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Leading article: Outdated age discrimination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.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

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How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

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Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?