July 1991: Find nice flat. Consider buying nice flat. (This is back in the days when flats were sort of affordable) August 1991: Meet with mortgage adviser. Suggest taking out repayment mortgage. He says no, an endowment mortgage would be so much better. Agree, because he's the financial expert, isn't he? October 1991: Buy flat. Move in. Fork out first of 300 monthly mortgage payments. November 1991: Hmmm, massive debt hasn't decreased - I'm just paying off the interest. Still, that's endowment mortgages for you. I'm sure it'll all be fine come 2016.
June 1999: Move out of flat. Rent it out, because it's a good investment. June 2000: Life insurance company assures me that my plan is 'on track'. That's a relief, because lots of other people's policies aren't. July 2003: Life insurance company warns me there's a high risk that my policy won't pay out enough. Damn them. September 2003: Life insurance company says I might want to write in and complain. Can't be bothered. 2016 is a long way off.
July 2006: Life insurance company tells me that, if I want to complain, I have to do it by the end of September. August 2006: Still can't be bothered. September 2006: Still can't be bothered. 3 weeks ago: Oh go on then, I might as well. Use generic letter of complaint downloaded from Which website. Dead easy. 2½ weeks ago: Receive lengthy but straight-forward questionnaire to fill in, with a 2 week deadline. 1½ weeks ago: Still procrastinating. 1 week ago: Fill in questionnaire. It's mostly factual, and not too scary. Point out that I was single with no dependents when the evil money-grabbing mortgage adviser bastard sold me a life insurance policy (but in more polite language). 2 days ago: Receive letter from Sales Complaints Manager. He is unable to satisfy himself that the endowment policy was suitable for me. My complaint is upheld. Hurrah! Yesterday (first envelope): Receive letter from Endowment Redress Assistant. Am being offered financial settlement equivalent to 10% of value of mortgage, in line with Financial Ombudsman's calculations. Hurrah! Thank goodness I finally complained. Yesterday (second envelope): Latest statement shows that endowment is now on course for a 25% shortfall in 2016. Bugger. Today: Anybody want to buy some life insurance?