So, it’s that time of year that is loved and dreaded by some in equal measures! The pressure to make sure the dinner is perfect; all the presents arrive in time and are immaculately wrapped. The compulsory argument over the gravy and in my time, sitting and waiting for my Dad to put plugs on my electrical items that he didn’t know he’d bought!
Having now had my own son and a great nephew due any day now (I know, I don’t look old enough!!) I have really started to notice the waste that comes with Christmas, I am not a bah humbug as I love Christmas and I currently have 3 lists going ready for the 16 people I am cooking for on the day, but the amount of presents the kids get is getting out of hand. So, I made a change a few years ago to include presents that really last.
Although it was not something he could unwrap, I started a stakeholder pension for him, the minimum payment is £20 per month and I have kept up the regular payment. Admittedly this is an ongoing cost rather than a one off present but I soon didn’t notice the direct debit going out each month. He now has a reasonable chunk in there to help boost his retirement income later in life.
There are other options that your children can benefit from much sooner. The Help to Buy ISA is a really good savings plan that can have additional monies added from the government if the funds are used to buy their first home. These ISA’s typically have a better rate of Interest than an ordinary Cash ISA but do have restrictions.
A standard cash ISA is available for Juniors too. This can be started with a lump sum or regular savings and interest rates paid have started to increase too.
Remember the child trust fund? Perhaps your grandchildren have one? These were started by a government gift when the child was born, but did you know they can be added to? These can be cash or investment based to suit circumstances. You cannot open these any more as they have been replaced by Junior ISA’s but if they have an old one it could be worth considering topping up.
All of these savings plans have different terms and conditions with them so it is well worth chatting to your adviser about the options available and which one is most suitable. It may take a few years, but ultimately these could be the best presents you ever give.
Wendy Devlin Dip CII, CeFA, CeMap (MP & ER)
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