Why snoring could lead to a wealthier retirement

Snoring stuntPeter Byrne/PA Wire

There are few things more irritating than trying to get to sleep when someone else in the house is snoring like a wildebeest. However, according to one retirement expert, their horrible nocturnal habits could reap rewards, because in some instances it could mean they're going to be richer than you thought in retirement.

So why is this, and does it make up for all the lost sleep?
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Retirement income experts at MGM Advantage have drawn this conclusion based on the fact that snoring is a common symptom of Sleep Apnoea (OSA). An incredible 60% of the over 65s suffer from OSA in the UK.

And why does that help your retirement income? Well, when you use a defined contribution or personal pension to buy an annuity, the companies can take your health into account. If you have any of a huge range of illnesses, you can qualify for an enhanced annuity - which makes a huge difference.
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Those with OSA may qualify, and as a result a male sufferer could receive an extra £12,000 retirement income over the course of their retirement - or £571.44 extra money each year.

Andrew Tully, Pensions Technical Director, MGM Advantage said: "If you are a snorer, you're highly unlikely to tell many people but, when thinking about your retirement and purchasing your annuity, it's something to make very clear. Sharing that little bit of information could mean a difference of thousands of pounds of extra retirement income."

Other conditions

Very few people know about enhanced annuities and the difference they can make. Even those who know about them think they have to have one of a range of common illnesses which everyone knows leads to a shorter life expectancy - such as high blood pressure, heart disease or cancer.


However, as Tully points out: "Enhanced annuities take into consideration a wide range of medical and lifestyle conditions. Unusual conditions with subtle symptoms like snoring are eligible, as are far more common conditions like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. It really does pay to make your adviser or pension provider aware of any medical or lifestyle condition you may have. The difference between the worst conventional annuity rate and best enhanced annuity rate can be as much as 48%, which could make a huge difference to your retirement finances."

Common

There are certain common illnesses and conditions which affect a large percentage of the over 60s, which could qualify you for an enhanced annuity. So, for example, 40% of people have high blood pressure, 33% have high cholesterol, 12% suffer from diabetes, 8% heart disease, and 4% chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Meanwhile 4% have had a previous heart attack and 3% have had breast cancer.

It's a timely reminder that when we retire we need to shop around for an annuity, and tell providers every part of our medical history - even embarrassing things like snoring - to ensure we get the best possible income in retirement.

In the interim. Tully says: "Next time you're kept awake by snoring, remember that heavy breathing could soon bring in the cash." Which could be something to occupy your mind as you lie awake for hours contemplating investing in a sound-proof box.

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Why snoring could lead to a wealthier retirement

Using a mobile phone to make and receive calls, send texts and browse the web while abroad can be extremely costly – especially if you are travelling outside the European Union (EU), where calls can cost up to 10 times as much as at home.

To avoid high charges, Carphone Warehouse suggests tourists ensure a data cap is in place, use applications to check data usage, turn off 'data roaming', avoid data-intensive applications such as Google Maps and YouTube and use wi-fi spots to update social networking sites.

Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) is supposed to help people to continue meeting their loan, mortgage or credit card repayments if they fall ill or lose their jobs. However, policies are often over-priced, riddled with exclusions and sold to people who could not make a claim if they needed to.

At one point, sale of this cover - which was often included automatically in loan repayments - was estimated to boost the banks' profits by up to £5 billion a year.
Now, though, consumers who were mis-sold PPI can fight back by complaining to the bank or lender concerned and taking their case to the Financial Ombudsman Service (08000 234567) should the response prove unsatisfactory.

It could be you, but let's face it, it probably won't be. In fact, buying a ticket for the Lotto only gives you a 1 in 13.9 million chance of winning the jackpot.

With odds like that, you would almost certainly be better off hanging on to your cash and saving it in a high-interest account.

No-frills airlines such as EasyJet may promote rock-bottom prices on their websites. But the overall fare you pay can be surprisingly high once extras such as luggage and credit card payment fees have been added - a process known as drip pricing.

Taking one piece of hold baggage on a return EasyJet flight, for example, adds close to £20 to the cost of your flight, while paying by credit card increases the price by a further £10.
It may therefore be worth comparing the total cost with that of a flight with a standard airline such as British Airways.

Cash advances, which include cash withdrawals, are generally charged at a much higher rate of interest than standard purchases.

While the average credit card interest rate is around 17%, a typical cash withdrawal of £500, for example, is charged at more than 26%.
What's more, as the interest accrues from the date of the transaction, rather than the next payment date, costs will mount up even if you clear your balance in full with your next payment.

Supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda often run promotions under which you can, for example, get three products for the price of two.

However, it is only worth taking advantage of these deals if you will actually use the products. Otherwise, you are simply buying for the sake of it, which is a waste of your hard-earned cash.
To avoid paying over the odds, it is also worth checking the price per kilo to ensure that larger 'economy' packs really are cheaper than the smaller versions.

Buy a train ticket at the station on the day of travel and the price is likely to give you a shock - especially if you are travelling a long distance at a busy time of day.

However, you can cut the cost of train travel by 50% or more by going online and making the purchase beforehand - especially if you book 12 weeks in advance, which is when the cheapest tickets are on sale.
Other ways to reduce the price you pay include avoiding peak times and taking advantage of so-called carnet tickets, which allow you to buy, for example, 12 journeys for the price of 10.

Most High Street banks offer packaged accounts that come with monthly fees ranging from £6.50 up to as much as £40, with a typical account charging about £15 per month.

Various benefits, such as travel insurance and mobile phone insurance, are offered in return for this fee. But whether or not it is worth paying for them depends on your individual circumstances.
Before signing up, it is therefore essential to check that you will make use of enough of the benefits, and that you cannot get them for less elsewhere.

Overseas money transfers or travel money purchases attract the same high rate of interest as credit card cash withdrawals.

Worse still, most credit cards – and debit cards – also charge you a foreign loading fee if you use them to make purchases while abroad.
You can, however, avoid these charges by using a Saga Platinum or Nationwide Building Society credit card.

Numbers starting 0871 cost 10p or more from a landline, while those starting 09 can cost more than £1 a minute from a mobile phone.

And the operators of these high-cost phone lines, some of which are banks, often get a cut of the call charges.
Most 09 numbers are linked to scams and should therefore be avoided at all costs, while 0871 numbers can often be bypassed by searching for an alternative local rate numbers on the saynoto0870.com.
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