What should I do with my house deposit before I buy?

NEW I've been gifted a few thousand pounds towards buying a house but we won't buy for at least 12 months. It is currently sitting in a 0.03 per cent current account that I have had forever. I’m wondering about putting this money to work but I know nothing about this side of the world and I am not sure what my options are. Do you have any tips? Are there any high interest rate Isas or should I invest it?

NEW The majority of people living in a house which has been affected are vulnerable and may have a child living with them or someone with a long-term health condition.

What state pension will I get as a married woman at retirement?

NEW I had two children and went to work part time from 22 years old and paid the married woman's stamp since then. My husband paid full stamp but was disabled after a brain haemorrhage burst under his brain. I have looked after my husband since the mid-1990s. What pension if any will I get in 2020? Also, if my husband dies before I reach my retirement date in 2020, will I get any pension at all?

When the base rate rises it will inevitably push up home loan costs for homeowners who have variable rate mortgages. Jamie and Helen Bradford (pictured) like the security of a five-year fix

In 2003 we opened savings accounts at Nationwide Building Society for our two sons. We set up a standing order from her Lloyds account to pay £15 monthly into each Nationwide account.

The present view is that the Standard & Poor's 500, the broader measure of share prices, is being driven ever higher on better than expected earnings.

More than £80million has been wiped off De La Rue's value since last month when it lost the contract to produce UK passports.

For current account rewards and interest conditions may apply eg. using provider's full switching service, min deposits and direct debits. For savings, access maybe limited, min/max deposits may apply. See T&Cs.; Representative example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.95% p.a. (variable) your representative rate will be 18.9% APR (variable).





FTSE LIVE: Outsourcer Capita in £701m cash call to investors; The pound starts the week on

NEW Outsourcing firm Capita, responsible for some big public sector contracts, has asked investors to stump up an extra £701m to help its strategic restructuring. Its share price has struggled in recent months. Meanwhile electronics firm Philips has revealed profits fell 27 per cent in the first three months of its financial year.

The firm has been snapping up stakes in the companies behind some of the UK's best-known brands, demanding changes including break-ups, takeovers and restructuring.

Among a series of first-quarter results this week, Lloyds is forecast to post a 9 per cent rise in profits to £2.3billion.

The housebuilder has faced a barrage of criticism over the incentive plan that would have seen about 130 managers, including boss Jeff Fairburn, share a windfall of close to £800million.

The Stars Group is to buy Sky Betting & Gaming, better known as SkyBet, from broadcaster Sky and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.

The appointment of Sir Mike, the former chairman of BT and EasyJet, is likely to fuel speculation that New Day is to float on the stock market.

Thieves plundering contactless cards at a rate of £27 a minute

Our analysis suggests the security threat is increasing at an alarming rate as the nation’s shoppers turn in droves to convenient ‘tap and pay’ cards and phone apps to ease queue stress. Spending this way soared last year to above £52 billion – double the amount in 2016 according to industry body UK Finance.

A fraudster is trying to help himself to £3.75million of taxpayers’ money from a compensation payout intended for small savers ripped off by Royal Bank of Scotland, a court has heard.

Victims of of a lender co-founded by Sean Connery are pushing for historic complaints to be covered by a new tribunal for disputes involving small firms.

MIDAS SHARE TIPS: Rev up your shares as Duke Royalty profits surge

Duke Royalty is an Aim-listed business specialising in providing royalty-style finance to companies in fields such as industry, leisure and technology. The shares are 39p and should increase substantially as the firm expands and develops. There is also a generous quarterly dividend policy and an annual yield of more than 5 per cent. Royalty finance has existed for decades in the mining industry.

Just 56 per cent of single policies and 59 per cent of annual travel insurance policies include cover for a cruise trip as standard, so it’s well worth checking you’re covered as soon as you’ve booked the trip.

My husband's ex-wife demanded half his pension, but now she has died

After his first marriage, my husband's first wife demanded 50% of his private pension during the divorce settlement. Now she is dead and his son has demanded his mother's share though there was no will left. My question is does the son have a right to claim it?

Firms are under mounting pressure to appoint more women to their boards. This has led to a handful of highly qualified female bosses being in heavy demand and holding multiple directorships.

The Office for National Statistics is forecast to say that the UK economy grew by as little as 0.2 per cent in the first three months of the year - half the 0.4 per cent growth of the last quarter of 2017.

Rise in student loan interest is a scandal, says JEFF PRESTRIDGE 

The Student Loans Company sets the interest rate every year, charging 3 per cent plus the Retail Prices Index rate as of March - 3.3 per cent. Once students graduate, the rate varies with interest of between 3.3 and 6.3 per cent, depending on earnings. If these numbers were not shocking enough in today's low interest rate environment, youngsters are charged the highest interest from the moment they start their studies until they graduate.

The luxury homes in Dublin have been painstakingly constructed, as reflected in the careful preservation of 150-year-old trees included on the development.

Not so long ago, if you wanted a cosy night on the sofa watching the latest blockbuster movie, you first had to trudge down to your local video rental store.

How I made the cut, by the tailor King of Savile Row Richard Anderson

He has been making bespoke clothing for 36 years in this famous Mayfair district of London. During this time the master cutter has served everyone from Hollywood screen legends Gregory Peck and Rex Harrison to stars such as George Michael and Ian McKellen.

He co-founded Aberdeen Asset Management in 1983, and built that business from scratch into one of the world's leading independent investment firms.

Robots can now handle an increasing number of day-to-day chores. We test some of them out and discover they can actually save you time as well as money.

MIDAS SHARE TIPS UPDATE: Buy into a house sales recovery by investing in ULS Technology

Midas recommended the shares in May 2016, when they were 55½p. They have nearly tripled since then, to 148½p, as the company has expanded and profits and dividends have increased. ULS is principally involved in driving down the cost of conveyancing. The company has developed an online service, which allows mortgage lenders, estate agents and end consumers to compare the cost of conveyancing solicitors.

It is all change at Franklin Templeton's emerging market investment operations based in Singapore, which manages some $50billion (£35billion) of assets.

Hostelworld allows young travellers and those on a budget to find cheap beds in 36,000 hostels. It also offers more than 10m reviews, travel videos and podcasts, city guides and a social network.

Men get £29k more than women in state pension over 20 years, finds Which?

The Which? study of almost 12.9m people receiving the state pension found that the average man receives £153.86 per week compared to their female counterparts who pockets only £125.98. But the research also suggested that the state pension gap between men and women is getting smaller. Which? said that, in August 2017, the average payment received by women equated to 81.9 per cent of that received by men, up from 77.7 per cent in August 2013.

Rico Back, a German who runs Royal Mail's European parcel delivery arm, will get £100,000 a year more than was handed to MoyaGreene, one of the most highly regarded bosses in Britain.

In a crackdown, UK firms are barring dog and cat owners from payouts for vital surgery or treatments if it emerges in the animal's medical records that the pet is too heavy.

Prince Charles takes Jaguar I-Pace to the Commonwealth summit

Prince Charles today celebrated a truly electric day. For not only was the heir to the throne confirmed as the Queen's successor as head of the Commonwealth, he was also flying the flag for Britain's drive towards greener electric cars. The Prince has been using the new all-electric Jaguar I-Pace for official duties at Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings - the first VIP to do so - having keenly followed its hi-tech and environmentally-friendly development for more than a year.

Six properties  for sale in Love Island's Majorca

Ahead of the new series of Love Island, presented by Caroline Flack, inset, MailOnline Property has picked six properties for sale on its home of Majorca. Buyers can typically expect to spend around £385,000 for a home on the island, according to experts. Our pick of homes caters for a variety of budgets, from £120,000 to a massive £30million

By adding a second driver to a car insurance policy the costs can be cut significantly for young drivers and in one example we saw savings of £800 per year.

A third of landlords with just one buy-to-let property are planning to sell and give up on buy-to-let, but 38 per cent of landlords who own two or more properties say they are planning to buy.

The car Britons love most is the French Peugeot 3008

Britons have named the car that makes them the happiest - and it's French. The Peugeot 3008, pictured, scored a massive 93.88% customer satisfaction rating in a recent survey of owners. See which other models made up the top 10 most loved motors in the Auto Express Driver Power 2018 survey.

There are some Ferraris so rare - and expensive - that you're unlikely to come across them in your lifetime. Five fitting this description will be sold at the same Monaco auction next month.

With car makers quoting astronomical speeds for their latest performance models, we wanted to find out if you can really use all that extra power when you're driving within the legal limits on UK roads.

London entrepreneur sets up Raffle House website

An entrepreneur has tapped into the growing trend for raffling homes by launching a platform that allows owners to sell tickets instead of their property - and first up is a £650,000 London flat that you could win for a fiver. Benno Spencer has started up website Raffle House which he says makes sure the rules are watertight so 'sellers' and entrants will not be left disappointed.

Those going through cancer treatment and coping with the after effects are faced with a whole host of extra costs. Here's where you can get help from energy bills to wigs.

What has Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, got to do with long-forgotten television soap Eldorado? Find out in our latest podcast.

Tandem Bank launches first savings accounts paying up to 2.3%

Digital challenger bank, Tandem, has launched its first ever savings accounts. It has started with three competitive fixed-rate accounts with rates just shy of the market-leading deals. Should you sign up? We take a look.

Don't raise interest rates because wages are rising faster than inflation

As the news arrived that pay was once again beating inflation and so rising in real terms, comments emerged that this was likely to firm up the case for an interest rate rise in May. but low wages have been a persistent problem for the British economy and we need to avoid killing off real pay rises just as they begin.

Why is the broadband in our new build so slow?

Ben Mains and his partner, bought their new build home in August 2016, but when they moved in found there was no way to access a decent speed of broadband. In fact none the best speed Ben can hope for is around 1.8Mbps - far beyond the 10 Mbit/s the regulator believes is needed to get a 'decent' broadband speed.

Many of the tariffs ending are from the big six energy providers including EDF, Npower and Scottish Power. There are also several from smaller suppliers such as First Utility and ENGIE.

Homeowners desperate to sell properties slashing asking prices by £25k

Homeowners desperate to sell their properties are slashing thousands of pounds off asking prices. Nationally, the average reduction in asking prices stood at £24,947 or 8.42 per cent earlier this month. Looking slightly further afield, the deepest discounts can be found in the self-governing British crown dependency of the Isle of Man, where sellers have cut asking prices by an average of £41,212 or 8.36 per cent.

Show us report into Martin Sorrell report, say WPP investors 

The media giant is under pressure from investors to reveal more information about the dramatic exit of Sorrell, 73, who was facing unspecified allegations of 'personal misconduct'. Roberto Quarta, the chairman, was in New York last week to meet investors, including the third largest shareholder Harris Associates. Another big investor, Mawer Investment Management, last night called on WPP to reveal more about the probe into Sorrell.

Ian Malouf charters his £22million superyacht Mischief for up to £263,000 per week, but says managing bookings through yacht brokers is 'slow and cumbersome'.

Originally placed opposite the famous bull sculpture outside the New York Stock Exchange, the statue of a girl with her hands on her hips will be shifted to another spot close by.

Can women have it all? That perennial question has taken on a new form in corporate Britain, where investors are asking whether a handful of women can scoop up all the directorships.

Takeda, Japan's largest pharmaceutical company, just won't take no for an answer. Having had three bids for the Irish drug maker Shire turned down, it returned with an improved fourth yesterday.

Drug firm Shire in £42bn takeover tug-of-war

The FTSE 100 firm which is based in Ireland, but has offices in the UK, yesterday revealed it had already fought off three proposals from Japan's Takeda. In a dramatic day, it was revealed the firm could also be swooped on by Botox-maker Allergan which said it was set ready to gate-crash the talks by making a bumper offer.

He is vice-chairman of UK advisory and corporate broking at the Swiss lender, and will head the Government team which oversees its 71 per cent holding.

'The cloud of uncertainty that covers the British economy is certainly one of the causes why it is not enjoying the same kind of upswings as the other advanced economies,' said Christine Lagarde.

Electric car public charging can be four times more expensive

According to What Car?, the rising cost of using public charging, along with a lack of off-street parking for cheaper home charging makes electric cars more expensive than you think. It some public charging providers cost over £17 once you've tallied up subscriptions, connection fees and the electricity you've used.

In an age where for many car buyers it's as much about the interior feel of a car and its technology, Mercedes has set those purchasers firmly in its sights with the new A-Class.

In recent times, a push towards being conscious about our impact on the environment has led some households to switch to a green tariff.

ASK TONY: Widower left waiting 3 months for pension payout by Mercer

My late partner had a pension handled by Mercer. My son sent the firm the forms and death certificates on November 3, so I could receive the spouse's benefits I am due. We received them back on November 10. We heard nothing, so called on December 22 and were told it was with the administration department.

DIY investors sought out funds that offered geographical or asset class diversification amid growing global political turbulence, according to Fidelity.

First Direct will scrap its £100 current account switching incentive from Monday, a mainstay feature at the internet and telephone-based bank for the last decade.

London suffers first fall in annual house prices since 2009

House prices in London fell on an annual basis in February for the first time since September 2009, official data revealed today. The average London home peaked at £488,247 in July 2017 and now costs £16,261 less at £471,986, figures from the ONS and Land Registry show.

A damning report has raised concerns that the elderly are being pressured into buying funeral plans that could leave their families out of pocket when they die.

The interest on the most recent tranche of loans goes up from 6.1 per cent and is calculated by adding 3 per cent to the March retail prices index rate of inflation.

After 50 years RAC tripled price of my breakdown plan

David Hollyman last used his breakdown cover in 1966, when his motorbike's engine failed on a trip touring the Isle of Man. Then aged 22, David turned to the RAC for help, and a patrolman ensured that he and his beloved BSA Gold Star made it home safely. David, now 74, and later his wife Elsa, 69, remained loyal RAC customers for 51 years, and then it hit him with a massive price hike.

The company, whose estate includes the Bullring in Birmingham and Bicester Village in Oxfordshire, was forced to abandon plans to merge with rival Intu following a backlash from investors.

The main reason for complaints from TalkTalk customers was faults with the service followed by issues with its complaints handling process and then problems with its billing, prices and charges.

Money Pit Stop: How do I cover potential care costs and leave inheritance

Freelance NHS radiographer Janet Brookes, 71, wants to make her accumulated wealth stretch to cover potential care costs in later life and leave an inheritance. She currently has almost £100,000 in cash and £50,000 invested. We ask one of our Money Pit Stop experts to look at her situation and portfolio.

Investors of funds that track the FTSE Russell emerging markets index will soon gain a stake in Saudi Arabia's biggest listed companies.

Some ETFs may track an index but are designed as trading tools - with unusual approaches to drive up returns that mean they shouldn't be held for the medium or long term.

Eight money-no-object cars that can carry the kids and hit the racetrack

If you had an unlimited budget but could only buy one car, what would it be? A super GT might be the answer. It's a car that can combine fearsome performance with the practicality, luxury and comfort. And the world's luxury car makers have become very keen on making vehicles that could do it all. We pick some of the best, including (clockwise from top left) the Ferrari 812 Superfast, Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe, Aston Martin Vanquish S and Rolls-Royce Wraith.

Chief executive Simon Breakwell revealed how AA engineers had phoned a driver and told them not to start their Audi after the firm's Car Genie device detected problems with its engine.

Our file contains dozens of letters and emails from readers who have been hounded and misled into thinking they are obliged to ditch their old gas and electric analogue meters.

Wyelands Bank launches new top savings deals paying up to 2.15%

Wyelands Bank has launched two new fixed-rate savings bonds this week, pushing its way through the rest pack to take pole position at the top of This is Money's best buy savings tables. The challenger bank's two-year account leapfrogs rivals, with a new best-buy rate of 2.15 per cent that beats the likes of Tandem , Ikano Bank and Secure Trust, all paying 2.1 per cent.

So many banks, insurers and phone and energy giants don't seem to understand that, try as they might, some elderly people just cannot get to grips with the internet or modern smartphones.

The Halifax Kids' Monthly Saver is is now available online as well as through its branches. You open the account in trust for a child aged 15 or under, and save between £10 and £100 a month.

As many as four in ten cash Isa savers, and 45 per cent of those in taxable accounts, have stayed in the same account for five years or more, according to the FCA.

Halifax, which is part of Lloyds, is hiking the fee on its Ultimate Reward current account by £2 a month, from £15 to £17. Customers with Club Lloyds accounts currently receive 2 per cent interest.

Low paid workers denied £720 a year of free Government pension cash

Workers auto-enrolled into pensions are told the money they pay into their retirement pots will be topped up with both employer and Government cash. But for many on the lowest pay-rung this is not the case. They never get the Government tax relief, because their employers - often unwittingly - sign up to one of the many 'master trust' pension schemes that don't pay it into their pots due to a little-known tax quirk. 'This is an utter scandal and pension providers, Government and the Pensions Regulator are disgracefully forcing the lowest earners - mostly women - to pay an extra 25 per cent for their auto-enrolment pension,' says ex-Pensions Minister Ros Altmann.

A stream of emails detailing the misery caused by music and sports ticketing website Viagogo has flowed into the Mail since our investigation into the company's rip-off tactics.

Previously, airlines have denied payouts to passengers on the basis that so-called 'wildcat' strikes come under the definition of 'extraordinary circumstances', which they do not have to cover.

Should childcare count towards my state pension? Steve Webb replies

When I got to the age of 60 my state pension was 11 pence a week, I am presuming related to my contributions before marriage? Once my husband reached pensionable age I received a reduced pension based on his contributions. I have read recently that women should receive an allowance for staying at home looking after their children? Would I be entitled to this?

Research by the IFS has found that both men and women in their 50s underestimate their chances of survival to the age of 75 by around 20 per cent and to 85 by around 10 per cent.

The data predicts electricity bills will reach an average of £807 over the next eight years because Ofgem will be forced to increase its price cap.

Can we get a mortgage to buy a flat for our son at university?

Our son is at university and is renting a three-bed flat with two of his friends. There is a flat next door that has come on the market that we would like to buy. We hope to buy this for just under £150,000 but are struggling to sort the finance despite having more than that in savings and investments.

Having a good credit score is vital when it comes to being accepted to borrow and getting the best rate. A new tool claims to be help improve your credit history by saving instead of spending.

My best friend is dying of liver cirrhosis. He was married for over 30 years and divorced in 2001. He remarried 10 years ago and his new wife is asking me if she is entitled to a pension from his company.

How much does it cost to run a patio heater?

Recently, I bought a plug-in free standing infrared patio heater that comes with three power settings - 650w, 1350w and 2000w. I'm wondering how much it will cost to run for 12 hours per week throughout the year. I'm worried that they're energy guzzling and I could end up paying dearly when I get my next energy bill.

Three years ago I bought my first flat. I have just decided to move in with my boyfriend in his flat but want to keep hold of mine. Can I get permission from my lender to rent it out?

The cheapest deals are reserved for new customers and therefore by switching at the end of your contract there's a good chance you'll be offered a cheaper price for a new policy.

Car technology that went from being revolutionary to mainstream

How long will it be until driverless cars dominate British roads? Not long, if the big tech firms developing them have their way. And history shows that car technology that feels futuristic can swiftly become the norm. We look back at some of the formerly futuristic auto innovations that have since become de rigueur.

Motorists were paying £768 a year on average for annual cover in the first three months of this year, which is £13 less than the same period a year ago, according to research.

Japanese Knotwood can be a homeowners' nightmare as the descructive plant can make the land unsaleable - so it is essential to remove it properly to stop any regrowth

50 ways to save money....

To clear the average national household debt of £13,000 at 6% interest with a monthly repayment of £100 will take around 17 years. There are, however, plenty of simple ways to make significant savings on your regular spending that could clear your debt - or boost your savings - in less than a year. This is Money's top 50 - updated - money-saving tips may appear light-hearted but are deadly serious.

Pick the best (and cheapest) investment Isa platform

Choosing the right DIY platform is crucial but a wealth of choice and changes to charges have left many investors scratching their heads. We pick some of the best. We also highlight why investing in an Isa makes sense, as it should protect your hopefully growing investments from tax forever.

We asked trusted experts to recommend the best funds that cover different investment sectors - and included This is Money's selection of active and passive options too.

Rightly or wrongly, some people simply want a quick, straightforward route map to investing in an Isa. To that end, this is our distilled guide to getting started.

How much money do I need to save for my pension?

The amount you can save into a pension ultimately depends on what you can afford - but the longer you leave it the more you will need to save. We tend to put ambitious targets on our hoped-for income in retirement and then underestimate how much we will need to set aside to achieve that. So how much should you save?

Making the most of a pension is your best chance of securing a decent income when you retire. We explain what you need to know.

Even at a time when we are stretching our finances further to afford a home, moving less, and pushing mortgages beyond 30 years, we still remain captivated by two-year fixed rate deals.

What next for mortgage rates?

Borrowers are being offered a raft of cheap fixed rate mortgages as lenders attempt to lure them into remortgaging or buying a home. But HSBC has decided to buck the trend and launch a new rate mortgage that is a tracker instead. We pick out the best fixed and tracker rate mortgages and look at what next for rates.

Ten tips for buy-to-let

Buy-to-let is much tougher than it once was. A tax crackdown on buying properties and a tax raid on the rental income from owning them has seen to that. But for many Britons the idea of investing in property still appeals, as they trust bricks and mortar and may feel that they can add value to a property. Read our top ten buy-to-let tips

Premium Bonds winners

April 2018
Prize value Winning bond No. Area
£1,000,000 216YS216548 Dorset
£1,000,000 141JM676632 Hampshire and Isle of Wight
£100,000 253AS772691 Dorset
£100,000 251CW042706 Inner London
£100,000 231FA686738 North Yorkshire
£100,000 133YG036608 South Yorkshire
£100,000 100YQ075554 Cheshire East
£50,000 87WH084224 Bromley
£50,000 323SQ401267 West Sussex
£50,000 312ME587533 Humberside
£50,000 277SL712288 Lincolnshire
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Can women have it all? That perennial question has taken on a new form in corporate Britain, where investors are asking whether a handful of women can scoop up all the directorships.