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Money Matters

Managing your money has never been easy but in current economic climate, it is nearly impossible. The chat is that we are coming out of a recession, but my wallet isn’t feeling it!

If you are finding yourself concerned about money, owing a lot of interest on credit cards or struggling to make payments on loans then there are a few independent companies that may be able to help.

 

Your welfare team will be able to offer support and advice but if you want to keep it private and try and deal with it yourself then just visit the websites below, get some advice or perhaps just book an appointment with your bank and chat to them directly.

 

By serving, you have a guaranteed income and depending on what you have signed up for, you know how long you will be employed for. Not many people have that assurance of work (redundancy and unemployment has never been so high) so don’t let it get you down. You are in a great position to negotiate with the financial services to try and manage you debt.

 

And there aren’t just the everyday bills to think about. That would be far too simple. There is insurance and pensions and wills. All of which are vital as a Forces family.

 

Most of all, try not to ignore it. You are certainly not the only one paying hundreds of pounds out in interest each month, everyone is feeling the pinch and lets face it, wages in the Forces aren’t the best. Just know when you think it has gone too far, that there are places to get help.

 

MANAGING YOUR MONEY – USEFUL LINKS

Citizens Advice Bureau - http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Citizens Advice Scotland - http://www.cas.org.uk/webdefault.aspx

Consumer Credit Counselling Service - http://www.cccs.co.uk/

Martin Lewis - http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/

National Debt Line - http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/

 

Don’t forget the little things like taking your car off the road when you are away and claiming travel expenses when you are entitled to visit family.  And if you are about to deploy – ensure that whoever is left behind is able to deal with the finances without you. 

 

Also, check out our discounts and offers section. There are loads of places that offer military discounts – always good for a bargain!

 

Life Insurance

When it comes to organising life insurance, always check that you are covered for Operational Deployment. Its sounds daft, but its easy to get sold insurance cover by a good sales person. If its sounds too good to be true – then it probably isn’t any good at all. There are forces specialist who will be able to help you compare policies should you have any doubts.

 

Alternatively, you can refer to the Services Insurance and Investment Advisory Panel (siiap) site which

 

Pensions

There are three Armed Forces Pension Schemes for members of the Services. In simple terms, it would depend on when you joined as to which scheme you are on. Anyone joining after 6th April 2005 will be on the AFPS05.

 

AFPS 75 (Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975)

AFPS 05 (Armed Forces Pension Scheme 2005)

RFPS (Reserve Forces Pension Scheme)

 

The pension scheme is excellent compared to what is covered in civvie street and if you visit the Armed Forces Benefit Calculator website you can really see exactly what your full pay and benefits is worth to you. http://www.mod-abc.co.uk/

 

However, what tends to happen is that the spouses forget their pension. As the partner who follows their loved one around the world, moving from place to place with very little chance of sustaining a career, what happens to their pension planning? Quite often – it’s very little or nothing at all.  It’s really worth thinking about.

 

 

Wills

This is probably one of the most depressing things you will do as a couple or an individual but it really is vital. As part of any pre-deployment planning will be both be told to organise your financial matters and to ensure you have a Will.

 

Some banks offer a free Will writing service as part of their Account benefits and this Government website can help guide you through what do to.

 


On a lighter note, here are some hilarious quotations from past Wills that may give you some inspiration. Enjoy!

Bitter Wills
Anthony Scott, in his last will and testament wrote: 'To my first wife Sue, whom I always promised to mention in my will. Hello Sue!'

Conditional Wills
The last will and testament of Edith S of Walsall included £50,000 to each of her children, Roger, Helen and Patricia. Their inheritance was not to be spent on 'slow horses and fast women and only a very small amount on booze'.

Caustic Wills
Sara Clarke of Bournmouth directed in here will: To my daughter, I leave £1 - for the kindness and love she has never shown me.

Vengeful Wills
One man left his employer one shilling to buy a book on manners.

Funny Wills
To my dear wife Esther, I leave the house and my money. To my son Barry, I leave my cars. To my daughter Suzy, I leave my boat and to my brother-in-law Jeff, who always insisted that health is better than wealth, I leave my treadmill.