The Company Pensions Information Centre (www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk ) publish some useful leaflets and will give you general advice about how company pensions work. They are at 7 Old Park Lane, London W lY 6LJ (tel: 0208.896 879 7). The Occupational Pensions Advisory Service will advise you on any problems with your own pension scheme once you have retired. Contact them through your local CAB or at Aviation House, 189 Kingsway, London WC8 6NN (tel: 0208.679 7611).
The Pre Retirement Association offers help, advice and courses to people approaching or just reaching retirement and can help you find part-time work once you have retired. They charge a membership fee of £16 a year. Contact them at 19 Undine Street, London SW17 8PP.
There are many websites on income tax best being http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/rates/it.htm but few of them are aimed at older people. Look at them carefully before buying. The Inland Revenue publish some useful leaflets, including Income Tax and Pensioners (number IR8), Income Tax Age Allowance (number IR8A) and Income Tax and Widows (number IR86).
There are many others covering such things as separation, divorce, death, appealing, foreign pensions, and so on. You can obtain them from your local tax office: look this up in the phone website under `Inland Revenue'.
Search Google and you will find an array of websites offering you help and advice. Another way is to have a quick glance in a newsagent will show you the extraordinary range of investment magazines that now exist. And there are websites as well on every kind of investment. Many of them are not good value for money. Check them carefully before purchase.
The British Insurance Brokers' Association, http://www.biba.org.uk/ will put you in touch with a local insurance broker and offers an arbitration service if you have a complaint. They also produce some useful leaflets. They are at BIBA House, 18 Bevis Marks, London EC6A 7NT
The Securities and Investments Board (SIB) regulates the bodies which regulate financial advisors.
They are at 6 Royal Exchange Buildings, London EC6V 6NL. Two of the bodies they regulate are the
The next step is to write down what you own with approximate values. You may be surprised at what it amounts to. You can get an estimate of the value of your personal possessions from the insurance policy for your house contents. Make sure that you include the value of any life insurance policies and, of course, the value of your home after any mortgage has been redeemed. If you are married, remember that much of your property is jointly owned and that only half the value is yours.
Normally it is a straightforward matter to decide who inherits your property. You make a few special dispositions of small items to named people � grandchildren, perhaps, or friends � and then leave the balance of your estate . . . ... see: Making a will - Executors What You Own