Changing of the guard

Dominic Thomas
Dec 2022  •  5 min read

Changing of the guard

I know that football isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it often provides useful metaphors. Whether you love or loathe it, I suspect that you have heard the name Cristiano Ronaldo, who is one of the sport’s true superstars, with a career that has made him extraordinarily wealthy as his prolific goalscoring has resulted in team successes and trophies. At the age of 37 he is representing Portugal at his fifth World Cup (starting in 2006). His latest contract pays him £26m a year.

Yet on Tuesday evening, he was left ‘on the bench’ and watched as his team beat the Swiss 6-1 with a hat-trick from his replacement, Ramos some 20 years his junior. Few of us will contemplate retirement at 37, but in sporting terms, that is ‘getting on a bit’. Ronaldo and his many millions of admirers will have mixed feelings about seeing someone else take centre stage and provide an extremely good performance that threatens the possibility of Ronaldo’s normally guaranteed place in the starting line-up for the next match against Morocco on Saturday for a place in the semi-final. Those who know football, will observe that this is a normal experience for all players but rare for the superstars of the sport, but something that Ronaldo has only recently begun to experience at his club (or no longer his club).


There is no obvious way to prepare for retirement, for some it is a very sudden change of pace and evokes questions about purpose and meaning, for others there is a sense of relief, as though a great burden has been lifted. A recent webinar presented by researchers from academia, has found that most retirees are not very well prepared for the transition. Whilst finance and having enough money is a significant element of retirement, it certainly isn’t the sole consideration.

Researchers found that most people do not consider how a change in health may create problems where they live, if they are unable to drive, use public transport or have a hospital reasonably nearby. They also pointed to the underappreciation of social contact and community and how a once pleasant ‘get away from it all’ location becomes increasingly isolated from valuable personal connection.

One question that seems to be understood and answered differently in different countries is “when does middle age end? And when does old age begin?”. This reminded me of a clip that I saw recently in which it was argued ‘middle aged’ is between 35-50, being typically the mid-point in most people’s lives…

65 IS THE NEW 45…

Often, we hear “you are as old as you feel” I’m not convinced by that, but I do think having connections, community involvement, friends and family all help make life invigorated and outward looking. Pop star, material girl, Madonna will turn 65 in August 2023 (next summer) and if she had been a UK resident for long enough, paying her NI, would be eligible for her State Pension in 2024.

As for people who have already turned 65 in 2022 – Stephen Fry, Jo Brand, Nick Faldo, Jayne Torvill, Frank Skinner, Timothy Spall, Daniel Day Lewis, Siouxise Sioux, Fern Britton, Dawn French, Billy Bragg and Steve Davis are all part of the cohort that will collect their State Pension at 66 in 2023. As for Ronaldo, if he was eligible to claim a UK State Pension, under current rules he could do so when he is 68, which is in 2053, some thirty years time during which he would see a further seven World Cup tournaments.

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

Changing of the guard2023-12-01T12:12:40+00:00

Purpose – how to plan…

Purpose – how to plan…

I have shelves of books about financial planning, investing and anything that helps me to improve how I do what I do and how to simplify, explain and address issues that actually matter to you our clients.

One of the lessons that I have learned over the last three decades is that planning for the future is often too far into the future to be meaningful. We all hope to have a rewarding, purposeful and enjoyable life, but thinking about the next thirty years (2052) often feels too distant from the present.


As I write, it is November 2022, and looking backwards is easier.  Three decades ago (November 1992) is the same distance backwards as it is forwards to 2052. Back in 1992 we had just had the ERM crisis, unemployment was 2.7m, Charles & Diana were still unhappily married. The same time traveller distance back to November 1962 and 007 premiered Dr No and Z-Cars was first aired. The Cuban Missile Crisis had just happened, and The Beatles had just released their first single ‘Love Me Do’.

Suffice to say thirty years is a long time and much changes, though most of it is barely noticed on a day-to-day basis. As humans we tend to have short memories, often having to relearn the same lessons.

The cashflow modelling that we have been using with you since it was available, suffers from the same problem, projecting decades out into the future. Of course, I remind you that “this is a version of the future that almost certainly will not happen, as life is not linear and stuff happens” or something along those lines.

On the one hand I need to extol the rationale, logic and purpose of having a long-term mindset, and on the other I am aware that we really cannot predict anything. The last five years were probably unthinkable to most of us decade ago.

So we focus on the gradual accumulation of small changes that all add up to a better future. Taking advantage of improvements in technology, lower charges and efficiencies. Yet I still find the daily use of pad and paper something that I am unlikely to give up easily. Even holding a printed document is better than a pdf.

Planning ahead for me means considering the year, quarters, weeks and days. I use a planner and despite all the workflows and tech, the planner is really my personal account and guide. This is really a place for my values and aspirations or goals both personally and for the business. The self-accounting enables me to not simply get things done, but to get the important things done… or at least progressed.

Quarterly planning is nothing to do with investment valuations or market conditions, but ensuring you are taking action to progress towards your goals whilst living out your own values consistently and authentically.  Planning with purpose.

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

Purpose – how to plan…2023-12-01T12:12:42+00:00




Food is such an integral part of life. I have many nostalgic memories of meals shared with friends and family, filled with laughter and storytelling. My Father was a particularly impressive cook, always experimenting with new flavours; he loved impressing people with unique dishes using unusual fruits and vegetables. When I went to university, meals at home became sacred. My favourite meal upon my return was beef stew, usually accompanied by a glass of red … the ultimate in Winter comfort food.

A few years ago I got sick and after much research looking for things that could ‘heal’ me, a lot of data suggested a vegan diet. My deep love of charcuterie boards, roast beef, steak, lasagna, cheese would make it hard to cut out – but I was also desperate to feel well again. I’d reached a place where it was difficult to work, difficult to eat and was often in and out of hospitals and doctors’ surgeries – so I took the plunge.

Following a vegan diet means not eating meat, fish, dairy or animal biproducts such as eggs, honey or gelatine. I seem to have inherited my Dad’s love of cooking, so the creative side of trying new dishes was fun, but I felt like I had to keep reading research papers to convince myself I was doing the right thing. Not eating a meal made up of meat, carbs and vegetables on the side, felt wrong, as though I would somehow be weakening my body, not strengthening it.

One thing that is important if you give up meat (vegetarians listen up!), is to take a daily B12 supplement (in liquid form) as it is an important part of helping the nerves work and without it can lead to nerve damage. I have to plan meals thoughtfully to ensure that I’m getting the right nutrients from the food I eat but, after several months of experimenting with new vegan dishes, I began to feel better. I’m not ‘healed’, but I was able to return to work, eat solid food again, and even start weaning off some of the medication I’d been put on. I’ve found new favourite meals and enjoyed taste-testing lots of different products to find replacements for the foods I ‘miss’ the most.

In all honesty I don’t think I expected changing my diet to improve my health this drastically, but here I am almost a year later with no desire to revert back. Food should be nourishing and delicious and that is very achievable on a vegan diet.

So what does this have to do with financial planning, you might well ask!?  Well, if you try and compare being physically unwell and being financially unwell (lots of debt perhaps; no clear direction; no idea what the best path is; no idea where to start; how and when should I invest…) then the analogy begins to reveal itself!

Depending on what financial problems you have, a personal plan is crucial.  A financial plan is different for everyone (although just as with physical health … there are some recurring themes).  As with physical problems, the relief from financial ‘pain’ isn’t instant – you aren’t ‘healed’ just because you have a treatment/lifestyle plan. It can take quite some time for the plan to take effect and for you to feel the benefits. As with treatments for physical ailments, sometimes you have to tweak your financial plan to ensure that you remain on track. As time goes by and the ‘treatment’ becomes habitual, you don’t even really have to work that hard at it.  In the beginning, there can feel like a long road to travel and a lot of learning to do, but once you’re on your way … it’s liberating and empowering.

This is why we do what we do (and why we love doing it!) – financial freedom and financial wellbeing are absolutely our goals for all of our clients, whatever their financial ‘ailments’ may be.

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


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

Email – 
Call – 020 8542 8084


Are we a good fit for you?


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

Email –    Call – 020 8542 8084


Are we a good fit for you?


Everybody Has A Plan

Everybody Has A Plan (Todos tenemos un plan)

This week has been a cinematic one for me. It is the BFI (British Film Institute) London Film Festival.  One of the films that I saw was “Everybody Has A Plan”. Now call me a cynic, but no they don’t. In fact my experience is that the majority of people do not have anything vaguely resembling a plan. By “plan”, I mean a deliberate, thought through approach to what they want from life and how to set about making it a reality. That is in no way to detract from what is otherwise a really good film about the choices that twin brothers make and how wishing for someone else’s life may not be the best approach to changing your lot.

Living Deliberately

Financial planning when done properly doesn’t come from a place of envy. It comes from a sense of connecting your personal values and integrity with your money. Clients use us to help them maintain or improve their existing lifestyle, it is very rare that I meet clients that want to downsize their lifestyle – though I do meet some, who are always very interesting people. Many people drift in life as it throws up its challenges and changes. Some of this we can control and some we cannot (or at least if you really figure out how, let me know). We can determine our focus, what we want, yet few people actually verbalise this in a clear manner, let alone share it with their spouse or partner or financial adviser. I think that this has something to do with the fear of failure, if it’s not said or written down and it doesn’t happen, then who can tell? Whilst entirely understandable, fear should not be our main guide in life.

Are You Ready For The Truth?

The film explores the difficulty of several relationships – one where a husband and wife have very different expectations of their marriage and desire for children, another the belief that there is no escape from a life of crime – to become a bully or become a victim seem to be the only choices. Good financial planning is more than a binary set of choices +/- life is rather more complex. Good financial planning takes hope and gives it a strategy. Helping clients to visualise what it is that they want from the future can also help – there is certainly some resonance in the notion that “seeing is believing” (now I’m in danger of living up to my own surname). Anyway, enough said – here is the trailer for the film. It is in Spanish and well subtitled. The lead actor is very impressive (Viggo Mortensen, who was in the Lord of the Rings trilogy).

Why do I like film so much? well probably because I like stories, which is why I am interested in my clients, I genuinely want to hear their story so far and where they want to take it, what’s yours?

Everybody Has A Plan2023-12-01T12:23:01+00:00
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