To ask if any of you feel financially secure, and if so, what does it look like...?

(165 Posts)
Sugarbeach Wed 18-Sep-13 14:24:02

Is it even possible? Is it a realistic hope/goal?

OrangeJuiceSandwich Wed 18-Sep-13 14:37:21

We are not sad but in laws are and have asked FIL this question.

He said

Owning your house outright
Owning your car outright
Having enough money in a easy access account to pay for a couple to spend 10-20 years in a decent care home
Having a really good pension.
Having all the big things you need like furniture/white goods
Not worrying that the gas bill is going to be really high after the winter or if you've been on the phone a lot this month.

Sugarbeach Wed 18-Sep-13 14:44:30

Obviously, I asked this question because I can't ever see it happening...but obviously from your answer OJS, it IS possible and a reality for some people....

Not sure if I should feel happy that it is not hopeless afterall...for some people anyway, or depressed really....

Cheryzan Wed 18-Sep-13 14:46:25

I feel financially secure because I believe I could get a well paid job tomorrow if I wanted one.

But at the moment I can pay all my bills so I'm not looking....

Inthedarkaboutfashion Wed 18-Sep-13 14:47:25

I think I would feel financially secure if I had paid off my mortgage and had more than 20k in savings.
The feeling of Financially security is subjective.

Pinkbutterfly31 Wed 18-Sep-13 14:48:29

I am 31 and have all the things above (other than the pension bit). Unfortunately it came because I lost my wonderful mum 4 years ago. It is a relief to be in this position, considering beforehand I couldn't even afford to repair my boiler, but I would trade it all for more time with her.

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Wed 18-Sep-13 14:49:20

To me it just looks like having an income that allows you to put money into savings (for a cushion and big one of expenses) and to put money away for retirement, and enough flex each month to cope with the smaller unexpected costs. I'm not sure about owning your own house, though it does make you feel more stable, but you are probably actually less stable because you can't access the same financial support if you need it that you can renting.

Sugarbeach Wed 18-Sep-13 14:54:26

I'm sorry for your sad loss Pinkbutterfly.

Tailtwister Wed 18-Sep-13 14:54:29

I think owning your own house outright is a big one (we don't btw). Also having a good pension and healthy savings. I know how precarious the job market is, no matter how good you are. Both DH and I have been made redundant twice and were lucky enough to secure jobs again fairly quickly. However, you can't count your chickens. Jobs for life simply don't exist any more, not like in my father's day when he spent most of his life working at the same uni.

wordfactory Wed 18-Sep-13 14:58:41

Having a had a very disadvanatged childhood, I made a very early decision that financial stability was going to be central to my aims and goals.

That aim was always at the front of my mind when I made any decisions eg what degree to take, where to work, where to live, to buy or rent.

When I met DH he was a kindred spirit in this regard grin.

To be honest though, we've endlessly moved the goalposts so that our original vision of what stability looks like has become ever more ambitious. We find it very hard to rest on our laurels, which is probably to do with our backgrounds.

Sugarbeach Wed 18-Sep-13 14:59:53

How do you get a really good pension?

I've always contributed to pension pots in my various jobs, but I'm not going to be counting on my pension pots to provide me with a decent income for living...

wordfactory Wed 18-Sep-13 15:02:22

Vis a vis pensions, you have to start paying very early, and you (or your employer) have to make large contributions.

That said, I still wouldn't rely on them. Funds tank.

Pagwatch Wed 18-Sep-13 15:04:26

I am the same as wordfactory.
I was very poor growing up so I have been incredibly careful with any money we were/are fortunate enough to make.
For me having the mortgage paid, cars paid, no debt at all, pensions for all ofus including DD who is 11 plus really good savings.

It's odd, I still find myself fretting at times. I thinkthat is a hang over from childhood poverty.

Ragwort Wed 18-Sep-13 15:04:51

I am very aware that I in a much more fortunate position that many however situations do change very regularly. Our mortgage is paid off and yes, we do have more than £20k in savings however we have had our own business for a few years which is rapidly going down the pan. We will have to start up a new business (we are in our late 50s and have been looking for jobs but not even got interviews grin). Again, we are probably luckier than most in that we probably will be able to start something up - but we have very little pension so there is no question of retiring in our 60s.

My DPs are in the same position as Orange's parents - in fact my Dad has been retired for so long now that his pension is virtually the same as his salary was when he left his job grin.

Taz1212 Wed 18-Sep-13 15:04:56

I do. Without giving too many details, our mortgage is paid off, we have a substantial amount in savings and adequate pension provision for when we retire. The funny thing is, if you were to ask DH he'd probably say no! He didn't have much money growing up and I'm not sure any amount would make him feel financially secure.

Sugarbeach Wed 18-Sep-13 15:05:23

So what's your current ambition/goal wordfactory?

For me, it's not having money worries for living, funding DD's higher education, the rest of our lives if we neither of us work again through redundancy, bad health etc..

DidoTheDodo Wed 18-Sep-13 15:07:19

I own my house outright,which gives me a great deal of housing security, but I still have to work full time because it doesn't give me any income. I try to save what I would have spent on a mortgage as I am never going to have a decent pension (charity sector).
I guess everyone would give a different answer to the OP's question.

Smartiepants79 Wed 18-Sep-13 15:08:05

I feel financially secure at the moment.
Both me and my husband have jobs that are as secure as it is possible for them to be. DH earns a very good wage.
We are still both in our early thirties so we still have a mortgage but its on a very low interest rate and the payments are completely affordable.
We have life and critical illness insurance.
We are both paying into decent pensions.
If DH lost his job this would all change but he is very employable in a niche sector.
We ought to save more!

BrokenSunglasses Wed 18-Sep-13 15:08:13

I own my house and car outright, also because I lost a parent young, but I don't feel at all financially stable. I have a mediocre job, a little pension, and a very small amount in savings.

I feel like because I have those things, I have no safety net because the welfare system won't help me.

Owning a house is really no better than having a lifetime social housing tenancy. Worse if anything, because I will struggle to afford a new boiler or heating system or roof or anything else that might need replacing and there isn't a council or housing association to sort it for me.

True financial security is not easy to come by.

Sugarbeach Wed 18-Sep-13 15:14:33

I'm with you there Broken Sunglasses.

I often said to DH that even if we own enough assets to receive an income we could live on without working....our income would be no better than what we would receive in welfare benefits, even though you may have busted your guts working and sacrificing family life trying to get to that position..

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 18-Sep-13 15:18:19

How do you get a decent pension? Travel back in time, about 25 years, and work in the public sector in a decent level job (so, teacher, manager level civil servant, police-person (any grade)). Or travel back thirty years and work for a blue chip. That's the only way. Nobody under 50 has a decent pension. Nobody. Apart from footballers. There are those who have better pensions than others, but for anyone under 50 it's a whole different ballgame.

For real financial security you need to own your house outright, and have at least £2m in the bank. Probably more. Anyone who relies on income from employment is kidding themselves if they think they are financially secure. They aren't.

wordfactory Wed 18-Sep-13 15:20:40

sugar I start each year with a figure in mind that I will earn from various sources and I keep a close eye on it.

I am also always on the look out for new business opportunities (be that setting them up, buying them or selling my exisiting ones).

And I am always on the look out for new property to buy.

Sugarbeach Wed 18-Sep-13 15:22:12

Yep, as I thought, as time travel is impossible, no hope of a decent pension for me.

GBP 2 million cash? to laugh...can't think of any other reaction to that...

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 18-Sep-13 15:26:18

Yep. But if you think what the living wage is, and then you think what return you can get from risk averse invested cash (ie in gilts or bonds) then that's roughly what you'd need. You can get higher returns from a risky investment but that is not financial security.

Like I said. Anyone relying on income from employment is kidding themselves if they think they are financially secure. Vanishingly few people are financially secure. And of that tiny number, very few are in paid employment.

Of course most people are conditioned to live with a degree of risk, so your vision of 'secure' may not actually match the technically correct definition.

Pagwatch Wed 18-Sep-13 15:29:27

I agree that if your financial security is based upon continuing employment then it is not real.
Once I knew DH could retire tmorow I knew we were sorted.
He is only 45 so will probably keep going for a bit because frankly, having him at home would get on my nerves.

wordfactory Wed 18-Sep-13 15:35:08

See in my mind I can envisage any amount of financial crises which will plunge me back into poverty.

I think I'll always mither about money.

One thing I do know though, is I am going to pass on to my DC any and all financial nouse I have gained over the years. So many people have no idea how to make or keep money!

Mumoftwoyoungkids Wed 18-Sep-13 15:37:48

I think we are nearly there.

We have a house that is suitable for our family needs for the next few years and although we have a small mortgage on it, our savings are larger than the mortgage. We have enough savings to live on for a year or two - even after paying off the mortgage. We both work and each individually earn enough to just about live on if we were very frugal.

The reason we don't feel 100% secure is that neither of our jobs are very stable and our pensions are not quite as good as they could be. There is nothing we can do about the jobs but we have a plan to have 5 years of big pension payments in about 3 years.

Badvoc Wed 18-Sep-13 15:46:48

And I am one of those people wordfactory! sad

Sugarbeach Wed 18-Sep-13 15:49:13

Hmmm....being financially secure without paid employment....most of us live pay cheque to pay cheque from one month to the next...

UtterflyButterfly Wed 18-Sep-13 15:54:17

Agree it's definitely down to job security - which no-one really has any more. A few years ago, DH and I felt very secure financially, owning our own business which was doing really well, two properties (one owned outright), money in the bank. But the recession hit the business really hard, though we've managed to keep it going, just.

We now have one property, with a mortgage, and things are starting to pick up again, but I don't think I'll ever feel completely secure again.

Sugarbeach Wed 18-Sep-13 15:54:34

I agree with your very simple and precise way of defining it Pagwatch....if you know you can retire tomorrow, you know you are financially secure.

KitCat26 Wed 18-Sep-13 16:05:44

No. I am not financially secure, my security relies too heavily on DH's business, and I don't like that. It feels a bit too much like all our eggs in one basket.

C0smos Wed 18-Sep-13 16:30:28

Hmmm yes I think we are, mid thirties paid off mortgage no other loans. Enough savings in the bank to keep us going if we lost our jobs. Making decent in roads into putting money into unit trusts and other investments for retirement.

But I agree we are reliant on our income from employment to be secure, luckily we both have seniorish jobs in different industries. But both were hit badly by the recession in the UK, we live in Africa luckily so not been hit as hard. However if there was any kind of civil uprising or Mugabe style land grab here we could lose everything if we had to leave the country quickly.

BirdyBedtime Wed 18-Sep-13 16:36:59

i do feel financiallly secure for the first time in my life at nearly 40. DH and I are both in reasonably paid public sector jobs which in terms of job security is as near as you can get to secure. We can afford to pay bills, save for holidays and treats and also have savings (thanks to small inheritance) that mean any big unexpected expenditure can be dealt with, both own our cars outright. Half way through our mortgage and house worth twice what we currently owe. It is a nice feeling.

Iamcountingto3 Wed 18-Sep-13 16:47:52

I think of us as financially secure - even though I am self employed, so job security is always a little niggle.

We have:
- paid off the mortgage
- always owned our cars outright
- enough savings to cover more than a year if we were both out of work
- and both paid into pensions from fairly young ages

Mostly though, I think of us as financially secure as I know our attitude to money will always be to save before we spend - whilst I absolutely know that bad luck can happen to anyone, I think our underlying attitude to money is cautious and therefore has protected us in less easy situations

WilsonFrickett Wed 18-Sep-13 16:53:15

I grew up poor. I don't think there's enough money in the world for me to feel financially secure sad

I have my own, profitable business and I squirrel money into little savings accounts. It really upsets DH because everything we have we share (in theory) but I can't give up my security blanket money.

WetAugust Wed 18-Sep-13 17:02:20

Own house mortgage free
Own car loan free
No loans
Few hundred grand in the bank
Inflation linked private pension paying the national average wage.

That's financial security. But it's not being rich and it doesn't particularly make you happy.
It just stops you worrying about how you will pay for things.

mijas99 Wed 18-Sep-13 17:05:27

Yes definitely. We are early 30s, 10 years since left uni. Several hundred thousand in savings. We have low rent in a large flat in a city in Northern Spain. Interest on savings will pay for private education of our two little ones. Our jobs our insecure but not too worried as we are financially stable.

We definitely do not want to blow the lot on a house of our own. They are still overpriced and add so little to your lives. Much better to have money to take a career break or eat decent food, go on holidays, have fun etc. So many people are quick to mortgage their futures, although I understand that the situation in the UK is very different as rents are so high.

Our goal is to spend the 3 month summer holidays travelling each year with the children. We both only need an internet connection to work so lets see how it goes! The challenge over the next few years is for me to start to unchain myself from the computer if possible

Those who are our age and say they are investing in pensions. Why? You are talking about 30-40 years time. There is a lot of living to be had before then

By the way, I know we are very lucky, but then we have always earnt less than our friends who work in London who now have very expensive houses and stressful careers. We took a different path

MaidOfStars Wed 18-Sep-13 17:11:37

RussiansOnTheSpree Would be very interested to hear what you consider the principles of a good pension scheme today, compared with what might have happened 25 years ago. I have always thought my pension scheme excellent, but am now wondering what they used to be like...

Beastofburden Wed 18-Sep-13 17:21:03

sugar, I didnt feel secure in my 30s and 40s. I do in my 50s. It feels like:

having a secure job where I earn the same as DH, and if we had to, we could live on either income;
not having any debt any more;
having a house that is big enough for our retirement and wont cost too much to run;
having a final salary pension scheme (I left private sector for University sector to get this).

But we are still saving up to help the older DC with house deposits and I still pay a shedload of childcare for my disabled DC, so it doesnt feel like having money we dont know what to do with!

I wouldnt be at all concerned if you feel insecure in your 30s and 40s, as long as you have a plan to retire debt free with a reasonable house. Your pension wont be a lot but you pay no NI and not much tax (and no pension fund deductions, doh) so if your gross income halves you wont really notice that much.

WetAugust Wed 18-Sep-13 17:24:43

when I started work 40 years ago

many public sector pensions were contribution-free

most public sector pensions were based on 80ths of final salary

most public sector ones were inflation proof - linked to what is now the RPI

Some public sector pensions also paid a lump sum of 3 x pensionable salary on retirement.

police, fire service and armed forces had their own pension arrangements that allowed them to retire after x years of service.

Lately public sector pensions have become contributory

They are now linked to the CPI

The old pension arrangements have closed to new entrants. They will no longer be final salary but will be 'career average'. There is no lump sum.

In the private sector many of the pensions were based on 60ths of salary. There are hardly any final salary schemes left in the private sector.

SugarBeach, I feel financially secure at the moment because in my household (DH & I) we are both;

- Educated & bilingual (this has made me more employable I believe).
- Health care coverage from employers. (Not a worry in the UK, but it is in the US).
- Maxing out yearly contributions to 401ks, RRSPs etc (retirement plans in US/CA)
- Funds e.g. Savings, Emergency, Future Children are healthy & contributed to regularly.
- No debt (university, credit cards or mortgage*).
- Well employed in secure jobs.
- MOST IMPORTANT, we’ve calculated that in about 10yrs (fingers crossed) if we wanted to, we should be able to live very simply, on only the returns on our investments i.e. say you have $1 million in stocks, get a return of 3% p/yr, that’s $25k per year. This is our biggest goal. Aggressively trying to pad up the investment pot now while young & childless, so we can reap the returns in our retirement.

*Mortgage was a fluke - fully expected to still be paying it. However, for the past 3yrs we’ve been expats in another country & accommodation is covered. Money we would have used to pay rent otherwise, we chose to sink into our 15yr mortgage & get it out of the way. As we are still away from home (US) we rent the house out now.

Mortgage paid off 10 years ago.
Substantial savings*
No debt. DH retired on good pension, I work part time for peanuts.
I never have to think before I spend.
Holiday abroad a couple of times a year.

We don't have a huge income in MN terms and we have two teens who will be going to uni in the next few years. *Our income has fallen quite a lot because of low interest rates. We used to get a healthy chunk from investments but that has gone down in recent years.
Ironically we will be better off when I retire as I have a good public sector pension to come, probably just as the second DC leaves uni.

wundawoman Wed 18-Sep-13 17:41:45

The problem with pensions is that the rules keep changing and we have no control over them. It depends on the government of the day. I would not rely or put extra money into pensions. Savings in the bank is also unpredictable depending on interest rates. I think owning investment property is the best idea. Rental Property in a popular area that pays a good return. There will always be demand for property. If i can own a couple of small properties with a return good enough to provide a reasonable income, I would feel financially secure and retire grin.

SlowlorisIncognito Wed 18-Sep-13 17:41:55

I think my parents are financially secure up to a point (provided the banks don't all colapse tomorrow or their house burns down, or something!)

They own their house outright, they own their cars outright, my dad is lucky enough to have 2 good pensions (both from public sector jobs). My mum does work, but they are not reliant on that income. It mostly pays for them to go on multiple holidays each year, and helps improve their standard of living.

They have savings and investments (some are risky, some are not so risky) with a decent amount of capital. They have no debt at all.

I do think it is more difficult for younger people to have that level of financial security. I will never have access to the kinds of pensions my parents had access to. My dad was given a grant to go to university, I've had to get into debt (although luckily avoided 9k fees). His career has always been secure, and given him enough income to support a family if needed. They were able to take out a morgage young that didn't require a massive deposit or a punative rate of interest. They've been able to avoid any other form of debt.

I spent time working before going to university, and so I've been able to build up around 5k savings. That makes me feel a lot more financially secure than other students I know, because I can cover most major emergancies, afford to run a car, and so on. Most students I know are reliant on their parents (who may not be financially secure themselves), part time jobs that definately aren't secure, or debt. However, I know that in the real world, that having a small buffer doesn't equal financial security, and a decent period of unemployment could wipe it all out.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 18-Sep-13 17:42:05

We are lucky that we can live well within our means, budget hard, are aware all the time of outgoings.

We can afford to pay into pensions, life insurance, critical illness protection etc. to give us as much financial security as possible.

But I'm not smug; big, unexpected, unimaginable life events can and do happen to rock even the most careful financial plans, anyone can can end up in a financial mess.

Pagwatch Wed 18-Sep-13 17:50:03

I'm not smug
I had to give up work just as my career was hitting a sweet spot because of my sons disabilities.
Our determination to get financially sorted was partly driven by the awareness of he huge cost of his lifetime care.
I am aware of all the pitfalls but we are as secure as is possible (outside world war/financial meltdown)

It's not something I discuss in real life.

wordfactory Wed 18-Sep-13 17:56:15

Do you know pag I do discuss all this in real life.

Not in a chatting to the postie kinda way, but I will always answer questions about finance. Especially from young people. And especially from young people from a background like mine.

I do think that knowledge is power and it's better that people understand how money works.

When I was at uni, I had a very rich boyfriend and one day I asked his Dad in wide eyed wonder how much their swimming pool cost to heat up! And he told me. And he explained how and why he could afford it. And how and why I could get myself into thatposition.

OMG it was a light bulb moment!

mamaslatts Wed 18-Sep-13 17:59:24

wordfactory -share those pearls of wisdom! Our financial security is built on the house of cards of an interest only massive mortgage. We will have to downsize if we can evict the kids when they reach adulthood.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 18-Sep-13 18:00:44

Maid are you in a defined benefit scheme? Is it in surplus? How much is your contribution and how much is your employers' contribution? Is it under threat from either the government or your employers?

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 18-Sep-13 18:02:02

beast Sorry to be a downer but the USS is definitely under threat. sad

Pagwatch Wed 18-Sep-13 18:03:10

Gosh I agree with all of that Wordfactory.

Ds1 has always been involved in general conversations about finances since he was in his mid teens. We have taught him about debt, credit cards etc and upped that each year as he got older.
He organises his uni finances and lives off his loan - he has a spreadsheet and everything.
He has friends who on't know what APR means.

I just meant I am not endlessly smugging over coffee about how set we are .

wordfactory Wed 18-Sep-13 18:04:24

Were you not tempted to pay him through uni pag?

DH and I have endless talks about that little nugget.

Badvoc Wed 18-Sep-13 18:06:52

Word share!

chickydoo Wed 18-Sep-13 18:07:33

Gosh I don't think we will ever feel financially secure. 4DC put pay to that.
We do own our home and cars outright.
Have no debt.
Have a good amount of savings.... But....
Care home fees Op!!
My DM was in a care home, cost well over 1k a WEEK.
With me and DH 1 year in a care home together would cost in excess of 100k a year. You can do the maths, imagine 10 years or more!!!! Who has that saved up.
DH will have a reasonable pension when he retires, I will have to sell the house, down size and cross my fingers

Pagwatch Wed 18-Sep-13 18:10:08

God yes grin I really was. I struggled so much at that age but it seemed sensible to make him stand on his own two feet a bit.

We compromised. We pay his accommodation , he pays everything else out of his loan.
He tries to o everything himself. I think he just despises the guys at uni who have credit cards in their parents name and flash all over the place.

I know it sounds wanky but I was quite proud that when his friends from uni rocked up here, they were a bit freaked out. He isn't flash. He wants to be independent.

wordfactory Were you not tempted to pay him through uni
When the latest increase in tuition fees started that was my first thought.
I've brought both DC up to know the value of money and how it works and that debt other than mortgage is Bad.
However I've been convinced that paying them through uni is not a financially good option. They will take the loans and we will help when it comes to buying homes. They may never actually have to pay back those student loans. See here

sleeplessbunny Wed 18-Sep-13 18:13:41

i think it's a shame that we tend not to discuss our finances in RL, wordfactory, I have learnt much by experience over the last 15yrs but it would have been so helpful if i'd had better financial awareness in my early 20s.

FWIW, i think financial security is something that always feels slightly out of reach, however much money I do or don't have. Probably because my expenditure generally grows to consume whatever my income is. grin

sleeplessbunny Wed 18-Sep-13 18:15:52

i also think that no-one is truly financially secure if they are relying on a partner's income or pension. Which sadly affects a lot more women than men.

Alwayscheerful Wed 18-Sep-13 18:16:45

Word share.

I suspect it might be an explanation about the difference between assets and liabilities. In order to have liabilities you must have income producing assets.

We are far more sorted than it might look from the outside. Whilst we have a largish mortgage on our current property (LTV is below 50%) we actually own a couple of other properties that are mortgage free and rented out. We have no other debt apart from the mortgage. I have reasonable pension pot and we have other savings and investments.

Its all about security for me too, I think because one of my parents died when I was a teenager I want to create financial security for myself and my children just in case. I bought my first flat in London around the age of 26 when a lot of my friends were still partying.

For us, financial security is a combination of luck, strong earnings and short term sacrifice for longer term gain. I have a high salary but I don't buy a lot of luxury items because I don't really care much about them but I do care about not having to work until I am 68 unless I choose to do so.

I would recommend this book to anyone thinking about financial security and what it means to them

Want2bSupermum Wed 18-Sep-13 18:36:44

I will consider us financially secure when our investments pay more than my income.

I think wordfactory is probably talking about how people mix up expenses and investments. An investment generates future income, an expense doesn't. It grinds my gears when people talk about expenses being investments. My fav one is when people buy their forever home and replace the kitchen and bathrooms. They call this an investment. It is an expense because if you are not planning to sell the house for the next 30 years chances are it will need to be replaced either before you sell or by the new owner.

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Wed 18-Sep-13 18:49:24

I wish I'd known about finances when I was younger. My parents struggled with money (from the little I've heard about it) and I feel I've just copied that. I chose a useless degree and am currently a single mum on benefits. I try to think of ideas all the time as to how I can change our lives for the better but I'm cursed with being uncreative so at a bit of a loss for now. I'm getting to the point now where I'm regretting every work, school, financial decision I've ever made now its led to this. The guilt I feel towards dd is horrible. Its all so scary.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 18-Sep-13 20:09:35

Sorry, just to be clear, I wasn't accusing anyone of being smug blush

The point I was trying to make that if people are in a financial shithole I don't think "oh, they must have made bad decisions", I know all the things that can knock people sideways.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 18-Sep-13 20:12:38

I like Mijas attitude...with good savings and still not mortgaging her life away.

SlobAtHome Wed 18-Sep-13 20:13:06

I think I do (but have little money). I rent so I have no risk of losing a house. I can pay all my bills and have some left over. I am saving. I have nothing that would suddenly cost loads of money (like a car)

I feel financially secure because I haven't got much to lose tbh.

Plus I work for a company that wont fire anyone so my job is pretty secure!

However maybe others would hate being this skint and would be unwilling to live as I do (e.g. without a car) and would feel very financially insecure.

I'm happy anyway. Life is simple smile

IamSlave Wed 18-Sep-13 20:34:21

I also think mijas sounds so free, and un chained. envy.

Your life sounds great. smile.

I wish I had the confidence to up sticks and follow that kind of lifestyle, my only reservation would be, having lived in rented properties, I hate that feeling of not being able to make it your own, and being paranoid the LL is going to drop in and find place in a state!

Agree with others up thread, owning house, enough money to cover job loss for years, no debt.

We cant get there because of low wages which are not rising with inflation.

i find it odd people always attacking benefits for being to high, what about attacking WAGES that are too fecking LOW!

MaidOfStars Wed 18-Sep-13 20:35:05

Russian University superannuation scheme. Final salary (current £41k, 36 yrs). 7.5%/15% contribution. 707m surplus, 28b assets. Not subject to the Hutton report/guidelines. Sounds reasonable to me.....thoughts?

MaidOfStars Wed 18-Sep-13 20:39:00

Ah, just seen post re: USS. I think it's pretty safe....

Yama Wed 18-Sep-13 20:45:31

We have just started another 25 year mortgage and have other debts. However, I feel financially secure.

The reason being is that if we had to, we could survive on just one of our salaries. We also have insurance should the worst happen.

Again, like others dh and I had poor upbringings so are very careful with money.

RussiansOnTheSpree Wed 18-Sep-13 20:51:25

maid If you've been in for 36 years then you're over 50 and not so threatened. But the T&Cs of the Uss have been changed significantly in the last 15 years. People under 50 just don't have the security even in the stat schemes. Mind you, increasingly there aren't any people under 50 in them as they get closed to new entrants either explicitly or implicitly.

Sugarbeach Thu 19-Sep-13 02:37:04

Lots of interesting responses and pearls of wisdom....I wish I'd known about finances, instead, everything I know I've picked up over the years.

I don't see the logic of renting over having a mortgage making you feel more financially secure.....whatever happens, you still need a roof over your head, at least if you own your own home, you will hopefully not have to worry about being homeless once the mortgage is paid off.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Thu 19-Sep-13 06:48:01

I think health and ability to work come into it as well. Ten years or so ago I felt confident that, were I to become too ill to work, the welfare state would
look after me. These days, I think only the most seriously ill and disabled can know that...

PicardyThird Thu 19-Sep-13 07:17:09

We've never been really hard up, but I am beginning now, after years of having to be very careful with money, to feel secure. We've got to points in our careers where we are earning fairly decent money. We've always saved, longer- and shorter-term, even when we had very little - it was very small amounts, now we can save more - and have almost always had at least a couple of thousand in the bank for any dire emergencies. Dh's student debt is very nearly gone and we have no other debt (we rent, but live in a country where renting is a real alternative and don't wish to buy atm).

A big part of my feeling of security is that I have sought-after skills at a level higher than a lot of my 'competition' and I could earn a reasonable living freelance if I needed to.

PicardyThird Thu 19-Sep-13 07:18:53

Oh, on pensions - We will have a very modest private pension but tbh I expect we will be working into our 70s. We're lucky enough to have jobs which, barring dementia, we could theoretically do until really quite old.

MrsMook Thu 19-Sep-13 07:19:04

The pension is the weak one for us. The worrying bit is that we are in a much better position than our peers and when our generation gets to retirement age, there's going to be a lot of pensioners seriously struggling.

The only way I can see that resolving is that maybe pressures will ease when the baby boomer generation is around (and the generation being born looks healthy for numbers and will be economicly active). Maybe the obesity epidemic will mean fewer octogenerians to be supported (clutches at straws)

I've seen a few friends struggle as their criteria on affordable was coping on a reduced salary for a few months. Sadly for the ones affected by unemployment, it's been on and off for a few years.

sleeplessbunny Thu 19-Sep-13 07:35:04

reading through these posts, it seems as if most, if not all, posters are talking about their joint financial situation with their DP. Now I do believe it's a very important part of e relationship to be on the same page regarding money, and to be building for a future together. That's exactly what DH and I are trying to do, together, and I couldn't see any other way for us to function financially.

But, there is a startling lack of single posters on this thread. That could be for a number of reasons, I suppose, but having seen my mum go through financial hell when splitting from my dad who had complete financial control in their marriage, it does worry me slightly. No-one wants their marriage to break up, but sometimes it does happen and it can be hugely threatening to financial stability. And sadly, sometimes people get ill and die.

So, much as I love my DP and my marriage, I constantly have in the back of mind "how would I cope if I were on my own?" It does affect the decisions I make.

There was another thread on AIBU last night about a friend's 25yr marriage ending, the house being sold, and there not being enough capital for one party to buy somewhere to live. THat's not a position anyone wants to be in later in life.

PepeLePew Thu 19-Sep-13 07:44:50

So true about life circumstances changing - I have two friends whose marriages have failed who would definitely have said they were financially secure but who, on divorce, are very far from being. They both gave up good jobs when they had children and are now finding it very hard to get back into their fields, whilst also having to sell the family house and buy new properties with higher mortgages.

Strangely, I am now feeling far more financially secure than I was when married despite having a lower income and fewer assets. I let my ex run our finances and he wasn't that good at it - though he was very good at spending.

I have reacquainted myself with my inner saver and have a very organised savings approach, am putting lots into the mortgage and pension, and have got a good promotion and salary increase at work plus a reasonable bonus structure. I know when the mortgage will be paid off, and have a fairly modest but growing savings pot. I know my retirement won't be as comfortable as it would have been if we had stayed together but peace of mind and visibility counts for a lot.

Beastofburden Thu 19-Sep-13 07:56:12

Part of what makes me feel secure is that we both earn the same and either of us could keep the family on one income if the other one did the childcare. Divorce would be a bit different, but as I am so close to not needing childcare any more, it would be ok I think (not that it's currently planned SFAIK).

Pensions, we are all going to have to work to nearly 70 but I can't see that as unfair. If 60 is the new 40, even at 70 I will be fitter than our grandparents were when they retired at 65. Obviously I'd love to retire early, like 65, but I can't afford to and there it is.

RedHelenB Thu 19-Sep-13 08:18:55

At forty something I don't feel fitter! I think at 70 I will definitely feel old pysically if not mentally!

MaidOfStars Thu 19-Sep-13 08:38:32

Russian Apologies for lack if clarity. I am 36 yrs, have been in the scheme for approx. 11 years with no gaps.

OddSockBox Thu 19-Sep-13 08:40:29

To me 'finanancially secure' means having enough savings to live on for at least a year to pay bills including mortgage. Not sure how we'll manage when old - we both have pensions. Mine is tiny because I've not had it long and don't earn as much. We are trying to concentrate on overpaying the mortgage, that's my biggest worry, a long time left to go on it.

MadeOfStarDust Thu 19-Sep-13 08:43:49

Our mortgage is paid, we have no debts, have over £20k savings and investments and have hopefully still around old-style civil service index liked pensions to look forward to.......

we do not earn a lot by some folks estimation, but feel we have "enough".....

Pagwatch Thu 19-Sep-13 08:43:51


That is a valid point but many of us have taken that possibility into account. I certainly have. I have assets of my own. I have joint control of all of our accounts. And one of our homes is paid off in my name.

I think there is a shocking lack of awareness of how screwed women can be when marriages, or worse, long term relationships break up.
But just because I am married doesn't mean I stick my head in the sand. Not all married women do.

Ragwort Thu 19-Sep-13 08:53:52

Sleepless - you make a very good point, I have two friends in their 50s whose relationships broke up and are in very, very difficult circumstances.

As Pagwatch says, it is essential to be aware of your own needs (applies to both men & women of course) and not assume you will be in a financially secure relationship for ever.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 19-Sep-13 08:55:28

maid If I was you I'd be concerned. I'm married to a USS member (older than you) and I'm certainly concerned. Although its all relative - even if they gut the stat schemes next parliament (more than they have already), what's left will be better than my 3 buttons and a paper clip.

Crowler Thu 19-Sep-13 09:13:53

Argh. I overspend. You guys are killing me here. I wish I could get a grip.

Bumblequeen Thu 19-Sep-13 09:13:57

Not financially secure at all.

We have a 24 year mortgage
We both need to work full time, jobs are stable
We have two dependant dc
We are in debt
We have no savings

We pay into a pension scheme and trust fund minimum payment for dc.

I think worry about money alot.

My dm struggled financially bringing us up. We always ate well and were well clothed but carried the horrible stigma of poverty. We did not go on holiday, have a wide range of clothes, eat out often.

I look forward to the day when we are not living from pay cheque to pay cheque. When I can stop making packed lunches for dh and I for work each day.

Bumblequeen Thu 19-Sep-13 09:14:15

Not financially secure at all.

We have a 24 year mortgage
We both need to work full time, jobs are stable
We have two dependant dc
We are in debt
We have no savings

We pay into a pension scheme and trust fund minimum payment for dc.

I think worry about money alot.

My dm struggled financially bringing us up. We always ate well and were well clothed but carried the horrible stigma of poverty. We did not go on holiday, have a wide range of clothes, eat out often.

I look forward to the day when we are not living from pay cheque to pay cheque. When I can stop making packed lunches for dh and I for work each day.

Bumblequeen Thu 19-Sep-13 09:14:50

Not financially secure at all.

We have a 24 year mortgage
We both need to work full time, jobs are stable
We have two dependant dc
We are in debt
We have no savings

We pay into a pension scheme and trust fund minimum payment for dc.

I think worry about money alot.

My dm struggled financially bringing us up. We always ate well and were well clothed but carried the horrible stigma of poverty. We did not go on holiday, have a wide range of clothes, eat out often.

I look forward to the day when we are not living from pay cheque to pay cheque. When I can stop making packed lunches for dh and I for work each day.

DontmindifIdo Thu 19-Sep-13 09:18:48

I don't think we're in as good a position as some on this thread, so perhaps I'm wrong, but I feel financially secure.

Our situation is we bought a house that we could afford on one wage and are over paying on the mortgage so should be mortgage free before DH is 50 (currenlty he's late 30s), we own both cars out right, have good insurance policies, and savings equvilant to just over 6 months mortgage and bills.

I'm the lower earner in our family and currently on mat leave, if I go back full time, my wage alone will cover all mortgage and bills (except childcare, but if DH wasn't working, why would I pay for childcare and if he'd died, I'd get enough from the 2 life insurances to clear the mortgage and have about £200k left over) - the lack of a "plan C" is part of the reason I'm not sure about becoming a SAHM even though we can afford to live just on DH's wage and childcare is so expensive and I'd love to be at home with the DCs.

Pension wise, we are both paying into company schemes and have been since mid 20s, but not relying on them to pay decent amounts. I'm not really sure htat far ahead what the plan is, just saving shed loads and hoping for the best...

DontmindifIdo Thu 19-Sep-13 09:25:11

oh and re uni, and those planning not to save for it, are your DCs close to uni age? Our 2 DCs are pre-school, and since I went to uni, the system has gone from being completely free with some grants, to small fees with non-means tested loans, to larger fees with means tested loans (but tested on parental income with no legal requirement for those parents to actually hand any money over), to very large fees, with deferred loans that you might never need to pay.

I'm under no illusions that the system in place now will not change again before my baby gets to uni age, and as every change since the late 90s has made it less affordable and required higher debts for students, I'm assuming the current trend towards it costing more and parents having to hand over more money will continue.

I'm a little nervous of those saying they won't fund uni who have little DCs, what if when your DCs are 16 the system changes again? I'm working on the priniciple it'll be closer to the US costs, so we are saving on that assumption, if it's not or if they don't want to go to uni, then great, I've got myself a nice pot of money to spend of cruises and facelifts give me a more glamorous retirement, if they do want to go, the limits of where they go to uni should be what grades they can get, not what I can afford.

Bumblequeen Thu 19-Sep-13 09:38:18

Not financially secure at all.

We have a 24 year mortgage
We both need to work full time, jobs are stable
We have two dependant dc
We are in debt
We have no savings

We pay into a pension scheme and trust fund minimum payment for dc.

I think worry about money alot.

My dm struggled financially bringing us up. We always ate well and were well clothed but carried the horrible stigma of poverty. We did not go on holiday, have a wide range of clothes, eat out often.

I look forward to the day when we are not living from pay cheque to pay cheque. When I can stop making packed lunches for dh and I for work each day.

Bumblequeen Thu 19-Sep-13 09:41:33

Triple post

Pagwatch Thu 19-Sep-13 09:44:37

If its any help, I was exactly where you are 17 years ago. (except the debt. I don't borrow except mortgage. No credit cards , no loans since I was 25)
Good shit happens too.

Bumblequeen Thu 19-Sep-13 10:48:44

Pagwatch thanks for the encouragement.

madeofstardust You really are lucky to be in that position.

Because of our debt I have to work full time. Without it we could just cope on dh's salary. It is upsetting.

Thank goodness we did not stretch ourselves when looking to buy a house. We live in a very modest non sought after part of Kent. Hate the fact that we were priced out of London. The gap is widening every day as London house prices are soaring.

Dm annoyed me last week when she mentioned seeing a property in a nice part of Kent for £450k. Our home is not even worth £200k. It is clearly out of my reach?

Morloth Thu 19-Sep-13 10:59:57

We probably are financially secure but I don't think I will ever feel financially secure.

Like others I grew up poor and am very aware of the curve balls life can throw.

Bumble queen

Do have a look at that book I mentioned it does help with sorting out your true financial priorities and is totally non judgmental.

Don't underestimate what you are managing already. DH and I didn't become financially secure overnight. Every payment you make on the mortgage, every £10 you put into savings is moving you into a more secure position. It all counts and it all helps.

Writerwannabe83 Thu 19-Sep-13 11:11:54

I try not to stress to much about money.

We have a credit cards bill of £2'000, we don't own our own house and my husband doesn't outrightly own his car.

However, we can afford to pay our mortgage, we can afford to pay our bills, we can afford our loan repayments and we can afford to eat. We also have nice days out and treat ourselves etc etc.

That is a secure enough life for me smile

2rebecca Thu 19-Sep-13 11:26:00

I do now, but alot of financial security is related to age. as you get older your morgage shrinks, unless you are one of these people who are forever buying more expensive houses. We both work in reasonably secure jobs and now our morgage is shrinking have some savings (savings are generally a bad idea if you have a large morgage as you pay more onmorgage interest than you get in savings interest.)
We both spend within our means and neither of us enjoy shopping as a hobby and hate the phrase "retail therapy".

Kamchatka Thu 19-Sep-13 11:46:52

Hmm, I have got nowhere near as much as some on this thread but I do feel financially secure.

Mortgage we can afford on one wage
Skills which can always earn a wage
good local schools
friends abroad (makes holidays fun) and enough money to see them every few years
pension will be good, old enough to be on final salary scheme
have had a leg-up with bequests and gifts from family, that helped early on in house-owning
relatively simple tastes!

I too came from a not-wealthy background, not poor but e.g. no money for nice birthday presents or holidays. My feeling is that things will be ok. We can always work: dh's job is secure, mine is always needed somewhere even if not fantastically secure. We can both work past retirement if we need to. I don't really worry about money despite having been brought up without many of the things my peers had.

RussiansOnTheSpree Thu 19-Sep-13 11:55:29

The thing which separates the sheep from the goats, financially, is inherited money (or big gifts). Without that, even if you earn a great salary, you are always going to be at a disadvantage.

LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Thu 19-Sep-13 12:02:13

I have felt 'comfortably off' for about 18 months of my life, when everything was going quite well financially, but never long-term 'secure' as dh was self-employed and I always knew there was a risk everything could go wrong.
Guess what? It did! Financial security for me now depends on who dies in which order, and whether or not and when I go for a divorce...confused

Bumblequeen Thu 19-Sep-13 13:27:41

To me relying on an income to live is not full stability. If you were to lose your job, life would be very different.

However, I would feel more secure if we;
Had no debts
Had savings of £20k plus
Had a buffer in case of job loss- minimum of a year

I hate living from pay cheque to pay cheque and often think of how we can 'make' our money work for us.

My family and the many generations before had very little money. Nobody has received an inheritance (money or house) when a parent has passed away.
This makes all the difference.

Bumblequeen Thu 19-Sep-13 13:28:47

To me relying on an income to live is not full stability. If you were to lose your job, life would be very different.

However, I would feel more secure if we;
Had no debts
Had savings of £20k plus
Had a buffer in case of job loss- minimum of a year

I hate living from pay cheque to pay cheque and often think of how we can 'make' our money work for us.

My family and the many generations before had very little money. Nobody has received an inheritance (money or house) when a parent has passed away.
This makes all the difference.

Bumblequeen Thu 19-Sep-13 13:29:23

Double post-silly phone.

Oops...that should read Mine/His/Ours

MadeOfStarDust Thu 19-Sep-13 13:36:06

We have the security of no debts/mortgage/a heap of savings etc - but rely on an income....

we still feel financially secure....

I have never been without work when I want to work.... but I'm flexible and I'm not fussy...

That is the other thing I guess - because our kids are now in secondary school, we can be flexible about hours.... that makes any sudden loss of employment MUCH easier to recover from than if we had preschool/primary age kids needing childcare....

comingintomyown Thu 19-Sep-13 14:02:24

I agree that windfalls of one sort or another can make a huge difference to your circumstances.

Fortunately one such windfall came during my marriage so upon our divorce xh and I were well catered for.

But for that I would now be in very difficult financial circumstances as opposed to being secure.

jimijack Thu 19-Sep-13 14:12:19

Yes. I've stood on my own 2 feet since I was 16, only me to rely on so I was determined from then to be ok. I did this through graft & strict saving for years.
Lucky to have a great job & a fair wage.
I have a mortgage, obtained when house prices were very low, so it's very low indeed.
I have a good pension started when I began work at 18. I'm now 43.
I save every month a % of my wage.
I am very frugal.
DH has a good job too.

I am on zero pay maternity leave currently which is going to eat up some of my life savings.
I feel less financially stable now than I have ever felt in my lifetime. I don't like it.

Halfling Thu 19-Sep-13 14:13:43

I second Bumblequeen. Sometimes not having any family money and inheritance can make such a lot of difference.

Most people in our social circle earn roughly the same, have the same lifestyle and similar investments. The difference between those who are financially secure and those who aren't are mostly due to:

- Financial assistance from parents for university, down payment of first house, inheriting money from parents etc.
- Divorce
- No. of DCs

skaen Thu 19-Sep-13 14:14:08

I don't feel it, but know we are.

We have no mortgage, we both have reasonably secure jobs and either of us could pay for our outgoings without the other one needing to work. I have a final salary pension, DH has a DC one, but earns a lot. We also both have skills and qualifications which would potentially earn us a comfortable living if made redundant and which we could carry on with indefinitely.

I feel sad about it as a lot of our financial security has come at the price of DH's health - much of it was compensation for a medical error which has left him with significantly reduced life expectancy.

Squitten Thu 19-Sep-13 14:17:58

I wouldn't say I feel necessarily "secure", but I feel like we are comfortable. We have a mortgage but no other debt and DH earns a good income that means we can afford what we need and keep a savings pot that we use to annually overpay on the mortgage and hopefully get rid of it ASAP.

I think it's the maintenance of the savings that provides a little security. It's there if the roof falls off or the boiler explodes. DH is self-employed but at least if his business crumbled tomorrow, the savings will pay the mortgage for a few months so we wouldn't be in immediate crisis.

Of course, against that you have the worry about pensions and what the kids might ever need from us for uni, etc. Definitely don't feel secure when I think about those things!

angelinterceptor Thu 19-Sep-13 14:29:35

Oh I feel so envious reading this.

I used to be secure, then my DH and I got ripped off by a director in our company. We were left with huge debt, only way to sort it was by us selling our house. We had to do it quickly so didn't make much on it.

we cant get a new mortgage, and we are renting now for 3 years.

our future us bleak,

i think from the outside people think we are very secure, but it couldnt be further from the truth.

silverangel Thu 19-Sep-13 14:35:16

We are ok, but not secure by any means. We can afford our mortgage etc and have nice holidays etc but have zero savings. We really need to work on that.

okthen Thu 19-Sep-13 14:39:52

No, not financially secure here.

For me, like others on this thread, it would mean owning our home outright and having decent pensions. It would also mean that we could live on one income (and therefore base decisions- eg whether to be a sahm or not- on choice not necessity), and that we'd have a savings cushion of at least a year should we both lose jobs. That would translate to around £40k savings minimum. Yikes.

Pagwatch Thu 19-Sep-13 14:45:15

I am sure family money makes a difference but mine had not a bean. When my dad died I paid some of his debts.
Neither DH nor I have ever received a single penny from anyone. We both left schools after our A levels but we were lucky - back in the 80's you actually could start as a junior and work your way up.
That's exactly what we did.

I guess if I am honest I do get a little irritated at the suggestion that family money or paid for degrees are always behind anyone with anything. I don't mean ths thread - just read it a million times on here.
Along with 'well they probably have shit lives behind closed doors' and 'women living off their DH' [grrrrr]

Yepcomfortable Thu 19-Sep-13 16:58:43

I have nc so I can be very honest, I feel secure.

DH and are in our 40's. we were born at a good time, no tuition fees and we bought our house before the boom, that was pure chance. We are also very practical so have always done the majority of our own plumbing, electrics, decorating, car maintenance, kitchen fitting, fireplace fitting etc.

Our joint income is currently 63k gross.

We live in the Midlands so housing is cheaper our house only cost 64k but is a really nice 3 bed semi that would be maybe 350 to 400k in our home town down South.We both have pensions and savings and we took some medium level risks with shares. We have three years wages saved. I managed to get flexible working hours which means childcare costs have been low since our child went to school. No one has helped us with money or childcare. We did intend having two dc but fertility problems were against us so we have one.

DH stands to inherit possibly up to 200k and I may get a small one of about 30k. However we have never factored that in to any future life plan as our remaining elderly parents may need care.

Deciding to not move back South after studying was the best decision we made though we do miss relatives.

2rebecca Thu 19-Sep-13 17:05:12

I have had no inherited money and still feel secure. I think the stability of your job, not having debts and spending within your means counts for alot. Few people have enough savings to cope if they lost their job and were unemployed for a year. Having enough money to cover that counts as extremely wealthy, not just financially secure to me.

cathpip Thu 19-Sep-13 17:11:37

I do feel financially secure in that if my washing machine went bang tomorrow I could go and buy a new one using the debit card. Still have a mortgage and car loan though, would feel very secure if they were paid off.

LtEveDallas Thu 19-Sep-13 17:17:31

Right now, yes, I feel financially secure. I'm able to say 'what the hell' and 'its only money' . I'm in a secure job, with a secure pension.

This time next year? Not so much. My contract is ended, I've got to look for a job for the first time in 24 years. DH has got to look for a job for the first time in 30 years. We are both pretty scared.

However, with careful planning we have saved enough to be very nearly mortgage free. We will have 2 pensions coming in that will cover the mortgage and the bills. All we will need will be money to 'live' (I tell myself this when I wake up in a cold sweat at night)

I will be doing everything in my power to push DD into getting some kind of 'trade' behind her. To learn to do something that will always be needed - doctor, dentist, vet, plumber - that kind of thing. I'd even support her if she were to join the Forces (although I'd push for the RAF rather than the Army). I will try to impress upon her the importance of a private pension. One less beer a day adds up to a lot of money in the end, and a lot of freedom, a lot less stress.

My only regret is not listening to my Dad. When I was in my early 20s some houses came up for sale in my home town. I was newly divorced and 'larging it up'. Dad told me I should buy one of these houses....I didn't, I bought a sports car instead. I was an idiot. 2 of these houses have just sold for 5 times what I would have paid in 1996. The rest are long term rentals that have no end in sight. I wish I could go back in time, I really do.

BraveMerida Fri 20-Sep-13 02:22:12

Grew up poor. Not feeling secure....early 40's, even though we own our home, have assets, no credit card or loan debt, only enough cash for emergencies, we only just got to a position where we could live comfortably on one income which is just as well as I stopped working last month, having been in continuous employment since graduation bar maternity leave and a 3 months unemployment. Everything is in joint name but we have separate pensions.

It's scary how everything is dependent on DH's job and income and how quickly it could all go pear shaped if he falls ill, loses job etc. etc., and thinking about how to fund dd's education (even though she is an only, so don know how others manage with more) and our retirement.

bouncysmiley Fri 20-Sep-13 02:52:37

I don't. We can pay the bills and are nearly there with debts but until these are paid off we have limited savings and zero money to spend on ourselves. Pensions should be ok though.

festered Fri 20-Sep-13 06:30:57

I feel financially secure.

I earn more than most people because I was willing to take jobs that were unconventional and that most don't respect, and make sacrifices (friendships, respect of 'normal'society).

I live with my OH who owns a house he bought very cheaply. It is still mortgaged but the cost is very little- and we live very frugally. I love spending money on luxuries, but I save on our everyday life-I've got him 'trained'-he was wasting a lot of money when we met.

My parents own a lot of property, I will assist them with their business as time goes on and eventually either take it over or sell for profit to care for them and carry on with what is left over.I have a half-sister but even with half, if we were to inherit half each I'll be well off. If I take over the business with her, we will make it work hard.

I am not a hard worker, I am very lazy,but I am confident in my abilities as a worker-I'm not a leader or an entrepreneur, but I am good at earning and saving.
I am also aware that all the above is precious and could go at any time. I'm prepared but not nervous!

StupidFlanders Fri 20-Sep-13 07:03:12

I've read this all with interest.

I'm probably not as independently wealthy as others on here but I feel financially secure.

I know our families could support us no matter what happens (and have set up the dcs for us).

I have also proven in the past that I can support myself and dcs on my own income and determination!

ceeveebee Fri 20-Sep-13 07:07:07

I feel financially secure. It's all relative - comparing to where I have come from - parents were in low paid jobs, 4 DCs, lived hand to mouth.

Now, although we don't own out home outright, we live in one of the most expensive boroughs of London and have enough equity that we could sell up and live in most places in the UK mortgage free
We own our car outright
We have enough in savings to pay our outgoings for 2 years (and if house was sold, more like 5 years)
We are both professionally qualified and have highly paid jobs. Pensions not great as private sector but not concerned by that at this stage of our lives and with our other assets

So compared to my upbringing of not knowing where next meal was coming from, free school meals, grants for school uniforms and often seeing mum cry when a gas bill came in, yes I feel secure now

nextyearitsbigschool Fri 20-Sep-13 07:08:23

We are reasonably secure, our mortgage is large but the equity in the house would buy us a smaller house outright and we are not bothered about clearing it at the moment.We have insurances and savings and DH, the main earner is only likely to increase his salary as he works in an industry where salaries are very high. We do what we want when we want. I don't know his parents plans re inheritance but they are well off but my inheritance from my parents will be several hundred thousand all of which is currently in trusts and won't be needed for care should they need it and which will help us and our children in our old age.

TheDietStartsTomorrow Fri 20-Sep-13 07:08:37

Not financially secure either.
20 year mortgage
Zero savings
No pension
No other assets besides home
We both have low paid jobs and mind is part time.
I'm 36, DH is 39.
We have children, youngest aged 5.

We don't have much debt though and we own our cars. We holiday every year though. The problem in my family is my DH doesn't know how to spend or save. It frustrates me to no end because I grew up very careful with money. My siblings and most of my friends have paid off their mortgages, have additional homes or assets and seem more secure than us.

Reading this, I realise I really need to sort our finances out. Trouble is I know it will cause arguments and that's not a solution. It's the second thing we argue most about.

Floppityflop Fri 20-Sep-13 07:26:47

I don't think even two million in the bank makes you financially secure. You couldn't live off the interest. I am not sure what the ideal amount of wealth is. Being very wealthy has its own problems because you have to spend time attending to legal and tax matters, and you need to take care of your personal safety.

2rebecca Fri 20-Sep-13 07:54:04

If you have 2 million in the bank and are not financially secure then you should have it taken away. Am serious here. In that case it is obviously a state of mind and spending within your means. You don't have to buy lots of crap to be happy.

Badvoc Fri 20-Sep-13 08:06:57

We are a one income family and have been for a decade. 2 dc.
We have 23 year mortagage.
We Own my car.
Have 3 months of Dhs wages in savings.
Some cc debt on a 0% card....aiming to pay this off over the next year or so.
Dh has a pension and life cover and I have life insurance.
We have equity in the house.
We have made wills.
I don't feel remotely secure.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 20-Sep-13 08:16:57

2rebecca Do you understand about interest rates? And gilts yields? A family, who already owned all their stuff, could definitely live on the yield from £2m right now but it wouldn't be a lavish lifestyle. If you put all your capital in gilts right now for 5 years, then you wouldn't even get 2%. Which would be £40k. If you tied it up for 10 years, you wouldn't quite get 3%. But tying money up for ten years is risky, so you'd probably go maybe half and half - which would mean lower returns in the 5 year period, say £20K.

There are lots of ways to make shitloads more from £2m than investing in gilts. But the question was about security. And the more remunerative ways of earning money from capital are not secure.

Like I said, very very few people are financially secure. God knows I'm not, and I earn a big salary. But it's assets that make you secure, not income. And even then there has to be a ready market for those assets.

RedHelenB Fri 20-Sep-13 08:22:06

20k when you have no0 mortgage or loans should be enough per year to feel secure if you also had 2 million in the bank!

Floppityflop Fri 20-Sep-13 08:36:02

2 million would only give an income of 20k in a bank account. You would have to invest in riskier products to produce a higher income which would mean your capital would not be secure. 20k fixed income is not a lot as food and fuel prices continue to rise. It is not a question of buying crap. If all benefits stopped tomorrow and you had no job 2 million would allow you to subsist more or less at current tax rates. So, millionaires are poor.

wordfactory Fri 20-Sep-13 08:43:47

But redhelen 20k a year is nothing for a family.

You'd have to start dipping into your 2 million to pay for anyhting large. Holidays, a car, a fridge etc and soon your 2 million wouldn't be two million and you wouldn't get your 20k per year!

To live on 2 million, you would either need another source of income or you need to invest it in much riskier things.

Bumblequeen Fri 20-Sep-13 08:45:18

Angel So sorry. I hope life turns around for you and dh.

Bumblequeen Fri 20-Sep-13 08:57:45

We also have not gained any equity on our property.

I am determined to work towards leaving my dc with a substantial amount of money so they are able to live far more comfortably than we are.

RedHelenB Fri 20-Sep-13 12:11:24

I would feel financially secure with £500,000 in the bank & no mortgage or other debts.

2Rebeca as RussianSphere already said, you need a VERY large sum of money to be able to live off the interest.

You literally can't touch the prinicpal as that only draws down on the amount of money needed to earn a decent interest.

So no....$2million in the bank does not necessarily mean financially secure.

guiltyconscience Fri 20-Sep-13 12:20:16

For me owning our house was the huge psychological boost that made me feel secure cos if tshtf we could always sell and rent.

guiltyconscience Fri 20-Sep-13 12:23:30

Bumble that is very commendable and we feel the same however I have creeping doubts about it as there is no guarantee they won't lose the lot in one way or another.Making me think what can we do to ensure after our days they don't fritter it away on crap obviously we try to instigate good financial habits in them but ......... any ideas anyone?

MadeOfStarDust Fri 20-Sep-13 12:29:00

2 million would get you more than £20k - if that is the rate you are getting - 1% - I would sack the financial advisor....

For that level of capital and no-risk-at-all-put-it-in-the-bank savings you are looking at a minimum of 4% (I'm currently on 3.5% with a hell of a lot less than that...) just look through the financial papers this week....

£80k pa is not such small change....

BraveMerida Fri 20-Sep-13 12:30:22

Been niggling me also, especially if some partner or spouse get a claim on it.....Maybe let dc have a taste of having to be financially independent, and what it means to be poor...while you are still around?!

lifesgreatquestions Fri 20-Sep-13 12:30:32

I feel financially secure, and I agree that it's relative. I come from poverty (not enough food, sometimes homeless, the handmedown's hand me downs) as a child. I now have a great income, on a contract so it's reliably there for the foreseeable future. I am on a mortgage, I put a significant amount into savings each moths and can still afford to do nice things. We, OH and I, both live simply and manage money very well, no credit cards or purchase of useless or unnecessary gadgets. OH came from a lower middle class family who knew the value of hard work and money and while they weren't rich they were/are financially secure, own their own home, etc.

BraveMerida Fri 20-Sep-13 12:32:34

But I wouldn't feel secure leaving 2 million cash in a bank due to inflation, and it is not risk free, you are only protected up to 85k!

guiltyconscience Fri 20-Sep-13 12:36:27

Thanks Keden and Merida think you are right it's instigating good financial habits in them now whilst we are still here and hoping for the best. I am going to put it in trust under my sis's jurisdiction till they are 25.Decision made just gotta get it sorted thank you !

Idespair Fri 20-Sep-13 12:39:13

I think feeling financially secure from day to day is different from feeling financially secure in the long term. I only know one couple who are properly financially secure, they have about £10m grin. They do not need to concern themselves with the price of anything or worry they can't afford stuff or shop around. They can just have whatever they want. Incidentally they are extremely generous. Their child came to my ds birthday party and he was given £50 worth of really nice toys from them which he was thrilled with.

We have a largish mortgage, 2 children who haven't yet finished their education and at least one of them will need some help through university, no pensions to speak of, a bit of savings (more than £20K) and a business that is providing enough for us to live on.

I don't feel insecure tbh. We've had our ups and downs, been made redundant a few times, lived off fresh air when the business was getting off the ground, that sort of thing. Things work out in the end. Having more money wouldn't necessarily make me more secure - money is meant to be spent (within reason) so I tend to think if you have more incoming you have more outgoing and, with it, the need to have even more money.

Security is a state of mind I think. It sort of depends if you are a glass full or half empty sort of person. From a personal point of view we had very little growing up. So long as I had more than I had then, I don't feel disadvantaged. I personally don't feel the need to stash huge amounts of cash away although I understand why some people do.

Actually security to me is the ability to make money if you need it. That doesn't mean paying off the mortgage, that means being able to comfortably keep up with the repayments. We've got that so I feel OK about it.

Beastofburden Fri 20-Sep-13 12:40:03

Exactly. If inflation is 2.5% you need to reinvest that each year, so you could only spend the surplus over inflation. Back to the 1%...

I think we are beginning to see why so many older people spend their capital on a BTL house. An income of some-one else's monthly rent (less tax, fees, etc) is inflation protected, while the capital grows in line with house prices. I tmight not make money for a comemrcial investor who is borrowing to do it, but it certainbly beats the bank account model.

BraveMerida I wouldn't put $2 milllion in cash in a bank for sure!

It'd be wrapped up in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or some type of investment vehicle. You'd never earn enough interest on it, just having it sit in a bank.

And besides in the US (where my DHs and I major investments are), you are only insured up to $250k by the FDIC. So tons of cash just sitting in a bank = bad idea to me.

wordfactory Fri 20-Sep-13 12:59:19

guilty that has been a huge issue for DH and I.

Obviously we don't want our DC to have the struggles we've expereinced, but on the other hand I dread them becoming spoilt little rich kids.

DontmindifIdo Fri 20-Sep-13 13:07:59

I am the only one who wants to know what festered does for a living/has done in the past to get to a high wage? [nosy]

Want2bSupermum Fri 20-Sep-13 17:50:28

We keep our cash here in the US because cash limits for FDIC coverage are much higher. Our joint account is covered up to $500k.

Word I hear you on not wanting to end up with spoilt children. DD is two and DH came home saying we should 'do' FAO Schwartz. I put my foot down and said no. Nothing good comes from that. When DD is older she can earn special trips into town. I also think about other things which have an effect on their upbringing such as the cars we drive and our housing. We could have new cars every 5 years and live in a large house. Instead, I refuse to trade in my 8 year old car and expect I will be driving it for another 8 years. A car built today should last at least 150k miles. Housing wise we are looking at living in a house that can be converted into a multifamily once they move out.

Upthread someone was talking about divorce. I have a pre-nup in place and I take an active role in our finances for that very reason. My mother was the dainty housewife who didn't want to be part of the discussion. It cost her dearly. She got a great settlement from my father but still to this day she has no idea about household finances.

VivaLeThrustBadger Fri 20-Sep-13 17:58:51

I kind of feel financially secure but I'm aware that we're only a redundancy away from not been.

We only have about 30k on the mortgage left, we own our cars outright, we have furniture, etc, no loans and we have probably a years worth of wages in savings.

But dh has quite a specialist job and if he got made redundant he might struggle to get employed, certainly at such a level again. He's in his 50s which doesn't help.

I think I'll only feel truly secure once I've retired!

amicissimma Fri 20-Sep-13 18:32:25

Having grown up poor the first thing I did was to make sure I was as employable as possible.

I trained in my main job but also got experience elsewhere evenings and weekends, so if one job went, I had a good chance of another in a different field.

I worked as many hours as I could so that I could build up savings. I would always save in preference to buying 'treats' (holidays, new clothes, technology, meals out, etc).

I wouldn't take any debt, apart from a mortgage, but even then I had to have saved enough deposit to minimize the chances of negative equity if the market dropped. I wouldn't buy anything unless I had the money in hand and if that meant beans on toast for months and clothes from charity shops, so be it.

Experience told me that things can go wrong unexpectedly, including ill health and death, so I didn't dare take on the commitment of DCs until I was confident that I had a good savings cushion, earning ability, a stable relationship (as far as I could tell, but I didn't commit until I'd known DH for years) and accommodation on a reasonable mortgage. I did risk fertility problems as this meant waiting until I was in my 30s.

My DH has a similar attitude. I don't think I could have married someone who didn't.

Our savings obsession habit does mean that are in a reasonably secure position, ironically just as our DCs are leaving home and costing us less! But retirement looms and we can't rely on the taxpayer, as others have said.

I do worry that the DCs will take it for granted. They seem OK, but have nothing like the drive to earn and save that DH and I had.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 20-Sep-13 18:36:09

We are financially secure and it feels good.
We don't have a lot of money but are asset rich and some savings.
Pension is in a property rather than a fund, as I didn't trust these grin.
Everything is paid for, but not necessarily bought new.

pencilsharpener Fri 20-Sep-13 20:37:33

I feel pretty financially secure. I'm about 15 years off an early retirement and have the equivalent of 15 years' net income in savings/investments. And a house with no mortgage. So I could quit my job any time I liked and not worry about the consequences grin

I'm not at all interested in possessions, so saving has always been easy for me. My car is a 12 year old rust-bucket!

ItIsKnown Fri 20-Sep-13 20:56:29

DH and I are carers to two disabled DC. We have a bit in savings from more economically productive times (not nearly enough to not qualify for help before anyone says anything) but I feel financially secure these days when I've put money on the gas and electric meters and the fridge is full.

I hate being at the mercy of this the government but it won't be forever. We're both graduates and DH is extremely resourceful.

34DD Fri 20-Sep-13 21:06:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

34DD Fri 20-Sep-13 21:11:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

holidaybug Fri 20-Sep-13 21:16:49

Early 40s, largish house, mortgage nearly paid off, no other debts, save over 50% of what we earn.

Do I feel secure? No way! We couldn't afford to live comfortably without working - we'd be fine for a while but not indefinitely.

itwillgetbettersoon Fri 20-Sep-13 21:48:19

I work in the public sector. I don't feel financially secure at all as I could lose my job anytime. 2015/16 is going to be a terrible year for local government so I will be surprised if I survive the next cull. I am late 40s, part time pension and soon to be divorced. I use to feel financially secure when I was married.

Comfortable Fri 20-Sep-13 23:56:05

I feel fairly secure. Joint net worth of roughly 2 million of which roughly a third is my paid-for home, a third is my savings/investments, the last third is spouse savings/investments. On top of that basic state pension entitlements we have accrued so far are worth about 150K each.

This is not how we are invested, but to illustrate, 1.4 million in Vanguard European tracker ETF would mean owning assets with (I estimate) an underlying smoothed earnings yield north of 6% and a dividend yield north of 3% last time I checked, so I reckon you could spend the dividends (call it 40K) and you would only be spending half the underlying returns. (I see risk differently from people up-thread and would cope with two thirds drop in balance. In fact I did, back in 2008/2009.)

Given house paid for, if no-one were working we wouldn't need our (paid-for but worthless) car and core/unavoidable expenses would come to 12K, so no danger of not being able to pay them.

Main risk for me is divorce, as spouse might get half the home. That seems particularly unfair given that I paid 80% of bills during the marriage and am retired, while spouse now earns as much as I used to and intends to work forever.

Next biggest risk is the home itself - a lot of money tied up in one place.

Since people may wonder, the source of 2 million funds is:-
1. my income earned since 1998 funded my savings and paid for the home
2. spouse income earned since roughly 2005 funded spouse savings
3. 400K from home value tripling since 1998.

alanapartridge Thu 03-Oct-13 17:02:24


I can sympathise. I´m in a similar, if not far worse, position than you - had it all - big house (with big mortgage of course), nice cars, etc.....worked our asses off for 20+ years, OH expanded business then things went soooo so stressed I had a nervous breakdown, and the only way out (because we were tied to many commercial leases) was to sell our house, pay the bank off and virtually give the business away. We literally ended up with nothing, just the clothes on our backs.
Have never had kids (which now seems a blessing !) and now live abroad where we both work freelance and earn very little,(but probably more than we could in UK) rent an apartment, live hand to mouth (so under even more stress every month), haven´t a single shred of security, no possessions, no money for clothes, make-up, hairdos etc.,and because we rent, I can´t even have a dog (which would keep me sane). I´m 58 this month. Don´t stand to inherit a bean. Sometimes life doesn´t seem worth living, but guess you´ve just got to get on with it.
For those of you who didn´t feel very secure before reading this, I bet your bottom dollar you do now ! LOL

wink1970 Thu 03-Oct-13 17:25:54

I'm not sure you ever feel completely secure (unless you are a millionaire).

I tick all those except the pension - though we do have a couple of rental houses to sell when needed.

However, it will never be enough. yes I am greedy.

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