EVERYBODY DIES

TODAY’S BLOG

EVERYBODY DIES…

Death is an inescapable part of life. Over recent years, it has become apparent to me how important financial planning is when it comes to death. Grief is an incredibly difficult sort of sadness to grapple with. I often find when you lose someone you love, you feel as if the world should stop, as if everyone and everything should freeze but, contrary to this feeling, life goes on.

‘Money’ is possibly the last thing on your mind during those times and we hope to break down some of the financial stigmas around this; and empower men and women alike to have financial understanding and freedom.  At Solomon’s we have a strong desire for both parties in a couple to attend client meetings and encourage meaningful conversations with family members.  Knowing your desires and priorities helps us to tailor a financial plan just for you, enabling you to make the most of your life in the present; to be prepared for the worst; and to facilitate the ability to leave something behind for your loved ones, should you so wish.

Having known families who have had to pull their children out of private school because they can’t afford the fees any longer, and people having to leave their beloved family homes, I cannot express strongly enough how important insurance is.  Whilst protection policies are not something we would usually organise for you at Solomon’s, they can form a vital part of your financial plan.  We use a really good specialist firm to arrange protection policies for our clients – if this is something you need, please let us know and we will pass you on to them.

Many people have an ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude and unfortunately that is simply just not true. These things are out of our control and so preparing for the unknown helps make transitions easier should they need to take place. It is often thought of as an expense that could be spared, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if that money spent turned out to have been ‘wasted’.  In the meantime, you have peace of mind that your family will be financially cared for in the event that the worst happens. It’s not a happy thought; but it’s an important one.

Abigail Liddicott
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on our blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to us 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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

EVERYBODY DIES2023-12-01T12:12:46+00:00

NOWHERE SPECIAL

TODAY’S BLOG

NOWHERE SPECIAL

The backdrop of a constant flow of awful news, was given some temporary relief through film. “Nowhere Special” is a marvellous little film from Director Uberto Pasolini and I think it’s quite an important one. There is some wonderful acting and storytelling. Uplifting, because against this tide of awfulness, there is the ability to see a different life, to walk in the shoes of someone else. Yet it is most definitely a tale of sadness.

In a nutshell, John (James Norton) is a single parent, raising his primary-school aged son Michael. John has a terminal illness and is attempting to find a family that will adopt his son.Certainly, it’s a horrible situation, one in which I am reminded that life gets turned upside down by changes to health. The only good thing about cancer is the opportunity it usually provides to prepare for death in a way that most of us do not.

Toby, (one of my closest friends) died from cancer in 2006. That’s already fifteen years ago! He was 37. His original diagnosis was in 1996, it was rare – multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN). We were both grateful that I’d persuaded him at just 26 to take out some financial protection which mercifully paid out once he was diagnosed. It wasn’t anything like “enough” in my view, but at the age we were at the time, neither of us really expected the array of problems that come with poor health and the impact on family finances. We simply didn’t know better. There were many difficulties and awful experiences, as well as many wonderful ones. It doesn’t seem 15 years ago.

NOWHERE SPECIAL

HOW WILL WE BE REMEMBERED?

A topic of conversation was regularly how his two children would remember him. He created a memory box for each of them, wrote journals and placed important mementos into their boxes (something that John does in the film too). To my mind it was a valuable use of his time, despite his sapping energy levels. I was reminded of this experience watching the film. Michael, (the son) is younger than either of Toby’s two children at the time, though both they and mine lived through the experience of regularly wondering when the end may arrive. Unlike Michael, Toby was married and not alone in raising his children or facing cancer. It became clear to me that whilst he had the diagnosis, cancer was a daily reality for them all.

This is not an attempt to get you to take out insurance. To be blunt, I’m more concerned that you (and I) have good relationships with those we care about and, if I may, encourage you to leave some form of memory box of who you are. I know life is a journey, that we change and evolve over time, but as Chirstmas time is upon us, take a moment to ponder how those closest to you might remember you. Perhaps a memory box should be a work in progress – a reminder of who we are and who we are becoming. Christmas is of course a time for good cheer, but its also a milestone in all our lives (however we feel or whatever we believe about it). It acts as another measure of time and the direction in which we find ourselves.

I don’t think it too bold an assumption to presume that you have had difficulties in your life, that you have known loss and grief. As a financial planner, it is a regular part of my work and over the last 3 decades I have seen and felt the impact. We plan for these awful events but experiencing them is usually rather more emotional. That’s why I urge you to get your Will done, your Power of Attorney in place and a suitable amount of protection. I hope it’s something you don’t have to experience for a very long time, but death eventually comes to us all.

Life can change very suddenly, as your planner I help you prepare for the worst whilst hoping for the best. As for today, live it as fully as you are able, make good memories.

Anyway, here is the trailer. It’s worth your ticket price and some. 9/10. I think it’s rather special. Its certainly available via Curzon and I hope other platforms too.

Get in touch to talk over any issues that this raises for you. For clarity I have had permission to from Toby’s widow to relate this story. If you know anyone with MEN, there is a very good charity (AMEND) that has much more information.

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

NOWHERE SPECIAL2023-12-01T12:12:58+00:00

KODACHROME

TODAY’S BLOG

KODACHROME

We’ve all probably watched more on television in the last 6 months than perhaps we have for many years. The other night I watched Kodachrome. I had reasonable hopes given the cast (Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis, Elizabeth Olsen) and the plot, which was suggested as a father and son trip to get some final film developed at the last place to offer the service before closing. A sense of the now or never.

Famous photographer Ben Ryder (Harris) is at deaths door, much like his Kodak film slides. His relationship with his son Matt (Sudeikis) is also “mostly dead” rather like Kodak. At a crossroads or cul-de-sac (you decide) the two are reunited through contrived circumstance, on a journey together for different reasons. Ben to get 4 old rolls of film developed and Matt to get an interview, both with the air of desperate “last chance” about them.

SOLOMONS IFA - KODACHROME

NOT IN FOCUS

There are lots of possibilities for this, how change, endings and loss are handled for example. If you knew you had a few weeks to live, how would you conduct yourself in your final days. Perhaps a question many of us may have thought about more than usual recently. How do we handle ageing and the constant advancement of technology that can leave us behind, perhaps feeling (or being) redundant and consigned to history. How will we leave our mark, impression or do we even want to?

Sadly, the script and plot failed to cope with difficulty or nuance.  The film is seemingly at a loss for ideas. Perhaps I am wrong, but there is a point in the story where Matt returns to his Uncle’s adoptive home, where Matt lived from age 13 following the death of his mother and the chosen absence of his father. Matt is now an adult in the music business, something of an expert. Yet the room he returns to in his uncle’s home is as it was left – vinyl and posters intact. Whilst I imagine this may happen sometimes, it seems improbable that an adolescent’s room is left for well over a decade (well over) in its original state.

DEPTH

Unsurprisingly, the plot becomes ever more simplistic and lacks any depth of vision (ironic for a photographer). Words are said, tantrums had, departures, threats, ultimatums but we all know where this is headed – a “just in time” redemptive ending, where a man’s work is validated above his ability to be present or available to that which he suggests is important.

Life is rarely like this. We often do not get ample warning to adequately address painful experiences. No final road trip with a mission. The voice of the financial planner is to act as a reminder that life is brief. We all know it is, but most of us live as though it will last forever. Planning finances to last and to be sufficient, so that you can squeeze all the joy you want from your allotted time, whatever that means for you. It has a connection with money, but it is not about money. Its about the choices we make to live.

USE BY: SEE END

So, let me suggest something else. You have 4 rolls of film, (unlike digital images which are so instant and numerous that there is little focus on the importance of the subject and its composition). One roll for each quarter of your remaining time (I would not be so harsh as to divide it up into quarters and give you what should be left). At the end of each future quarter period, I take one from you. What have you filled it with? Even this is clearly a daft suggestion – we simply do not know how much time we have. What we do know is what is important to each of us. The job of the planner is to help you maximise the time you have available and help you calculate what is possible given the resources you have. Like Kodachrome, we all have a shelf-life, this life is to be used. Unlike the food in your fridge, we simply do not have the use by date. This is a reminder check your stock and plan. We all know how disappointing waste is, particularly when at one point it was within our control. Today is your day of control.

SOLOMONS IFA - THE LIFE YOU SHOOT

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

KODACHROME2023-12-01T12:13:12+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 WAY2023-12-01T12:17:41+00:00

Creed: Fighting Talk

Creed: Fighting Talk?

There is a sense in which the new film “Creed” is simply another film about boxing and fighting talk. Given the latter films of the Rocky franchise, anyone could be forgiven for thinking it was likely to be both propaganda for American capitalism and selling a soundtrack for exercise. Yet I wonder if this is a fair reflection.

The movie opens into the harsh world of institutional care for young boys and unfolds with our main character coming to terms (or not) with the death of his mother and then learning that  his fatherless existence was due to infidelity and untimely death. His lucky break comes in the form of adoption by the woman originally jilted. The unnerving reality is that despite being afforded acceptance, financial security and a surname with punch,  there is a gnawing sense that he simply doesn’t “fit”. He turns to the most compelling and certain traits of his makeup – that of rage and a desperate search for purpose.

Now perhaps I’m reading too much into things, but despite appearances, the Rocky franchise has always exposed an uncomfortable relationship with wealth and how it changes lives and relationships, invariably not for the better.

Shadow Boxing

As we all know, America has all manner of racial problems, perhaps there is more than a passing nod to the two areas of life where black Americans are “allowed” to flourish – sport and music, where fame and riches catapult often humble backgrounds into the limelight of the elite. In the film, the protagonist, Adonis meets several sparring partners, but Bianca is the one that offers the prospect of a real connection and possibility of going the distance.

Growth through loss

Our story touches on the loss of loved ones and the continued search for significance, the battles that many face, irrespective of wealth, physical or mental ability. These are of course issues that face us all as we age (even Rocky) and like him we have greater exposure to the limitations that money can supply, but perhaps more costly is the sense of lost purpose, which can make us spectators of our own lives. Rocky rekindles his by reconnecting with the younger man within and without, a mentor, a trainer.

Like every prizefighter, we all come to a point of realization where money cannot buy peace of mind… something that the American dream and capitalism conveniently ignore. That is not to suggest that money cannot help – of course it can, but as we witness all too often, an identity crisis is not solved by cash.

In your corner

Some think a financial adviser is going to work magic, providing enormous payoff without significant effort. I see it rather differently, my role as a financial planner is more akin to the trainer, encouraging, helping to keep you on track, focused and with a strategy for the success you are seeking.

Our fight is more like shadow boxing, where our greatest opponent is ourselves. Our own minds and bodies can turn against us, something that becomes a more relevant nagging reality with each passing year….. So however many we have left ahead, we ought to make the most of this one; a theme that I seem to be returning to with regularity.

Ultimately, we are not remembered for our incomes or our assets, but how we spent our time, how we lived our lives. This is the fight that I am interested in, how we figure out what is indeed enough given an uncertain future and a history of mixed experience…. So I guess, this may come down to our own creed.

Here’s the trailer for Creed, which has a supporting actor OSCAR nomination for Sylvester Stallone. For some, this will be just another Stallone boxing movie, but may I suggest that perhaps it punches considerably above its weight.

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

Creed: Fighting Talk2023-12-01T12:19:31+00:00
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