Money Arthur and Joan Foster at a family wedding in 1997

This week it's pensioners who have been mis-sold. But we're all victims of bad advice.

Britain's most eco-friendly neighbours

Keeping up with the Joneses has never been better for the planet

Bristol's kids facing an uncertain future

Bath 45 Bristol 8

Leading article: Outdated age discrimination

When the Government scrapped the mandatory retirement age for civil servants in October, they were lauded for being progressive. After all, we live in a society with lengthening life expectancy. People over 60 are more active than ever before. So it is only right that the state recognise this. Indeed, it would be hypocrisy to send 65-year-old civil servants home for good while the House of Commons is packed with 89 MPs over the retirement age and the House of Lords is often referred to as Britain's most expensive retirement home.

EU court says UK retirement law is justified

A law that gives employers the right to force staff to retire can be justified if it is part of a wider social policy, the European Union's top court said Thursday.

Exclusive: Ageism law will be 'disastrous' for consumers

Plans to ban age as a factor in premiums will hit millions of people, warn insurers. By Julian Knight

Pensioners & families: Concession to basic rate taxpayers made permanent

Families on more modest incomes, particularly if they have children, will do best from the pre-Budget report – at least in terms of direct taxation changes – along with pensioners who will benefit from bigger-than-expected increases in benefits.

Virginia Ironside’s Dilemmas: I'm struggling to cope with caring for my parents

Dear Virginia,

I seem to be trapped in a kind of sandwich of care. My parents are both over 80 years old and are starting to need my help constantly, often ringing me up three times a day and needing me to visit daily, while my children are aged eight, 10 and 13. They also need me. My husband complains he never sees me, and sometimes I think I'm going mad. How do others cope in this situation?

Yours sincerely, Valerie

Cold snap brings snow to UK

Large parts of the UK were today waking up to a blanket of snow as an Arctic front swept across the country in the first prolonged cold snap of the winter.

Energy firms under pressure to pass on new low oil prices

Britain's energy suppliers came under intense pressure to knock billions of pounds off domestic fuel bills yesterday after the price of oil fell to a new two-year low.

Dame Joan appointed Champion of the elderly

Broadcaster and writer Dame Joan Bakewell was appointed by the Government today as a champion of the elderly.



The Insider: Heroic heels to brighten up the dreariest day

The weather may be a little cold outside, but slipping on a pair of these exquisite, vivid red shoes from Pour La Victoire is sure to brighten up even the dreariest day. Called Pascale, the gladiator-style heels from David Giordano's chic range incorporate some intricate detailing, including braided ankle straps and trendy studs. Priced at £265 (020-7729 5050).

Virginia Dilemmas Ironside’s: How can I help my mother get her life back?

Dear Virginia, How can I help my mother?

My father died four years ago, and she refuses to look for anyone new, saying no one can replace him. She's only in her fifties, but won't consider training for a career. She has sold her flat and now rents, has no pension, and I am desperately concerned about her future. She seems happy enough, but does nothing all day. I'm 34, single and work as a tour guide, and every time I leave the country I'm sick with worry. Yours sincerely, Elsa

Rosalind Goodfellow: First woman Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church

Rosalind Goodfellow was an outstanding lay member of the United Reformed Church, at the forefront of the att-empts of the churches of Britain and Ireland to move towards unity in the last quarter of the 20th century. She was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church for 1982-3, becoming not only the first lay Moderator but also the first woman to hold the position.

Charities see £120m frozen in Iceland bank collapse

Voluntary groups fear drop in public donations and government support

Leading older people's charities set to merge

Leading older people's charities Help the Aged and Age Concern England will be merging in April next year.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?