzzles and quizzes
· recipes and household hints
· photographs and cartoons
· greeting card verses
· competition slogans, and
· much, much more…

you can read more about five minute writing next week, and also at the60life.com

*************************************************
A stretching exercise by Dr Brownstein

*************************************************

On the NaturalNews website Dr. Art Brownstein writes: ” Back pain is twenty times more painful than other body pain, because these complex muscles are located so close to the spinal cord.” He reveals a natural exercise treatment you can try at home.

“1. Lie on your back. Very, very slowly bring your right knee in toward your chest, only as far as it feels comfortable.
2. With your hands on your shins, hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds.
3. Slowly release and gently let your leg down to a slow count of 5.
4. Repeat with the other leg.

Do this exercise 5-6 times in the morning before getting out of bed and again at bedtime.

Dr. Art Brownstein is a physician and author of Healing Back Pain Naturally. You can check-out more at Healing Back Pain Exercise

Don’t miss your next weekly issue!

If you have missed earlier issues of The60Life Weekly – these can be found by scrolling down the categories in the right hand column at the60life.com

Yours,

Mike Paterson,
The 60Life Weekly

PS: Please, if you have your own stories, tips, or feedback send them to me at

mikepaterson@the60life.co.uk

Disclaimer: It is always my intention to be as accurate in fact, detail and comment as possible. However, I cannot be held responsible for any error in details, accuracy or judgement whatsoever. This e-letter is produced on this understanding.

How you can find cash in the attic

.

The60LifeWeekly

23rd September 2010

– How you can find cash in the attic
– Revealed 36 writing competitions to enter in 2011
– Water: are you getting enough?

Hi,

An often overlooked way to raise much needed cash is to sell stuff
you have been hoarding, or have left in long forgotten places at
home. So, should you remember the silver print autographed by
Laurel and Hardy which Uncle Arthur left you a long time ago, or
your Grandma’s 1907 Steiff teddy bear once cherished but now
languishing in the attic, what do you do? Should you sell? How much
are they worth? For modestly valued items realising value would in
the past be by’ trial and error’, selling through traditional
outlets: auctions, car boot sales, and so on. Now there is a cheap
way to establish value before taking action to sell, without even
having to leave your house. More below…

**************************************************

How you can find your cash in the attic

***************************************************
…there is now an online service where you can have your art and
antique treasures large and small appraised by a team of experts
who will provide, for the modest fee of £3.89 per item, a full
valuation report within 48 hours. The service is quick and easy to
use, and you can load-up to the site an image of your little ‘gem’,
or whatever.

The site as featured in the BBC ‘Dragon’s Den’ tv series is at
valuemystuffnow.com>

All the experts have worked at leading auction houses, including
Christies and Sothebys.
This looks to be also a useful service if you are thinking of
buying something. You could obtain an appraisal to aid your
decision.

Another, similar site, an American “money making resource” charging
$19.95 per valuation is at worthpoint.com

*************************************************************
Revealed 36 writing competitions to enter in 2011
*************************************************************
I have just read my October issue of Writing Magazine. Apart from
being full, as usual, of great articles with writing tips and
insights, it also includes a programme of writing competitions for
2011. If you are planning to write and need a focus for your
talents, you should look at this programme covering the rest of
this year and next. Some people find it helpful to strive for a
target like a prize, just to spur them into action and completion
of a writing project.

Editor of Writing Magazine, Jonathan Telfer, says:” But whatever
stage your writing is at , and whatever your genre- from flash
fiction and haiku to SF novels and screenplays- you’ll find
something to interest and inspire you in this special supplement
[to the October issue of Writing Magazine]”

This supplement contains the full details of writing competitions
for you to enter, from October 2010 to December 2011, with over
£372,549 in prize money to be won.

You visit the Writing Magazine site at
writingmagazine.co.uk

****************************************

Water: are you getting enough?
****************************************
The following brief report will probably amaze and startle you.

One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100%
of the dieters studied in a University study.

Lack of water is the No 1 trigger of daytime fatigue.

Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day
could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of
sufferers.

A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory,
trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer
screen or

Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon
cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%,
and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?

over50s.com/health

If you have, thank you for reading this far.

Don’t miss your next weekly issue!

If you have missed earlier issues of The60Life Weekly – these can
be found by scrolling down the categories in the right hand column
at http://www.the60life.com.

Yours,

Mike Paterson,
The 60Life Weekly

PS: Please, if you have your own stories, tips, or feedback send
them to me at
mikepaterson@the60lifeweekly.co.uk – be great to hear from you!

Disclaimer: It is always my intention to be as accurate in fact,
detail and comment as possible. However, I cannot be held
responsible for any error in details, accuracy or judgement
whatsoever. This e-letter is produced on this understanding.

Where to find advice worth far more than £1000 for nothing

The60LifeWeekly

2nd September 2010

· How to boost your energy levels naturally
· Discover 10 Top Tips for short story writing
· Where to find advice worth far more than £1000 for nothing

Hi,

This week, where I live, many parents and grandparents are seeing their kids into full time school for the very first time. We have one of our own, a grandson…but let’s get on with the topics for the week: a look at short story writing; keeping those energy levels up; and easy ways to save some cash…

*****************************************************
Discover 10 Top Tips for short story writing
*****************************************************
Short Stories: 10 Tips for Creative Writers (Kennedy and Jerz)
What is a Short Story?
‘A short story begins as close to the conclusion as possible, and grabs the reader from the very first line. It conserves character and scenes, typically focuses on just one problem, and drives towards a sudden, unexpected revelation.’ (Kathy Kennedy and Dennis G. Jerz)

1. Get Started: Emergency Tips
2. Write a Catchy First Paragraph
3. Develop Your Characters
4. Choose a Point of View
5. Write Meaningful Dialogue
6. Use Setting and Context
7. Set up the Plot
8. Create Conflict and Tension
9. Build to a Crisis or a Climax
10. Deliver a Resolution
These tips are expanded in a report at http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/creative/shortstory/

—————————————–Advertisement——————————————————

When improving your fitness by stretching need not over stretch your pocket
If you have been trying for years to overcome painful back and joints and have been doing the wrong back and joint strengthening exercises then you need to try the exercises in this ebook.
Pilates is not just for movie stars who want to keep their firm and toned figures.
Pilates is for people at every age who want to look and feel their best!
You are about to learn the exercises that the author has been experimenting and testing on her own clients for over 10 years.
These back and joint exercises have been found to be most beneficial in relieving back and joint pain from activities of daily living, or even from degenerative conditions in the spine and from arthritis.
The new revised edition offers you 30 more detailed pictures and modifications on the Classic Exercises along with Pilates Principles and Standing Posture and Balance Exercises.
The author wrote this ebook to help improve the lives of countless people who are suffering.
CLICK HERE NOW!

pilates-back-joint-exercise.com/pilates

————————————————————————————————

***************************************************
How to boost your energy levels naturally
***************************************************
Boost your energy with food by Lynn Grieger, R.D., C.D.E. If you can’t function in the morning without gallons of coffee and you run out of gas every afternoon, then this energy-boosting food plan is for you.

With this diet plan, instead of relying on caffeine or a trip to the vending machine for a fleeting burst of artificial energy, you choose healthy foods to rev up your engine. Here’s how the Energy Booster Diet will keep you energised all day long:

Breakfast
Option 1
Plain fat-free yoghurt with low-sugar muesli and mixed fresh berries
Small glass of orange juice

Option 2
2-egg omelette made with low-fat cheese, chopped veggies and low-fat ham or turkey
1 slice wholegrain toast topped with fruit spread
Small cup grapefruit juice

Option 3
Shredded wheat cereal with skimmed milk and a banana
1 slice wholewheat toast with peanut butter
Small glass tomato juice

Points to note for the rest of the day:

•’The right combination of carbohydrates, protein and fat eaten at regular intervals will help keep energy levels high. This diet includes balanced meals designed to boost your energy throughout the day
•Eating healthy snacks will help keep your blood-sugar levels even so that you don’t have energy ‘highs’ and ‘lows’. This meal plan includes tasty food suggestions to eat every three to four hours to keep your energy level from falling
•Not drinking enough liquids can cause you to feel fatigued due to dehydration. That’s why this diet includes fruit juices and skimmed milk with every meal choice, rather than ultra-sugary sodas or sweetened beverages that can cause energy lows
•Eating fried or fatty foods can make you feel sluggish. This food plan emphasises natural, unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables that won’t slow you down. ‘

Read more: Boost your energy with food http://www.ivillage.co.uk/health/hlive/eat/articles/0,,181039_532821,00.html#ixzz0yGd7pUFw

************************************************************************
Where to find advice worth far more than £1000 for nothing
************************************************************************

What does it take to waste £5,000 (say, $10,000) a year? Just £13.50 per day

The 5 Most Common Money Mistakes, according to goodhousekeeping.com are :

1.In rocky times, you can’t afford to play fast, loose, and clueless with your finances.
Minor money gaffes can add up to thousands of lost dollars (or pounds) over time. Avoid the five most common money mistakes, and you could add more than £5,000 to your savings this year.

It is not just the discretionary spending on the odd luxury- we do not intend in this service to be ‘killjoys’, there will be times for treating ourselves. Two-for-one deals, even in discount stores, and the occasional frapuccino can do real damage to your bottom line.

2. If you are still in employment and you are not taking advantage of your employer’s pension plan, you [could be] throwing money away.

3. Allowing your kids(or grandkids) their endless wish lists when you are out shopping. Adopt a ‘distract and delay’ tactic. This can mean fewer snacks, and less spend.

4. Spending and not saving every windfall: A tax rebate, birthday money present, an income raise.

5. You should not underestimate the contribution you or a partner make towards the household budget. It may pay to ensure that you are adequately (but not excessively) covered by appropriate insurance cover against those potentially costly events in life.

For the full information on the above check out
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/money/budget/common-money-mistakes-5

I do hope you find the above information useful. The final topic this week is not ‘rocket science’, but reminds me, for instance, how I can fritter away small amounts of cash on’ this and that’,when perhaps I could be saving an appreciable amount over, say, a year to put towards something substantially more beneficial.

Don’t miss your next issue on 9th September!

If you have missed earlier issues of The60Life Weekly, these can be found at www.the60life.com

Yours,

Mike Paterson,
The 60Life Weekly

PS: Please, if you have your own stories, tips, or feedback send them to me at
mikepaterson@the60lifeweekly.co.uk

Disclaimer: It is always my intention to be as accurate in fact, detail and comment as possible. However, I cannot be held responsible for any error in details, accuracy or judgement whatsoever. This e-letter is produced on this understanding

Discover why creative writing is for everyone

The60LifeWeekly

19th August 2010

· The essential vitamin that can both prevent and cure cancer

· Discover why creative writing is for everyone

· Are you losing money to an unnoticed waster in your home?

Hi

This week, I was reminded of my childhood when I learned that the longest serving actor in the long running radio soap, ‘The Archers’, is June Spencer who has played Peggy Archer (later Woolley) for 60 years! I sneaked in a post about her this week at
www.the60life.com

Below, please find three more topics for the week…

******************************************************************
Are you losing money to an unnoticed waster in your home?
******************************************************************

Saving Money and Energy in the Home with Efficient Appliances
MoneyHighStreet Staff report that:
For too many homeowners today, inefficient appliances are robbing them of hard earned money while wasting valuable energy. Refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers account for the bulk of these energy costs, with fridges being the most prolific. A fridge freezer must work all day, every day and that can mean huge costs for those people who aren’t buying the right appliances or using those appliances correctly.
Are you leaving money in your fridge?
Is your fridge costing up to two-thirds more to run than it should?
You may find the answer here:
moneyhighstreet.com

—————————————–Advertisement——————————————————

When improving your fitness by stretching need not over stretch your pocket
If you have been trying for years to overcome painful back and joints and have been doing the wrong back and joint strengthening exercises then you need to try the exercises in this ebook.
Pilates is not just for movie stars who want to keep their firm and toned figures.
Pilates is for people at every age who want to look and feel their best!
You are about to learn the exercises that the author has been experimenting and testing on her own clients for over 10 years.
These back and joint exercises have been found to be most beneficial in relieving back and joint pain from activities of daily living, or even from degenerative conditions in the spine and from arthritis.
The new revised edition offers you 30 more detailed pictures and modifications on the Classic Exercises along with Pilates Principles and Standing Posture and Balance Exercises.

The author wrote this ebook to help improve the lives of countless people who are suffering.

CLICK HERE NOW! for pilates-ebook

————————————————————————————————

************************************************************************
The essential vitamin that can both prevent and cure cancer

************************************************************************
NaturalNews reports that:

‘half century ago, Linus Pauling began his pioneering research into how vitamin C impacts health (http://www.naturalnews.com/025802.html). Now, almost 25 years after Pauling’s death, a new study backs up his contention that vitamin C has remarkable healing and protective benefits. In fact, now scientists have discovered how vitamin C may put the brakes on the growth of cancer cells.

‘Margreet Vissers, associate professor at the University of Otago’s Free Radical Research Group in New Zealand, headed the study which was just published in the journal Cancer Research. “Our results offer a promising and simple intervention to help in our fight against cancer, at the level of both prevention and cure,” Dr.Vissers said in a statement to the press.”‘

Her research team’s findings suggested vitamin C can help in both the prevention and treatment of cancer, and it was of importance in keeping cells healthy. The research suggested that’ vitamin C might be able to limit diseases such as cancer that involve cells that go haywire. In the case of a malignancy, for example, cells have unregulated growth.’

www.naturalnews.com/029434_vitamin_C_cancer.html

*******************************************
Discover why creative writing is for everyone
*******************************************
This week I’ve found a real ‘gem’ of a site, chock-full of information and resources for the creative writer. The site introduces itself in this way:

‘There are literally millions of aspiring writers in every corner of the globe, all of whom are seeking to discover innovative ways to unlock their personal creativity and free the stories they yearn to pen. Yet so many of these would-be literary artists are stopped by overwhelming questions-How do I get started? Where can I find the inspiration? Am I really good enough to write?

‘At Scribblepad, our primary goal is to help adults (and older children and teens, too!) find and release their inner voices. From prose to poetry, Scribblepad’s expertly researched and authored features and articles give readers immediately implementable hints, practical advice and proven methods.’

www.scribblepad.co.uk

I hope you find the above full information useful.
Coming-up in the next issue will be three more items, giving more health and wealth related news and tips.

Don’t miss your next issue on 26th August!

Yours ,

Mike Paterson,
The 60Life Weekly

PS: If you have your own stories, tips, or feedback please send them to me at
mikepaterson@the60lifeweekly.co.uk

PPS: If you have missed earlier issues of The 60Life Weekly these can be found in the archives at
http://www.the60life.com

Disclaimer: It is always my intention to be as accurate in fact, detail and comment as possible. However, I cannot be held responsible for any error in details, accuracy or judgement whatsoever. This e-letter is produced on this understanding.