25th February, 2016
Life is a journey…
I am currently down under enjoying my career break (what an enlightening employer DB Wood are encouraging career breaks). Mind you, I have been working for 46 years in the Financial Services industry albeit for just less than 4 years with DB Wood, and the ultimate career break is approaching… retirement!
It was scary when I realised that I had been working for 46 years, although, it was not called Financial Services back then; it was basically the insurance industry.
My employment started off in the actuarial department of the Chief Office of Refuge Assurance in the centre of Manchester. Refuge Assurance are now part of the Royal London Group and the Victorian offices are now the Palatial Palace Hotel in Oxford Street. It is amazing to think that back in the day there were no calculators. Instead, insurance premiums were calculated on machines by manually turning the handle the requisite number of times. These machines were called Brunsviga (check them out on google – they are referred to as vintage calculators).
My flippant comment about travelling to Australia was because I had felt deprived (my wife and three children have all been at different times and I had never made it), but on reflection, the opposite is true.
I feel people my age should be very grateful that by living when we have, we have been part of a ‘golden generation’. Many of my clients are in similar age brackets and have lived in relatively peaceful times. They will likely have benefited from equity growth within properties after accessing the housing ladder at low points, reasonable pension provision (be it involuntary) through final salary schemes, voluntarily taking advantage of tax breaks and high investment returns, along with other ways in which assets have accumulated such as business sales, inheritances etc.
So in relative terms we have little to worry about, but care needs to be taken in managing these assets. I am no different to many of my clients with respect to future concerns. What income will I need in retirement? At what rate do I draw income? What is the most tax efficient way? How can I manage drawing capital for special events (gap period travelling), passing on assets to future generations (will my house flood?) etc. This is where DB Wood’s propositions come in, developing and regularly reviewing my financial plan. My other reassurance is that, whilst I am away enjoying the outback, the Investment Committee have their fingers on the pulse so I do not need worry about what is happening in investment markets (guys you will have your opportunity to travel when you get to my age but in the meantime keep your head down and continue to monitor my and our clients’ investments).
Finally, does anybody know anything about an office move – it seems strange that they have moved whilst I am away – are they trying to tell me something?