The Sense of an Ending

If you are a client or if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I believe that we all have our own story. It may not be significant to most, but it is certainly significant to a few. At every funeral we are told a life story. Invariably by someone not terribly familiar with the details or even the rhythm, but told it is, or at least a version.

None of us know how long we have left in this mortal realm, indeed if the war of words between North Korea and the US develops beyond posturing, we may all have cause to seriously think about our mortality. Thankfully I am an optimist, hopefully self-made disaster will be averted and we can continue to have our more comforting perspective about longevity. However, as we witness on a daily basis, many do not live as long as expected.

We may prepare in various ways, seeking answers to life’s biggest questions. However whilst we live, we can to some extent recall and recount our own stories. I suggest creating a “Life Book” – a collection of memories, images, thoughts and reflections. Those that you wish to preserve and perhaps lessons that you wish to pass on. This is your opportunity to be clear about who you are and why you made the choices you did. A genuine opportunity to “open up”.

Life Book-ended

So I was intrigued to see the film “A Sense of an Ending” with an immediately recognizable cast, (Jim Broadbent, Harriet Walter, Charlotte Rampling and Emily Mortimer who propel us from the teenage years in the 1960s to the present day, the tale of those born in the 1940s. The story is based on the novel of the same name by Julian Barnes and relays the story of the nearly retired Tony Webster (Jim Broadbent). Tony is confronted by emerging pieces of his past and is driven to review his understanding of them as we are taken on a tour of memory adjusted lane. Not all the pieces fit as neatly as he would wish and certainly not as he had presumed.

Facing the future by reflecting on the past

For those of us that regularly take stock of our lives and seek to understand the influences and key moments within it, this may provide some insight into how our first draft is rarely the last. If you do see the film, let me know if it alters your approach to how you record your own life story. As I think Soren Kierkegaard said “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Financial planning is of course forward-looking, but as is often the case, to look forwards we must understand the past, which means facing our own.

Here’s the trailer for the movie “A Sense of An Ending”.

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