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ALL THE LATEST NEWS, VIEWS AND STORIES FROM AROUND YOUR LOCAL AREA:JANUARY/FEBRUARY WHO WILL DO SOME HEAVY LIFTING?


When the financial crisis hit big in 2008 and 2009, there were some painful adjustments in the world economy. Despite the pain for Western economies most of the hard work was not done by Governments at all. For the most part, spending and borrowing carried on at high levels and the really hard work was done by central banks.


In most countries, pensions carried on being paid, deficits carried on being borrowed for and consumers carried on with credit card splurging. It seems to me, that 2018 could well be the year when the tab stops being run up, as the central banks are shutting off the tap and starting to take liquidity back out of the world’s finances. Governments and citizens will need to step up and do some heavy lifting.


How this plays out, could have far-reaching consequences. For example, Trump’s tax cuts


CONSIDERED WORDS BY


OAKTREE ACCOUNTANCY


could end up looking like folly and our country’s half-baked Brexit plans could be put under a lot of pressure. Something just has to give somewhere in the system. Governments took relatively small steps compared to central bankers, creating big imbalances which at some point must be wound back. To balance his books, Trump needs more taxes not less, it really is that simple I am afraid.


The most positive thing about the world economy is that so many economists and investors are worried about it! It is when everyone is agreed that the way ahead is plain sailing that disaster is most likely to strike. That’s when people start to believe their own hype and make silly decisions they would not normally make – think Royal Bank of Scotland in 2007 and 2008.


Overall, I am cautiously optimistic for 2018, for no other reason than the risks we have to navigate are staring us in the face. The lookouts are shouting: “Icebergs ahead, Captain!” Hopefully, unlike the Titanic, the Captain is steering with care and not full steam ahead regardless.


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GETTING TO GRIPS WITH YOUR PENSION


This January, Citizens Advice Allerdale is urging people to make getting to grips with their retirement options one of their New Year’s resolutions.


Citizens Advice have been providing the government’s Pension Wise service since 2015. It offers people over the age of 50 with a defined contribution pension a free 45-minute guidance session on options around their retirement finances.


“December is tough on the wallet, so many of us start the new year with good intentions around budgeting and planning for the future,” says Martin Telford “Learning about your pension options is the perfect place to start.”


“We’re living for longer, so what you do with your pension is more important than ever. You should know what money you’ll need in retirement and how to make the most of what you have. Pension Wise will help you do this.”


A recent Ipsos Mori evaluation showed the positive impact a Pension Wise appointment can have:


• People are more aware of their retirement options after a Pension Wise appointment. 93% of people surveyed felt informed of their pension options after an appointment compared to 56% of people who didn’t use the service.


WWW.THECOCKERMOUTHPOST.CO.UK


• People feel more scam aware after an appointment. 94% of people who had an appointment felt more aware of the warning signs of scams.


• People make positive decisions following an appointment. 72% of customers calculated the income they needed in retirement after their appointment, compared to 29% of non-users.


Since the introduction of new freedoms in 2015, people have had more choice in what they do with their pension money. This has led to a huge shift in how people approach their pension, with nearly £10 billion more taken out of pensions in 2016/17 than in 2012/13.


And according to Citizens Advice Allerdale, the less you know about your pension money, the more likely it is that you might not make the best choice.


Visit www.pensionwise.gov.uk to book your free Pension Wise appointment.


For further help, contact Citizens Advice Allerdale, Town Hall, Oxford Street, Workington on 01900 604735, or visit us at www.citizensadviceallerdale.org.uk


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