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Everything posted by sugarfree

  1. Moved back to Ireland where I'm currently working as a reflexologist.  Nice work, but not very highly paid, I'm afraid.  
  2. Simon, I'm not asking for a 13-year projection. Forget about me.  Just tell me what you personally consider a good level of savings for yourself. I realise this is terribly nosey but what can I say?  I'm female.      
  3. You're right, I mis-worded the original question.  Sorry.  
  4. Why do you think it's a wind-up?  I'm genuinely curious what other people think is a good level of savings for THEM.  Not for myself.  As has been pointed out, no one can possibly make that kind of assessment for someone else because there are too many unknown factors. Forgive me if I'm being nosey (I am) but since this is all anonymous, I didn't think people would mind giving a ballpark figure.         
  5. You're right, I may well have snuffed it by then. But assuming, just for fun, that I'm still alive (my Granny's 103 next month so the odds are good), how much dosh do you think I should have in savings when I retire?  Not investments, just boring old savings languishing in an interest-paying bank account. There seems to be a (British?) reluctance to talk hard figures, so I will re-frame the question slightly.  What level of savings would you personally need to feel comfortable with in retirement, i.e. six months' worth of expenses, a year's worth, 2 years' worth? I don't want to "over-save" given the long-term effects of inflation.  I suppose I'm basically looking for encouragement to go out and blow most of my salary on patisserie and nice underwear.              
  6. I am hoping to retire to France permanently one day.  I still have about 13 years left to go. I will have a reasonable pension, but on top of that, how much of a cash pile do you think I will need (in today's money) to cover big-ticket purchases, emergencies, etc.?   If you're retired and living in France, can you put a rough figure on the amount of savings you personally need to feel comfortable?          
  7. I've had several Nationwide bonds over the past few years and never had any problems opening them (I did it on-line). The Nationwide are well aware I'm a non-resident:  I've been living in France for 13 years and they send my statements to my French address.    
  8. OK, that's good news about the higher limit.  I didn't realise the amount doubles if the account is in joint names ( it is). Re. suggestions that I buy "assurance vie" products, aren't these stockmarket based?  I'm looking for something that offers zero risk, i.e. a vehicle for savings rather than investment. Many thanks for all the replies.          
  9. I generally try to squirrel away 10% of my salary every month.  I've deposited funds in the Livret d'Epargne Populaire, Livret A, and Livret de Developpement Durable, up to the maximum amounts permitted.  In addition, I've been sending money to the Nationwide and buying a Nationwide bond every so often, but the £50,000 limit for compensation under the government's protection scheme is fast approaching and I don't want to exceed that. Any suggestions as to where I could put my savings (polite ones only, please)?  I'm not interested in anything that involves exposure to the stock market.       
  10. Just wondering whether anyone out there can help me with a tax query. My father-in-law who is Russian and lives in Moscow is planning to transfer about £20,000 into a Nationwide Account that is held jointly by my husband and myself. The money is a gift to his son, i.e. my husband. My husband and I are both resident in France, although "domiciled" in the UK.  We have tax allowances in the UK, but we don't use them. Any ideas about how HMRC is likely to treat this gift from Russia?  Any advice you can give would be most gratefully received....      
  11. Right, I will try that! Many thanks for the advice.    
  12. Has anyone noticed that the HMCR's R43 form for 2009-2010 (for claiming back tax paid on interest from UK bank accounts) is not available on their website yet? Just wondering what the hold-up is this year. I've given up trying to telephone them - it's impossible to get through.  And although I sent an e-mail a couple of weeks ago, I've had no reply.                  
  13. Anybody know of any useful products for removing paint from cast-iron radiators?  Mine are ancient and I want to re-paint them, but before I can do so, I need to remove the old paint, which is already flaking off in parts.  I suspect I will have to resort to sandpaper and old-fashioned elbow grease, but before I do, I just wanted to check that there are no wonder products out there that I'm missing (apparently the Americans have a good, low-toxicity one called SOY-Gel but I don't suppose it's available in France....) Any advice gratefully received.        
  14. Many thanks to all of you for your advice.  You have been very helpful, as usual.    
  15. Apologies in advance if this question has been asked a thousand times already. I'm just about to fill in my French tax return (paper version) and am wondering which figure to put in the box marked WH. We installed double glazing back in November.  The cost of the materials was around 4,000 euros, "hors taxe" (i.e. before VAT). Should I enter the figure of 1,000 euros (i.e. the 25% of the total cost of materials that I am allowed to claim) or should I put the full cost of the materials (i.e. 4,000 euros) and let the tax authorities work out what they owe me? Also, what supporting documents do I need to submit?  All I have is an itemised invoice, showing the labour and materials costs separately.  Do I have to submit the original or will a photocopy do? Many thanks for any advice you can give.      
  16. That was quick.  Many thanks for your prompt reply! 
  17. I saw on "How clean is your house?" the other night that a good way to clean the pipes of your washing machine is to put some soda crystals in the dispenser and then set the programme for the longest, hottest cycle possible. Any idea whether soda crystals are available in France and if so, where?  Ingrid  
  18. Hello, A question for Nationwide customers:  has anyone opened a Nationwide e-bond recently? I opened one on-line earlier this year without any problem but I now see that there is a requirement to confirm that you are a UK resident (I'm resident in France): "It's easy to open a savings account with Nationwide if you're already an Internet Banking user: Log on to the Internet Bank and go to your FlexAccount online statement Click the 'Activate e-Bond' button on the left, tell us how much you'd like to transfer and confirm you're a UK resident Then just click the 'ACTIVATE' button The account may take up to 5 days to show on the Internet Banking system" When you actually log on, however, and follow the procedure to open a bond, you are never at any point asked to confirm that you are a UK resident.  You have to agree to the Terms and Conditions but I've read these and find no mention of residency. Has anyone else noticed this?            
  19. Hi, I ordered some yesterday from a supplier here in Alsace and it was 800 euros for 1,000 litres. We, too, use a paraffin heater for top-up heating and "transition" periods and find it very effective (and cheap). Helen    
  20. Thank you very much, Cathy and Albert, for your replies. I'm planning to staying in the apartment for another 16 years or so (if not more) so I definitely need to replace the old boiler.  Am pretty sure now that gas is the best option. Many thanks once again. Ingrid      
  21. Morning all, I live in an old city-centre apartment with an oil-fired heating system.  The apartment has high ceilings and big, old, clunking radiators (to which I am very attached).  The boiler, which is located down in the basement, is on its last legs and so the time has come to replace it. I understand that people wishing to sell their properties in France now have to produce some sort of energy effiiciency certificate for their home. I've considered a few options and at the moment, the choice seems to be as follows: 1. replace the oil-fired boiler in the basement with a new, more efficient one or 2.  swich to gas and install a gas-fired boiler in the kitchen. Would either of these solutions be considered by an estate agent to be better than the other as regards the energy efficiency certificate and, more generally, selling my apartment in the future?  Also, would gas be a suitable form of heating for these big old radiators?  I would be extremely grateful if anybody has any advice. Ingrid  
  22. Hello, I'd like to pick up on a question that was asked in another thread but never answered.  If this year I declare, for the first time, interest paid on a UK bank account, am I likely to be fined for failing to do so in previous years?  I know ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law, but it honestly never occurred to me to declare this interest before because tax was deducted at source in the UK and the amounts in question were always very small.  Any advice - or information on other people's experience in this area - will be gratefully received.      
  23. I know there has been a lot of discussion on this forum about the near-impossibility of opening UK bank / building society accounts once a person is no longer resident in the UK.  So I was very surprised to learn from a close friend yesterday (who has no reason to lie to me) that she has just recently opened a NatWest account in the UK.  They know she is resident in France and are using her French address for correspondence.  She says the fact that she is resident in France posed  no problems whatsoever. I was amazed.      
  24. Hello, Chris I think Nationwide's refusal to allow non-residents to open an E-bond is a fairly recent development.  I am non-resident in the UK and have managed to keep my FlexAccount and e-savings account but when I tried to open an E-bond online last week, I was asked to tick a box confirming that I am a UK resident, so obviously I wasn't able to proceed.      
  25. Many thanks for that - I will warn all my friends pronto!    
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