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Leading article: Outdated age discrimination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.

David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
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Languedoc Roussillon
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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

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Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
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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

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Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
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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

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'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
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

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Reach for the skies

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These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments