HEALTH TO WEALTH
WHEN it comes to seeking general advice about the important
decisions we make in our lives, it seems that most Northerners shy
away from speaking to a professional, choosing instead to go to
their partner or friends. According to research from Alliance &
Leicester Investments & Protection, over 4.7 million Northerners
(41%) turn to their partner in times of need and nearly 2 million
(17%) prefer to seek guidance from friends.
Worryingly, when it comes to getting more specific advice on health,
career and finances, Northerners still appear to be cautious about
approaching professionals. Many choosing, once again, to go to
friends, family and work colleagues.
Alarmingly, over 4.5 million (40%) Northerners don't go to the
doctor when they need advice on a health issue, with 22% asking
partners and parents. Not surprisingly, this is worse among the
younger generation; just 34% of 18-29 year olds in Britain choose to
go to the doctor as opposed to 77% of over 50s.
30% of those in the North said that they seek expert advice to
discuss their finances - leaving the 70% speaking to their partners,
friends or family, or not seeking any advice on their finances
An even smaller proportion of those in the North seek professional
advice about their careers - just 15%. Once again, they turn to
their partners to guide and advise them in arguably one of the most
important areas of their lives. Even more troubling, 29% of
Northerners don't ask anyone for help at all!
When it comes to finances, one option to consider is a financial
review. This can help people to be clear about their current
financial position and plan to build up a nest egg for the future,
or put in place contingencies in case the unexpected occurs. 15%
Brits said the reason they don't seek professional advice when it
comes to their finances, was the cost - in fact many companies,
including Alliance & Leicester offer a free financial health check.
Lindsey Henson, Investment & Protection Product Manager at Alliance
& Leicester comments:- "It's natural that people should turn
to those closest to them for general advice on life, however it is
concerning that they are not turning to the experts for more serious
matters such as health and major financial decisions. When it
comes to our finances, whilst a chat with our partners can help vent
any worries and explore our plans, it cannot compare with a
structured discussion with a qualified financial adviser."
The research also found an emerging trend of using the internet to
seek advice. Nearly 500,000 (4%) Northerners choose this route for
general advice, instead of speaking to their nearest and dearest.
This is perhaps due to the sense of anonymity that people feel they
have in using the internet, as well as the perceived value of having
a wealth of free information available at the click of a button.
Indeed, 33% of Brits said they choose to use the internet for advice
as it is less embarrassing than going elsewhere.
Henson comments:- "While the internet can be used as a great
source of information, it is no substitute for getting advice that
is tailored to your individual situation and needs."
HOLLY’S HELPING HAND
A plucky eight
year old from Merseyside has scooped an award recognising her
contribution to foster caring.
Holly Elliot was among many children and young people who attended
the Foster Care Associates north west regional Achievement Awards
2006, held at the end of January. Holly was presented with a Young
Carer Award acknowledging her valuable contribution and outstanding
efforts to sharing her life with foster children.
Foster Care Associates (FCA), the UK’s leading independent foster
care agency, paid tribute to its carers own children who provide a
positive role model to their looked after peers.
Holly’s family have been fostering for one year during which time
they have provided much need care for children placed with them by
FCA. Holly says:- “I like having children come to stay in our
home, it’s lots of fun and I always have someone to play with.”
Despite big changes to her home life such as sharing her parents
and her toys, Holly has been commended for playing an important
supportive role within the family unit.
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