Learning about Finance in Schools

Guest blogger – Jodie Harris
June 2023  •  2 min read

Learning about Finance in Schools

For the past week we’ve had an extra helping hand at Solomon’s headquarters, due to college student Jodie, who has been doing her work experience with us. During her time with us, she has been creating market research for both her college (and us!), by gathering data on what adults (with financial experience) wish they had been taught in schools. Our working assumption is that things like borrowing, interest rates, pensions and budgeting are likely to be the top-of-mind topics, but of course we may be surprised by the responses… Over to Jodie –

I have been assigned a really interesting project to research and evaluate how people feel about ‘learning about finance’ whilst at school.

We have put together a questionnaire to get opinions around this and following the analysis of the data we collect, we intend to report the results on the Solomon’s website and send a copy to local schools and the media, and potentially our MP and the Department of Education.

Please could I ask you to give up two minutes of your time to answer the short questionnaire for me so that this project is meaningful and worthwhile – I would be very grateful for this!

Thanks, Jodie 

Learning about Finance in Schools2023-12-01T12:12:31+00:00

70 is the new 60…. well for the State Pension

70 is the new 60….for the State Pension

One wonders what we are doing to future generations. Today I read an article suggesting that the State pension age will inevitably become 70, all due to the fact that more people are living longer. The State pension age used to be 60 for women and 65 for men, this has undergone a period of “equalisation” and will be 65 for both men and women from 2018. As this ideological “hurdle” was achieved some time ago, successive Governments have simply made plans to extend the age at which a State pension is provided. The State pension age will be 66 by 2020 and 67 from 2028.

The reason is really two-fold, cost and longevity. The State pays pensions in various forms, the most obvious being the State pension, which now costs about £110bn a year. Disability pensions costs around £42.2bn and survivors pensions about £1.1bn, amounting to roughly £153.3bn which is about 20% of all Government spending and by far the largest component of Government spending. Details here (click).

Looking ahead

In essence anyone born since 1960 can expect to have to work longer. Given the increasing life expectancy and inherent problems with ageing, care costs are expected to soar, resulting in further dilemmas for Government about how to meet costs…. from a population that is having fewer children.

Episode IV – A New Hope

Consider those that graduated this summer and are just starting out on their careers, born in the early 1990’s they were only just teenagers when the credit crunch occurred the property boom had happened. If you understand my heading (refering to the very first Star Wars movie in 1977) this generation can be forgiven for thinking that the Star Wars films were made sequentially when episode I was actually released in 1999 – they were 7). Student loans are now part of their deductions each month, along with compulsory pensions. I don’t like to be a pessimist, but the generation just starting out have inherited the debts of previous Governments (currently interest payments are around £40bn a year), have little prospect of “getting on the property ladder” and an ageing population that received their State pension many years younger than they will. Any academic results they achieve are met with accusations of “easy exams” and employers seem almost eager to say “we cannot find good enough people”. Not even to mention the problems with the environment. I appreciate that you already know this.

The Breakfast Club

I am reminded of the 1985 film, “The Breakfast Club” written and directed by John Hughes, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. This was a group of teenagers held back in detention one Saturday morning and who eventually reveal the stories that brought them there. Vernon, the supervising teacher, representative of a now uncaring, disillusioned, bored older generation loathes the fact that he is also forced to spend his Saturday supervising misfits. He is caught by Carl, the caretaker, fishing through the personnel files hoping to find scandal that he can use against his peers. This results in a conversation between the two, in which he complains about the youth of today and ends with this dialogue.

VERNON: You think about this…when you get old, these kids; when I get old, they’re gonna be runnin’ the country.

CARL: Yeah?

VERNON: Now this is the thought that wakes me up in the middle of the night…That when I get older, these kids are gonna take care of me…

CARL: I wouldn’t count on it!

No… neither would I…. perhaps we all need to think rather more carefully about how we are planing not just our own future, but that of future generations… as Simple Minds remind in the closing title music – Don’t You Forget About Me. Perhaps there could be some redemption… even Darth Vader managed to salvage something with his own offspring.

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

70 is the new 60…. well for the State Pension2023-12-01T12:19:59+00:00

New Term, New Start

New Term, New Start?

So its September. A new term is about to start (it has already in Scotland). As someone with children much of my life has been demarked by the term timetable, this year its a little different… my eldest daughter begins her career as a teacher…. wow, where did the time go?

Time Flies

I’m reminded of a new play “Everyman” which I was lucky enough to catch it at the weekend – in fact the penultimate performance. The ensemble cast is headed by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the title role (you may have seen him in “Twelve Years A Slave” for which he was short-listed for an Oscar). The play confronts the familiar big existential questions in a contemporary and provocative way. Everyman’s journey is brief, confronting his values and their eternal significance. At his 40th birthday party he is forced to confront the question – Where did the time go?

There are some memorable scenes – with friends, family, discarded refuse (his and ours) and the checkout of consumer validation – the shopping store. The 2009 Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy pieces together some innovative rhyme, providing a 2015 upgrade to an otherwise familiar tale…. of God, the Devil and everyman…. and reposes the riddled question “have you lived a good life?”.

The stage is itself an almost ghostly reminder of morality plays of old, (stage with pit). Sadly the play is also out of time at the National Theatre, but those that saw it will be haunted by Death’s final call… eeny, meeny, miney.. mo… and the thought that invariably we only confront the value of life in death.

A plan that reflects your values

Whatever your thoughts about the meaning of life, a life well lived will mean different things to each. In an age of 24 hour “news” and the appearance of a shrinking world, we are regularly confronted with the hardship that others endure or suffer, whether on our doorstep or someone else’s. Invariably I find myself wrestling with the guilt of advantages that I have compared to many.

We live in an imperfect world and I have yet to write anything other than an imperfect financial plan. However I firmly believe that the effort made to ensure that your financial plan is based upon your values is more than “a nice thing” to my mind it is of significant importance – helping us come to terms with both our luck and our lack.

So may this term, or new academic year be time well spent…. and full of good performances! (let me know of those you enjoy).

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

New Term, New Start2023-12-01T12:20:00+00:00
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