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Weekend reading: Thrifty business

Weekend reading: Thrifty business post image

What caught my eye this week.

A few years ago the Financial Times published an article about students and money that caught fire and went viral.

I can’t even remember whether the gist was eat fewer avocados or mount the barricades and challenge the system. But I did notice it seemed to lead to a change in editorial tone.

Perhaps it was a coincidence or a staff change, but the personal finance section (which I’ve been reading since I was a 20-something myself) definitely took a lurch to the sympathetic. A cynic might say the FT was chasing new traffic it hadn’t known was there. I suspect it realized even its uniquely affluent young readership felt under the cosh.

Now, I know not every Monevator reader of a certain age has made that leap.

However personally I do believe – financially-speaking – that it’s tougher now for most aspirational young people than for many decades.

No, not tougher than it was for a miner’s son wanting to follow his father down the pit in the Valleys in the early 1980s – nobody is claiming that.

But far harder for an averagely studious young person to achieve averagely good grades and get a middle-of-the-road job and end up with a house and 2.4 kids on anything like an average street in an average town.

And at the end of the day, for most people for right or wrong that’s what it’s all about (including virtually all those older folk who say “let them eat rent!”)

Money saving experts

Anyway, all that’s a long-winded way of saying that the FT’s Millennial Thrift special this week has lots of tips on saving money, many with a digital dint.

Some even work if you’re an old lag like me. Especially as there’s a London slant.

Go check out all the tips at the Financial Times [search result], and if you’ve got any that aren’t mentioned then feel free to add them in the comments below.

(Let’s only have a couple of obligatory sarcastic Viz knock-off tips please! 😉 )

As to whether saving £8 on a movie ticket or getting a cheap pizza is a sustainable solution to homes priced at 20-times local earnings… well that’s a debate for another day.

Oh yes: Come on England!

From Monevator

Investing for beginners: Uncompensated risk – Monevator

From the archive-ator: Thoughts on a very British housing crisis at Northern Rock – Monevator


Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view these enable you to click through to read the piece without being a paid subscriber.1

‘Bleak and crippling year’ for UK High Street: Store sales fall for fifth month in a row – ThisIsMoney

Britons may be able to claim billions more in PPI compensation – ThisIsMoney

Brace for a lost decade in US stocks, warns Morningstar – MarketWatch

Report: UK single-breadwinner families need 27% boost in income – Guardian

How the UK’s middle class savers are being dragged into a 55% pension tax trap – ThisIsMoney

Poorer parents contribute more than expected to plug student finance gap – Save the Student

Bank of England warns on the impact to GDP of a full-blown US-led trade war [PDF]BOE

Products and services

Buy-to-let lenders offering workarounds on tough affordability rules – ThisIsMoney

National Counties lifts rate on its top easy-access Classic Saver 4 to 1.35% – NCBS

Vanguard to enable free trading of most ETFs on its US platform [I’m not sure about UK?]ETF.com

Ratesetter’s free £100 bonus offer ends this month [Affiliate link]Ratesetter

Marriage tax break could save £900, but one million couples are missing out – ThisIsMoney

Mini bond investors given hope by ombudsman ruling [Search result]FT

Remember Thriva, the fancy blood test and app combo? It now enables you to add various personalized tests to your subscription, from testosterone to thyroid function. You get 50% off your first test (and I get £10) if you try via this link – Thriva

How much does a garden cost? £27,000 on average, apparently – ThisIsMoney

In pictures: Homes with air conditioning – Guardian

Comment and opinion

The privilege of knowledge – Of Dollars and Data

ETF industry has reached maturation without maturing – Bloomberg

Supply and demand: One reason it’s harder to beat the markets than you think – Peter Lazaroff

The (evolution) of the investing pyramid [PDF]Meb Faber

Help! My child’s pension has hit the Lifetime Allowance roadblock [Search result]FT

Trade war bark: Hold tight or nasty bite? – Investing Caffeine

P2P lending: A review of the market – Young FI Guy

Vanguard should offer a “total fund”, with everything in it – Morningstar

The ideal scenario in retirement: Conservative returns, steady income – Financial Samurai

Made $650m? Here’s how to keep it better than Johnny Depp (reportedly) – The Big Picture

Wealth is what you don’t see – Fervent Finance

UK stock market valuation and forecast – UK Value Investor

Is volatility risk? – Behavioural Investment

Larry Swedroe: Dividend policy and stock returns [Research precis]ETF.com

The new glide path [Using momentum to reduce sequence of returns risk, research, nerdy]Flirting with Models

Kindle book bargains

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil – £1.99 on Kindle

Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson – £0.99 on Kindle

Made to Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck by Chip and Dan Heath – £1.99 on Kindle

The Honourable Company: History of the English East India Company by John Keay – £1.99 on Kindle

Moon Over Soho: The Second Rivers of London novel by Ben Aaronovitch – £0.99 on Kindle


Theresa May’s struggle to protect trading links with EU after Brexit [Search result]FT

Airbus chief: Government has no clue how to execute Brexit without harm – Guardian

Martin Wolf: The irremediable folly of a ‘no deal’ Brexit [Search result]FT

Ongoing Brexit cost calculator [Nearly £47 billion so far]Brexit cost calculator

Off our beat

Fitness trackers prove England taking penalties isn’t good for your heart – via Twitter

You decide: Would you let a car determine who dies? – ABC News

For the first time more than 200,000 flights are tracked in one day – via Twitter

Red-hot planet: All-time heat records set across the globe – Washington Post

I’ve only just discovered this silly word pronunciation ‘guide’ – YouTube

And finally…

“If wealth is defined as funded contentment, then we need to know what we’re supposed to be funding.”
– Brian Portnoy, The Geometry of Wealth: How To Shape A Life Of Money And Meaning

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{ 70 comments… add one }
  • 1 ermine July 6, 2018, 4:53 pm

    I do absolutely take the premise that life is tougher for the average Millennial than generations before. Opportunities are also crazily greater for high-flyers, but not all of us want to be or can be high flyers.

    But I want to claim the curmudgeonly old git prize here, because the so-called savings on Kate’s spending with all that smartphonery and apps was often spending on wants, not needs. Maybe she has more fun, because it’s often the wants that add fun in life, and after all, what’s your twenties about if not the mating game and the social melee, but a lot of the money saved was perhaps money that perhaps should have been spent more wisely in the first place. Half-price on eating out and saving on comedians is great, and I do admire the coffee trick, but Claer’s spending looks wiser to me. The FT could do better IMO.

    Oh and always open the search result in a private tab, so save you the hunt and destroy *ft.com in the cookies file next time…

  • 2 Petepool July 6, 2018, 5:01 pm

    Can I claim one of the 2 Viz top tips then? Especially as it references passive investing, well nearly.

    LEPRECHAUNS. Protect your finances by investing in a tracker fund, rather than relying on an ailing currency and leaving a 200 foot technicolour arrow in the sky pointing to where you have hidden it.

  • 3 Matthew July 6, 2018, 5:24 pm

    The main reason it’s different for millenials I think is because interest rates are low, and inflation reads lower so I blame the switch from RPI to CPI :p (just kidding! I’ve since read that actually boe was using RPIX which excluded house price and now we’re bringing in cpih which includes housing at some point)

    Anyway house prices were what scared me into investing in the first place, as I couldn’t borrow much and needed to keep up. I think if millenials knew they could invest they wouldn’t worry so much about not keeping up with house prices, it gave me profound peace of mind and I thank monevator for a lot of that education. This hostile low rate environment creates aggressive investors

    Although I do think millenials have it easier with medicine, technology, banking, etc – I couldn’t have learned without the Internet. It’s strange to think that people used to have to go without knowledge.

  • 4 Will Mington July 6, 2018, 5:42 pm

    “Coffee is another daily expense that can be trimmed — but you don’t have to give it up. Bringing your own reusable cup will help save the planet, and save you money.”

    Buying a cafetiere and making your own will pay for itself after 2 weeks. An aeropress after about 4 weeks. Heck even a Dualit percolater will pay for itself after a few months…

  • 5 dearieme July 6, 2018, 6:32 pm

    “far harder for an averagely studious young person to achieve averagely good grades and get a middle-of-the-road job and end up with a house and 2.4 kids on anything like an average street in an average town.”

    How can that be?

    “Especially as there’s a London slant.”

    That must be it.

  • 6 Gadgetmind July 6, 2018, 6:51 pm

    Daughter bought a decent semi only a few mins walk from work in Nottingham for £125k, which is 5x her graduate starting salary, but “less x” given her overtime. Mortgage interest is £200pcm, which is chicken feed.

    To those of us who had double-digit interest rates, this sounds like easy street.

    I employ a few grads and for good ones (1st or 2.1 grade STEM degree from Russel Group or similar) starting salaries are around £35k.

    I think it’s swings and roundabouts, and as @Matthew says above, access to information nowadays makes learning and improving your skills very easy, and even at age 55 I’m adding to the skills bank like a crazed loon.

  • 7 Matthew July 6, 2018, 6:58 pm

    My mortgage is chicken feed too, but it could be a problem if rates go up much, though I’m sure boe is acutely aware

    I reckon try to not work in London

    And I think that it has to be said however that although learning is easier, more jobs now require formal qualifications for everything, and second time round you don’t get another student loan for those 9k fees, so actually changing career may be harder, although I imagine where there’s a will there’s a way

  • 8 Gadgetmind July 6, 2018, 7:06 pm

    Where there’s a will, a plan that’s been thought through, and a willingness to actually work hard, there is certainly a way.

    Daughter left uni with £70k in fees, and we had half a mind to pay these off for her, but we’re buying a Tesla instead. 🙂

  • 9 Rob July 6, 2018, 7:26 pm

    I am struggling to have any sympathy with the scenario described by Michael Martin in the article on ‘accidentally’ maxing out his childrens lifetime allowance before they’ve even made a contribution themselves.

    It’s a nice problem to have and it does seem to me that in that scenario the system is working as it should do – encouraging saving without providing disproportionate means of avoiding inheritance tax.

    His children are more than welcome to max out their annual personal LISA and ISA allowances if they’re struggling with having too much money.

  • 10 Matthew July 6, 2018, 7:31 pm

    I had a plan 1 student loan, my parents were scared bu the word “loan” and advised me to pay it off, which I did ASAP

    I then came to deeply regret that decision when I was struggling to save a deposit for a property and had felt like I had thrown money away

    But now it’s not such a bad decision since the threshold for plan 1 loans has remained low and I would’ve been paying it all off eventually anyway, but that’s not to say I couldn’t have invested it better

  • 11 Learner July 6, 2018, 7:55 pm

    A lost decade (on top of the previous decade, for those without capital to invest) would be crushing. Consider this chart: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2017/06/images/dettling2_lg.jpg

    Net wealth just 60% of previous generations at same age.

  • 12 Gordon July 6, 2018, 8:17 pm

    Why is it harder for millennials? It’s as if opening up the UK labour market to the EU has reduced salaries and increased house prices?

  • 13 Tyro July 6, 2018, 9:18 pm

    @ Gordon: Nice try. But wages have been stagnant in the US for decades too, and they’re not in the EU.

    And if open labour markets are the problem, we’re going to have it in spades if the Brexiteer Ultras get their way. One of their beefs with the EU is that it is not ‘open’ enough. Hence all the bluster about becoming a free trading nation (1860s style).

  • 14 Matthew July 6, 2018, 9:23 pm

    @Gordon – in a sense millennial have paid a price for the mistakes of the Soviet union – hence why eastern Europe has a supply of poor workers, and globalisation does slowly fix that but at the millennial workers expense – but with political correctness we practically have to give priority in society to everyone but ourselves. Millennials were taught at school to be selfless and politically correct and pro eu, and the young tend to have more liberal views naturally

  • 15 Gordon July 6, 2018, 10:02 pm


    Opening up our labour market has lowered wages for Brits… That’s just the way markets work… Even Lord Rose (Chairman of the Bremain campaign) said that…..

    Or maybe you think the likes of OPEC is wrong in increasing oil supply to reduce oil prices?

    If I was in charge of Brexit I’d be deporting people that lacked a basic understanding of economics.

  • 16 dearieme July 6, 2018, 10:14 pm

    “But wages have been stagnant in the US for decades too, and they’re not in the EU.”

    Obviously having a wide open border with Mexico bears no resemblance whatsoever.

  • 17 Tyro July 6, 2018, 10:20 pm

    @ Gordon, @ dearieme

    – my second paragraph anticipates your replies.

  • 18 Gordon July 6, 2018, 10:35 pm


    Why should I read your second paragraph when you’ve amply demonstrated in your first paragraph that your opinion should be ignored?

    I think anyone that’s intellectually honest would agree that allowing millions of EU migrants into the UK has reduced wages for Brits.

  • 19 Matthew July 6, 2018, 11:13 pm

    Why do we supposedly need open labour markets to have otherwise free trade? Maybe it wouldn’t be 100% free by definition since labour is a market, but goods and services could flow?

  • 20 Wephway July 7, 2018, 12:03 am


    Or you could argue that immigration has increased growth putting more money in the economy, increased innovation, created new opportunities, new jobs, and generally made life more interesting. The economy isn’t some closed system with a fixed number of jobs, fixed number of services, fixed number of products and so on like you suggest. Maybe read an economics text book before you go accusing others of lacking a basic understanding of economics.

    Take the US for example, three centuries of immigration is what has made the US the country it has become, the most powerful, most economically successful country in the world. It’s sad seeing what Trump is trying to do, but the only country that will suffer from his protectionist policies is the US itself.

  • 21 Matthew July 7, 2018, 5:32 am

    @wephway – I think the reason the us became the richest country was largely because it stayed out of ww1 and 2 for a long time while exploiting Britain’s deoendancies on safe shipping supplies at the time and taking over shipping routes we had to the colonies. Long term there are other free markets snd monarchies ought to provide more stability than republics

    If migration has helped a lot of it would feel from the bottom up – growth because of cheep labour supply, growth because of housing shortages – so many migrants go for unskilled work, maybe because their qualifications wouldn’t count here or they lack confidence with language necessary for success

  • 22 L July 7, 2018, 6:57 am

    @Matthew – I have been trying my best to avoid paying my Plan 1 loan for 15 years. Wife actually managed to avoid it entirely through a combination of salary sacrifice pension and childcare. There’s always some better use for the money!

  • 23 Stefan July 7, 2018, 7:12 am

    @Gordon “Reality Check: Who are the low-skilled EU workers?” https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-41176699

    Interesting figures in there about the pros and cons, as well as the impact of low-skilled EU workers.

    “A 2015 paper from the Bank of England found that for semi-skilled and unskilled workers in the service sector, a 10 percentage point increase in the proportion of immigrants working in the sector would be associated with a 1.88% reduction in pay. ”

    According to the article about 6% of low-skilled employment consists of EU migrants. So roughly a 1.88% * 0.6 = 1.128% reduction in pay. That’s £100-200 less income per year for a low-paid wage job.

    This number is lower than the rate of inflation or any number of other factors that affect people’s spending power. Can you quantify how low-skilled EU migrants are making life harder for millennials?

  • 24 Gordon July 7, 2018, 7:23 am


    I’ve known Brits that have lost their jobs because migrants worked for less money and accepted worse conditions… How is that good for Brits?

    I think we all accept that letting in hundreds of thousands of migrants a year increases the size of the economy. However do we individually get wealthier if the economic cake has to get split between more people? Not necessarily… If the economy grows by 5% a year and the population is growing by 10% a year we are individually getting poorer…

    If immigration is so good economically why does the likes of Spain allow so many spaniards to work abroad? Youth unemployment in Spain is something like 30%, using your arguments Spain should stop all their youth getting jobs abroad and then allow a couple of million Africans in to boost their economy…. Why do they not do that? It’s as if the whole “immigration is good for the economy” is a fallacy that does not pass intellectual scrutiny.

    Anyway, does an increasing population improve our quality of life? Do you like road congestion? Do you like crowded trains? Do you like going for a walk surrounded by other people? Do you like building on greenbelt to house all the migrants?

  • 25 Matthew July 7, 2018, 7:40 am

    @L – tax wise that makes sense until you forecast you might run up against the lifetime allowance (by having aggressive investments in sipp), at that point I decided that isa was less harmful. A pension only defers tax anyway, although admittedly a plan 1 loans would expire.

    Sipp made even more sense when I was on child tax credits, but we’ve fallen out if that system

    Even iht isn’t worth avoiding i think, costs to avoid it exceed the tax

  • 26 Matthew July 7, 2018, 7:41 am

    @l – I have a db pension too, if that helps explain the risk of lifetime allowance breach

    And risk that labour nay force annuities again one day

  • 27 L July 7, 2018, 7:42 am

    @Gordon –

    Why would Spain 1) ban their youth from going abroad and then 2) allow in several million migrants?

    Watch out – I think your straw men are going up in smoke

  • 28 Gordon July 7, 2018, 8:27 am


    If immigration is so beneficial to the economy it seems reasonably to suggest that emigration must be bad for the economy….

    So we have a situation where poor people from failed economies move to richer economies. If immigration is so beneficial economically (which is claimed so often) we should really make sure that migrants move to poor countries. Somalia is a poor country. Maybe we should move all the migrants that want to move to Europe there? Imagine the economic powerhouse Somalia would become with all those Nigerians/ Afghans/ Pakistanis etc.

    When you’re a kid after a certain age you stop believing in the tooth fairy and Santa. When you’re an adult you come to a certain age when you stop believing that mass immigration is good for the country.

  • 29 The Investor July 7, 2018, 8:56 am

    @all — Re: Immigration and the economy and millennial living standards, I think we’re going around in circles. Both sides have put their case fairly well and we risk repeating the other week’s debate.

    Could I suggest any further immigration chat goes there please? (http://monevator.com/weekend-reading-brexit-enters-the-terrible-twos/)

    I’m minded to delete further immigration stuff on this thread. Not that it isn’t interesting or whatnot, and I won’t say it’s “off-topic” as such, but I think the debate will just clog up any other comments and as I say we’re going around in circles.


  • 30 ITInvestor July 7, 2018, 9:09 am

    I found the CAPE charts on UK Value Investor’s piece very handy. But the concentration of the FTSE on banks, commodity stocks and the like means I’ll probably stick with more global funds and trackers for a while yet.

  • 31 Wephway July 7, 2018, 9:14 am


    So, immigration is bad, but Spain has 30% youth unemployment and a problem with emigration? Huh? Seems a bit of a contradiction to me.

    We just had the worst recession since the 1930s, I suppose you would blame all that on immigrants as well?

    I work with quite a few northerners who’ve moved down south because there are more and better paid jobs available. Two of them are Brexiters, I do enjoy (ironically) telling them, in the voice of some UKIP/BNP moron, ‘All these northerners, coming down here, stealing our jobs.’ But I say it in jest, the reality is I like working with people from across the country, across the EU and the world, it makes the workplace more dynamic and interesting.

    I think for a long time, possibly decades, immigration (and the EU) received a bad press from unsavoury characters and their pernicious arguments and the people that appreciated the worth of immigration didn’t speak up or defend it. It’s sad that it has taken Brexit, and Trump, for us to sit up and realise we need to defend such things.

  • 32 Wephway July 7, 2018, 9:16 am

    Oops sorry Investor, I just saw your comment.

  • 33 The Investor July 7, 2018, 9:17 am

    @Wephway — I agree with you and appreciate the measured way you’re making your points. It’s been a good discussion.

    But please move further immigration discussion here, for reasons stated above: http://monevator.com/weekend-reading-brexit-enters-the-terrible-twos/

    Further immigration stuff on this thread will be deleted, for reasons stated above, for the sake of wider readership/discussion. Thanks!

  • 34 Matthew July 7, 2018, 9:28 am

    @ti – by the way, I find ft articles don’t always seem to work on desktop view but do work in privacy/incognito mode, as no cookies

  • 35 Tentative about Investing July 7, 2018, 9:56 am

    I can’t go as far back anecdotally as some of you ( I’m 35), but there is absolutely no doubt things are harder for those hitting the workplace now that for me in 2004.

    Even at the risk of getting deleted I feel I should add wages were high, house prices manageable for the first few years after the EU expanded eastwards, so there must be more going on.

    Seems to me there are two main thrusts to it:
    1. The introduction of what is, more or less, a graduate tax through the punishing new student loan system.
    I’m deeply opposed to this as the income tax system is progressive in any sense – so if you benefit from a degree and earn more as a result you end up paying more tax even without repayment of a huge loan !
    2. Ultra-low interest rates.
    I bought my home for 286k in 2007. A two bed flat in a ‘vibrant’ bit of London. It seemed like a fortune then – but fast forward ten years and it’s comfortably over 500k with new blocks going up nearby selling slightly larger units in the high 600 and low 700s. According to JLL crossrail will push the prices even higher… yet I pay next to nothing on the mortgage, having fixed for ten years under 3pc.

    Seems to me keeping interest rates so low for so long punishes those without assets and cossets those with assets

  • 36 The Investor July 7, 2018, 9:57 am

    @Matthew — Yes, a few have reported similar. I’m going to amend the note next week to add this top. Cheers!

  • 37 Gordon July 7, 2018, 10:39 am


    I’ve responded to your arguments in the thread suggested by the Investor in post 33.

    I hope to see you there.

  • 38 YoungFIGuy July 7, 2018, 10:43 am

    As always, thanks for linking to my post TI. Really appreciate it.

    I find myself caught in the middle of the debate. I think there is a lot of focus on the wrong question: “is it more difficult for millennials?”

    In some ways it is undoubtedly more difficult. Then again, in other respects, it was much more difficult for my grandfather (immigrant and blitz survivor) and my mother (like Ermine, massive interest rates and inflation).

    So I think it’s more helpful to frame it as: “it’s still difficult, just in a different way”.

    We need to ask why are things different and what can we do about it. This comment is long enough already, so I’ll avoid going into that rabbit hole (for now).

    But I’ll end with this: The advice to save money and be thrifty is good advice. It is timeless. But we need to combine that with other ways of succeeding, tailored to today’s world.

    Sorry if I’m being vague, but I’m once again breaking my rule of commenting on my phone. So please forgive me for my wishy washy-ness!

  • 39 Naeclue July 7, 2018, 11:24 am

    Us older ones who have benefitted from the system could help millennials by paying more tax and reducing their burden. All of my income comes from investments, yet I pay less tax as a proportion of income than many millennials (who also pay NI). This makes no sense at all. Dividends and capital gains should be taxed at the same rates as earned income and ISAs should have a maturity date (55-60?), beyond which they lose their tax free status. Any income and gains from the maturity date should be taxed.

  • 40 Matthew July 7, 2018, 11:35 am

    @Naeclue – careful not to bite millenials with that isa age limit! Some younguns could be unlucky to have gone through a wage squeeze, invest to try to beat the system only to get done over by reforms later in life, and a lifetime allowance that increases far too slowly

  • 41 Matthew July 7, 2018, 11:37 am

    There will be more iht when boomers go, and millenials will inherit then

  • 42 old_eyes July 7, 2018, 12:30 pm

    @YoungFIGuy – you are right that the overall situation has changed and people need to figure out how to succeed in the new environment, but I don’t know how I would do that.

    I entered the world of work at the start of the Thatcher Government. My partner and I lived in a council house at a fairly cheap rent (the council was so desperate to keep people living in unpopular estates that they rented hard to let properties to students and we stayed on for a bit). In one year of working between the two of us we saved enough to put down a deposit, get a mortgage and buy a house (£16.5k). The prevailing belief at the time was that if you got a ‘good’ ‘professional’ job you would be set for life (or until you wanted to move). Not true of course, but that was the view and it gave confidence to leverage yourself highly to get on the housing ladder. We started with no debt as this was pre university fees and student loans. Initial savings mandated by a compulsory pension scheme.

    Turn to my son. Same grade of first degree from a good university (not STEM though). Significant debt, entering a world where there is no sense of permanence to any job, and where he has bounced in and out of several already, and a knowledge that he needs to be prepared to move anywhere to find work (why he is so furious about Brexit). That does not breed confidence in the future.

    Then the multiples to get on the housing ladder in cities where the work he does is concentrated, and a whole bunch of people telling him he is not saving enough in his DC pension and is doomed to a penurious old age.

    I had it easy in comparison and I know it. Making his way is much tougher for him and he is much further back in the houseowning and pension journey than I was at his age, even though I took an extra three years for an advanced degree.

    Frugality is always useful, and he and his partner still live very much a student lifestyle in accommodation and spending, but if a few avocados, the occasional sunday brunch at a local vegetarian cafe and a smartphone (not the latest) make that life a little bit more pleasant, I am certainly not going to criticise.

    Talking to him and his circle of friends, they do not see themselves as able to follow the same path as our generation. They envy, but do not criticise (at least to my face). They do the best they can and hope things will work out.

    There is probably the same spread in the millenials in terms of personal financial acumen and drive as you find for us boomers. But the centre of the wealth distribution has definitely moved to an older, smaller and harder point on the map. In the current construction they will have less, have struggled more to get it, and will get it when they are older.

    And on the IHT point @Matthew; I read somewhere that average age to inherit in the UK is now 61. Nice, but a bit late for the critical phase of building their lives.

  • 43 Matthew July 7, 2018, 12:56 pm

    @oldeyes – inheritance will be the new pension…

  • 44 PC July 7, 2018, 1:49 pm

    The first tip is not just for millennials. A senior railcard + oyster PAYG = 30% off for off peak journeys. Tapping in before 6:30 makes for a very cheap journey into work.

  • 45 londoninvestor July 7, 2018, 2:42 pm

    This Is Money: “How the UK’s middle class savers are being dragged into a 55% pension tax trap”

    Also This Is Money: “Where do pension millionaires invest? … How do YOU become a pension millionaire?” (about 2 months ago, with not a single mention of the LTA)


  • 46 Learner July 7, 2018, 3:00 pm

    Not so sure inheritance is going to set things right for a generation. Besides coming late in life, it varies massively. The average currently is about £120k, but with about 1.5m landlords in the country it’ll be some receiving a bounty and some receiving naught. The elder generation without a huge portfolio and/or pension – but probably a valuable owner/occupied house – will downsize to pay for care to the end.

    I look at that chart showing near flat net wealth as a generation heads toward 40 and can’t help thinking its going to hit the fan badly in the not too distant future.

  • 47 old_eyes July 7, 2018, 3:19 pm

    @Matthew – sure inheritance can be a nice thing, but it is scarcely a pension replacement unless the pot is very big. There are many potential unplanned events. Selling up to fund care, late marriage, family disputes with the money going to the local cats home.

    It is not the inheritor’s money. It never is until all the dust settles. It belongs to the person who accumulated it and they will do what they wish with it, and that is exactly how it should be.

    Much as I love my 90-year old mother, I would never assume that she is my pension. I want my own money. And that is why even though there may be untold riches cascading down the generations, millennials have it harder than we did.

  • 48 Matthew July 7, 2018, 3:44 pm

    @oldeyes – I don’t mean that it’s the way it should be, just that it’s getting that way with millenials having insufficient pension, and that itll bail a few millenails out – it’s not nice to eye up inheritances like you say, and it’s not a fair system, but it’s just how it’s become

    As I’m on about half what my dad earned before retirement but I’m managing to save and invest, i have a basic life but self sufficient, and possibly better than my parents when you add technology, so I expect other millenials to manage it. I encourage my parents to enjoy it on their way out, any i get will help my son more than it helps me. Trouble is my parents reject my wife and don’t see my son, but I still have an attachment to them (can’t help it) and it’s in my sons interest that I keep in the will

  • 49 PC July 7, 2018, 5:34 pm

    Inheritance is very unfairly distributed. The recipient really ought to be taxed on it as income .

    What is tough now is the property price to income ratio, although partly due to very low interest rates. I couldn’t afford to buy the house I live in now.

  • 50 Matthew July 7, 2018, 5:45 pm

    @PC – if inheritance was taxed as income it’d be cheaper for any pensions that massively breach the lifetime allowance if the dead person is over 75, but it’d hit middle classesd

    But hear in mind this income has already been taxed once and removing it from the investment world generally may make it harder for companies to raise income

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