Welcome to Ask Jasmine, the column where I round up some of the questions I have received from readers each week. This week, I answer questions about investing in gold, online banking, Avios points and loans.
I hope these answers can help you with any questions you may have. Don’t forget to leave any questions you have in the comments below or email me on email@example.com.
Hi Jasmine, I hope you can help me, my father passed away 2 months ago and I inherited some money. I heard when things are unstable, people invest in gold. Do you know how to invest in gold? Which company to use please. I know there is difficult times ahead. I would appreciate any help. Thank you.
Thank you for your email. Yes, investing in gold is a good hedge against inflation and tends to be something people do when times are uncertain. As always, of course, it’s not a good idea to put all of your money into any one thing, but you could put a portion of your cash into gold.
Do be aware that nothing I write here should be taken as financial advice. It’s just information and you need to speak to a qualified, independent financial advisor for real advice.
However, if you’re interested in buying gold there are various ways you could do it. We have a few articles on how to do it and also an eBook that we wrote with the Royal Mint which I’ve attached here.
Probably the easiest ways to do it are either to buy physical gold (sovereigns or bars) which you can do from a few companies including the Royal Mint and ATSbullion.com among others (either online or in person) or you could do digital gold with Bullionvault.com or the Royal Mint. There are pros and cons to both but you could do a bit of both and see which you’re happiest with.
Hope that helps!
All best, Jasmine
Is there an alternative to online banking?
Hi Jasmine, I always read your newsletter which is very informative and sometimes see you on the television. This is my problem. I don’t have a smart phone and I don’t bank online. I don’t like either. I have a savings account with Saga which I am able to access by telephone, but it is being discontinued as Berkshire Midlands who administer it are not going to do so any more.
I have discovered that it is impossible to open a savings account with anyone unless you have a mobile phone and can open on line. The high street bank has a savings account but the interest is miserable. Is there any alternative? Best regards.
I hope the following is helpful:
I checked with Daniel Darragh of Savings Champion on this question and this is what he said –
I presume the client is looking for an Easy Access account they can open via post or telephone, as opposed to a notice or fixed rate bond account? If so, there are a large number of options available to the client, mostly at one of the various Easy Access accounts available at one of the many building societies throughout the UK.
The highest Easy Access account available via post is with Skipton Building Society, who’s Triple Access Saver Issue 5 is paying 1.36 AER – although the key thing to remember about this account is, whilst it is Easy Access, you can only make 3 withdrawals per anniversary year (based on the date you open the account) – any subsequent withdrawals will result in the closure of the account.
Whilst I appreciate the client doesn’t use the internet, further information can be found here. Alternatively, the client can call Skipton on 0345 608 0783 where they can either request an application pack or apply for the account on the phone.
Alternatively, if the client is looking for an easy access account without any withdrawal limits, her best bet are with one of the following:
Hello Jasmine, I have been informed by BA my 21,441 avios points will expire in less than a month. I have no plans of travelling this year, could you advise me what actions I could take to retain my points?Looking forward to hearing from you.Kind regards.
Hi there, Thanks for getting in touch about this. It does seem unfair!
However, I asked one of my team to look into it and this is what she came up with:
“The rules and T&Cs are pretty clear and were probably agreed when they signed up (even if they didn’t read the small print!):
Best I can suggest is that they transfer the points to another Avios member and then share the benefit – “You can transfer up to 27,000 Avios to another Club Member each calendar year. Transferring Avios will reset the 36-month period for both the person sending and the person receiving the Avios.” Maybe a family member could sign up? Alternatively they could spend the points on an experience or wine – https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/executive-club/spending-avios”
I hope that helps!
All the best, Jasmine
Am I likely to get a loan?
I would be grateful for your advice on whether I am likely to be able to get a loan please. I am 69 years old and need to move to a bungalow as I have arthritis in my feet and find stairs quite difficult. There are some new bungalows being built as an over 55 development but no prices are available yet. I would like to know about loans before I get my hopes up about moving.
I hope that the sale of my house plus savings will cover the cost but if that isn’t the case I have been trying to find out whether I could get a loan to cover, say, the fees and moving costs. I spoke to Nationwide (over 55s support team) who I bank with but they say they don’t give funding on developments for over 55s and that they don’t give loans against property, even though I explained that I hope I would only need enough to cover fees and moving expenses. I have two private pensions plus my state pension which give me an income of £1,500 per month and I live well within this. Thank you.
Hi there. Thanks for getting in touch with your question.
I spoke to David Hollingworth at London and Country mortgages about this and this is what he said:
“Lending beyond retirement is possible as long as lenders can be assured that the mortgage will be affordable based on the income and expenditure of the borrower. It could be possible to take a standard mortgage but lenders will often have a maximum age at the end of the mortgage term. Some will max out at 75 but others will be more flexible and consider lending to a higher maximum age.
In addition there are Retirement Interest Only (RIO) mortgages that are specifically designed for older borrowers and remove the need for a specified mortgage term altogether, with interest payments made each month and the mortgage only repayable on sale, on death or a move into long term care.
As well as affordability lenders will consider the type of property to be sure it is suitable and adequate security for the mortgage. Retirement properties restrict buyers to those over 55 and lenders may prefer to avoid properties that could find a limited market if they ever had to repossess and sell the property. Lenders will want to be sure that the property won’t carry any onerous clauses that could affect the ability to sell and value of the property.
As a result many will refuse to lend on retirement properties but others may be more flexible and be able to consider them. The correct lender choice will depend on the specifics of the property but a specialist RIO lender like Livemore can consider retirement properties for over 55s for loans of up to 50% of the purchase price and has a minimum loan amount of £10,000. Approaching a mortgage adviser will help ensure you target the best lender to meet your requirements.”
Hope that helps! All the best, Jasmine.
Do you have a question for me? Leave it in the comments below, or email me your question on firstname.lastname@example.org. I may just answer it in next week’s Ask Jasmine column.
Speak next week!
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.