Artist is stunned after a friendly neighbour developed a picture of her cat as a ‘simple gesture’ 

A cat owner was touched after an elderly neighbour took a photo of her pet and printed it out for her to keep.

Artist Karen Miele, who lives in Nottingham, discovered the snap of her moggy, Chips, inside an envelope that had been popped through her letter box last week. 

The photo came with a short note that read: ‘Your lovely cat. I always look for him. Jean.’

Sharing the story on Twitter, Karen explained Jean was an elderly woman who had lived nearby and had apparently stopped to take a photo of Chips as she passed. 

The ‘sweet gesture’ left Twitter users in tears, with thousands praising Jean’s actions. 

Karen Miele, pictured, shared the ‘simple gesture’ on Twitter and her tweet has since been liked more than 238,000 times with thousands of people saying the note was ‘lovely’

Karen found a printed picture of her cat Chips, pictured, posted through her door on Friday with a sweet note from a woman called Jean saying she always looks out for the feline

Karen found a printed picture of her cat Chips, pictured, posted through her door on Friday with a sweet note from a woman called Jean saying she always looks out for the feline

The artist shared Jean's gesture on Twitter and the tweet has been liked more than 238K times

The artist shared Jean’s gesture on Twitter and the tweet has been liked more than 238K times

One person said: ‘Imagine if many more people were like this. The world would be such a better place.’

While another wrote: ‘How lovely and how thoughtful to go to the trouble of getting the photo printed. He is a fine figure of a cat and is very handsome.’

Someone else added: ‘That’s lovely! I love this generation with their perfect and identical handwriting (this could be anyone’s grandma)’.

Explaining the story, Karen tweeted: ‘An old lady took a photo of my cat Chips, went to the trouble of getting it developed and then put it in our letterbox this morning.’ 

The image, taken through the window, shows Chips reclining on the windowsill inside Karen’s home. 

Jean even took the time to write the year on the back of the developed picture of Chips the cat

Jean even took the time to write the year on the back of the developed picture of Chips the cat

More than a thousand people commented on the post, with many loving how friendly and ‘wholesome’ Jean’s actions were. 

After several asked after Jean, Karen shared an update to reveal they had a mutual friend. 

Karen added: ‘A lot of people have asked about Jean and how she might be feeling. Well, it turns out my lovely neighbour @Laurenfreshphoto has showed her all of your comments! 

‘I’m so pleased she’s happy. We’ve invited Jean to meet Chips whenever she likes.’ 

The adorable post also inspired others to share their own stories of making friends with animals. 

Karen later tweeted to say that her adorable cat Chips, pictured, loved her thoughtful fan mail

Karen later tweeted to say that her adorable cat Chips, pictured, loved her thoughtful fan mail

 

  

The 'sweet gesture' left Twitter users in tears, with thousands praising Jean's actions. Karen later replied to a comment on her post saying the 'simple gesture' made her feel better

The ‘sweet gesture’ left Twitter users in tears, with thousands praising Jean’s actions. Karen later replied to a comment on her post saying the ‘simple gesture’ made her feel better

One person revealed their own neighbour liked to chat with their cat every week.

They wrote: ‘I used to live underneath an old lady, who every Friday would buy my cat an unbattered fish from the chippy and sit and eat with her. 

‘It came to light when Wolfie (said cat) was locked in one day and she left it wrapped up on my doorstep (with a note) instead. Lovely lady.’

Someone else said: ‘I once hugged a weeping elderly neighbour in the middle of Tesco when she heard one of our cats had died. They can really work their way into people’s hearts.’

Dozens of animal lovers shared their own stories about neighbours making friends with pets

Dozens of animal lovers shared their own stories about neighbours making friends with pets 

This woman said her neighbour would buy her cat a fish each week and sit together for a while

This woman said her neighbour would buy her cat a fish each week and sit together for a while

Others shared pictures of their cute cats and said they'd made pals with neighbours as well

Others shared pictures of their cute cats and said they’d made pals with neighbours as well

One woman said her neighbour stops to speak to her dog through the window every day

One woman said her neighbour stops to speak to her dog through the window every day

Another said: ‘My former neighbor who was slightly deaf made great friends with my cat Lion…..broke my heart to tell him he wasn’t called Brian.’ 

And one person said their neighbout spends five minutes chatting to their dog each time they walk past.

They said: ‘My next door neighbor comes over every day and stands in front of my window where my dog likes to hang out and talks to him for at least 5 minutes. 

‘She tells him he’s a good boy and that she loves him! I hide so she doesn’t know I can hear her and let them have their moment.’ 

THE PRUDENT INVESTOR: Why I long to take an axe to pension red tape

Doctors turning down overtime and taking early retirement because of insane pension regulations have grabbed attention in recent days. But as investors, we are all enmeshed in this tangled web.

Chancellors, tax officials and Treasury bureaucrats, intent on preventing tax avoidance, have created a complex mess, with opaque rules and severe penalties awaiting those who accidentally break them.

Contribute too much in a year, or invest too well over your lifetime, and you could be hit with a 55 per cent tax charge.

Minefield: Chancellors, tax officials and Treasury bureaucrats, intent on preventing tax avoidance, have created a complex mess for pension savers

Higher earners who work paid overtime can lose more in tax than they earn for those extra hours, as doctors have discovered.

In 2015, the Pensions Management Institute published a paper by Ian Neale, a director of consultancy Aries Insight, which estimated we were heading towards 10,000 pages of pension legislation.

At one time we were allowed to contribute up to £255,000 a year to pensions and gain tax relief. 

That may seem a lot, but to a small business person selling up at the end of their career, that flexibility could be vital.

Now the annual limit is generally £40,000, but can be as low as £10,000 for higher earners.

This restriction has come from a supposedly enterprise-friendly Conservative government.

It is difficult to imagine how a Labour Chancellor could be more savage.

Former Pensions Minister Steve Webb, now a director of policy at Royal London, recently warned that middle-income workers could face massive tax bills later in life because of a separate limit on the amount we are allowed to hold in a pension. 

This lifetime allowance has been slashed from £1.8 million at the start of 2012 to £1.055 million.

This has nothing to do with how much you contribute, or how much tax relief you get, it is simply a sanction on those who invest well.

Mr Webb estimates that 290,000 who are still working already have pensions in excess of £1.055 million and that 1.25 million people are likely eventually to exceed the lifetime limit.

He says: ‘HMRC seems to be far more interested in stopping people putting money into pensions than in encouraging them to save more. 

‘The rules are designed to catch the minority who might abuse the system but end up penalising the majority who have to deal with the resultant complexity.’

The cuts in the lifetime allowance have led to enormous complexity for those who had already built larger pensions. 

At one time we were allowed to contribute up to £255,000 a year to pensions and gain tax relief.  Now the annual limit is generally £40,000, but can be as low as £10,000

At one time we were allowed to contribute up to £255,000 a year to pensions and gain tax relief.  Now the annual limit is generally £40,000, but can be as low as £10,000

They were told they must stop contributing and apply for protection, otherwise part of their pensions could face a 55 per cent tax charge. That’s the situation I found myself in a few years ago.

Meanwhile, those on the brink of retirement who hold multiple pensions are stumbling through hastily constructed, ill-thought-out rules that were supposed to stop them recycling pension money. 

The Money Purchase Annual Allowance (MPAA) is supposed to prevent people taking a large sum from a pension and then reinvesting in a new one to get further tax relief.

One in four savers dipping into their pensions are also still paying in too – but risk a shock tax bill 

Read more here on how to avoid this trap. 

It only applies to defined contribution pensions — those where you invest in the stock market so you know what you are paying, but not what you will receive.

The rules are that if you take one pension then you are only allowed to invest up to £4,000 a year in another. But there are exceptions.

A friend has an old pension policy that promises a 9 per cent-plus income. He wants to take it and the tax-free lump sum now.

The complication is that he also wants to continue contributing to a self-invested personal pension (SIPP). 

He asked his financial adviser if he would fall foul of the MPAA recycling rules. His adviser asked the pension company twice — and got a different answer each time.

In fact, Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon, says he should be fine as, apparently, the MPAA is not triggered if you take a tax-free cash lump sum and buy an annuity that provides a guaranteed income for life.

But why should investors, advisers and companies be left to interpret tax rules that are so devilishly complex and carry such onerous penalties for non-compliance?

Mr Cameron says: ‘The biggest concern is that some people might not realise that by cashing in one pension, they could become subject to the MPAA and then find they can’t pay above £4,000 into another pension.

‘The £4,000 limit includes personal, third-party and employer contributions, so they could also find they have to turn down a contribution from their employer in a future workplace pension.’

The problem is that these rules are designed by MPs and civil servants who benefit from guaranteed pensions linked to their salaries and subsidised by taxpayers. 

They have no concept of the difficulties and costs most people face saving for retirement, and then making decisions on how best to take that income.

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TOP SIPPS FOR DIY PENSION INVESTORS

 

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Two catalogue retailers owned by same firm charging very different prices for the same products

Two catalogue retailers owned by same firm charging very different prices for the same products

Littlewoods charged higher prices every time for same item sold in both Littlewoods & Very

Shoppers are paying up to 34 per cent more for the same item at two catalogue retailers owned by the same firm.

Analysis of 30 items available at both Littlewoods and Very found that Littlewoods charged higher prices every time.

Personal finance site MoneySavingExpert discovered a Thomas Sabo silver bracelet cost £119 at Littlewoods, while the same item was on sale for £89 at Very — a £30 or 25 per cent difference. 

Yet both brands are owned by parent company Shop Direct. Littlewoods shoppers can expect to pay £199.99 for a Fitbit Versa Lite which costs £149.99, £50 less, from Very. 

Littlewoods also charged £85 more for a Nintendo Switch console.

A Shop Direct spokesman says: ‘Littlewoods offers free delivery and returns, as well as different ways to pay compared with Very. Our customers value the Littlewoods offer.’

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Equity locked in homes plummets in a decade

Equity locked in homes plummets in a decade due to rising age of first-time buyers and slow house price growth

Householders have less equity in their homes than their equivalents before the financial crisis.

Analysis by insurer Royal London found borrowers aged 51 to 55 were taking out mortgages worth, on average, up to 30 per cent of the value of their homes in 2007, leaving them with at least 70 per cent equity.

By 2018, the average size of a mortgage for borrowers of the same age had risen to between 50 and 75% of their property value

But, by 2018, the average size of a mortgage for borrowers of the same age had risen to between 50 and 75 per cent of their property value, leaving them with as little as 25 per cent equity.

Meanwhile, in 2007, most 31 to 35-year-olds were able to find a deposit of at least 25 per cent, but, by last year, most households in this age bracket were borrowing more than 75 per cent of the value of their home.

Experts say the rising age of first-time buyers, plus the slow in house- price growth since the financial crisis, has hampered households’ ability to build up equity in their homes. 

This a blow for borrowers because the more equity you have in your home, the cheaper the mortgage deals you can get.

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This secret island in Ibiza can be ALL YOURS… for £192,760 a week

Ibiza, it turns out, has a secret ‘island’ neighbour – and it’s available for hire. If you’re extremely wealthy. 

The unheralded Isla Sa Ferradura is a jaw-dropping nine-acre islet in the Balearic Sea you can rent for £192,760 (€220,000) a week. It’s a lot of cash, but it gets you the run of the outcrop and the slick nine-bedroom villa that sits on it. 

The island is actually connected to the north coast of the mainland by a two-sided beach, so its island moniker may well be estate-agent-speak (‘peninsula’ would be more geographically accurate) … Nevertheless, what’s not in doubt is just how enticing the whole set up is. 

The unheralded Isla Sa Ferradura is a jaw-dropping nine-acre islet in the Balearic Sea you can rent for £192,760 a week 

The hefty fee gets you a slick nine-bedroom villa with two swimming pools, an indoor cinema, a spa, dance floor and DJ decks

The hefty fee gets you a slick nine-bedroom villa with two swimming pools, an indoor cinema, a spa, dance floor and DJ decks

Vladi Private Islands, which markets the isle, describes it as 'unarguably the most luxurious' lodging option in Ibiza. Above, one of the outdoor lounge areas

Vladi Private Islands, which markets the isle, describes it as ‘unarguably the most luxurious’ lodging option in Ibiza. Above, one of the outdoor lounge areas

A map showing where the private island is located on the north coast of Ibiza

A map showing where the private island is located on the north coast of Ibiza 

The amenities are staggering. 

Vladi Private Islands, which markets the islet, describes it as ‘unarguably the most luxurious’ lodging option in Ibiza. 

The contemporary villa can accommodate up to 18 guests in one sumptuous master suite and eight double bedrooms, which all have en-suite facilities.

The interiors follow a modern Balearic theme, with some international touches. For instance, chairs were sourced from Japan and a walnut table in one of the dining rooms was handmade by an Amish community in New York.

The contemporary villa boasts a prime location looking out over the Balearic Sea. Above, a shaded deck area and floating staircase leading to the lower level

The contemporary villa boasts a prime location looking out over the Balearic Sea. Above, a shaded deck area and floating staircase leading to the lower level 

An outdoor tub allows guests to bathe while soaking up the sea air

An outdoor tub allows guests to bathe while soaking up the sea air 

There is an Oriental-style spa on the islet complete with a massage room, plunge pool, hot tub, sauna and steam bath

There is an Oriental-style spa on the islet complete with a massage room, plunge pool, hot tub, sauna and steam bath

With luxury like this, exploring the island probably never crosses guests' minds

With luxury like this, exploring the island probably never crosses guests’ minds 

The entire space is light and airy thanks to floor-to-ceiling sliding windows, with the indoor lounge areas and bedrooms opening up on to sweeping patio spaces.  

There are multiple ‘chill out spots’, al fresco dining areas and two swimming pools – a 23-metre pool with an infinity edge next to the main villa and another, a ‘laguna pool’, set amid tropical gardens. 

Here, guests will also find a gym and Oriental-style spa complete with a massage room, plunge pool, hot tub, sauna and steam bath.

Want to party the night away? Isla Sa Ferradura has you covered.

The holiday rental comes with 22 staff members, for everything from rustling up drinks to hiring a top DJ

The holiday rental comes with 22 staff members, for everything from rustling up drinks to hiring a top DJ

Thanks to floor-to-ceiling sliding windows, indoor lounge areas and bedrooms open up on to the sweeping patio areas

Thanks to floor-to-ceiling sliding windows, indoor lounge areas and bedrooms open up on to the sweeping patio areas

The islet can be accessed via a private road running down to its beach. Or for those wanting to make a grand entrance, there's the option of arriving by yacht

The islet can be accessed via a private road running down to its beach. Or for those wanting to make a grand entrance, there’s the option of arriving by yacht

For the guests' added security, there is a nighttime security officer

For the guests’ added security, there is a nighttime security officer

The Isla Sa Ferradura complex dates from the 1970s and has undergone extensive renovation over the years. In 2017, a four-year facelift was completed by husband and wife design duo Jaime Romano and Roberta Jurado

The Isla Sa Ferradura complex dates from the 1970s and has undergone extensive renovation over the years. In 2017, a four-year facelift was completed by husband and wife design duo Jaime Romano and Roberta Jurado 

There’s an 8,072-square-foot rooftop terrace with spectacular sea views at the heart of the main building.

And the sprawling deck is equipped with two bars, shady pergolas, a DJ mixing deck and a stage for private concerts. 

Twenty-two staff members come with the holiday rental to make sure pampering levels are kept topped up and there’s a nighttime security officer for peace of mind. 

The islet can be accessed via a private road running down to its beach. Or for those wanting to make a grand entrance, there’s the option of arriving by yacht. 

The Isla Sa Ferradura complex dates from the 1970s and has undergone extensive renovation over the years. In 2017, a four-year facelift was completed by husband and wife design duo Jaime Romano and Roberta Jurado.