Wealth Check: 'My sons are talented, but it all takes money'

Joyce Ewens, 74, is a retired jazz singer from Tooting, south London. She came to the city aged 18 from Jamaica and began singing in the West End, later touring with Roy Orbison in the 1960s.

Now, with seven grown-up children, Joyce hopes to start her own songwriting business to make a little extra cash and support her sons Joel, 28, and Daniel, 33, who are also hoping to build singing careers.

She says: "They really need promoting. They have so much talent, but it all takes money.

"I'd like to start writing songs again. There's so many things you can turn your hand to with the skills you have."

She also hopes to pay back money she borrowed from a relative when a family-run concert ran into financial problems.

Joyce lives with her second husband Keith, also 74, a retired Navy man and builder. She has had a mortgage on her semi-detached house since 1965.

Case notes

Pension: £20,000 per year joint
Savings: None
Monthly outgoings: £1,600 joint
Debts: £6,227 to a relative
Property: £650,000 house with £300,000 worth of equity

Advising her this week are Dennis Hall, from Yellowtail Financial Planning, Marc Ruse, from Fiducia Wealth Management, and Tom McPhail, from Hargreaves Lansdown...

Business

Going into business after retirement can be a good way to pursue an interest, but Joyce will have to act like a businesswoman if she is to have any chance at making money.

"It is not a get-rich-quick scheme by any means," says Hall. "The hard bit is actually selling your product. In your case you want to write and sell songs – a very tough market to break into."

However, Joyce has proved she has talent and could tap into her contacts in the entertainment industry for help.

Ruse explains: "She needs to have the confidence that her songs will sell, and initially I would test the market. With her background in entertainment, she should concentrate on developing a network of people who may be interested in her style of music, and gauge what sort of demand there would be."

According to him, Joyce could start off as a sole trader, but eventually she should set up a limited company, which would provide more flexibility.

If the project is a success, professional tax-planning and accountancy advice should be sought to manage the profits.

Debt

Joyce wants to pay back her loan as soon as possible, but should steer clear of taking out further loans to do so. "Borrowing from Peter to repay Paul isn't the way to do it," says Hall. "Is it possible that there are sufficient unused items sitting around the home that could be sold – on eBay, for example?"

Property

The family home could be used to raise money, although this can be dangerous and requires professional advice.

McPhail suggests moving to a smaller property, perhaps outside London, to provide more security while making some money. "If Joyce and her husband were to downsize their property they could potentially pay off their mortgage and perhaps release another £100,000 or more into the bargain."

The only other option would be to release equity on the house, which McPhail says could be done through a lifetime mortgage, a form of equity release, where the interest would be rolled up and repaid at the end of her life.

Ruse also suggests giving up ownership of the property to a specialised equity-release company, who will allow her to continue to live in the property rent-free. He says: "It's possible to get more money through this method, but of course the disadvantage is that when you die, the property will belong to a third party."

A decision like this should be discussed with family members.

Will

Joyce's philosophy on life has led her to shun a will. She says she wants to "make hay while the sun shines" and help her family while she is still alive – but this may not be the wisest decision. "Unless she plans to give everything away there will still be an estate to be distributed after her death," says Hall. "A will ensures that her final wishes are carried out, not just who gets the remaining assets but in what proportion."

He recommends appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), who would be responsible for managing her financial affairs and well-being if she were ever unable to look after herself. Without this, the Court of Protection would appoint someone to do the job. "This person is likely to be from outside the family, thus you cannot be sure that the family's wishes will be followed."

For a free financial check-up, write to Wealth Check, The Independent, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF; or email wealthcheck@independent.co.uk.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
News
i100
Life and Style
life
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

    £65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

    Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits