WHEN MONEY TALKS AND WE DON’T

WHEN MONEY TALKS AND WE DON’T

The lack of money will test anyone and has a tendency to play havoc with relationships. This is explored in the new movie “Wildlife” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan and new, rising star Ed Oxenbould. Set in the late 1950s at the crossroads of domestic politics in the US, we enter the world of an aspirational family. Jerry and Jeanette Brinson are shackled by their class background and struggling with compromises between their traditional upbringing and the reality of life as they experience it.

Jerry loses his job which seems to be something of a familiar story, this forces them to confront how the family might realistically pull together, meaning Jeanette would need to find work. Their son Joe helps out too, by finding after school work. Whilst the lack of money may be the catalyst, the sad reality is that the Brinson’s are not good communicators, each having flaws that make things worse rather than any better. Their dysfunction is played out before Joe, who struggles to comprehend how his once seemingly nice, normal family life becomes a chaotic lonely environment.

SOLOMONS IFA: MONEY STRESS IN WILDLIFE

Fighting the Bonfire of our Vanities

Whilst set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there are of course parallels for today. The lack of work in parts of any country turns it into a wasteland with few signs of hope. Whilst it is undeniably true that the percentage of people in poverty is reducing, this does not mean that life is easy or even good for many people. It is precisely this lack of hope, the desire to blame anyone or anything different, that certain politicians will take advantage of. The sense of shame in being poor and the anxiety that it produces cannot be overstated. Jeanette will trade her dignity for security. Jerry will dice with death just to demonstrate his contempt for his lot. Joe, meanwhile (a boomer) is caught in the crossfire, trying to make sense of the gap between child and adult and what becoming a man might mean for him.

You get one lifetime but another shot at honesty

One of the biggest assumptions that financial plans make is that a couple remains together. Sadly, this can often be a mistake. That’s not to say that divorce or separation are a “sad” thing, it can be healing and of course healthier. What I mean is that the self-awareness required to allow for this or make provision for it is often lacking. The assumptions being made about investment returns or taxes are frankly small beer when it comes to division of assets and the implications for all.

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

Email me to get in touch
WHEN MONEY TALKS AND WE DON’T2019-08-19T15:26:00+01:00

On Chesil Beach

On Chesil Beach

The new film On Chesil Beach of the book by Ian McEwan is now in cinemas. It will perhaps bring back some memories for anyone that married in the 1960s, with the period captured wonderfully. Set primarily in 1962, it is the story of a newly-wed couple Edward (Billy Howle) and Florence (Saoirse Ronan) who discover that they are unprepared for the intimacy of marriage.

At the time of the story, the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s had barely begun, indeed Penguin Books had only recently (November 1960) won their case to publish Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Despite the reality of millions of daily lives, Britain was generally rather poor at sex education. Edward and Florence lack any real understanding of each other intimately. The church would of course argue that a lifetime of marriage would gradually facilitate intimacy, whilst such an answer for many is workable, where trauma and intimacy collide, there is little comfort in glib answers. Florence offers a different option, one that Edward simply cannot face.

Sweet Sorrow?

Spoiler alert – the marriage does not last the day and is annulled. Unlike the book, we do not follow the characters much beyond the moment of decision on Chesil Beach. Decisions are made, tempers are lost, and parting was not a sweet sorrow.

In our contemporary society, relationships now take various forms, it was not until 1973 that the Matrimonial Causes Act made the case for divorce clear (beyond annulment). This despite all our somewhat hypocritical history about personal conduct in aspects of sexual intimacy and marriage. Henry VIII managed to get what he wanted and created the Church of England as a consequence. The law is flexible for those with power, as perhaps you noticed in the recent BBC dramatization about Jeremy Thorpe (A Very English Scandal).

Life can be Messy

The problem with most financial planning is that real life tends to get in the way and muck things up. Life is not nice, neat straight lines, well not for most. We might wish that everything was very each to model, but the truth is that it is of course complex, nuanced and on occasion vexing. One of the most significant aspects that will impact your financial planning will be your marital status. Any change in this will create an obvious need to review your plans, yet many don’t see past the Form E (financial statement required for a divorce) and to be blunt, I’m always surprised that lawyers do not wish all sides to undergo some basic (or complex) financial assessment with proper cashflow modelling for their new scenarios. Perhaps few have experienced the benefit of this.

In any event, life is messy. Sometimes we all need to make changes that we did not expect. This might be marriage, divorce, redundancy, addictions, debt… and so on, a plethora of possibilities that were not expected. So, I tend to get a little, well, dismissive of advisers who think that a cashflow plan is the done deal – the future is mapped out, life is now a beach…. I would be quick to point out the massive advantage of cashflow planning, we use it for all our clients, but it does have its short-comings and like anything else, garbage in, garbage out, but reading a forecasted future as anything other than an option would be unwise at best. We may all crave certainty, but there is none when it comes to living life. I advise all clients that the plan is not set in stone, it will be wrong, but it is today a very good guess about he future, based upon sensible assumptions that need regular reviewing.

The Unvarnished Truth

It is not a crime to admit things need to be changed. That your plans must alter, that is normal. What is a crime (in a sense) is pretending that everything is ok when it isn’t. You may never have a Chesil Beach moment, but may I propose that a relationship with a financial planner, requires honesty and the ability to listen, discuss and think together.

On Chesil Beach is now in cinemas, here is the trailer. I enjoyed the film, beautifully shot and poignant storytelling 7/10.

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

Email me to get in touch
On Chesil Beach2018-06-04T14:45:19+01:00
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