As the retirement age advances, workers are more likely to switch profession

First-time buyers feel squeeze as lenders withdraw best deals

First-time buyers are being forced to work even harder to find a lender who will help them take their first step on the property ladder, after another handful of major banks pulled their most competitive mortgages from the market this week.

Trio's £94m incentive to lift Rentokil back into the rat race

Former ICI team McAdam, Brown and Ransom appointed; Long tours City to ensure support

Catch us a strong leader, Rentokil investors insist

Shareholders demand that board appoints a full-time executive chairman who can turn the business services company around

Forty-plus parents: The struggles of the 'sandwich generation'

The financial hit is bigger if you have children late, and your own parents could need help too. Kate Hughes sees how to cope

Last 125% mortgage offer is scrapped

The 125 per cent mortgage was rendered extinct yesterday as the final lender withdrew from the market. Birmingham Midshires, owned by the Halifax, became the sixth mortgage lender this week to stop offering loans worth more than the value of a property, amid increasing nervousness from banks and building societies about defaulters and the spectre of negative equity.

Lloyds profits defy credit crunch

Banking giant Lloyds TSB today shrugged off the credit market turmoil that has rocked many of its rivals as it posted a 6-per-cent hike in annual profits to £3.92 billion.

Investors flood out of commercial property funds as returns drop

The amount of money being withdrawn from commercial property funds inc-reased almost twelvefold during the last three months of 2007, as investors rushed for the exit in a panic-stricken response to sharp falls in asset prices.

Is it time to stop investing in commercial property?

If you're worried by the turmoil in the markets, James Daley has some advice

Scottish Widows halts property fund transfers

Scottish Widows yesterday became the latest fund manager to close the door on withdrawals from its commercial property funds, as growing numbers of nervous investors continued to shift their money out of the sector.

A flicker of optimism for the fall guys of investment

Some funds are improving their performance and bonuses look secure, finds Cherry Reynard. So should you rethink if you're heading for the exit?

Wine: A lesson in le marketing

Looking through the shop window of this spring's supermarket and high-street press tastings, one of the more striking features is the extent to which France is taking on board the competition of the New World and its customer-friendly face. The dull lists of meaningless appellations and négociant names are giving way to a host of brand names à la New World. Some arrive with a French accent, like Chamarré, Première, La Terre or Blason de Bourgogne. Others like Stone Road wouldn't look out of place on an Australian or Californian shelf. And, following in the footsteps of Fat Bastard Chardonnay, there's a new tongue-in-cheek breed like Le Freak, Chat en Oeuf, and the self-deprecating Arrogant Frog, telling us that the French can lighten up if they have to.

Inspectors savage schools for failing to teach maths properly

Pupils who shine in maths GCSE exams often fail to understand the subject and are poorly equipped to do A-levels, inspectors report today.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform