TAX AND POLITICS

TODAY’S BLOG

TAX AND POLITICS

The General election is a few weeks away, the over-egged promises are being spouted by all sides. We really must seem like a very dim bunch to those that are so wrapped up in their political ideology. Anyway, I am not here to share my political views, simply to remind you of some basic truths.

I heard one item on the news as I travelled to the office the other morning. This was another politician using the word “free” to describe what the electorate would receive. This is an interesting choice of words. I was also somewhat interested in the bashing of the uber rich. I am not in that bracket (!) and frankly there is no possibility that I ever would be. However I was surprised that some people seem to believe that those with vast wealth actually have it all in bank account that can be easily raided. Like them or not the uber rich hold assets and some cash, but mainly assets.

This in mind, I thought that perhaps a little bit of education on the tax system may be of help. There are lots of numbers involved, but stick with it if you can (I know your time is precious).

INCOME TAX

Income tax accounts for about a third of all taxes received by HMRC. When combined with National Insurance, Capital Gains Tax and Bank Payroll Tax, these make up about 55% of all UK taxes. The amount of total tax paid to HMRC rises almost every year. In 2000/01 the total stood at £315,642m in the last tax year 2018/19 it had nearly doubled to £619,367 over 18 years.

THE UNION AND TAXES

In the tax year 2016/17 for those of you interested the total tax raised was £568,603m of which 87.2% was raised in England, 3.3% was raised in Wales, 7.4% raised in Scotland and 2.1% raised in Northern Ireland.

WHO PAYS INCOME TAX

In 2017 the UK population was about 66million. Not everyone pays income tax (children, sick, unemployed, not employed and choosing to not “work”). In practice about 40% of the population pay income tax (they may well pay other taxes, but so do the 40%). In the 2016/17 tax year, there were 26.3m income tax payers in the whole of the UK. Of these 15.1m were male and 11.2m were female. 20.9m were under 65 and 5.39m were 65+.

HOW MUCH INCOME TAX DID THEY PAY?

In the 2016/17 tax year (the most recent with the data analysis). There was £174,000million paid in income tax by 26.3m individuals. So thats about 30% of all the taxes paid were from these income tax payers.  In the tax year concerned we basically have 4 categories of income taxpayer, those that simply pay the savings rate, those that pay basic rate (20%), higher rate (40%) and additional rate (45%).

As a reminder, in 2016/17 the personal allowance was £11,000 (the amount you can earn without paying income tax). This is reduced once your income is £100,000 at the rate of £1 for every £2 of income over £100,000. So anyone with an income of £122,000 has no personal allowance – all their income is taxable.

In terms of taxable income, the first £32,000 was taxed at 20%, from £32,001 – £150,000 tax is 40% and anything above £150,000 is taxed at 45%. Here is what happened.

As you can see from the table above, 81.75% of basic rate (20%) income taxpayers paid £57,300million in tax. You will remember Pareto’s law 80/20? Well its not far off, just over 80% of income taxpayers (83.78%) pay about 33% of the income tax bill. The next, smaller group, nearly 15% of the income taxpayer population of 40% taxpayers pay rather more between them – 37.3% of the total income tax bill. The smallest group (1.25% of taxpayers) those paying 45% income tax rates pay 29.6% of the total bill.

So whilst it is only part of the story – higher rate and additional rate taxpayers pay 66.9% of the income tax bill. Yet they only make up 16% of the income taxpayer population.

DO YOU WANT TO TAKE A POP AT THE 1%?

I am not supporting any political position here. I am simply making the statement that factually, if you pay income tax of 45% you are the 1%. As such you contribute a huge proportion of the total income tax bill. In exchange you have no personal allowance and probably a reduced pension allowance of £10,000 – less than an ISA. Let me also remind you that an income of £150,000 does not make you a millionaire…

If you fancy having a pop at the “millionaires”, taking the same data but just considering Additional Rate Taxpayers. There are 16,000 people with incomes of £1m+ (0.06% of income taxpayers) pay 8.79% of total income tax collected. So I will leave this here for you to mull over.

I have taken all this data from published HMRC and ONS documents that you can easily search and check yourself.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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TAX AND POLITICS2019-12-02T12:06:55+00:00

970 BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL

TODAY’S BLOG

970 BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL…

I’ve been trying to think of ways to explain the benefit of long-term investing. I’m not a big beer drinker, but given that when I do go to a pub, I’m always shocked at how much a pint of beer is. According to the ONS, the average pint of beer in the UK was £3.67 in January this year. Clearly a  national average, because that wouldn’t buy much in London.

30 Years Ago… 1989

Anyway, let’s suppose I am someone that likes to buy the occasional pint of beer. As I get older, like most people I tend to remember elements of the past fondly. Particularly this time of year as students return to University. 30 years ago, perhaps you were at University or had long since left. 1989 – the time when Nigel Lawson was replaced as Chancellor by John Major. Simply Red had a hit album “A New Flame”; Challenge Anneka had aired for the first time and Nick Faldo won the Open. A pint of beer back then was £1.03.

BOTTLES OF BEER

YOUR ANXIETY

Let’s suppose you had £1000 you wanted to do something with. The memory of Michael Fish and the great storm closely followed by Black Monday was fairly fresh in your memory. You didn’t fancy the stock market. So you found a decent deposit account, rates were high causing problems for borrowers but great for savers at 14%.

Thirty years later that £1000 had risen to £2,080 by January this year. You had forgotten about it except for when you sighed with relief as economic recessions came, Y2K, Dotcom bubble, Korean crisis, 9/11, credit crunch – you had avoided them all.

Yet there is a problem. In 1989 your £1000 would have bought a 30-year younger you 970 pints of beer. Today your £2,080 would only stretch to 566 pints.

Your Uni Friend John had a PEP

Your good friend John from University had put his money into the UK stock market, he put £1,000 into a Personal Equity Plan, some quirky idea brought in by Nigel Lawson. He bought a FTSE100 tracker fund (ok, maybe not, but stay with me). He had to live with the same economic stresses and saw the topsy turvy workings of the stock market. However, at the end of 30 years his £1000 was worth £11,494. He hadn’t touched it (neither had his adviser) and so all dividends were reinvested. This sort of money enables John to buy 3,131 pints of beer. That’s 5 times more than your 556 pints.

Julia also had a PEP

John is fairly happy, but his girlfriend Julia at the time also put £1,000 into a PEP, but she put it all into the FTSE250 tracker. She figured that slightly smaller companies might do a bit better than bigger ones. Lo and behold, Julia’s £1,000 has turned into £20,818. Julia can buy 5,672 pints of beer, that’s ten times (10x) TEN TIMES as much as your 556 pints.

OK – Smallprint (or not) Caveat Emptor…

Admittedly I have taken some liberties with costs, charges and the available funds in 1989. The biggest liberty I really took was suggesting that people leave their money alone. They/we don’t. We all tend to fiddle around, attempting to find a slightly or perhaps considerably “better” option.

Long story short, when considering investment for decades, what on earth does “risk” really mean? The risk of the power of the money in your pocket being worth less (or worthless) due to rising prices? The risk of seeing your money stagnate in cash? The risk of seeing the value of investments rise then fall?

30 Years £1000

Monsters grow

What ought to be blindingly clear…. don’t let your anxiety dictate your financial planning and investment strategy. It is a dreadful guide to future performance. The monster at your door is inflation, however small it seems today, feed it for 30 years and it’s still hungry and likely to eat you alive.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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970 BOTTLES OF BEER ON THE WALL2019-09-30T18:23:04+01:00

Another Concerning Survey

Another Concerning Survey

If you have followed me for any reasonable time, you will have gathered that I am fairly suspicious about surveys and opinion polls, primarily due to the very small sample sizes and the eagerness to extrapolate data from, well, frankly not very much.

That said, yet another survey has revealed more of the problems that, if correct, are concerning for the country. Paymentsense (a card payment service) clearly have an insight into how people spend money. They surveyed 1000 people last month (July 2017) of all ages, whether this is a truly representative sample… well, it won’t be. However, the findings are certainly of concern.

30% of UK Have No Savings

Firstly 30% have no savings at all for a “rainy day”. Of those that had savings 21% used them for a holiday and only 17% put savings towards their retirement. Here is where I also have an issue with the line of questioning (which is unclear from what I have seen) but this could have been interpreted as using cash deposits to add to a pension (into which they may already be saving). Some people may of course be already retired and have no purpose in “saving for retirement”. In any event, a pension would be what springs to mind when asked about saving for retirement, but of course there are a huge number of ways to invest into something which will ultimately provide an income and/or capital.

Nothing in reserve?

However, the headline grabbing figure is really the extrapolation of the data. This leads to the conclusion that some 45.5m people have less than one month’s salary set aside in “savings”. The population is now an estimated 65.6m, which obviously includes children, pensioners and anyone simply unable to work and “earn” income. The current “unemployment” rate is 4.4% (for 16-64 year-olds). In short, a significant economic blip would be likely to cause significant hardship for a lot of people if they lost their income for whatever reason.

Signs of uncertainty shown in house sales

As Government continue with plans to leave the EU and a growing awareness of the likely implications for UK jobs, it would appear logical to be concerned. Hence the property market isn’t exactly booming, but property prices do continue to rise (4.9% over 12 months to June 2017) according to the Land Registry, however the number of sales continues to fall from 98,152 in August 2016 to 69,545 in April 2017. As a matter of note, the lowest number of house sales was in 32,752 in January 2009. The highest was June 2006 with 153,465 (for all the UK). If it is of interest, over the last 20 years, the average property in the UK was £65,092 in August 1997 and now stands at £223,257 (June 2017).

If you like short animated films, then Borrowed Time is a delightful one and a powerful message. Here is the trailer (almost as long as the film).

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Email me to get in touch
Another Concerning Survey2017-08-16T10:40:54+01:00

Remembering Montmartre 1899

Remembering Montmartre 1899

It is 1899 and I’m at the latest Secret Cinema event, transported back in time to Montmartre, Paris in 1899, arriving at la vie Boheme – the Moulin Rouge. We are greeted by Monsieur Zidler and shortly bump into a certain Henri, one Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec with friends and then serenaded by a new young writer. We marvel at the guests, who like ourselves are not themselves, but suitably attired for their profession in 1899.

Most will not be familiar with Secret Cinema, it is, after all, secret and has a tag line, reminiscent of Fight Club – Tell No One. The concept is simple – gather a crowd of film lovers to come along to watch a movie together. The twist is that its immersive to the extent that there is a successful attempt to create the feeling of being in the movie, with not simply “sets” but landscapes to explore. Engage, (in character) with the actors who perform their screen roles before and during the screening of the film. It’s a lot of fun.

Champagne Lifestyle

Sadly not all in Montmartre was 1899 – the prices certainly were not. A bottle of Champagne (well why not? after all Monsieur Pol Roger died in 1899 and Jules Medot founded the Champagne house Louis-de-Custine in 1899) at the Moulin Rouge was £40 and as we all know that doesn’t go terribly far… So pandering to my slightly sad interest in inflation, I wondered what the price of Champagne was in 1899 and whether it was possible to re-inflate it back to 2017. Sadly the £40 price tag for a bottle of Champagne in 2017 wasn’t deflated to the 1899 price of just 33pence (best attempt)…..probably just as well, £40 then would have bought 121 bottles.  Inflation is arguably the most underestimated element that any investor must contend with and must be factored into any sensible financial plan.

Returning to the 70’s?

Many are currently suggesting that due to Brexit and the unfathomable Mr Trump, we are (collectively) in for a bumpy ride, perhaps something akin to the 1970s. If this does indeed become the case, presumably we can expect power cuts, strikes, industrial meltdown, oil price hikes and rampant inflation (well, by British standards anyhow). Personally, whilst I’m not pretending that everything is well, I don’t have a bleak outlook and find many of the scaremongering, nothing other than a tune for peddling. It is probably obvious to you by now that I’m not a fan of Mr Trump, or Brexit,

Inflating the figures

Anyway, back to the inflation issue and the 1970s. Remember that for the power of your £1 to remain the same it needs to keep pace with inflation. How inflation is measured is of course hugely contentious. We tend to use CPI and RPI as the most common metrics. That said, there often seems to be a disconnection between the rising prices of things you personally pay for and what the Office of National Statistics say they are. This isn’t a political jibe, if most of your spending is on utilities, then it’s likely that your personal rate of inflation is rather higher.

How do you remember the 1970s?

For the record, £100 at the end of 1970 was £364 by the end of 1980 because of the inflation (RPI) in the 1970s, which increased 9%, in 1971 then 7.6%, 10.6%, 19.2%, 24.9%, 15.1%, 12.1%, 8.4%, 17.2% and 15.1% in 1980.  This represents an average annualized inflation rate of 13.3%. The FTSE All-Share achieved an average annualized return of 12.2%. So didn’t quite keep pace with inflation and saw some huge market declines (-28.6% in 1973 and -51.6% in 1974) Any investor that lost their nerve at the end of 1974 would have missed out on the 151.4% recovery in 1975. These huge changes eventually ushered in a fundamental change in monetary policy and “Thatcherism” in an attempt to control the supply of money and inflation specifically.

Think and act life-long

The advantage of standing back and considering a long term approach is that the short-term volatility of a year or even a decade reinforces the rarely practiced investor skills of discipline and patience.

If you are interested in Secret Cinema, here’s the promotional trailer. Click here for the link to their website, where you can find out about many of their immersive film experiences, but tell no one…

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Email me to get in touch
Remembering Montmartre 18992017-03-09T06:50:37+00:00

Start with the end in mind

Start with the end in mind

I think it was Stephen Covey that coined the phrase “start with the end in mind”,  I’m sure others thought of it before, but he certainly used it successfully. When it comes to financial planning,  it is where most good financial planners begin.. but being British, it’s arguably one of our last taboos… how we think of death.

For many, the last year (2016) was full of high profile celebrity deaths. Hardly any of us actually knew these people, but we probably saw some of their work with varying degrees of impact.

At the end of the year Carrie Fisher died rather unexpectedly, followed 24 hours later by her grieving mother Debbie Reynolds. It was, and is, a poignant moment. One of the questions that I didn’t expect to ask myself was “what happened to the estate?” (as of now, I don’t know). If the estate was set up like most, the children are normally the beneficiaries… so I wondered what happened to Carrie’s estate which was then presumably a recipient of her mother’s – at least in part. An interesting case for the lawyers and an eager death duty office.

Lessons Learned from 2016?

Despite all the outpouring on social media and around dining tables about the sadness at the loss of X, Y or Z, there was no evidence that anyone prepared their own ending any more thoughtfully. There was no sudden demand for Wills or life assurance, or end of life plans.

According to ABI data, the UK is the fourth largest market for insurance. In 2015 129,000 families or individuals received a payment from protection products. Now I’m guessing that those that have some cover, probably have more than one policy. So there may be some doubling up with the data, but in any event the ONS reported 529,655 deaths for England and Wales in 2015 (up 5.6% on 2014 and the largest increase since 1968). So whilst clearly not everyone dies with dependents or liabilities, a significant number had no cover at all.

Most people do not have enough cover

Despite the warnings all around, that death eventually comes to us all, some much sooner than expected, most of us do not really give it too much thought. Its one of the easiest things to put off. Sadly I have seen the results of unexpected and early deaths and the impacts on families and whilst money would never replace a person, it would certainly have provided a very different future for the family left behind.

Don’t ignore the signs. Start with the end in mind.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Start with the end in mind2017-01-12T18:33:13+00:00

Divorce

Divorce

Understandably, divorce is a sensitive topic. Yet it is a reality for many people. The subject of divorce rates is open to interpretation. Some will see this as failed relationships, others will see it as ending misery, of course each has its own context and trauma (or not).

Statistics are interesting, but as I have said on countless occasions, they are merely data that can be manipulated to assist argument. So with that in mind, the ONS (Office for National Statistics…. yes it does sound rather like something from 1984) released data this week revealing that divorce rates fell 2.9% in 2013, when compared with 2012.  Factually, 2013 saw 114,720 couples in England and Wales granted a legal divorce. The bulk of which were people aged 40-49, however notably it would appear that more younger women divorce than men.

Anecdotal experience would tend to suggest that generally wives are a bit younger than their husbands… emphasis on generally. In addition divorce rates at older ages are likely to be lower due to the fact that marriages also end when people die and there are very few divorces amongst those under 25. So there’s a degree to which one might ask… isn’t this simply stating the obvious? One might also suggest that fewer marriages take place, so it follows that fewer divorces do.

Chance of divorce

I’m being a little inaccurate with interpretation here, rather than the chance of divorce, a better and more accurate statement would be the percentage of marriages that end in divorce. According to the ONS, the percentage of marriages ending in divorce has generally increased for those marrying between the late 1960s and the late 1990s. For those married in 1968 20% had divorced within 15 years. Thirty years later, of those married in 1998 32% were divorced before a 15th anniversary. The current median duration of a marriage that ends in divorce was 11.7 years in 2013.

The ONS note that compared to data from 2005 the percentage of marriages that end in divorce reduced from 45% to 42%…. so a minor reduction. They suggest a couple of possible factors for this.

1. The age at first marriage has been increasing, data suggests those that marry at older ages tend to have a lower risk of divorce.

2. Cohabitation has increased, which acts as a filter for those contemplating marriage, so arguably fewer marriages then end divorce.

OK, so this is all well and good, but so what? Well…. the uncomfortable truth is that something like 4/10 marriages end in divorce. So it would seem logical to reflect on this when it comes to your financial planning, by ensuring that both parties in a couple are engaged in financial decisions, both are building and protecting wealth. I have only ever seen one painless divorce (which in reality I do not know much about) most are very painful. Your financial planning can be arranged to reduce such pain, should it occur.

To generalise again, women under the age of 35 are far more likely to divorce than men. Men over the age of 50 are more likely to divorce than women.

Christmas Stress

If you are experiencing a divorce or think you may be about to. Christmas and summer holidays are the time when most people decide to divorce. Understanding your finances, what you have and what you need is vital and I am constantly surprised at how few divorce lawyers every suggest some proper cashflow modelling to reveal what is possible.

Divorce or relationship struggles often make good drama. Here is the trailer for the film “The Story of Us” starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Bruce Willis.

and for some dvd’s on the theme…

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Divorce2017-01-27T11:04:33+00:00

Inflation rate now 1%

Solomons-financial-advisor-wimbledon-bloggerInflation rate now 1%

Today, the ONS revealed that the inflation rate has fallen to 1.00%. On the one hand this appears to be good news – prices are not rising rapidly so we dont have to spend quite as much paying for goods and services. On the other hand there are some negative issues with this too. Firstly, whatever any Government says, inflation effectively devalues and reduces debt in real terms, so a degree of inflation for any economy carrying huge national debts (like ours) is actually rather a helpful tool. Secondly low inflation means that Government doesn’t have to worry too much about price rises and attempting to offset this with tempting offers not to spend (i.e. increasing interest rates which encourages saving rather than spending). So low inflation would suggest further long-term low rates of interest, which will displease anyone with cash in the bank using it to provide income.High cost of living

The main causes of the reduction in CPI (Consumer Price Index) are described by ONS as falls in transport costs (fuel, air transport and second hand cars). A little delving into the data reveals that food and non-alcoholic beverages decreased by 1.7%, clothing by -0.2%, transport by -0.2% and thet delightful category “miscellaneous” decreased  by -0.8%, all essentially deflation. However costs rose 4.0% for alcoholic beverages, 3.3% for electricity, water and gas, 2.0% for health, 2.4% for restaurants and hotels. Education costs rose 10%… which I assume consists in part of University costs. So your personal rate of inflation will rather depend on what you spend your money on. If you wish to delve more deeply into statistics, here is the official excel spreadsheet link.

Personally, I would be less inclinded to reply on national statisitics for your personal financial planning. It is not that I don’t trust the figures, it is simply that they include many things that you may not buy regularly. The weighting of the “basket” of goods and services is defined by others and when planning your own finances, it is much more sensible to consider how relevant it is that education costs, new or second hand cars are as part of your normal budget…. perhaps not much, so peak at the tables may provide clues to your own personal CPI.

Dominic Thomas

Inflation rate now 1%2017-01-06T14:39:33+00:00

Does social media take life and death seriously?

Solomons-financial-advisor-wimbledon-top-banner

Does social media take life and death seriously?

The storm (or lack of) depending on your experience of it generated some interesting insights into the way we express our views. Many experienced no loss or damage, some had damage to property and a small number of people lost their lives. There were many that expressed fairly widespread sentiments that the storm was not really that much of a storm – when we compare it to 1987 or indeed other storms around the world. Whether these views were expressed well or poorly, there were a number of people that pointed out that making light of the storm was inappropriate given that some people had died.

Death is a natural part of lifematteroflifeanddeath

Certainly an unexpected sudden death is a terrible experience for the family and friends of the person that died and anyone that has experienced such a loss would not want it to be taken lightly or dismissed as irrelevant. However, I wonder if chastisements for comments about a storm are really well founded. It seemed to me that we are in danger of policing comments for fear of offending anyone at all. Death is a part of life, we all know this, but few of us live as though this is a daily reality and normal.

Have you heard about the other 1% of society?

The UK population is now estimated at 63.7million by the ONS. The death statistics (sorry I couldn’t think of a nicer term) for the UK were last published to the end of 2010. This revealed that the number of people that died in 2010 was only 1.1% of the population, of which 58% were male and 42% female. Bringing this marginally up to date, 1.1% of 63.7m people is 700,700 people a year, or to put it another way, that’s 1,920 people a day (1,114 males, 806 females) each day, every day (on average). Of course the bulk of these are aged 80 or more, but there is a reasonable difference between males and females. For more women die at an older age, or to put it another way, females live longer. In 2010 nearly 85% of male deaths were aged 60+ but 91% of female deaths. This is primarily because far more men die between the ages of 35-59 than women (12.1% opposed to 7.4%). So back to our figures of averages on a typical day, irrespective of media coverage of mass shootings, crashes, natural disasters, the law of averages in the UK suggests the following will happen today and each day.

Age Range Males Females
Under 15 11 5
15-34 22 7
35-59 135 60
60-79 464 234
80+ 482 500

I am not suggesting that these figures could not alter, but death is not a question of if, but of when. It is as natural as life itself. As a progressive society we do our best not to hasten life or take it, but death is ever present. Some will read this as a rather depressing insight… but an alternative view might lead to taking the opportunities that life affords today and living it fully. In reality these are nothing more than statistics and of course each life should be cherished,we are all more than a number. For the bean counters of you… there is a death in the UK every 45 seconds…how long did it take you to read this piece?

Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA

Does social media take life and death seriously?2017-01-06T14:39:43+00:00
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