Talk Money Talk Pensions Week 2019
18 November 2019
Every year, Talk Money Talk Pensions Week (18-22 November 2019) offers the UK an opportunity to discuss personal finances: our attitudes towards money, good (and bad!) habits, and hopes for the future.
Organised by the Government's Money and Pensions Service (MAPS), activities take place across the whole country to educate and inform, and to give people a forum where they can ask questions - and maybe empower them to take steps towards getting their own finances in hand.
This year's Talk Money Talk Pensions Week theme is 'Financial Wellbeing', according to MAPS:
Financial wellbeing is about people feeling secure and in control - knowing that not only are they able to manage day-to-day and deal with the unexpected, but that they are also building towards a healthy financial future.
A financially healthy nation is not only good for individuals, but also for communities, business and the economy.
Through the week, we want to encourage more people to take action to improve their own financial wellbeing and the financial wellbeing of those around them - whether through accessing free debt advice, saving regularly, engaging with their pension, seeking out financial education or relying less on credit for everyday spending.
It's a very apt theme, especially as the festive season - with all its temptations to spend money - comes into view.
R3 supports the theme and the aims of Talk Money Talk Pensions Week. Our members work with people in financial distress every day, and the message they - and we - want to get across is that taking action at the earliest possible stage will lead to the best possible outcome. In many cases, that means seeking advice from a trustworthy and professional source - preferably at the first sign of financial distress, when there is a lot more scope to head off trouble before it takes hold. But no matter what stage someone's personal finances have reached, taking advice from a qualified provider will help.
With personal insolvency numbers generally rising, there is evidence that more and more people are falling into difficulties. When debt levels get to a certain point, opting for a form of personal insolvency - an Individual Voluntary Arrangement, a Debt Relief Order, or bankruptcy - can be the best way to take control of the situation and make a fresh start.
By 2021, it could become easier to access debt advice free from creditor pressure: the Government plans to introduce a 60-day 'breathing space' for people in debt. This will be a period free from creditor action (reminder letters, texts, and calls, or additional late payment penalties being added to the outstanding balance), during which the indebted person can seek advice on their options, in a more measured manner. R3 has been calling for a breathing space to be brought in for many years, and we are pleased that plans are progressing. When it comes in, the breathing space will be a chance to prompt people who are feeling stressed about their finances to talk through their options, and - if they decide on a form of personal insolvency - to pick the procedure which is the best fit for their individual circumstances.
As with so many issues in life, talking to an objective and understanding third party about financial woes can often be the best way to find a path forward to a debt-free future. It's a lesson which we hope will make an impact throughout Talk Money Talk Pensions Week - and beyond it, too.
R3 members can provide advice on a range of business and personal finance issues. To find an R3 member who can help you, click below.