Uncertainty drives record numbers to take out income protection. Here’s what you need to know

Figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) suggest a record number of families are taking out income protection to create a safety net. Read on to find out how income protection works and whether it could be valuable for you.

Income protection would pay out a regular income if you were unable to work due to an accident or illness. As a result, it could provide you with a way to keep up with your financial commitments if your income unexpectedly stops. Income protection will normally continue to pay an income until you’re able to return to work, retire, or the term ends.

Usually, the sum provided through income protection is a proportion of your regular salary, such as 60%. You’ll need to pay a monthly premium to maintain the cover, the cost of which will depend on a range of factors, such as your age and lifestyle.

A worrying 2 in 5 wealthy individuals have fallen victim to a financial scam

A recent survey reported by Professional Adviser revealed that 2 in 5 wealthy individuals have been the victim of financial crime.

Of the 2,000 people with assets worth more than £250,000 who were surveyed, 41% of them reported they had been scammed, with more than a third saying they had fallen victim in the last six months. 20% of the victims lost money through investment scams, while 15% were defrauded by pension scams.

Pension and investment fraud are two common methods of scamming affluent people. Read on to find out how these scams work, some red flags to watch out for, and what you can do if you find yourself the victim of financial fraud.

Investment scams

Investment scams will attempt to make you part with your wealth, either into a fake scheme or one that is designed to make you pay more than the potential returns.

A Lasting Power of Attorney could offer protection at every life stage

Naming a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is often associated with the elderly. But it could provide vital protection and peace of mind at every life stage.

An LPA gives someone you trust the ability to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. When you think about the scenarios that might happen, it may be something you think you don’t need until your later years. However, ill health and accidents can occur at any stage of your life.

Without an LPA in place, it can be difficult for loved ones to act on your behalf. So, whether you’re in your 20s or 80s, naming an attorney could be a valuable way to create protection should something happen.

Your next of kin cannot automatically make decisions on your behalf

It’s a common misconception that your next of kin would be able to make decisions for you if you cannot.

Fraudsters used “social engineering” to steal £580 million in the first half of 2023

While the amount stolen by fraudsters fell slightly in the first six months of 2023 when compared to the same period in 2022, a staggering amount was still lost to scams. The latest figures from UK Finance show £580 million was stolen by criminals.

Advanced security systems used by banks prevented £651 million from being stolen in the first half of 2023. Yet, despite these efforts, thousands of people are still falling victim to scams that could have a devastating effect on their emotional and financial wellbeing.

Indeed, the Great British Retirement Survey 2023 found that 1 in 12 people have lost money due to financial scams in the past three years. Interestingly, the findings suggest younger generations could be more likely to fall for a scam – 15% of respondents aged under 40 said they’d lost money due to fraud.

Fraudsters are using authorised push payments to scam victims

According to the UK Finance report, criminals often focus their attempts on “socially engineering personal information” to commit authorised push payment (APP) fraud in which the victim is encouraged to make the payment themselves.

Inflation is falling. Here’s what it could mean for your finances

High inflation has dominated headlines over the last two years. With the rate now slowly nearing the Bank of England’s (BoE) target, taking stock of what it means for your finances could be useful.

The BoE is responsible for managing inflation and aims to keep it at 2%. The central bank explains keeping inflation stable helps everyone plan for the future.

Several factors combined in 2021 that led to the rate of inflation soaring. It reached a peak of 11.1% in October 2022 – a 41-year high. In the 12 months to November 2023, it’s still above the BoE target but has fallen to 3.9%, according to Office for National Statistics data.

The BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) said it expects inflation to continue falling towards the 2% target in 2024. However, it doesn’t expect to reach the target until the end of 2025.

The families of 6 in 10 over-75s could face challenges if they lose mental capacity

A survey suggests more than half of people aged over 75 haven’t arranged a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). It’s an oversight that could mean their families may not be able to make decisions on their behalf if they lost mental capacity.

MoneyAge report that research from Just Group revealed that around 3.4 million over-75s had no LPA in place. If you or your relatives may be among them, read on to find out what an LPA is and why having one may bring invaluable peace of mind to you and your family.

An LPA allows you to choose someone you trust to take care of your affairs

An LPA is a legal document that allows you to nominate one or more people you know and trust to take care of your affairs in the event that you can no longer look after them yourself.

How to help your family manage your affairs when you pass away

Planning for your death can be emotionally difficult, but it could be a huge help to your loved ones.

Research suggests administering an estate after a loved one has passed away can affect mental health and finances. Read on to learn more about some of the steps you could take to help your family manage your affairs.

According to the Exizent Bereavement Index 2023, more than half of people dealing with bereavement and administering an estate say it’s harmed their mental health.

Furthermore, 28% said they suffered financial difficulties. This was driven by unexpected costs, Inheritance Tax (IHT) obligations, or pressure to distribute assets.

In fact, just 1% of people said they found the probate process easier than expected.

6 practical steps you could take now to ease the burden on your loved ones


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