The pension deficit or gap is the difference between the retirement income you have and what you need to maintain their standard of living in retirement.

In recent years, there has been growing concern about the pension deficit faced by women. Despite progress in gender equality, women are still facing significant challenges when it comes to retirement savings and are more likely to retire with less money than men. This can have a major impact on their quality of life in retirement.

There are several reasons why women face a pension deficit:

Another factor contributing to the pension deficit is the gender investment gap. Women tend to be more risk-averse when it comes to investing, which can lead to lower returns on their investments. This can mean that their pension pots grow more slowly than those of men, even if they are contributing the same amount.

There are also systemic issues that contribute to the pension deficit. For example, the state pension age for women has been increasing, which means that women are having to work longer before they can claim their state pension. This can be particularly challenging for women who are caring for relatives or who have health issues that make it difficult to continue working.

Addressing the deficit

The gender pension gap is a complex problem, and there is no single solution and government measures may be needed.

One key solution is to address the gender pay gap. This could involve introducing measures to ensure that women are paid fairly for their work, as well as providing more support for women who take career breaks to care for children or relatives.

Another solution is to provide more support for women when it comes to investing. This could involve providing education and training on investment strategies and encouraging more women to take on leadership roles in the financial sector.

Finally, there is a need for systemic change to ensure that the pension system is fair and equitable for all. This could involve introducing measures to ensure that women have access to workplace pension schemes, as well as providing more support for women who are caring for elderly relatives or who have health issues that make it difficult to continue working.

What can women do?

There are a number of things that you can do to help close the gender pension gap. Here are a few tips:

By taking these steps, you can help to close the gender pension gap and ensure that you have a comfortable retirement.

The value of investments and any income from them can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the original amount invested.

HM Revenue and Customs practice and the law relating to taxation are complex and subject to individual circumstances and changes which cannot be foreseen.

Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 26/04/2023

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2mtrust is part of The Openwork Partnership. This blog was written exclusively for Partner Firms of The Openwork Partnership - sourced via Smart Hub

Being a first-time buyer can be daunting. Not only are you about to make one of the biggest financial decisions in your life, but you’ll probably also have family members and friends offering their ideas on the right house, mortgage, lender conveyancer and even removal company for you.

We’ve put together some ideas to try and take away some of the stress and confusion and give you confidence to move through the home buying process as smoothly as possible.

Get the right advice

Of course, we’re going to say that - it’s what we do! We’ll review your circumstances and look at your income, debt, day-to-day outgoings, employment and the size of your deposit, to assess what you can afford to borrow now and in the future. We’ll talk you through the types of mortgages we think are right for you and the lenders who offer them.

Save as much as possible

Buying a house is going to be expensive so it’s important to save, save, save to get yourself in the best position possible. Some lenders will accept a minimum deposit of 5% of the cost of the house you’re buying but aim higher. The bigger your deposit, the smaller the mortgage (and monthly mortgage payments) making you more attractive to a lender.

Compromise

We can all admit that it is easy to get a little carried away when looking for our ‘dream’ home, but sometimes buying your first house is all about compromise. Deciding what you’re prepared to compromise on is an essential step when considering your first home. Whether it’s the luxury of having extra bedrooms or a bigger garden, it’s unlikely that you’re going to get everything you want at a price you can afford.

Know your budget

Your hard-saved deposit and monthly mortgage repayments aren’t the only expenses you need to be mindful of when buying your first home:

Talk to us and we can help with practical financial advice on your first and future home purchases.

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 16/03/2023.

When using key takeaways and social media text posts on their own, you need to ensure you include the mortgage warning, otherwise your post will not be compliant.

Key takeaways:

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2mtrust is part of The Openwork Partnership. This blog was written exclusively for Partner Firms of The Openwork Partnership - sourced via Smart Hub

One wet and windy evening, Alex and Megan decided to take advantage of their newborn, Ellie, falling asleep in her moses basket by getting an early night. Picking up the basket from its regular spot in front of the fireplace, they crept upstairs. No sooner had they settled in bed when they heard a massive crash from the living room. They ran back downstairs to find a pile of rubble in the exact spot Ellie had been sleeping just minutes earlier.

Aware the incident could have been much worse, the couple were still left with an enormous mess to sort out. High winds had caused the inside of the chimney to collapse. However, Alex and Megan’s home insurance provider refused to pay for the structural damage because, according to their terms and conditions, the wind hadn’t been strong enough to constitute a storm. They also refused to replace the living room carpet because the couple’s contents insurance didn’t include accidental damage cover.

So, what can you do to make sure your home insurance provides you with the protection you’d expect when the unexpected happens?

Let’s start at the beginning - what exactly is home insurance?

Home insurance financially protects your home against damage or theft but is typically split into two parts – buildings and contents.

Buildings insurance – this covers the building itself, including walls, floors, doors, windows and the roof. It also covers permanent fixtures such as baths, toilets, fitted kitchens and even wallpaper.

Contents insurance – This typically covers anything that can be taken with you if you move e.g. kitchen appliances, furniture and valuables.

The Openwork Partnership - SmartHub Blog - Home Insurance Explained 2023

Not all home insurance is equal

As Alex and Megan discovered to their cost, not all home insurance is equal. Although tempting to simply go with the cheapest option, it’s always best to check the details of any policy you’re considering seeing exactly what’s included. For example, some buildings insurance covers garages, greenhouses and garden sheds but some policies don’t.

It's also a good idea to check for exclusions. You may find some insurers won’t pay out for anything considered to be the result of general wear and tear or damage that happens over time, such as damp or rot.

Meanwhile, contents insurance generally has a single-item limit, meaning high-value possessions may need to be named separately. You may also have to pay extra to cover belongings when they are taken outside your home.

Add Ons

There are also certain add ons that are worth thinking about to provide a way to get cover without paying for a more expensive policy with features you may not need. These include:

Do you really need home insurance?

Homeowners – although buildings insurance isn’t a legal requirement, most mortgage lenders insist on it. No one is going to force you to buy contents insurance but it can provide valuable peace of mind and combining it with your buildings insurance may save you money.

Renters – you don’t need to worry about buildings insurance – this is your landlord’s responsibility. However, contents insurance may be a sensible idea.

Speak to a professional

Your home is probably your most valuable possession, and you’ll want to make sure it’s protected. Whether you want a combined building and contents insurance policy or separate ones, we’re here to help.

Approved by The Openwork Partnership on 16/03/2023.

Key takeaways:

What’s covered by home insurance varies from policy to policy, so you should check what’s included before making a purchase.
Check the terms and conditions for any exclusions to make sure you’re getting the cover you need.
Read reviews before choosing an insurance provider – good customer service can be just as important as cost.

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2mtrust is part of The Openwork Partnership. This blog was written exclusively for Partner Firms of The Openwork Partnership - sourced via Smart Hub