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Tempus Fugit (Time Flies!)

It’s hard to believe the Residents Association was established in Billericay 90 years ago, many congratulations to all involved and long may your good work for the Town continue.

I remember writing my first article for the “Resident” it was about State pensions and set out how to obtain a State Pension Forecast.
The Independent Financial Advice Centre was established in Billericay by Mike Joslin in February 1988 and he kindly invited me to join him in 1990, which is a staggering 26 years we have spent together trying to help Residents of the town with their investments and pensions.

There are supposed to be two certainties in life; Death and Taxes, but I would add a third Change.  No sooner do we think we’ve got to grips with something when the rules change and we start again.

I’m not sure who came up with the “strap line” on our door “Making sense of a complicated world” but it sums up in a nutshell what we try to do.

The door has changed a few times from 22 to 39 and for the last seven years 97 but the High Street has always been our home and long may it continue.

Acronyms change as well, in the 90s our regulator was FIMBRA) which became the PIA which became the FSA which became the FCA .All that regulation and people still lose millions of pounds to crooks, makes one wonder what they achieve.

As far as complications are concerned, there is no doubt the world is even more complex than it was in the 90s and noughties. Current changes to Pension Schemes, ISAs, income Tax, Capital gains tax, tax on dividends and many other changes keep us very busy. 

Today we have a younger generation of Independent Financial Advisers working in the Advice Centre. They have higher qualifications then we ever needed to enable them to continue dealing with changes in an ever more complex financial world.

May the Residents Association enjoy another 90 years ensuring that any change is good news for the Town and its residents. I’m sure it will “fly past” as fast as the last. 

Thanks to everyone at the Independent Advice Centre for their good wishes. Making sense of a complicated world will definitely be an aspiration for the future.

Call the Independent Financial Centre on 01277 630873 if you need sense made of anything financial in your life. 

Call Georgina on 01277 630873 if you would like more details

Time to downsize?

The family home isn’t made of bricks and mortar or furniture and gadgets; it’s constructed of memories.  This is why so many people find it hard to admit that it’s time to up sticks and move to somewhere more manageable.  It is understandably difficult to leave behind a home and garden where children played and family memories were made, even when the benefits are a property with worry-free maintenance and on-hand support.

Despite this, the desire to remain independent along with the acknowledgement of the need for support, often forces the hand.  In such situations, a retirement property can offer a practical solution where a level of independence can be maintained.   Help is likely to be on hand, perhaps in the form of an ‘on call’ support system, day to day living arrangements may be able to be tailored as the needs of the occupier change, and maintenance services are usually provided by a landlord or service company.

All good so far!  But it is a proven fact that moving house is stressful – at any time of life – let alone when it has to be undertaken by someone of advancing years.  Added to that is the burden of choice.  Which retirement property will be suitable?  Which will provide ongoing care through the years?  Which will retain value and what about overheads?

Retirement complexes, where independent living is facilitated via support services and where the community is restricted to a certain age group and above, can offer a way of continuing independence for as long as possible, but potential buyers must ensure they are aware of all the facts before they commit.  These may include service charges, ground rent, costs for support services and perhaps other charges for meals or laundry. 

A solicitor with experience of retirement properties will be able to remove some of the worry associated with the process of moving home and answer a lot of the questions.  They will be alert to any ‘hidden’ costs so that their client is fully aware of their commitment before signing on the dotted line.  Furthermore, they will be able to explain terms of contracts and leases in clear, straightforward English and will keep their client updated at every stage.
A solicitor cannot remove the stress and worry but they can make the process run as smoothly as possible.  If you or a loved one are thinking about buying a retirement property, contact Marina Athanasiou on 01206 217354 or

Birkett Long would like to congratulate The Resident on its 90th anniversary.