JOE EGG – LIFE, DEATH AND DISABILITY

TODAY’S BLOG

JOE EGG – LIFE, DEATH AND DISABILITY

Trafalgar Studios have a run of “A Day in the Death of Joe Egg” a play by the late Peter Nichols. Like many of his plays, this is drawn from personal experience. The play considers the how a family copes with disability. Written in 1967 it is now located with a 50-year timeline. The convenient political distance of the 1960s has much that will encourage an audience about the improvements in both medical and support services over the last 50 years, not least of which is the language used.

The very first lines of the play are somewhat discomforting. Bri (Toby Stephens) addresses his classroom of pupils, who are clearly at the end of their lesson and he at the end of his tether, all eager to leave the confines of the classroom. His directions to the imaginary school children confuse the audience, many of whom respond to his instructions to place their hands on their heads in silence. We immediately enter a world that isn’t quite as expected. The line between what is real (a lecture or talk about disability) and what is not (the play) is blurred.

SOME UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTHS

The play itself could be a metaphor for uncomfortable truths that families do not wish to discuss, as outlined in the show notes. Set originally in not that post-war Britain, a determined modernist approach to life of keep calm and carry on. This discomforting truth is the severely impaired daughter Josephine (Storme Toolis) that Sheila (Claire Skinner) and Bri have had together.  It is the run up to Christmas, they relate their tale of how as new parents they were treated by the twin authorities of the day – medicine and religion. Both failing spectacularly to address the underlying questions or providing an appropriate human response.

Production photography by Marc Brenner

Production photography by Marc Brenner

DARK CHRISTMAS STORY

Beliefs underpin much of this Christmas story.  Bri is unable to cope with the constant care-giving that Joe requires, yet in truth he is able to escape to his classroom most days of the week, leaving Sheila to manage the care. Bri uses comedic dark humour to form conversation between the three of them, which Shelia indulges as part of helping him cope with the situation. Bri, clearly a product of his mother Grace (Patrica Hodge) is often lamenting what might have been. Similarly, Sheila blames herself, her own “promiscuity” and holding back during the lengthy labour that lead her to believe she is responsible to Jo’s condition.

Discussion about Joe is sometimes deeply empathic, at others very cold and theoretical, viewing her or anyone with disability as a “problem”. For some such problems are placed where they cannot be seen, some eradicated, some front and centre. On this advent evening, Joe is all three. The child seen only for the first time, by friends, (Freddie and Pam) the “prop-like” presence front of stage and the tender protective embrace of her parents. Freddie and Pam barely disguise their own discomfort at confronting the reality of living with disability.

Our own discomfort at listening to the conversations is heightened by the knowledge that these conversations are normally deeply private, perhaps never spoken, yet here they are enacted before and with an actor with a disability (Storme Toolis) the first to actually play the role in 50 years. Bad taste jokes that hang in the air like the sword of Damocles.

LIVING WITH DISABILITY

This inability with disability is something that a family have to adjust to. Yet I was mindful that disability is obviously not exclusively something that someone is born with. Any of us can become “disabled” in a moment.  There are of course degrees of ability and its loss. Managing expectations and coping with the practicalities is often challenging.

I was reminded of three groups of clients. Those that have children or family members with disabilities of varying degrees, who can tell of the difficulties in obtaining support. Then those that have become so, largely though stroke or accident. Then there are those that work with the severely impaired. One has spent the majority of her life living and working in a L’Arche community. They all have a fascinating story, as do those around them.

Most of us wouldn’t generally expect to become disabled, yet in many respects the loss of ability is a simple by-product of the aging process. We might be unfortunate to suffer a life changing sudden loss, such as a stroke, for which insurance can go some way to help alleviate the practical challenges, but inevitably not the loss of function.

This is a very thoughtful, provocative play, one of its era but with validity for today. Our cultural impetus to remove the uncomfortable out of sight is confronted with poignant truths that pose challenges and touch an empathy that is often just as hidden.

JUST THE TICKET..

The play is shown at Trafalgar Studios until the end of November 2019. You can get tickets here.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

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The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

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JOE EGG – LIFE, DEATH AND DISABILITY2019-10-15T18:36:50+00:00

THE STORYTELLER’S STORY

TODAY’S BLOG

THE STORYTELLER’S STORY

Unless you have been living without electricity for some time, you will have been aware that “The Lord of the Rings” by JRR Tolkien was made into a hugely successful cinematic trilogy by director Peter Jackson. You have probably seen at least one of the films, after all, they have generated revenue of nearly $1bn for each film, a tenfold return on the production budget.

Having since also turned “The Hobbit” into an equally successful trilogy, many have been fascinated with the story of the author and his unusual surname. This has resulted in a new film starring Nicholas Hoult as Tolkien which opened at the weekend.

Most people know that Tolkien was a professor at Oxford, as with most successful works, his was based upon his own experiences in the trenches of France, his upbringing with included a deep faith. The new film largely ignores his faith, preferring the bleakness of industrial Birmingham, where he was an orphan, which is where I pick up my financial planning hat.

Tolkien - SOLOMONS IFA Blog

Journey to the heart of England

Tolkien was born in 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa to English parents, his father Arthur was a banker. Whilst on a visit home to England in 1896 (aged 4)with his mother Mable and younger brother Hilary (2), the Tolkien’s learned of Arthur’s death. This left them without any income of their own. Mable initially received some financial support from her family when she initially moved back to her parental home, before relocating to Sarehole. However the financial support from her Baptist parents ceased when she converted to Catholicism in 1900. His mother died, from what today is thought to have been diabetes, aged just 34. This left Tolkien and his brother orphaned and in the care of a catholic priest, aged 12.

The 1800s saw the birth of many life assurance companies and had suitable cover been arranged by either parent, Tolkien’s story may well have been rather different. It would have been unlikely that he would meet fellow orphan and future wife Edith Bratt, who he married when 24 in March 1916 shortly before being posted to France for duty in WWI in July that year. It isn’t possible to say whether his stories would have been the same without marriage to Edith or indeed the trench war. His experience of those hellish trenches was ended when he contracted trench fever and was returned to hospital in England in November 1916. His illness left him very weak and unfit for active duty in France, so he wrote.

When the bough breaks

One of life’s lessons that we can all learn from those before us, is to see traumatic events as another opportunity to ensure our affairs are in order. A significant job change, changes to marital status, your residence, your family are all obvious milestones to consider the implications of not being. An opportunity to ensure that your family, children, business are not left in financial ruin as a result of your “not being”. This is another opportunity for you to consider the impact of not being present on a permanent basis for yours. What is the impact? Time for a proper discussion about financial protection? Don’t leave this page without answering this one question… how much is your life “worth”?

I wonder what Tolkien would have thought of the billions that have been generated from his stories, yet he grew up in such poverty. The numbers themselves must seem somewhat fantastical to one of the greatest English fantasy writers.

The new film lacks the endorsement of his descendants, possibly due to the way a film narrative merely borrows from stories rather than documenting them. Perhaps because of the lack of any significant observation of his faith, which was clearly so important to him (so much so that Edith converted to Catholicism). In any event, the film is simply a story, quiet a good one, albeit a little slow. There are strong performances to be enjoyed. Here is the trailer for the movie.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

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To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

Our free powerful new Finance & Tax app.
To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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THE STORYTELLER’S STORY2019-05-07T18:38:05+00:00

DON’T LEAVE ME THIS WAY

DON’T LEAVE ME THIS WAY

The death of a loved one is one of life’s great traumas. The sudden and unexpected loss of someone that you care deeply for is something that creates waves of grief that alter over time but may never end. The essence of the human condition involves coming to terms with death in life. The stuff of poetry.

We know that one day our time will come. We prepare for the expected arriving unexpectedly. Those that have a family, a partner, a liability or a business would all be wise to prepare and plan. I often wonder why it is that so few of us are able to talk about this prospect clearly with those that are immediately impacted.

Solomons IFA blog review of Widows.

Talking isn’t enough

Talking about such events and scenarios is hugely valuable with the advantage of hindsight, but talking is rarely enough, taking action and implementing suitable arrangements to ensure that things go as planned is priceless. This is the what clients often mean when they describe having a sense of “peace of mind”.

The Widow’s Mite… 

When things are not discussed and little if any action is taken, life can be so much harder and of course raises mixed feelings about the one that has died, not having to struggle with the consequences. The new film by Steve McQueen “Widows” is based on this problem. A gang of criminals are killed and leave their families without any financial security. Worse than this they owe money to some ruthless men. The widows are forced to plot a course for their own survival. This may be an extreme situation, few people are really going to be left having to commit crime to survive, but many are left in positions that could have so easily been secure. Money offers choice, it offers security in the form of the number of options available. It is not security itself and of course doesn’t replace anyone.

As a movie, Widows is marketed as a film about women taking back control. There’s some degree of truth in this, it is certainly a reflection of aspects of life in the US today. Certainly, the scenes of trigger happy Police and the gun purchase fair all seem rather poignant. However, there was way too much room on the screen for relatively inconsequential male characters – notably Jack Mulligan played by Colin Farrell, it is also pretty violent, be warned.

Here is the trailer for the new film Widows.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

DON’T LEAVE ME THIS WAY2019-08-19T15:30:53+00:00

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom

I wonder if you saw a video clip of a family at Beekse Bergen Safari Park, who for some strange reason left their car to look around. Another park visitor caught their lucky and close escape from a pack of cheetahs. Whilst the video isn’t that clear, other than the obvious “what possessed them?” I was aware of that the mother clutching one of her children was the last to reach safety, somewhat deserted by her husband. It reminded me of a 2015 film “Force Majeure” in which the male parent absconds from his duty.

At this time of year, we see various creatures nurturing their young, well… at least if you manage to get outside amongst any green spaces… whilst I realise that the nurturing instinct is not exclusively female and not all females experience it, it is perhaps generally true. The instinct to protect is “natural” to many.

Delegating Poorly…

Over the years I have met hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people to discuss their financial planning. There are many common themes, but the one that is common amongst couples is where the wife leaves most of the “money stuff” to the husband to sort out. There’s nothing terribly wrong with this, if he does…

Often, men live and behave as though they are indestructible. Perhaps you live with one that doesn’t tend to make too many trips to the doctor, dentist or whatever… Whatever their reasons, many do not take the prospect of illness or death terribly seriously until they are much older. They often rely on benefits provided by employers – the death-in-service cover and so on. Yet any employer benefits will cease, should the employment end. Frankly I would only ever view them as a bonus rather than the solution.

Whether you have children or not, in the event of a serious or long-term illness or perhaps even death, there is almost certainly a financial consequence. It is too late to address this gaping hole once you find yourself in such a scenario. I would urge you not to rely on employer benefits, I have seen the folly of this. I would also encourage every couple to ensure that they have ample financial protection, don’t leave it to one partner to “sort it out” ultimately you may be living with the consequences of poor delegation, I have chosen my words deliberately.

It’s not just couples

Single people also need to reflect on their financial security if they could not earn a living. I know this is morose, somewhat awkward to think about, but I have seen too many people needlessly struggle because they didn’t set up a suitable amount of cover.

Whilst the couple in the safari park may have somehow found a reason to get out of their car, the bubble of a relationship is of no help when the real-world breaks through, which it will, it always does…

Ready for the video from CNN

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Animal Kingdom2018-05-14T10:48:17+00:00

Lean on Pete

Lean on Pete

There has been a variety of research conducted about child poverty in Britain, regrettably I find it hard to decipher the politicisation of interpretations of the results of such reports. Lean on Pete is a fresh look, perhaps a more comfortable one, as it is set at a “safe distance” against the backdrop of the world’s most wealthy nation – the United States. Of course, we all know that many of the issues are pertinent in any developed nation.

The film centres around a Charley, (Charlie Plummer) who lives with his father Ray in what can only be described as poverty. The story unfolds how even someone with very little still has much to lose. He encounters some degree of encouragement in the form Del, (Steve Buscemi) a horse owner/trainer whose own version of coping with a life that hasn’t worked out as planned, compromises the security of all that he has. Some would say “desperate times call for desperate measures” yet when this is more likely to harm your own well-being, it seems entirely counter-productive.

Horses for Courses

Some warmth and tenderness arrive in the form of Bonnie, (Cloe Sevigny) a jockey that has already had more than her share of misfortune and setback yet even this more caring figure, is forced to overlook the love that Charlie develops for the horse in his charge “Lean on Pete” who is seen simply as a commodity. Home life takes a turn for the worse and the prospect of Pete being sold due to his own failing health is too much for Charlie to contend with, so he and Pete head off on a journey in search of the care and love that they both crave.

I really enjoyed the movie, which is currently showing in a small number of cinemas – but you can see it on Curzon Home Cinema. This is a tender film, revealing how quickly circumstances can alter, how money or its lack has considerable consequences for each of our stories. However, much you have, I was reminded of something I heard… you are the sum of the books you read and the people you meet. Sadly, this isn’t always good.

Against the Rails

Of course, Charley being a minor, isn’t a likely client for any financial planner, more likely the adults would be, though in truth, it is improbable that they would seek advice. Any decent financial planner will investigate the “worst scenarios” that life can throw at you, hopefully ensuring that you have adequate financial protection, certainly sufficient to prevent a very hard financial landing. Perhaps more than that, the regular, ongoing ability to check progress, seek an impartial sounding board for ideas and ultimately to identify and prevent “financial self-harm” that most people drift into without realising. It’s your journey, but a good planner is coaching and encouraging each step.

Here’s the trailer.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Lean on Pete2018-05-10T12:41:53+00:00

Coco

Coco

It has been a while since the regulator (FCA) warned and restricted the sale of COCOs (Contingent Convertible Securities) in fact it was October 2014. We have never advised anyone to buy CoCos, however, this blog is about a very different Coco, the new animation film from Disney and Pixar.

I know, you are a “grown up” and don’t go to see a cartoon at the cinema unless you must do so, accompanied by your children or perhaps grandchildren, but as usual with Pixar, this is really a film for adults and reminding us to reconnect with and aspect of ourselves that often the daily grind of life wears down.

So yes, I went to see this at the BFI Director Q&A Preview early on Saturday morning, with one of my daughters, who at 22 isn’t the obvious excuse as accompanying a “child”. So, hands up, yes I have been to see this already – and for the record, the distinction between a cartoon and animation is pretty important to film folk. To me it is another artform.

The Spice of Life

Coco is a colourful, vibrant story about a family in Mexico. It is laced with Mexican traditions and beliefs without judgement, because the people at Pixar invariably see past all our “stuff” to the core of what it is to be human. Miguel, is the central character, attempting to find the essence of who he is, whilst trying to be observant and respectful of his family context. As with most families, much is unsaid and assumed and we all have ways of living and seeing the world based upon a collection of lifetime experiences, sometimes the lifetimes of others too, hence inter-generational traditions.

Set against the backdrop of “Dia de los Muertos” the Day of the Dead, we get a rather better understanding of what this means to Latins in particular. A Day to remember and be thankful for those members of our families that have deceased. A touch of flair and a big dose of imagination creates a powerful world, in which even the most fixed in their chosen religion would find hard to resist a sense of appeal. However, this is not a theological piece.

Familiar Myths

In a rather classical myth form, Miguel risks his soul in pursuit of who he is and in the process, discovers more than he bargained for and is faced with information that contradicts and challenges what he already believes or “knows”.

The film is an opportunity to reflect on the family and friends that you have, to remember them, “warts and all”. We are also reminded of the impact that choices we all make each day have on others and how every family narrative has many limitations. The animators use forgetting as the vehicle to deliver a message that we all know, but often… well… forget.

Who will tell your Story?

We all face mortality, financial planning will help prepare you, your family, your business for any disaster financially, but of course it cannot help you reclaim time with those you care about. At best a planner can help remind you of your own values, by reflecting them back to you and embedding them in your plan, but time is brief.  We can also point out how little time there is and help you plan to enjoy more of it by figuring out how much money is enough for you.

Over the last 3 years or so I have encouraged clients to make a “life book”. A short book about who they are (through their own eyes). This is a way of passing on your own story to those that matter most to you. Of course, most of us put off such a thing – “one day I will get around to it”. Sadly, a different day can arrive without warning, very suddenly.  This isn’t meant to be schmaltz, but somewhere in our culture, the idea of story has become diluted or perhaps lost, by celebrating, celebrity or projecting a hollow version of life that has little resemblance to reality. Like Miguel, you may discover that some of your greatest heroes are those nearest to you.

Here’s the trailer. I dare you.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Coco2018-01-15T13:25:57+00:00

Laptops on Planes…

Today’s post is from Richard Hiscox of Onestop Insurance. Whilst technology makes online comparison of most things fairly easy, when it comes to insurance I am a great believer in people with experience, who have real-life experience of claims, which is the only real test of whether your insurance is value for money or not . Richard has been my insurance broker for over 20 years and I am delighted that he has agreed to share some of his thoughts here. Just to be crytal clear, as with all posts within the blog, there is no financial exchange.

Laptops on Planes

You will no doubt have heard about certain flights into the UK and USA banning things like laptops from hand luggage, insisting that they are carried in hold luggage instead. So where do you stand with regards to insurance of these items?

Whilst I cannot speak for all insurers the following will normally be true. You may want to check it out before you travel with your travel providers just to be clear though. Your options are:-

  • Rely on the airline to cover your goods.
  • Trust your travel insurance policy to deliver.
  • Cover items under your home insurance policy.

Airlines usually settle claims for lost or damaged baggage based on the weight of the baggage NOT the true value of the contents. If you rely on this method to be reimbursed you could be seriously out of pocket so this is not the choice we would suggest.

Travel Insurance

Laptops are normally classified as “valuables” and as such under a travel insurance policy therefore afforded quite limited cover, especially when placed in the hold of an aircraft. Normally valuables are not covered within the hold of an aircraft and if lost or damaged would have to be part of a claim against the airline who in turn could limit the amount they pay out as already stated.

Home Insurance

This is normally the best way to insure high value items such as laptops when travelling by aircraft. The items should be covered as “all risks” or “personal possessions” but precise details of this cover need to be checked to ensure any claims will be problem free. Either speak to your insurers or give Richard a call at 1 Stop Insurance.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Laptops on Planes…2017-07-04T10:46:29+00:00

Bare Foot Obsession

Bare Foot Obsession

There’s something terribly predictable about the new show to arrive at The Barbican. Obsession, staring Jude Law and Halina Reijn is the very familiar tale of old man, young wife, cuckolded by a visiting younger man. A storyline so old that even Chaucer may have asked “ Whyts newe?”… as it turns out, very little… even a few clumsy lines about being a beneficiary of the life assurance policy (for an unimpressive £50,000).

Once again audiences are treated to a minimalist set, which at The Barbican, feels like an empty expanse – which merely serves to underline the empty script. One can only assume that the bowling lane size TV screen that rises in the final sequence, must have consumed the entire budget. The Director, Ivo Van Hove seems somewhat obsessed with actors running barefoot across the stage and when not bare-footed, bare-chested which is not as radical as I suspect he believes. In truth, no amount of talented acting could really rescue this production, which feels and looks pretentious, carrying the gravitas of a sixth form script.

Coupling and Fracture

Whilst I’m not a relationship counselor, clearly most, if not all, relationships have periods of difficulty. Many, perhaps most, find a pathway through trouble, some do not. There are lots of assumptions made in financial planning, but making assumptions about current relationships over the next thirty years or so, clearly is problematic. That’s why it is important to express your values, not simply your goals for your life. Understanding, or at least, being aware of the differences in attitudes towards money, how its handled and what its for is fairly fundamental for most couples. Yet economic power, or the lack of it can wreck or enhance a relationship, depending on who you really are. A reality displayed regularly within various “media” who pick over the disintegration of any “celebrity” relationship.

So a decent financial plan will touch (carefully) on these issues, a really good one will help a couple to face areas of “non-alignment” and furnish them with thoughtful options. In drama, a bad script can sometimes be salvaged by good actors or direction, but not always. When it comes to financial planning, you write your own script and having an impartial observer can make all the difference to a worthwhile story.

The Car Man

As for “Obsession” it didn’t leave much of an impression. The dramatic tension left almost as soon as it arrived. If you wish to see a much better retelling of this story, without a script, I can thoroughly recommend the ballet, The Car Man by Matthew Bourne… a guy that knows a thing or two about storytelling without using words.

and here is the trailer for the play…

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Bare Foot Obsession2017-05-03T21:13:49+00:00

Jackie and grief in 1963

Jackie

I doubt there are many people over the age of 40 that do not know about the assassination of the American President… number 35, John F. Kennedy. One of the most iconic Presidents of American history helped somewhat by the charms of his wife Jackie. It is likely that you would have seen more than one movie about JFK, but not that many about his widow Jackie.

The film is of course, centred upon the assassination and its immediate aftermath. Retold, this time, from the given perspective of the then First Lady. Jackie Kennedy (played by Natalie Portman) suddenly became a widow at the age of 34. Her husband 12 years her senior had only been President for 2 years 11 months. Yet their brief “Camelot” was full of incident.

Grief on Display

Grief is of course a daily reality. We all lose people that we love. It is a deeply painful experience. When the effective Head of State is assassinated, an entirely different set of circumstances are presented to the grieving family and friends. There are practicalities of a ceremony to which dignitaries are expected. In this case JFK was killed on Friday and buried on Monday. This is set against the backdrop of anxious security forces on high-alert, not yet knowing the who, what, how many or why JFK was assassinated. A hasty usurping of position and removal from a home, albeit a temporary one. How to “behave” and conduct oneself? It is perhaps reminiscent of the thoughts that must have concerned the Royal Household when Princess Diana died nearly 20 years ago, albeit in very different circumstances, but the same dilemma – how to display grief.

1963 annus horribilis

The film touches on the wider context. Only 15 weeks earlier, the couple had lost their third child Patrick, just 2 days after her was born to infant respiratory distress syndrome. On Friday 22 November 1963 JFK left a wife and two small children, Caroline 5 and John 2. Both children had their birthdays that later that month, John Junior’s was the day of the funeral. Tough for any “normal” family to come to terms with. Certainly Jackie would be entitled to call 1963 her “annus horribilis”.

The truth about life assurance

Life assurance does not provide comfort. The financial services industry has always struggled to market life assurance and persuade people of its merits. It is a product that is only payable when a horrible event happens. What it does provide is the financial resource to continue, to go on, as gradually those left behind rebuild their lives. I have witnessed the benefits of life assurance and the strife caused by not having enough. I cannot overstate how important it is. The question of how much cover is really required will vary from person to person and how well resourced you are. It will also depend on how you have arranged your Will and your estate.

It is unlikely that your loved ones will be under the degree of pressure that Jackie faced, within the eye of the world’s media. However, you can plan to make any such event considerably easier than it might otherwise be. It is time to ensure that your own house is in order.

Here is the trailer for the film, for which Natalie Portman has been nominated for an Oscar as Best Actress in a leading role.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Jackie and grief in 19632017-02-21T11:06:58+00:00

Loss and Manchester by the Sea

Loss

Coming to terms with loss is perhaps one of the more significant aspects of the human condition. As a financial planner, loss is normally thought of in terms of the value of investments falling and how much money is ‘lost’. However, financial planning isn’t really just about money, its about planning your life (as far as one can) and then building financial architecture to deliver the plan.

A financial planner will also reflect on your loss and the impact that this would have on your financial plan and those that you leave behind. A really good financial planner will also help you think beyond your own family. How would your children be cared for if both parents are no longer alive? What are the practical implications for those appointed as Guardians or Trustees?

A Deep, Dark Sea of Despair

Manchester by the Sea is a film that has been short-listed (amidst some controversy) for a lot of awards .  Its well acted, but its grim. Little good happens and worse still, the main character (Lee Chandler played by Casey Affleck) doesn’t seem to find any real sense of resolution. The traumas experienced are raw and undeniably bleak, yet there is no sense, or perhaps, I had no sense that the lead character was ever going to be able to process what happened with any degree of resolution. Admittedly he faces horrendous set-backs (understatement) which would always be very difficult to overcome, they are life-changing.

I couldn’t do without…

It is still a surprise to me that so few people have a Will – something that every adult really needs. Most do not have adequate levels of financial protection in place. You are your biggest asset, yet many people are more likely to have insurance on their drains, pets, smartphone or washing machine than on their own life, or a lifetime of income… the very thing that pays for the drains, pets, smartphone and washing machine.

The Predictability of Loss

We all know that we will experience loss again in our lives, it is a regular feature and one for which we can prepare to some extent. So why not ensure that if you have agreed to be a Guardian or Trustee, that you know what to expect. Similarly have you discussed with your appointed Guardians or Trustees some of the key concerns you might have? The how, why, what and when of your Will and the implications for how your family are cared for.

It is my hope that you never need to claim on your financial protection. Doing so implies that personal tragedy has occurred.  There is the rather strange dynamic where I hope you never need what we arrange. If it is needed, then at least the comfort is that you had prepared as well as you could for those that are truly important to you.

So if you are now suitably prompted to rethink your value, please get in touch. If you’d like to know what to avoid with some better communication, here’s the trailer for Manchester by the Sea.

 

 

 

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Loss and Manchester by the Sea2017-01-27T11:10:57+00:00